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

This Page was last updated:

New photos of the 2013 San Diego Reunion

New Photos of the 2014 Texas Mini Reunion

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

Important and Interesting USS Constellation Scrapping Links

USS Constellation Last Voyage Site

Voyage of the Carbon Foss

Brooklyn Navy Yard Tribute Wall

Click Here for our 2014 Memorial List Page

From our Branson Reunion,

Newly elected officers are:

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

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

Recent Navy News:

NNS140922-12. USS Mitscher Deploys to 5th Fleet

By Ensign Karina Monroe, USS Mitscher Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) departed Naval Station Norfolk for deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).

Led by Cmdr. Frank Brandon, commanding officer, Mitscher will conduct maritime security operations and ballistic missile defense as well as continue to strengthen coalition partnerships.

"I'm so proud of the 'Mitschermen' and all of the hard work they've put in over the last several months, working nonstop," said Brandon. "We could not do this without the love and support of the families we leave behind."

Before deploying, Mitscher participated in the Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) exercises with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. During the exercise, Mitscher earned her Independent Deployer Certification (IDCERT), which assesses a ship's capabilities to function at tactical and operational levels.

After returning from her last deployment in Dec. 2011, Mitscher entered dry dock for regular maintenance and upgrades. Upon completion, the ship went on to pass its Aegis Light-Off Certification, Engineering Light-Off Assessment, Basic Phase and the Board of Inspection and Survey.

Additionally, Mitscher earned first place overall in its category at Norfolk's Surface Line Week, which is an opportunity for all ships in port to compete in events such as baseball, soccer, basketball, golf, a chili cook-off and simulated navigation at sea.

Commissioned on Dec. 10, 1994, Mitscher is the namesake of Adm. Marc A. Mitscher. He is known for his command during the Doolittle Raids against Tokyo in 1942, resulting in his quick advancement to overall tactical commander of Pacific operations against Japanese Adm. Isoruku Yamamoto during World War II. The destroyer is the second naval warship named in his honor, the first being Destroyer Leader-2.

Today, officers and chief petty officers aboard Mitscher continue a tradition of wearing "Mitscher-style" ball caps in honor of their namesake, who wore large duck-billed "hunting" ball caps in a plain khaki style.

For more Mitscher information, visit the ships website at or join the conversation on Facebook at

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

NNS140922-01. Strike Group Hones Anti-Submarine Warfare Skills During Valiant Shield Torpedo Exercise

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Declan Barnes, Commander Task Force 70 Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Ships assigned to the George Washington Carrier Strike Group conducted a complex, live-fire anti-submarine torpedo training evolution as part of exercise Valiant Shield, Sept. 17-18.

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Mustin (DDG 89), USS Stethem (DDG 63), and USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54), and USS Shiloh (CG 67) along with embarked helicopter detachments, fired ordnance at simulated targets during the exercise.

"We did two discrete events -- one with two ships, Shiloh and Fitzgerald, and one with three, Mustin, Antietam and Stethem," said Lt. Geoffrey Biegel, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 submarine operations officer. "This one was unique in the fact that we had a lot of exercise training weapons to use. We were able to execute vertical launch anti-submarine rockets, over the side torpedoes and torpedoes from helicopters.

"It was exciting that we were able to execute all of that training in such a short period of time. Another thing that was great about this training is that we were able to use the MK 30 training target. It's a better target, it's larger and has a longer run time, so one MK 30 target can be used for a whole three-ship, four-weapon event."

Anti-submarine warfare is a major focus area of naval operations. By honing those skills, the strike group further supports Valiant Shield's goal of having a highly capable and well-trained joint combat force in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The value of these exercises is testing the firing chain, evaluating tactics, techniques and procedures," said Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, Commander, Task Force 70. "It also allows outside evaluators to assess the efficiency and accuracy with which Carrier Strike Group 5 and Carrier Strike Group 1 employ their weapons systems."

Conducting this type of realistic, relevant training increases the strike group's ability to plan, communicate and conduct complex maritime operations.

"I was very excited to be part of the team that executed the torpedo launch from our ship," said Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class Elatia Zaffke, assigned to Antietam. "We train all year to successfully complete exercises like this, and it was a nice feeling to be able to put all that training into action."

The targeting torpedoes used during the exercise were specifically designed for this type of training. They mimic the size and weight of its active counterpart but are inert, allowing them to be recovered and used again.

Valiant Shield comprises much more than just anti-submarine warfare events. It is a biennial, U.S.-only, field training exercise with a focus on integration of joint training among U.S. forces. It enables real world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas. This is the fifth exercise in the Valiant Shield series that began in 2006.

"Valiant Shield 2014 is a large joint military exercise, one of the largest anywhere in the world this year. It combines a series of vignettes to test our operational and tactical capabilities against high-end adversaries along with operations that allow us to asses and improve out interoperability between joint forces" said Montgomery. "It also serves as [Task Force 70's] major two-year certification where we not only demonstrate our capabilities as a strike group, but our ability as a task force to manage multiple carrier strike groups during complex operations. This is an extremely complex exercise for the George Washington and Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Groups."

Valiant Shield is a U.S.-only exercise integrating an estimated 18,000 Navy, Air Force, Army and Marine Corps personnel, more than 200 aircraft and 19 surface ships, offering real-world joint operational experience to develop capabilities that provide a full range of options to defend U.S. interests and those of its allies and partners.

NNS140922-17. Commander of China's Navy Visits SWOS

By Lt. Jason Bilbro, Surface Warfare Officers School Command Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) hosted the commander of China's People's Liberation Army Navy Sept. 18.

Adm. Wu Shengli was accompanied by seven officers from the PLA Navy staff and given a tour of schoolhouse trainers by Capt. Dave Welch, SWOS commanding officer. They also participated in a roundtable discussion with 12 prospective commanding officers in class at SWOS.

The tour included stops at a Full Mission Bridge (FMB) simulator which provides students a 360-degree virtual environment that can simulate every Navy homeport and other ports regularly visited around the world. Also on the tour were the guided missile destroyer (DDG) full-size engineering trainer, the two littoral combat ship (LCS) Full Mission Bridge Trainers, and the Multi-Mission Tactical Trainer facilities that provide students with hands-on training of ship engineering systems.

Throughout the tour Welch briefed Wu on the continuum of SWO training and discussed the science of learning strategy employed by SWOS.

"It was fascinating to sit next to Admiral Wu as he engaged with our prospective commanding officers," Welch said. "He was candid, provided thoughtful and detailed responses, and took much more time than was originally planned. He clearly enjoyed the opportunity for this dialogue."

Welch also noted that the roundtable discussion provided a unique opportunity for direct interaction between future American commanding officers and China's CNO-equivalent. The admiral provided a summary of his background and experience, then fielded a wide variety of questions over the course of an hour and a half.

Wu's PLA Navy career spans 50 years. He joined the PLA Navy in 1964 and within 10 years was serving as deputy captain and subsequently as captain of a PLA Navy frigate. Following his frigate tour he served as captain of a PLA Navy destroyer for eight years. He began an assignment as deputy chief of the PLA general staff in 2004, prior to assuming his current position as commander of the PLA Navy. He has held the rank of admiral since 2007.

SWOS uses a mix of blended-learning techniques comprised of instructor-led classes, hands-on labs, high fidelity, physics-based simulation and computer-based training. Courses include specialized training supporting all enlisted engineering ratings, and surface warfare officers at every level. Building maritime partnerships, the command also provides training to international students. SWOS oversees nine learning sites, providing more than 1,000 courses a year to 67,000+ Sailors.

For more information about Surface Warfare Officers School, visit

Like SWOS on Facebook at

To learn more about the Naval Education and Training Command, visit and

NNS140922-13. CNIC to Conduct Exercise Citadel Protect

From Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) will conduct exercise Citadel Protect, an anti-terrorism/force protection (AT/FP) exercise in San Diego Sept. 22-26

The Department of Defense Physical Security Enterprise and Analysis Group (PSEAG), the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), the Countering Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) and Naval Base San Diego has partnered with CNIC, to plan, execute and assess Citadel Protect and an Integrated Waterside Security Concept Demonstration (IWS CD).

The Citadel Protect exercise is part of the Navy's training and exercise continuum, which enables Navy security forces to train and simultaneously assess mission essential tasks and readiness across the enterprise. The exercise series focuses on command, control and communications for missions requiring a coordinated response from both ashore and afloat units in response to waterborne improvised explosive devices (IED) and land-based active shooter threats.

"We are committed to training and conducting exercises throughout the year to identify and mitigate any issues in our current force protection structure," said Bill Clark, CNIC's exercise program director. "This exercise is one of the methods that we can take a holistic approach to assess AT/FP program readiness and provide realistic training to our Sailors."

The IWS CD sponsored by the PSEAG will be conducted as part of the United States Fleet Forces Command and Navy Warfare Development Command Fleet Experimentation Program. "The IWS Concept Demonstration is about integrating existing waterside security systems such as the Electronic Harbor Security System, Harbor Security Boats and Port Security Barriers with new capabilities and integrating the operational capabilities of disparate Navy security forces - afloat, ashore and expeditionary to improve overall waterside security against the asymmetric threat.

By design this effort is an initiative to integrate waterside security at both the systems and organizational levels in a cost effective manner using the Citadel Protect exercise to demonstrate this integrating concept and organizing construct," said Rod Gillis, PSEAG chairman.

Two San Diego-based ships USS Lake Champlain, and USS Rushmore, will participate in this year's exercise. The exercise provides an opportunity to conduct integrated shore/afloat training and to validate the installation's directed in-port security plan in order to jointly respond to multiple AT/FP scenarios within Navy Base San Diego's battle space.

Several exercises will be enhance the various training events including the use of pyrotechnics, simulated improvised explosive devices, and employment of Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System technology by security force personnel. During an active shooter scenario, medical personnel from local hospitals and medical centers will respond and treat simulated victims. Special "moulage" kits will be used to dress up victims, providing first responders with realistic injuries and symptoms to diagnose and treat.
The JIEDDO supports the Citadel Protect exercise series with emphasis on counter-IED training and equipment, and for this exercise is also sponsoring a new system for underwater threat detection and interdiction. The CTTSO is the sponsor for a candidate technology demonstrating capabilities for a next generation port security barrier that includes a remotely operated gate system.

"In our exercises, we strive to create a training environment that mirrors the operational environment," said Clark. "This exercise and concept demonstration will incorporate the sights and sounds of actual waterborne improvised explosive devises and blank ammunition fire as part of the simulated attacks to enable our Sailors to demonstrate and validate pre-planned responses, tactics, techniques and procedures in a high-stress, realistic environment."

For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit

NNS140922-11. ONR Features Technology for Marines of the Future

From Office of Naval Research Public Affairs

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- From virtual training to laser weapons, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) is showcasing a range of technologies at Modern Day Marine exposition Sept. 23-25 that will prepare Marines as they continue to face an increasingly complex security landscape.

ONR program officers will be in booth no. 2305 during the event, held at Marine Corps Base Quantico, to discuss how their research contributes to the expeditionary ethos of Marines, trained to be "fast, austere and lethal."

ONRs Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism Department, the Warfighter Performance Department and TechSolutions will highlight science and technology that supports the recently released Expeditionary Force 21, a Marine Corps document that will guide the service's planning over the next decade and beyond.

Expeditionary Force 21 necessitates a greater emphasis on laser weapons, training technology and cyber capabilities - all of which ONR will have on display.

Visitors to ONRs booth will see first-hand what a laser weapon can do to a target. Objects that have been scorched by laser technology being developed under the Ground-Based Air Defense Directed Energy On-the-Move program, commonly referred to as GBAD, will be on display.

The GBAD program is developing a laser weapon system powerful enough to shoot down enemy unmanned aerial vehicles and small enough to fit in the back of a humvee or Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. The technology will help keep Marines on the ground from being tracked and targeted by adversaries.

In addition, there are several other technologies Marines could use in what the Expeditionary Force 21 plan describes as an increasingly volitile, unstable and complex global environment.

Augmented Immersive Team Training - an augmented reality training system that merges with military simulation systems to display virtual aircraft, vehicles, role players and indirect fire effects onto actual terrain.

Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System - video footage of demonstrations of advanced technologies that will enable autonomous, unmanned rotaroy-wing aircraft to perform the Assault Support mission.

Autonomous Critical Care System - a device that provides autonomous control of ventilation, fluid resuscitation, administration of drugs, sedation and analgesia and maintenance of core body temperature through constant physiologic monitoring.

Enahnced Technologies for Optimization of Warfighter Load - modeling and simulation software that analyzes combat equipment and its impact on Marines to determine how to "lighten the load" to increase the effectiveness of squads and individual Marines.

Flexible Photovoltaics-Lighweight, high-efficiency solar panel that allows Marines to ditch the weight of extra batteries to power their portable gear. The technology also could displace generators at forward operating bases.

Littoral Mine Detection System-Sponsored by TechSolutions - this system gives warfighters the standoff capability needed to hunt mines in the maritime, littoral and ashore environments through the use of ultra-sensitive sensors on a hand-launched quadrotor UAV.

SIGINT/Cyber Augmented Reality Glasses - a head-mounted display that provides warfighters a stream of relevant mission data in their field of view to help complete critical tasks simultaneously. The glasses were sponsored by TechSolutions, which rapidly fields technology in response to direct requests from Sailors and Marines.

Supervised Autonomous Fires Technology - Technology for the next generation of remote weapon systems, allowing for safe and effective weaponization of unmanned systems.

The Exhibit Hall at Modern Day Marine is open from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 23-24 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 25.

The Department of the Navy's Office of Naval Research provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs more than 1,000 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.

For more news from Office of Naval Research, visit

NNS140922-21. Naval Hospital Bremerton Experts Closely Tracking Severe Respiratory Illness

By Douglas H. Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Along with the annual influenza season just a sneeze away, Naval Hospital Bremerton population health officials are also closely tracking a severe respiratory illness with several cases confirmed locally.

There are an estimated 15 children from various locales in Washington currently being treated and tested at Seattle's Children Hospital and as of Sept. 19, there have been two confirmed cases of the respiratory illness, enterovirus 68 (EV-D68), that has also affected hundreds across the Midwest.

Along with testing the Washington cases, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to gather information to better understand the quickly evolving situation of EV-D68 and how widespread the infections may be and the population affected.

According to the CDC, the virus likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes or touches surfaces. People can also get infected by having close contact with an infected person, as well as also getting infected by touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes.

Most people who get infected do not get sick. Or, they may have mild illness, like the common cold. Just as influenza is not the common cold, enteroviruses is a respiratory illness that can initially feel like a bad cold. And like influenza, enteroviruses can be severe enough to hospitalize some of those impacted, especially younger children who already have a respiratory condition like asthma.

The first lines of defense involves simple processes that everyone can implement to not only help themselves, but also family members, co-workers, friends and even strangers.

"Past experience with dealing with the any type of respiratory illness and/or viral infection always reinforces the need to protect ourselves," said Tom Shirk, NHB Infection Control coordinator, who strongly recommends that proper personal hygiene is imperative to help limit getting any virus. "It's important and it's up to us to set the example and ensure our family and friends do the same. Little things, such as hand washing, covering a cough and staying home if ill, really helps out."

Shirk also attests there are also multiple steps that can be done daily to mitigate the potential spread of such a respiratory illness.

"Besides hand washing with soap and water, we encourage everyone who visits our main facility or any branch clinics to use our alcohol-based hand sanitizers. They are phenomenally effective in eliminating the transfer of a virus. We have increased the number of dispensers in NHB so anyone entering and leaving, or waiting by the elevators can use them," commented Shirk, citing that hand-washing is a basic step that everyone should continually practice.

"Practicing good hygiene to keep hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is just good sound common sense. It is a very simple and effective measure," stated Shirk.

According to Dr. Dan Frederick, NHB Population Health officer, enteroviruses are very common viruses. There are more than 100 types of enteroviruses and it is estimated that 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections occur in the United States each year.

"This type of viral infection has really been around for a long time and we have been in contact with others such as Kitsap Public Health and the Washington State Public Health office also concerning this development. Most enterovirus infections in the U.S. occur seasonally during the summer and fall, and outbreaks tend to occur in several-year cycles," said Frederick.

Seattle and King County Public Health notes that if EV-D68 does appear locally, large numbers of children could develop respiratory infections in a short time period, as the virus spreads much like the common cold.

With most enterovirus infections, the vast majority of children have a mild illness that does not require medical attention. However, parents of children with asthma should be aware that their children appear to be more susceptible to serious illness.

Frederick sites that the groups most susceptible to EV-D68 are infants, children and teenagers.

Most infected people have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, but some infections can be serious. EV-D68 has been reported to cause mild to severe respiratory illness, especially in those already with some type of respiratory issues such as asthma or lung disease.

What can people do to protect themselves against Enterovirus D68?

Although there are no vaccines for preventing EV-D68 infections, Naval Hospital Bremerton follows CDC recommendations to:
*Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers
*Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
*Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick
*Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially when someone is sick.
*Don't go to day care, school or work - stay home if feeling sick and consult with your health care provider.
*Children and adults with asthma should be sure to have their asthma symptoms under control and see a health care provider if they develop a respiratory infection and their asthma worsens.

For more news from Naval Hospital Bremerton, visit

NNS140922-08. Marine Corps, Navy, VA Health Care Collaboration Brings Primary Care to Veterans

By Colie Young, Tami Begasse and Frank Jordan

ALBANY, Ga. (NNS) -- During a joint ceremony and open house held Sept. 19, leaders from the Marine Corps, Navy and Veterans Affairs (VA) solidified the final move of VA health care services from the VA clinic previously located in downtown Albany to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.

VA community-based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) primary care and ancillary services (audiology, podiatry and optometry) are now co-located within Naval Branch Health Clinic Albany's 22,179-square-foot building at MCLB Albany, the location of the event. Additional VA specialty care services, including mental health, are provided at Bldg. 7200, which is adjacent to NBHC Albany.

"Our hope is that veterans feel at home aboard the base and the collaborative effort of MCLB Albany, the VA and the Navy provide a beacon of hope and a continued way forward in regard to exceptional care and services for a veteran community that has given so much here, nationally and globally in the capacity they served," said, Col. Don Davis, MCLB Albany commanding officer.

Through the health care collaboration, the almost 6,000 veterans in the region will now have on-base access to care from VA providers. This takes place alongside the existing care from Navy providers to the approximately 1,300 active duty military and their families, and 2,800 civilians at the installation.

"Our Branch Health Clinic Albany is nationally recognized for delivering high-quality care as well as transforming primary care practices through its Medical Home Port. By combining Navy Medicine, Veterans Affairs and Marine Corps resources, our nation's heroes, past and present, and their families have access to the best in patient care," said Naval Hospital Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. John Le Favour.

The integration of health care services aims to provide a seamless continuum of care to Albany's broad military community.

"Working with the Navy and Marine Corps to bring high quality health care to veterans and active duty military has been rewarding beyond words," said Dublin VA Medical Center Director John S. Goldman. "Their attitude throughout the process was 'let's get it done,' which has made everything so much easier to accomplish."

To make appointments, eligible veterans can call 800-595-5229, ext. 2711. Care is provided on an appointment basis only, with same-day appointments available for urgent care. The VA's CBOC hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The appointment process has not changed for active-duty military and their families, or MCLB civil service employees seeking occupational health care, who should continue to call 229-639-7884/7886. NBHC Albany hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Due to security requirements for base access, veterans without military identification cards should contact the MCLB Pass and ID Office at 229-639-5100. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The office is closed for training the second Thursday of each month from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is important to observe all signs posted aboard the base, to include no cell phone usage while driving except when using a hands-free device.

The MCLB in Albany, Georgia, provides exemplary installation support services to its many tenants, who in turn, provide vital support to the Marine Corps and other Department of Defense operations critical to supporting this great nation and the warfighers across the full spectrum of operations worldwide. Its goal is to embrace the principles and values of effectively and efficiently managing limited resources, providing a safe and secure installation, ensuring good stewardship of taxpayer dollars and engaging our local community in mutually beneficial partnerships. More information on MCLB Albany can be found at

NH Jacksonville's priority since its founding in 1941 is to heal the nation's heroes and their families. The command is comprised of the Navy's third largest hospital and five branch health clinics across Florida and Georgia, to include NBHC Albany. Of its patient population - about 163,000 active and retired Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, Guardsmen and their families - more than 71,000 are enrolled with a primary care manager and Medical Home Port team at one of its facilities. To find out more, visit the command website at

The Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin, Georgia, is one of 153 medical centers in the Veterans Health Administration that cares for U.S. military veterans. The medical center serves 38,000 veterans in 52 counties in middle and southeast Georgia and manages community-based outpatient clinics in Albany, Brunswick, Macon, Milledgeville and Perry. The medical center's strategic goal is to provide America's heroes with the best personalized, proactive, patient-driven healthcare anywhere. More information on the medical center and VA is available at

For more news from Naval Hospital Jacksonville, visit

NNS140922-18. SUBASE Kings Bay Holds Change of Command

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ashley Hedrick, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay Public Affairs

KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay held a change of command ceremony at the base chapel Sept. 19.

Capt. James W. Jenks relieved Capt. Harvey L. Guffey Jr. as commanding officer. Guffey assumed command of SUBASE July 11, 2012. During his tour he led the command to many accomplishments while supporting Kings Bay's mission to provide support to the fleet, fighter, and family.

"The force is made up of folks both inside and outside the fence line who truly make Kings Bay what it is," Guffey said. "Nowhere is there a community that is more supportive of its base and of its service members, including Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, Soldiers, and all of their families."

Guffey also spoke on how faith, family, and the force contributed as his priorities during his time in the Navy.

Rear Adm. Mary Jackson, commander, Navy Region Southeast and Rear Adm. Barry Bruner, director of Programming Division (OPNAV N80) were both guest speakers at the event.

"A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others," Jackson said of Guffey. "He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent."

Jackson also gave advice to Jenks as he transitions to his new command position at Kings Bay.

"Our region staff is here to support you," she said. "I predict that you will find this assignment to be like none other, but do what you have been trained to do all along. Ask the hard questions, demand the best of yourself and your team, and always remember it is just that, a team."

Upon being awarded the Legion of Merit for his remarkable performance at SUBASE, Guffey relinquished command to Jenks.

"SUBASE Kings Bay's performance has been exceptional," said Jenks. "I want to congratulate Harvey for such an incredibly successful tour."

"My final words are for the officers, Sailors, civilians and families of Kings Bay," he added. I dedicate myself to giving you my best throughout my assignment. We will work together to continue to enable and sustain warfighting readiness."

The event also served as a retirement ceremony for Guffey, who retired from the U.S. Navy after 30 years of service.

For more news from Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., visit

NNS140922-09. IUSS Commemorates 60th Anniversary

By Kevin Copeland, Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS) commemorated its 60th anniversary during a celebration held Sept. 20 at the Marriott in Norfolk, Virginia.

The celebration was hosted by the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System CAESAR Alumni Association (IUSSCAA).

"As the director of IUSSCAA, I am proud that we host these IUSS anniversaries every five years," said Jim Donovan, a retired Navy captain. "The IUSSCAA is about 690 active members strong since being organized 20 years ago. Our undersea warfare contributions spans the years from 1963 to the present. The IUSSCAA hosts these anniversaries to honor the service of those Cold War warriors as well as today's undersea surveillance warfighters."

Vice Adm. Michael Connor, commander, Submarine Forces was the featured speaker. "I want to thank all of you for your service in support of undersea surveillance around the world," said Connor. "As a community, you do more than many know and others take credit for your hard work. When it was first suggested over 60 years ago as a means of exploiting contemporary oceanographic findings and state-of-the art-technology for wide-area undersea surveillance, the Sound Surveillance System was an audacious concept. Its successful implementation was one of the most impressive engineering feats.

"As the world situation evolves, it is important to note the role each of you have played in our nation's continued success. Our Navy can adapt and design new systems and alter our way of doing business to meet modern challenges as they arise. What can never be replaced is the type of Sailors it takes to carry out our mission."

The mission of IUSS is multi-faceted. Operationally, they support anti-submarine warfare and tactical forces in detecting, classifying, and providing timely reporting of information on submarines and other contacts of interest. In addition, they conduct the maintenance needed on the processing and communications equipment used to carry out the operational mission.

IUSS provides the U.S. Navy with its primary means of submarine detection, both nuclear and diesel. The integrated system is made up of fixed, mobile, and deployable sensor detectors that provide vital tactical information to anti-submarine warfare forces.

Retired Navy Rear Adm. Gretchen S. Herbert, whose last assignment was as Commander, Navy Cyber Forces at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia Beach, Virginia, was a guest speaker. During her early assignments, she served within the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System at Naval Facility Bermuda; at commander, Oceanographic Systems Atlantic; and at Naval Ocean Processing Facility, Dam Neck, Virginia.

"Each of our personal experiences and careers in IUSS were unique," said Herbert. "Some of us served only a handful of tours with SOSUS/SURTASS, while others began their careers at the start of the Cold War and saw the IUSS grow, shrink, and change as our mission and contributions to science and National Security changed over the ensuing decades. But we all shared a common thread - the knowledge that we were investing our time, energies and intellect to a mission that had silent but far-reaching impact to our National Security. Our experiences shaped us...not only during our time in the IUSS, but for the years and careers that followed."

For more information on the Submarine Force, visit and

NNS140922-23. Civilian Engineer Awarded by CNO, Becomes New SES as Naval Warfare Deputy Director

By John Joyce, Naval Surface Warfare Ccenter Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- A civilian engineer recognized for revolutionizing the Navy with a new mission engineering process to resolve critical integration and interoperability issues began his new role as Naval Warfare deputy director, the Navy announced Sept. 22.

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert presented Dr. James D. Moreland Jr. with the Distinguished Civilian Service Award for extraordinary contributions to Navy warfighting technology and policy developments earlier this month.

A week later, Moreland - who served as the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) chief engineer and the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Integration and Interoperability (I&I) Surface Warfare chief engineer - arrived at the Pentagon as a brand new senior executive.

"It was a great honor to receive my Distinguished Civilian Service Award from Admiral Greenert and at the same time be selected into the SES (senior executive service) ranks," said Moreland, who is now supporting the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. "It is very rewarding to have the opportunity to bring my knowledge and experience to bear in the development of integrated warfighting capabilities across the naval enterprise."

Navy officials believe the integration of all warfighting technologies and capabilities - from acquisition to deployment - will dramatically transform the Naval community's air, surface, undersea, land, and network systems today and in the future.

"Naval Aviation leadership has embraced a forward-thinking innovative concept to realign 'stove piped' programs to a 'system of systems' perspective," explained Vice Adm. David Dunaway, commander, Naval Air Systems Command. "Often referred to as I&I, this perspective requires us to explicitly link our technical expertise and solutions with operational tactics from the very start of acquisition. Simply put, Jim's robust and expert leadership has helped Naval Aviation move our I&I initiative forward by delivering measureable results."

The I&I initiative - an assessment of naval technologies, systems and capabilities - requires a systems-of-systems approach to analyze the impact of making naval investments across diverse warfighting domains of surface, undersea, air, land, and networks as well as maritime coalition force integration.

In response to the Vice CNO I&I charter, Moreland worked with leaders throughout the Navy system commands and the larger naval enterprise on a regular basis, including Dunaway, to combine structured system-of-systems engineering with operational planning - tightening the link between tactical operations and technical development.

"Dr. Moreland's technical capabilities, leadership qualities, and dedication have benefitted the NAVSEA organization by providing system and platform owners with an understanding of opportunities for integration and interoperability with other systems," said Mary Wohlgemuth, technical director, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Newport and NAVSEA Director of Integration and Interoperability.

In addition, Moreland implemented a highly effective, structured mission engineering approach for the Vice CNO Integration and Interoperability Activity to emphasize capability-based requirements.

The Vice CNO I&I Activity aims to continually provide responsive, credible analyses and engineering to inform decision makers of the results, insights and alternatives of organic naval warfare capabilities for the integration of myriad capabilities within joint warfighting campaigns, enabling more effective civilian and military leadership decisions.

"To have the support and backing of senior Navy leadership in this endeavor is tremendous," said Moreland. "My personal achievements could not have been reached without the dedication and expertise of the larger naval enterprise team in the areas of acquisition, engineering, fleet operations, and operational test."

The naval enterprise team's I&I goal is to maintain technical and operational cohesiveness across mission areas in a fiscally constrained environment while increasing the overall capability for the warfighter.

"As the surface warfare I&I chief engineer, Dr. Moreland has provided a disciplined assessment of I&I gaps from a mission area effects/kill chain perspective and developed recommendations to inform investment decisions and to ensure efficient system integration and effective force interoperability," said Wohlgemuth. "He has also been instrumental in forging significant collaborative relationships across the naval enterprise."

Throughout the fleet, I&I is providing a common understanding of mission requirements and a structured, executable process to identify and align system and platform capabilities to support - and improve - core Navy missions.

The Naval Integrated Fire Control Counter Air (NIFC-CA) project is an example of executing the I&I system-of-systems engineering effort which extended the Naval Theater Air and Missile Defense battlespace to the maximum range of Navy weapons.

The (NIFC-CA) capability focuses on targets beyond the detection range of the shooter, including 'engage on remote' and 'over the horizon' targets. Detailed examinations using effects/kill chains and operational test data were used to determine operational needs for fleet leadership.

"We use 'kill chains' to help decide how we should invest our time, money, and other resources to build our capabilities and gain an advantage over our adversaries," explained Greenert in his CNO blog on the "Kill Chain Approach" published April 23, 2013. "I feel this kill chain approach - from end to end - will ensure our Sailors operating forward have the best capabilities they need to remain the preeminent maritime force."

Moreland emphasized the importance of "effects/kill chains" in his article on "Mission Engineering Integration and Interoperability" to be published in the next edition of the NSWCDD Leading Edge magazine. In addition, he is developing a curriculum and teaching Mission Engineering courses at Old Dominion University to aid in the institutionalization of this innovative approach into the DNA of the workforce.

The I&I assessment of naval technologies, systems and capabilities "is accomplished through the development of effects/kill chains to illuminate capability advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives; consider joint operational plans; examine sufficient feasible alternatives; characterize key assumptions, variables and sensitivities to change; as well as assess technology risk and maturity," he wrote.

"Adding a structured mission focus to the acquisition process will serve the I&I needs of integrated warfighting well," said Moreland. "We don't acquire commodities the way we fight, but we must engineer for the way we fight."

For more news from NSWC Dahlgren, visit

NNS140921-01. USS Vella Gulf Returns from Deployment

By Ensign Karina M. Loor, USS Vella Gulf Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) returned to its Naval Station Norfolk homeport on Sept. 20 after a six-month deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet Area of Operations.

Vella Gulf, homeported in Norfolk, Va., deployed March 14, 2014, to conduct naval operations with allies and regional partners in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.

"I am extremely proud of our accomplishments throughout this deployment. Our performance both ashore and at sea adhered to the highest standards of excellence," said Capt. Robert D. Katz, Vella Gulf's commanding officer. "The crew worked long, hard hours prior to our departure from Norfolk, and I attribute their training, perseverance, and dedication to our successes these past six months."

During the course of her deployment, Vella Gulf conducted naval exercises with partners in the region. Evolutions included joint visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations, live-fire proficiency, aviation operations, personnel exchanges, shiphandling exercises, and flag hoist drills.

Vella Gulf also had the unique opportunity to host several VIPs, including a visit from the Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Chuck Hagel, in Constanta, Romania. In Batumi, Georgia, the ship hosted distinguished guests Prime Minister of the Republic of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili, Georgian Minister of Defense, Iraklii Alasania, and U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland.

She conducted 15 port visits to 9 different countries, to include Scotland, Italy, Cyprus, Israel, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Turkey, and Georgia. These visits served the purpose of enhancing relations with each of these countries while affording the crew the opportunity to explore their culture and history.

"This was my first deployment and it was a pleasant experience," said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Gerald Raymond Green. "I saw beautiful countries and experienced a range of cultures."

"Our three journeys into the Black Sea and visits to nine different countries is one that very few get to experience on a deployment," said Katz. "We are thankful and enjoyed the opportunity to understand different cultures, participate in coalition exercises, and strengthen maritime partnerships throughout the 6th Fleet. Our deployment was definitely one that can be defined as 'Join the Navy, See the World.'"

"I am very proud of the crew's performance during this deployment," said Vella Gulf's Command Master Chief, Scott Nagle. "Their pride and professionalism, teamwork, and professional accomplishments are all
noteworthy. They represented the Navy and the United States well both on and off duty."

Commissioned in 1993, Vella Gulf is named after the World War II Battle of Vella Gulf, one of the last and most decisive battles in The Solomons campaign. It was the first time that destroyers were used as an independent striking force, free from responsibilities for screening battleships and cruisers. American forces experienced no combat-related damage to ships or crews while the enemy suffered a humiliating defeat and never again attempted to resupply through Vella Gulf.

For more information about USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) visit:

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

NNS140920-03. US Navy Ships Depart for Joint Warrior 14-2

By Lt. j.g. Courtney Callaghan, Destroyer Squadron 26 Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Two U.S. Navy ships, led by Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, departed the U.S. for Scotland, Sep 18-19, to participate in Joint Warrior 14-2.

Joint Warrior is a semi-annual training exercise conducted off the coast of Scotland. The training, led by the United Kingdom, is designed to provide NATO and allied forces a multi-warfare environment in which to prepare for global operations. Participating countries aim to improve interoperability and prepare forces for future combined exercises.

Sailors aboard guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69); guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109); fleet replenishment oiler USNS Kanawha (TAO 196); Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 11; and, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadrons 46 and 48 will participate in the exercise.

"The operational environment in which ships execute missions is comprised of allied and coalition forces," said Capt. Cary Krause, commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26. "Joint Warrior allows us to deploy with the trust and familiarity of having trained with our international partners."

Joint Warrior is the United Kingdom's advanced naval certification course. The scenarios include small boat attacks, boarding operations, air defense, anti-submarine warfare, and ship maneuverability tasks.

"Our Sailors have worked hard in preparation for the exercise and we are thankful these ships have the opportunity to build upon a foundation of cooperation and teamwork," said Krause.

Joint Warrior will begin in early October and last approximately two weeks. The exercise includes air, sea and ground assets from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

NNS140920-02. NAS Oceana Air Show honors Wounded Warriors

By Cathy Heimer, NAS Oceana Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The 2014 NAS Oceana Air Show is honoring wounded warriors and recognizing their sacrifices, Sept. 20 - 21.

In a suite of offices on the seventh floor of building three at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, the Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor program works to assist wounded and seriously ill Sailors and Coast Guardsmen of all ratings and ranks.

But just as importantly, the event is bringing attention to a program that assists not just service members who are combat injured, but also those battling serious illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis or PTSD, or those hurt in automotive accidents.

Being recognized at a major military event such as the Oceana Air Show is extremely important to the program.

"Up until last year, when we regionalized, most people didn't even know who we were," said Lt. Aileen Lott, recovery care coordinator for Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

Each service, along with special operations, has their own wounded warrior program that provides non-medical services to the military member and their family. According to Lott they were tracking 220 active-duty members. The Portsmouth location is headquarters for Navy Mid-Atlantic Region, one of five program regions in the U.S. The Mid-Atlantic Region covers the area from North Carolina to Maine, and west to Illinois, with the exception of Naval District Washington, which is its own region.

A common misconception about the program is that it's only for combat wounded active-duty service members.

"We are for seriously ill, injured or wounded," Lott stressed.

When the program was initially launched in 2006, Lott said they only worked with combat injured, but within a short time, the program was changed to be more inclusive. It has also changed names, starting as Navy Safe Harbor in 2006, and later changing to Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor.

"A lot of people thought we were port operations, or in charge of tugs," Lott said about the original name.

"We're a bridge to resources," said Lott. "We're the one person they can call to deal with anything non-medical related, so they can focus on getting better. They can just call us and we will help them figure it out."

The program can help with questions about navigating the medical retirement system, finding childcare, education, job training, legal assistance and more.

Referrals for the program can come from anyone, including medical professionals, social workers, chaplains, the chain of command and even service members themselves. Once Lott's office receives a referral, it's screened by their doctor at the program's headquarters in Washington.

"[The doctor] makes the determination for every referral that comes through, whether they will be enrolled in our program or what we call an 'assist case'," said Lott. "We don't turn anyone away."

Enrollment is based on the service member's condition and how long it's expected to last. Those with illnesses or injuries expected to last for more than a year or seriously affect their military service will probably be enrolled in the program, which usually means for their entire life. If the Sailor or Coast Guardsmen is able to return to duty or are medically retired, a transition team in Washington takes over the case and provides follow-up.

"In assist cases, initially they get the same level of care," said Lott. "We do an initial assessment, we identify their needs. The difference is once we have helped them with everything we've identified then we close their case."

The Navy's program is sometimes confused with the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-governmental organization which provides support for injured warriors. The longer they are in existence and the more outreach they provide, Lott said their mission will be clearer and the less the two programs will be confused.

For those transitioning out of the military, Lott said they provide assistance with Tricare options, education and employment opportunities after the military, and coordinate with the VA.

Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor can also assist with the family's travel expenses if the service member is hospitalized. The Navy covers travel and lodging expenses for up to three family members so they can be there for the patient.

They also work closely with other Navy services, such as Fleet and Family Service Center, which provides many resources for spouses and children. Much of their family support is on a case-by-case basis.

Lott encourages service members and their families to learn more about Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor, and for those eligible, to not feel guilty about taking advantage of their services.

"We would rather get referrals for people who don't necessarily meet our criteria than have wounded warriors not get our services and not know about us," said Lott.

To learn more, visit or call 855-NAVY WWP (628-9997) or email

For more news from Naval Air Station Oceana, visit

NNS140919-30. Anchorage Completes 3rd NASA Testing

By Cheif Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Elena Pence, USS Anchorage (LPD 23 ) Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23) arrived at Naval Base San Diego after completing the third Underway Recovery Test (URT-3) for NASA's Orion Program, Sept. 19.

USNS Salvor (ARS 52) was completing URT-4A, a towing and recovery test with NASA's test model of the crew module when Anchorage arrived at the recovery site off the coast of Southern California. Using its crane, Salvor deployed the crew module into the open ocean. Anchorage positioned itself for recovery of the module, accounting for sea state, winds, and other environmental factors.

Deploying the module from Salvor gave Anchorage an opportunity to treat this as a real recovery, because ship's crew didn't have to release the module into the water. During URT-2, Anchorage both deployed and recovered the module.

"We have a good understanding of the challenges we have ahead of us," said Jeremy Graeber, NASA's Recovery Director. "We demonstrated how we would recover from a certain point of the timeline, executed the recovery, and got the module into the well deck safely. We were focusing on putting ourselves into a realistic recovery."

URT-3 is the third at-sea testing, Anchorage's second, of the Orion crew module using a well-deck recovery method. The first testing was conducted aboard USS San Diego (LPD 22). The initial Stationary Recovery Test occurred at Naval Station Norfolk in August 2013 aboard USS Arlington (LPD 24).

Expeditionary Strike Group Three is overseeing URT-3 while Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Eight is providing air support for observation and documentation. Anchorage Sailors are conducting small boat operations using rigid-hulled inflatable boats in support of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group One divers. Fleet Weather Center San Diego monitored and reported sea and weather conditions during the test.

For more news on USS Anchorage (LPD 23), visit their Facebook page at

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

NNS140919-31. ACT Therapy Combines Spirituality, Health

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Terah L. Bryant, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Naval Medical Center Portsmouth was the setting for area chaplains and mental health providers to collaborate on a cutting-edge therapy that combines spirituality and health, Sept. 17.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy - commonly called ACT - helps Sailors come to terms with external events that run contrary to their beliefs and values.

Guest speaker Jason Nieuwsma, associate director, VA Mental Health and Chaplaincy, spoke to more than 130 attendees for the one-day seminar. Attendees included chaplains, substance abuse counselors, social workers, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists and VA employees.

"With the military in particular, when we see service members with mental health problems, stress or work problems, they very frequently turn to chaplains for help," Nieuwsma said. "ACT is a therapy that can be applied across the chaplain and mental health continuum for an array of issues."

Nieuwsma explained the beauty of ACT is its versatility.

"Some treatments focus solely on depression, or a specific issue, but ACT can be applied for a variety and chaplains or mental health providers can adjust it to the needs of the patient," Nieuwsma said.

ACT helps the patient accept internal events while allowing the patient to make and keep behavioral commitments that reflect the patient's personal values.

"It's beneficial because it keeps them engaged, not living in the past or future and as a chaplain that's what we want to do, so they aren't kept from moving forward," said Lt. Philip Coffman, chaplain. "ACT is a real approach that helps face their stressors and pain rather than lingering in the pain."

"The seminar showed us how ACT gives the service member a direction to live in the moment and focus on their value and give them hope for the future," Coffman added.

ACT training helps chaplains and providers foster psychological flexibility in the person they are treating or counseling. This helps the person be fully in the present moment, experience what is there and work to change behavior that is contrary to a person's values.

"This is more than just training, it is bringing us all together to see the bigger picture," said Lt. Dave England, psychologist. "It is a good opportunity for our two communities to join together for collaborative care."

Nieuwsma explained that spirituality and health are related in meaningful ways, particularly for service members and veterans.

"This is helping us learn how to complement each other and better care for the patient," England said.

For more news from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, visit

NNS140919-28. Arizona Survivor Visits USS Kidd

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rosalie Chang, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Former crew member of the battleship USS Arizona (BB 39) and survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Lauren Bruner, visited with Sailors stationed aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100), Sept. 19.

"As I was running to my battle station from the main deck, I was wounded by machinegun fire from a Japanese fighter plane as I got to the director station," said Bruner. "Within 10 minutes after the attack began, we were hit with a 'lucky bomb' that penetrated the decks, falling between gun turret one and two."

Bruner received the Purple Heart after being wounded in battle on the Arizona.

Of the 335 men that survived the attack, less than 100 were actually aboard Arizona at the time; however, 1,177 Sailors and Marines lost their lives, including Adm. Isaac Kidd, the USS Kidd's namesake.

"Bruner was serving in the gunnery department aboard USS Arizona and was 15 feet away from the namesake of our warship when Adm. Kidd died," said USS Kidd Commanding Officer, Cmdr. T.J. Zerr. "Adm. Kidd was the first flag officer in World War II who was killed in battle and for Bruner to have been there and survived, and then to be here on our ship, telling his account of the events that happened on that historic day is amazing and it is a great honor for us to be a part of this experience."

After listening to stories from Bruner about his time in the service, Zerr presented him with a command ball cap, coin and t-shirt. Bruner, Zerr said, set the example of what it means to serve and what it means to fight for what you believe in.

"For someone who has been in the Navy and has made this their life, and for the Sailors that serve, it is a great feeling to be around someone that has served with such honor and distinction in a moment in our nation's history that changed not only the path of America but the entire world," said Zerr. "He was part of a small group of individuals that made a huge different that we have all benefited from our entire lives growing up."

"It's important that Sailors know the history of our nation and get to meet the individuals who gave us our freedom and made history. Their honor, courage and commitment throughout the attack on Pearl Harbor is what gives us the strength to keep going each and every day," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Heather Johnson. "The reason why I joined the military is because of people like Bruner and what they have done for us. I feel really honored to be here today because not many people get the chance to have this experience."

For more information on SURFOR, go to Follow Surface Warriors on Facebook ( and on Twitter (@surfacewarriors).

For more news from Naval Surface Forces, visit

NNS140919-27. Irving ISD Receives SeaPerch Robotics Training

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Vargas, Navy Recruiting District Dallas Public Affairs

IRVING, Texas (NNS) -- Navy Recruiting Command's city outreach officer held SeaPerch robotics training for teachers from 10 schools in Irving Independent School District (ISD), Sept. 16.

The SeaPerch program is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and it provides students with the opportunity to learn hands on about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) while challenging them to build an underwater remotely operated vehicle.

"The training went well," said Lt. Cmdr. J. Darnell Jones, Navy City Outreach Officer for Southwest Region. "Irving ISD is the newest ISD that will participate in the SeaPerch program and we are looking forward to the competition early next year."

Jones mentioned that the Navy is dedicated to get students interested in STEM-related fields and the best way to get to the students is to educate the teachers about programs like SeaPerch. Once the teachers are taught on how to build the underwater robot, they can teach their students and prepare them for the SeaPerch competition.

Vince De Jesus, video game design teacher from Lady Bird Johnson Middle School was one of the teachers in attendance that received the training.

"I think this program is really cool and it gives the students the opportunity to learn hands on," said De Jesus. "It's an awesome opportunity to have the Navy promote STEM awareness in the schools."

Jones, along with Senior Chief Navy Counselor Aaron Johnson, will be visiting the schools throughout the year to talk with teachers and to motivate and mentor the students to get them ready for the SeaPerch competition at the end of the school year.

"The teachers will have guidance through the SeaPerch website which has all the standard operating procedures," said Jones. "We will also be at the schools every other week to observe and answer any questions the students have about the SeaPerch robotics program. We will guide them every step of the way so they can be prepared for the competition at the end of the school year."

Recruiters from Navy Recruiting District Dallas will also be available to help any students and teachers throughout the process of building an underwater robot.

"I'm excited to see how the students react to SeaPerch and what they will do with it. They are the real innovators," said De Jesus.

For more news from Navy Recruiting District Dallas, visit

For more information on Energy Warrior, please visit

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

NNS140919-26. Fleet Week Hosts Luncheon for Enlisted Service Members

By Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Joe Bishop, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The San Diego Fleet Week Foundation hosted an Enlisted Recognition Luncheon at SeaWorld for service members from commands in the San Diego region, Sept. 18.

"Fleet Week recognizes some of our top-performing enlisted Sailors here in San Diego," said Navy Region Southwest Regional Master Chief David Dearie. "That's what Fleet Week is about - celebrating the Navy - and this luncheon recognizes the brilliant performance of all our military."

Many sponsors attended the luncheon and raffled prizes ranging from an autographed Antonio Gates Chargers jersey to a free round of golf at the Admiral Baker Golf Course.
"The ability to support and sponsor this event for Fleet Week and do something that really gives back to the service men and women gives us pride and satisfaction," said David Koontz, director of Communications at Sea World. "There are many employees of Sea World who are former Navy and Marines. It's something that really hits home."

The Fleet Week Foundation handed out tickets to a San Diego Padres game as well as a San Diego State University Aztec game for each service member in attendance.

"It takes a lot of work and coordination to put something like this together," said Quartermaster 1st Class Brandon Pockell, assigned to USS Boxer (LHD 4). "We truly feel honored by the recognition."

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

NNS140919-24. NAS Oceana Airshow Hosts Navy 'Energy Warrior', Environmental Programs

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

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) and Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division (N45) personnel are "on the flight line" with energy and environmental exhibits at the NAS Oceana Air Show in Virginia Beach, Va., Sept. 19-21.

The energy exhibit highlights the Navy's new "Energy Warrior" app that was officially released Sept. 15. Visitors to the booth can preview Energy Warrior videos, access related web pages via easy-to-use quick response (QR) codes, and pick up sample hard copies of Energy Warrior graphics. Visitors can also learn about the many technologies and best practices the Navy is using to effectively manage energy use and ultimately improve combat capability.

The environmental display showcases aspects of the Navy's new Stewards of the Sea exhibit, which opened in March at the Nauticus National Maritime Museum in Norfolk, Va. Topics include the Navy's efforts to protect the environment by looking out for marine mammals, handling plastic and biodegradable materials responsibly, using procedures to keep oil out of the ocean, and managing chemicals for ship maintenance.

The NAS Oceana Air Show has been a staple event in the Hampton Roads community for over 50 years. This year's performers include the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, GEICO Skytypers, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, historic military aircraft, and many more. Come and enjoy the show this weekend and be sure to stop by the energy and environmental exhibits.

Be on the lookout for the Navy's energy and environmental exhibit at San Francisco Fleet Week, October 9 -13.

To learn more about the Navy's energy and environmental programs, visit

NNS140919-20. ISS Closes with Aims of Better Understanding, More Cooperation

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

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert pulled down the curtain on the 21st edition of the International Seapower Symposium at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, R.I., Sept. 19, highlighting areas where the group can work together for the common good.

"We are so different," said Greenert, sponsor of the three-day symposium. "But we have the common environment of the sea. We have common interests. We have common responsibilities. And we have many common challenges."

Greenert highlighted four takeaways that attendees agreed were important topics for future action. Cyber: how can information concerns be addressed by the group. CUES: developing a Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea when the unexpected happens. Information sharing: how different information platforms can work better together. Best practices: posting and sharing what works and what doesn't for all participants to access.

More than 170 representatives from 113 nations attended the event and took part in discussions relating to current, vital maritime topics such as enhancing coalition operations, future trends in maritime security, and implications of climate change on maritime security. There were also sessions to address specific geographic challenges navies face.

Among those leaders, there were 72 heads of navy, 21 heads of coast guard and 14 presidents of naval war colleges at the event.

NWC President, Rear Adm. Gardner Howe, also offered closing remarks to the group stressing the trust built at the symposium.

"As I listened to discussions, I was amazed by the number of times the word trust was mentioned," said Howe. "Trust is something that is always changing. If you are not building it, you are losing it. At events such as this, we are building it."

Four ships were in port for the symposium: joint high-speed vessel USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2); submarine USS Harford (SSN 768); destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109); and amphibious transport dock USS Arlington (LPD 24).

Established in 1884, the U.S. Naval War College is the oldest institution of its kind in the world. More than 50,000 students have graduated since its first class of nine students in 1885. Approximately 300 of today's active duty admirals, generals and senior executive service leaders are alumni.

The biennial ISS was first held in 1969 in Newport and was designed to allow naval leaders from around the world to meet and discuss common issues they face, how to address these issues and ultimately find solutions for them. The next ISS is scheduled for 2016 in Newport.

For more news from Naval War College, visit

NNS140919-25. Norfolk Naval Base Sailors ask, 'Can I Kiss You?'

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Benjamin Dobbs, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Hampton Roads Sailors and civilian employees participated in an open discussion about dating decisions, consent, respect, bystander intervention and sexual assault at Naval Station Norfolk, Sept. 18.

Hosted by the U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program office, the Date Safe Project's "Can I Kiss You?" presentation engaged the Navy audience in several topics ranging from why sexual assault and rape occurs to intimacy and assumptions people have about sex in marriage.

Mike Domitrz, founder of The Date Safe Project, started his organization after his sister was sexually assaulted in 1989.

"I started as an angry activist who wanted to speak out and stop rape from happening," said Domitrz. "I realized anger wasn't going to make a difference. We needed to give people a real skill set they can implement into their lives immediately. That's where the transition took place and we transformed the education into being interactive and skill-based so people would want to walk out and use this in their lives right away."

Throughout the session, Sailors were invited to provide feedback and participate in role playing scenarios to help them identify and solve problems from the perpetrator, victim, and bystander viewpoints.

Capt. Chuck Marks, USFF SAPR officer, oversees and manages how the fleet and subordinate units implement the Navy's SAPR program.

"Today's training is not just PowerPoint briefs and lectures, it's interactive training with an element of entertainment to it," said Marks. "It will connect in a more meaningful way with the people on the deckplates."

Through the use of interactive scenarios and audience participation, Domitrz helped audience members more accurately recognize situations that may benefit from bystander intervention. He also helped encourage audience members to have the confidence to intervene in order to prevent a potential sexual assault from occurring.

Domitrz also spoke about his own marriage and how married couples should seek consent, communicate and to respect their partners by asking before sexual intimacy.

"No matter what your age is, we are all sexual beings for the most part," said Domitrz. "Whether you are married, single, 18 or 55, this discussion applies to everybody."

All Sailors who attended the training received blue bracelets with the words, "Ask First, Respect the Answer." Sailors were able to walk away with new tools and a new perspective on sexual assault and prevention methods.

Aviation Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Roberto Madrigal, a Sailor from the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), explained that his experience with the program could help others in the future.

"For me, I learned how to react by identifying whenever a case of sexual assault or rape could happen," said Madrigal. "I think everybody has the power to intervene before it's too late."

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

For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit

NNS140919-22. NAVFAC EXWC Awards $99 Million for Worldwide Ocean Service Contracts

By Darrell E. Waller, Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center Public Affairs

PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- The Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (NAVFAC EXWC) announced five indefinite-delivery, indefinite quantity award contracts for worldwide ocean services with a value of $99 million, Sept. 18.

The five contract awardees: Truston Technologies, Inc., Lafayette, La.; Sound & Sea Technology, Inc., Lynnwood, Wash.; GPA Technologies Inc., Ventura, Calif.; PCCI, Inc., Alexandria, Va.; and MAR Range Services LLC, Rockville, Md., will compete for worldwide task orders under terms and conditions of the awarded contract.

"Ocean engineering services are an integral part of the Navy's mission," said NAVFAC EXWC Commanding Officer Capt. Mark. K. Edelson. "The work to be performed by these contractors includes ocean cables systems, ocean work systems such as shipboard load handling systems and undersea work systems, waterfront facilities, offshore structures and other vital infrastructure projects."

The work will be performed in disparate climates and environments, ranging from arctic cold to tropical heat, and at all water depths requiring construction, maintenance, installation, inspection repair or salvage operations.

The term of the contract will not exceed 42 months with an expected completion date of March 2018.

NAVFAC EXWC is the Navy's premier activity for facilities and expeditionary technology solutions, engineering services, equipment logistics and products needed to equip the fleet and meet warfighter requirements. EXWC also delivers specialized engineering and technology solutions that support sustainable facilities and provides logistics and expeditionary systems support for Navy combat force capabilities.

To learn more about the NAVFAC Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, visit

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit

NNS140919-29. Department Head Graduates Bound for the Fleet

By Lt. Jason Bilbro, Surface Warfare Officers School Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- The Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) announced the graduation of Department Head Class 228 in the Admiral Michael G. Mullen Auditorium, Sept. 18.

Sixty-three surface warfare officers completed the 27-week course designed to prepare officers for duty as chief engineers, combat systems and weapons officers, operations officers and as First Lieutenants on amphibious ships.

The course is divided into two major sections - Tactical Action Officer (TAO), which focuses on undersea warfare, air defense, surface warfare, and expeditionary warfare; and, Operations, Readiness, Training, and Engineering (ORTE), which explores the specifics of each student's prospective assignments.

"Surface ship department heads have a challenging task. They are at the heart of long range planning as well as day to day execution of missions, functions and tasks aboard each of their ships," said Capt. David A. Welch, SWOS commanding officer. "SWOS strives to expand their level of knowledge, and hone key facets of our vocation as they prepare for a key career assignment. I think it's important to pause and acknowledge their completion of this rigorous, six-month course."

Rear Admiral Pete Fanta, Director, Surface Warfare (N96), was the guest speaker for the ceremony.

"The nature of the threat has changed, nations are building navies to contest our ability to control the sea," said Fanta. "The truth of the matter is we cannot project power unless we own the water column and the air above where we wish to operate. That's our job, and it is something we are going to seriously focus on, probably for the rest of your careers. The best ships are the ships where the department heads work together, every step of the way and always remain dedicated to the Navy's core values of honor, courage and commitment."

Lt. Morgan Dietzel, prospective operations officer for USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), received the Arleigh Burke Award for the graduate recognized by classmates as the individual possessing the strongest leadership, industry and perseverance; best exemplifying the fighting spirit of Admiral Burke's famous squadron, the 'Little Beavers' - Destroyer Squadron 23. She was also named "Top Gunner" for her outstanding performance on the tactical portion of the course.

"It's really an incredible honor to be selected by your peers for an award like this," said Dietzel. "It gives me a lot of confidence as I go out to the fleet to lead my department as well as be a leader for my peers in the wardroom."

Lt. Adam Van Horn, Lt. Thomas Brewer and Lt. Brian Newcomb were also recognized during the ceremony. Van Horn, prospective weapons officer on USS Halsey (DDG 97) was the recipient of the City of Newport Award for demonstrating the highest qualities of professionalism and leadership, as reflected by his overall contributions to class 228. Brewer received the Newport Navy League award for academic excellence as the top graduate for department head class 228, and will serve as Chief Engineer on USS McCampbell (DDG 85). Newcomb, prospective Chief Engineer for LCS Crew 101, earned the "Top Snipe" award for having the highest overall grade point average for the engineering portion of the course.

After more than 50 years, the Department Head Course remains the flagship course at SWOS. Approximately 275 students attend the course each year.

SWOS is headquartered in Newport, R.I. and oversees nine learning sites, which provide more than 1,000 courses a year to more than 67,000 Sailors.

SWOS uses a mix of blended-learning techniques comprised of instructor-led classes, hands-on labs, high fidelity physics based simulation and computer-based training. Courses include specialized training supporting all enlisted engineering ratings, and Surface Warfare Officers at every level. Building maritime partnerships, the command also provides training to international students.

For more information about Surface Warfare Officers School, visit

Like SWOS on Facebook at

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

NNS020724-32. This Day in Naval History - Sept. 22

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1861 - Commodore William W. McKean assumes command of the Gulf Blockading Squadron. A veteran of the War of 1812, he also serves during the Mexican-American war and commands the steam frigate, USS Niagara, when she carries Japan's first diplomatic mission home from the United States. McKean later commands the East Gulf Blockading Squadron before retiring in June 1862. He dies in 1865.

1863 - During the Civil War, USS De Soto, commanded by Capt. W. M. Walker, recaptures the Army tug Leviathan in the Gulf of Mexico, some 40 miles off shore. She had been captured by the Confederates earlier in the day.

1944 - USS Yukon (AF 9) is hit in her starboard side by a torpedo fired by German submarine (U 979), about 43 miles west of Reykjavik, Iceland. Damaged, she steams at three knots until her SOS is responded to by tugs from Reykjavik.

1949 - President Harry S. Truman announces to the country that the Soviet Union has detonated its first atomic bomb in August.

1952 - During the Korean War, enemy guns fire on Sosari. HMS Cardigan Bay (PF) and USS Bradford (DD 545)provide direct counter battery fire, silencing the guns.

1959 - USS Patrick Henry (SSBN 599) is launched. In 1982, her ballistic missile tubes are disabled, and she is reclassified as an attack submarine.

1989 - After Hurricane Hugo, Sailors and Marines provide assistance to Charleston, S.C. through Oct. 10.

NNS140923-01. US Military, Partner Nations Conduct Airstrikes Against ISIL in Syria

From U.S. Central Command Public Affairs

TAMPA, Fla. (NNS) -- U.S. military forces and partner nations, including the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, undertook military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria overnight, using a mix of fighter, bomber, remotely piloted aircraft and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles to conduct 14 strikes against ISIL targets.

The strikes destroyed or damaged multiple ISIL targets in the vicinity of Ar Raqqah, Dayr az Zawr, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal and included ISIL fighters, training compounds, headquarters and command and control facilities, storage facilities, a finance center, supply trucks and armed vehicles.

To conduct these strikes, the United States employed 47 TLAMs launched from USS Arleigh Burke and USS Philippine Sea operating from international waters in the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf, as well as U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fighter, remotely piloted and bomber aircraft deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations. In addition, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates also participated in or supported the airstrikes against ISIL targets. All aircraft safely exited the strike areas.

Also, in Iraq yesterday, U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists, using attack aircraft to conduct four airstrikes. The airstrikes destroyed two ISIL Humvees, an ISIL armed vehicle and an ISIL fighting position southwest of Kirkuk. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely. To date, U.S. Central Command has conducted a total of 194 airstrikes across Iraq against ISIL.

The United States conducted these strikes as part of the President's comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL. Going forward, the U.S. military will continue to conduct targeted airstrikes against ISIL in Syria and Iraq as local forces go on the offensive against this terrorist group.

Separately, the United States has also taken action to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests conducted by a network of seasoned al-Qa'ida veterans - sometimes referred to as the Khorasan Group - who have established a safe haven in Syria to develop external attacks, construct and test improvised explosive devices and recruit Westerners to conduct operations. These strikes were undertaken only by U.S. assets.

In total, U.S. Central Command conducted eight strikes against Khorasan Group targets west of Aleppo to include training camps, an explosives and munitions production facility, a communication building and command and control facilities.

NNS140923-04. USS Peleliu Embarks ESG 7, Sets Sail for CERTEX

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Will Gaskill, USS Peleliu Public Affairs

OKINAWA, Japan (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), lead ship of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (PEL ARG), embarked the Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7 for patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

"It's great to be back at sea with our Sailors and Marines," said Rear Adm. Hugh D. Wetherald, commander, ESG 7. "They demonstrate every day the exceptional dedication and capability of the 7th Fleet amphibious force and the important role we have in maintaining security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region."

ESG 7 is 7th Fleet's U.S. amphibious force and is responsible for conducting expeditionary warfare operations that support a full range of theater contingencies, ranging from humanitarian and disaster relief operations, to full combat operations as well as a number of bilateral and multilateral exercises each year.

Peleliu recently completed Advanced Integration Training with the 31st MEU, and is preparing for Certification Exercise (CERTEX), where the embarked Marines will conduct advanced amphibious operations such as beach landings utilizing assault amphibious vehicles, landing craft utilities, as well as joint flight operations.

CERTEX will offer Peleliu and the 31st MEU a chance to strengthen mission readiness and build on the Navy's forward presence.

"CERTEX gives the PEL ARG and 31st MEU the opportunity to practice in a combined and joint environment and is designed to increase both units' effectiveness," said Capt. Paul C. Spedero, Peleliu's commanding officer. "We are one team with one fight, and I am confident that this team will excel in all areas of the exercise. I look forward to meeting the challenges ahead of us."

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

For more news from USS Peleliu, visit

NNS140923-14. 2014 UNITAS Participants Conduct COMREL at Local Salaverry School

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam Henderson, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

SALAVERRY, Peru (NNS) -- A combined total of 63 Sailors and U.S. Coast Guard members along side 15 members from partner nations came together to participate in a community relations event (COMREL) at Virgen De La Puerta, Sept. 20.

The countries involved in the COMREL were Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and the U.S. The team worked together to paint, organize, clean and provide some light construction work around the compound.

"These sort of events where Sailors get the opportunity to get out and make a difference in the communities always reward both sides. Sailors always come back with great stories on what they did and how much fun it was helping out. Almost always, it's the smiles on the children's faces that have the biggest impact," said Cmdr. Dan Straub, commanding officer of USS Ingraham (FFG 61).

This event is part of the UNITAS exercise, which is intended to train participating forces in a variety of maritime scenarios to test command and control of forces at sea, while operating as a multinational force to provide the maximum opportunity to improve interoperability.

"It was a great experience working side by side with the various navies as we came together for a good cause. I believe we all made a positive impact for the students and the community," said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Mario Gonzalez a native from Los Angles.

During the COMREL, several Peruvian children came to the grounds to meet the service members and to help them while they worked to fix their school.

"It was a great experience working alongside our partner nations. It shows that, even though we are from various parts of the world, we can come together with one common goal, and that is to help out the children," said U.S. Coast Guard Yeoman 2nd Class Michael Snyder.

UNITAS began in 1960. It is the U.S. Navy's longest running annual multinational maritime exercise. UNITAS, which means "unity" in Latin, is a demonstration of the U.S. commitment to the region and to the value of the strong relationships forged between our partner militaries.

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 in order 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

NNS140923-09. NHB Preps for Seasonal Flu Vaccinations

By Douglas H. Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital Bremerton's (NHB) Preventive Medicine will start providing annual influenza vaccinations, Oct. 24-29, for uniformed service members, eligible beneficiaries and DoD civilians who have not had the opportunity to be vaccinated this year.

The vaccinations will be given at NHB's Health and Education Center on Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, 2850 Thresher Ave., commencing Friday, Oct. 24, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25, and Sunday, Oct. 26, from noon until 5 p.m. and again Monday Oct. 27 to Wednesday Oct. 29, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

More information may be obtained at the Flu Hotline, (360) 315-4469. For updates on Flu Clinic wait times, please call (360) 315-4463

Annual seasonal influenza vaccinations are required for all active duty military personnel, selected Reserves and healthcare workers. Navy Medicine's seasonal influenza vaccine immunization program is designed to protect Sailors and Marines, mission-essential healthcare personnel and eligible beneficiaries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that between 1976 and 2006, flu-associated deaths in the U.S. range from a estimated low of approximately 3,000 to a high of 49,000.

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) states that an annual influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone over six months of age who do not have adverse reactions. Children younger than six months are considered not old enough to receive a flu shot. A vaccination should occur before onset of influenza activity in the community. Health care providers should offer vaccination soon after vaccine becomes available and should be offered as long as influenza viruses are circulating. The two ways of receiving the vaccine are with FluMist (nasal spray vaccine) or an injectable vaccine (shot).

The nasal spray vaccine is approved for use in people 2 years through 49 years of age. People who cannot get the nasal spray vaccine are children younger than 2 years and adults 50 years and older.

"FluMist is for healthy people ages 2-49 years. ACIP strongly recommends that healthy children receive FluMist since recent studies show a better coverage in children than the injectable. Flumist is a quadrivalent vaccine and protects children from two type A's and two type B's. Type B Influenza's typically affect children and increase the importance of a quadrivalent vaccine. Injectable influenza vaccine should be reserved for those that cannot qualify for FluMist whenever possible," explained Blaine Brock, Preventive Medicine Department division officer.

Brock attests that in regard to tracking influenza it has been business as usual.

"We expect a peak in late December and again in February and March so it is good to get vaccinated early and before December if you intend to be covered for the holidays," stated Brock.

Immunization is not only the the primary method of reducing seasonal influenza illness but also lessens any associated complications by enhancing force immunity. The seasonal influenza vaccine helps protect vaccinated individuals, as well as protects entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of the disease.

"Everyone who is at least six months of age should get a flu vaccine. It's especially important for some people to get vaccinated, such as people who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu and people who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes and chronic lung disease. People who are 65 years and older need to get the vaccine, as do pregnant women and people who live with or care for others who are a high risk of developing serious complications," stressed Dr. Dan Frederick, NHB Population Health expert, adding that influenza is not the common cold.

Influenza can be a severe to life-threatening disease and getting an annual influenza vaccine immunization (either the traditional shot in the arm or the newer nasal spray vaccine) protects many people from getting the disease or becoming severely ill.

As has also been the case in the past, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) will be offered vaccinations by the Branch Health Clinic PSNS in a future PSNS advertised campaign, and NHB's Preventive Medicine team will take care of Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Bremerton, NBK Bangor and commands such as Intermediate Maintenance Facility and Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest as well as the advertised clinics.

According to Tom Shirk, NHB Infection Control division expert, there are also multiple steps that can be done daily to mitigate the potential spread of the flu.

"Maintaining a clean work environment, good hygiene practices and managing workforce exposure - social distancing, tele-working, sick leave, etc. - are effective methods to reduce the risk of spreading influenza," said Shirk, citing that citing that vaccination not only helps protect families, it also helps prevent the loss of work and is the primary form of prevention.

The CDC also cites that influenza is thought to spread mainly from people touching something with influenza viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. One of the challenging aspects of flu is that someone who becomes infected can infect others one day before they have symptoms and up to five days after becoming sick. Influenza usually causes mild to severe illness, and uncommonly can lead to death. Symptoms of influenza include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, chills, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches. Stomach symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea also can occur but are more common in children than adults. Traditionally, seasonal flu impacts the elderly and the young.

The goal, Shirk says, is to constantly use common-sense approaches to combating the virus.

"Along with regular hand washing with soap and water, we encourage everyone who visits our hospital or any branch clinics to use our alcohol-based hand sanitizers. They are phenomenally effective in eliminating the transfer of a virus. We have increased the number of dispensers in NHB so anyone entering and leaving, or waiting by the elevators can use them," commented Shirk.

General information of seasonal influenza can be found at

What can people do to protect themselves against the flu virus?

Naval Hospital Bremerton follows CDC recommendations to:
*Avoid close contact with people who are sick, when you are sick, and keep your distance from others to protect them from also getting sick.
*If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
*Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
*Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
*Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his/her eyes, nose or mouth.

For more news from Naval Hospital Bremerton, visit

NNS140922-24. Google Maps Records Virtual Tour of USS Constitution

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Victoria Kinney, USS Constitution Public Affairs

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (NNS) -- USS Constitution worked with Google Maps to record a virtual tour of 'Old Ironsides' this morning aboard the ship.

Google Maps photographed the ship to create a virtual 360-degree experience of Constitution in preparation for the ship's scheduled dry-dock period in March 2015.

"People around the country and across the world will have the opportunity to experience Constitution online," said Cmdr. Sean Kearns, Constitution's 73rd commanding officer, "This capability will be especially important while most areas of the ship are inaccessible during her restoration."

The 216-year-old warship will be added to the list of historical landmarks that Google Maps has available for online tours. Among the list are the Taj Mahal, The Louvre Museum, underwater reefs, and regular street views from around the world. To date, Google Maps has been able to cover 57 different countries.

The Constitution, however, is considered a "street view special collect," said Curt Fennell, a Google Maps Systems Administrator, and U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

"We like to have as much information as possible, it's our mission. The USS Constitution is a national treasure. Since she will be unavailable for a few years, we want to make her available for viewers from all over," Fennell said.

'Old Ironsides' will be moving to dry-dock in 2015, and the restoration is scheduled to last three years.

The virtual tour will help Constitution and history enthusiasts view and experience the ship as she presently looks at her berth in Charlestown Navy Yard before preparations begin to de-rig and offload the ship in the upcoming months.

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

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

For more news from USS Constitution, visit

NNS140923-07. Guam, Military Communities Help Keep Ocean Clean

By Leah Eclavea, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

HAGATNA, Guam (NNS) -- Military members and volunteers from the Guam community helped pick up trash and other debris along Guam's coastline during the 20th Annual International Coastal Cleanup Sept. 20.

The International Coastal Cleanup is a movement that can be found in 92 countries and locations around the world. Guam has participated in the event for the past 20 years in order to contribute to the ecological health of the world's ocean.

"Since day one, the military, every branch, Air Force, Navy, Marine, Coast Guard, have participated and continue to participate," said Dave Duenas, who has helped organize the cleanup efforts for the past two decades. "Our military brothers and sisters have been a big factor in the success of this. We're very proud of that fact that they have joined us in our local community and help our island keep clean. "

Regional Command Master Chief (SW/AW/SS) David Graham, Joint Region Marianas (JRM), helped pick up trash at Paseo de Susana Park in Hagatna.

"If you live in the community, you need to be a part of the community and you need do the best for the community," he said. "We had people coming up to us and thanking us for being here, and in turn I feel that it is us who should say 'thank you' for allowing us to be here."

Throughout the year, military members participate in community relations events.

The coastal cleanup is the largest event that service members and the local community work together with the common goal to preserve the island and its surrounding waters.

"Just to get out in the public and let everyone know that we're here to help them," said Lt. j.g. Justin Giorlando, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133. "We want to be here and be part of who you are."

Giorlando and others from his command who came out to volunteer spoke about how they enjoy helping out and being a part of the local community.

"We're trying to do our part while we're here and to give back to the community," said Equipment Operator 1st Class (SCW) Steven Peeler, NMCB 133. "It shows the community that we're not here just as a military aspect but also as part of the actual community."

For other Sailors, the cleanup effort provided an opportunity to spend the day at Guam's beaches.

"This will be my third time helping with the coastal cleanup," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Magnolia Dun, who is the command volunteer coordinator for JRM. "I enjoy it very much, because I love going to the beaches. I do this to keep beaches clean and beautiful and make it safe for everyone. It is rewarding to give back to the island for what they have given us, the military personnel. "

Doug Bowling, who is Guam High School's Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps commander, said he promotes community service with his students.

"It's great that the kids get out in the community and they earn a ribbon for community service," he said. "This is the first community service project that we have done this year. We had about 65 students come out and they enjoyed it. They did a lot of good with the community and they helped out the National Park Service."

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

NNS140923-12. TRANSCOM Official Explains Vehicle Shipment Issues

From U.S. Transportation Command

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (NNS) -- Peak moving season, a contract protest, litigation and insufficient transition time all have played a part in challenges to the Defense Department's program to ship privately owned vehicles overseas and back to the United States under a new contract, a U.S. Transportation Command official said.

"This peak season was hampered significantly when legal actions interrupted the planned transition between contractors," said Gail Jorgenson, TRANSCOM's director of acquisition.

But in the long run, she added, TRANSCOM and International Auto Logistics are committed to service members and committed to getting things right.

*Protest by former contractor*

When TRANSCOM awarded the contract to IAL in October 2013 with a start date that December, American Auto Logistics, the former contractor, filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office, Jorgenson said. That put a hold on performance on the contract until after the GAO's ruling. The GAO ruled in TRANSCOM's favor at the end of January, she added, and a week later, the former contractor filed a lawsuit with the Court of Federal Claims, which again prevented IAL from preparing to take on the new contract.

The court found in TRANSCOM's favor in a sealed oral opinion March 7 and denied AAL's request for an injunction, and AAL has filed a notice of appeal to that decision. Even though the GAO and Court of Federal Claims determined that AAL's allegations were unfounded, Jorgenson said, TRANSCOM continued to pay for AAL's services rather than stop vehicle shipments altogether during the protest and litigation.

IAL began work on the new contract May 1, when the last extension with AAL ran out, and AAL refused TRANSCOM's request to continue shipping vehicles for an additional two weeks, Jorgenson said. This curtailed efforts to conduct a smooth transition for the new contractor and government personnel, she added.

*Start date pushed into peak season*

In addition, she said, this pushed the start date into the beginning of peak season for service members and civilian employees moving to or from overseas assignments, which dramatically cut short the time necessary to prepare for adequately for a successful peak season.

Jorgenson has a pointed response to those who want to turn back the clock or pull the contract.

"Obviously," she said, "we can't go back to May. We can only learn from this experience, implement improvements to the [vehicle] shipping process, and ensure our military families receive the service they deserve when they undergo a permanent-change-of-station move."

Overall, Jorgenson said, the new contract is a "best value" solution for the federal government, saves a substantial amount of money and moves more responsibility for performance to the contractor. It also provides enhanced services to service members, she said. The recent contract award saves the government about $50 million annually in comparison to the previous contract, with a potential savings of $250 million over the life of the contract, Jorgenson noted.

The contract also requires IAL to be responsible for the entire move within established timelines, she said.

"In the previous contract, the contractor was not responsible for delays or damage caused by the ocean carriers, which often meant required delivery dates were targets for AAL rather than contractual mandates," she explained.

Jorgenson also pointed out that service member entitlements are more comprehensive with IAL than with the former contractor.

"Every service member must know the contract protects them through entitlements," she said. "We are looking at preparing a customer bill of rights to facilitate the members' understanding of their entitlements and the process to obtain those benefits."

*Contractor has been responsive*

IAL is obliged to assist service members under this new contract, and has been very responsive in handling claims well before the contract's 90-day requirement, Jorgenson said. "IAL must reimburse the government and service members for damages, rental cars, and on a case-by-case basis for inconvenience," she explained.

She said that IALs performance is improving under the contract, noting that current-month statistics show that the company is delivering twice as many vehicles per week as it had a month ago. Also, as peak moving season winds down, shipments have reached a point where more vehicles are being delivered than the number of those entering the system.

TRANSCOM's acquisition director said she understands the delayed delivery of vehicles and the inability of service members to track vehicles can overshadow the overall benefits of the new contract.

"We know there are areas that need greater attention," she acknowledged. "We want service members to have easy access to shipment information. We need our contracting officer representatives to be actively engaged in the work at vehicle processing centers and ensure service members receive the best possible customer service."

*Dialogue will continue*

Going forward, Jorgenson said, TRANSCOM and IAL representatives will continue their dialogue and hold meetings before, during and after peak moving season to make sure that during the next peak moving season, service members will face fewer difficulties.

"Moves and changing duty stations are tough on our service members and families," she said. "From all indications, we predict even further improvements to this system and a positive peak season experience for our service members next year."

For claims information for IAL, call 1-855-389-9499, Option 3, or email The email address for the TRANSCOM inspector general's privately owned vehicles customer support team is

NNS140923-06. USS Princeton Sailors Celebrate Common Heritage

By Lt. j.g. Rochelle Rieger, USS Princeton Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors from guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) participated Sept. 20 in the opening ceremony football game with Princeton University's Tigers taking on the University of San Diego's (USD) Toreros.

Before kickoff, the Princeton Honor Guard, led by Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Daniel Dimayuga, paraded the American flag while the Princeton University band played the national anthem.

With ties to both teams, it was fitting that the ship and crew be recognized for their military service during the game.

"It was a nice way, and new way, that we got involved with the San Diego community," said Dimayuga. "I am proud to be from a ship with ties to two great schools."

The Princeton University Club of San Diego and the USD Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) worked to get the ship involved. Capt. Chuck Good, commander, USS Princeton, was one of the first to encourage Princeton's involvement with the game.

"We have several USD NROTC grads on board, and I love our homeport of San Diego," Good explained. "But we are also the Princeton Tigers, named in honor of the battle in Princeton, New Jersey."

Midshipman 3rd Class Charlie Berger, USD Class of 2017, helped the honor guard to set up on campus.

"It was great to have a ship, homeported here, reach out and want to get involved," said Berger. "The connection with both universities playing in the game made this the perfect opportunity."

More than 60 Princeton Sailors attended the game, including Lt. Cmdr. Nick Hoffman, Princeton's chief engineer and former University of San Diego running back.

"My whole family is dressed to cheer on the Toreros," exclaimed Hoffman. "I told [Capt. Good] we couldn't cheer on Princeton [University] today, although we will see what he says on Monday."

USS Princeton is the sixth Navy ship to share a name with the university. The flag of the 'fifth Princeton,' the aircraft carrier USS Princeton (CV 37), hangs in the school's library, while the ship shares the Tiger as her mascot.

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

NNS140922-27. Invictus Games Gold Medalist Returns to Naval Hospital Bremerton

By Mass Communication 2nd Class Zulema Sotelo, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Some of the hardest tests in sports, as well as life, are ones that must be overcome with inner strength. Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) Aviation Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Donald Jackson did just that.

Jackson, assigned to Naval Hospital Bremerton's Patient Administration department, participated in the inaugural Invictus Games held Sept. 10 through 14 in London, England, and took gold competing both individually and as part of a team.

He placed first in the 100-meter men's open with a time of 11.42 seconds and also as a member of the 4x100 mixed relay with a time of 46.98.

"It felt good to get the gold medal!" said Jackson, a New Orleans native who also calls Seattle home. "I was excited at first. When I first got the medal it didn't really hit me until later that I realized how great this was, and I was like, 'Oh my God, I won a gold medal!'"

The Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded, injured, and sick service members, took place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the site of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games. The event brought together service members - both active-duty and retired - from 13 nations for the first time. The U.S. team included service members from all branches of the military; the Navy and Coast Guard sent 21 other athletes to represent the country, including Jackson.

Athletes competed in archery, cycling, power lifting, rowing, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair rugby.

Jackson and the rest of the Navy and Coast Guard athletes who participated in the Invictus Games are all enrolled in NWW - Safe Harbor, the Navy's sole wounded warrior support program. NWW supports more than 3,150 Sailors and Coast Guardsmen.

Although recently diagnosed with epiglottal (throat) cancer, Jackson never let that stop him from achieving his goal for the gold.

"I found out about the Invictus Games when I went for the Navy Wounded Warrior games trials in March of this year, and then I found out I was going," said Jackson. "I was one of the few active-duty personnel from the Northwest region that went to the games. I went for track and field and power lifting. It was a lot of fun."

Jackson explained that he and the other Wounded Warriors had from March until the games to train. They got together once a month in different locations from California to Virginia for tailored training. They trained on their own outside of those times.

Jackson competed in both track and field events in high school, but says his efforts at that time were average. He has not only grown physically since that time, but he has also matured and discovered that his determination and dedication can take him a long way.

The games might be over, but Jackson hopes for the opportunity to defend his current title if possible.

"I would definitely do it again," said Jackson, "I mean I won the gold, and I can't leave it undefended if the opportunity arises again. You can't just stop."

Taking home the gold from the Invictus Games has boosted his confidence, and he hopes something bigger may happen one day with hard work and a lot of heart.

"The Olympic dream is not too far," he said. "I can still get there. I don't know, but if I have the proper training, good facilities, and time, I think anything is possible."

With that dream in mind Jackson said, "I like to strive for things like this that are once in a lifetime opportunities. In order for me to remain competitive, I have to train and be better. You can't just stay on a plateau. You have to keep going, keep rising."

The word invictus means unconquered. It embodies the fighting spirit of wounded, ill and injured service members and what these tenacious men and women can and have achieved. The games helped to highlight the sacrifices they made serving their country, and their drive to overcome perceived limitations.

"It feels pretty good to have been one of the first groups to be a part of these games," said Jackson. "It was exciting. I didn't know I was going to be doing this. It's an experience I will never forget. If they say, 'Jackson, we're doing this again. Do you want to come?' I am definitely going to say, 'yes.'"

As a member of the NWW - Safe Harbor Program and a gold medalist, another opportunity for Jackson is not just another chance to win a gold medal. It's another chance at life.

For more news from Naval Hospital Bremerton, visit

NNS020724-33. This Day in Naval History - Sept. 23

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1779 - Captain John Paul Jones of the Continental Navy frigate Bonhomme Richard, captures HMS Serapis.

1931 - Lt. Alfred Pride pilots Navy's first rotary wing aircraft, XOP-1 autogiro, in landings and takeoffs aboard USS Langley (CV 1) while underway.

1944 - Naval Task Group lands Army troops on Ulithi Atoll, Caroline Islands.

1944 - USS West Virginia (BB 48) reaches Pearl Harbor and rejoins the Pacific Fleet, marking the end of the salvage and reconstruction of 18 ships damaged Dec. 7, 1941.

1947 - James Forrestal, former Secretary of the Navy, takes office as the first Secretary of Defense.

1990 - Two hospital ships -- USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) and USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) -- steam together for the first time in the Arabian Gulf.

NNS140924-09. USS Gary Departs for Final Deployment

From Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Gary (FFG 51) departed on an independent deployment to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility, Sept. 24.

Gary will deploy with its crew of 240 Sailors. The ship is expected to play an integral part in the counter-illicit trafficking mission Operation Martillo (Spanish for "hammer"), in support of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S 4th Fleet and U.S. Southern Command.

Operation Martillo targets illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus and is an international, interagency operation which includes the participation of 14 countries committed to a regional approach against transnational criminal organizations moving illicit cargo.

Along with the crew of Gary, the drug interdiction team includes the ship's organic Visit, Board, Search and Seizure team providing support for the embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment. A Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light Squadron 49 detachment will provide embarked air support. The law enforcement phase of counterdrug operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is conducted under the tactical control of the 11th Coast Guard District headquartered in Alameda, California.

Gary helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and humanitarian assistance/disaster response.

The ship is scheduled to be decommissioned after completion of this deployment culminating in more than 30 years of service to the country.

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

For more information on USS Gary, visit

Follow USS Gary on Facebook at:

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

NNS140924-01. USNS Wheeler Participates in Offshore Petroleum Discharge System Exercise with Korean Partners

By Lt. Saeah Wood, U.S. Naval Forces Korea and Military Sealift Command Office Korea Public Affairs

BUSAN, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command (MSC) vessels USNS Wheeler (T-AG 5001) and USNS Fast Tempo participated in an Offshore Petroleum Discharge System (OPDS) exercise
off of Dogu Beach, Pohang, Republic of Korea (ROK) from Sept. 12-22.

The OPDS exercise is a MSC sponsored, semi-annual event that allows crewmembers to exercise the full capabilities of the OPDS system in a real-world environment. USNS Wheeler is a government-owned, contractor-operated vessel. Approximately 20 civilian mariners operate and navigate the ship, along with eight crew members who operate and deploy the OPDS.

"The OPDS system is designed to be fully operational in less than 48 hours from arrival; therefore, it is important for crew members to remain sharp on OPDS operations in the event of a contingency," said John Mansfield, captain of USNS Wheeler. "The exercise also exposes military personnel in all branches of both U.S. and ROK forces to the unique capabilities of these vessels and the importance they play in defense and logistical support."

Wheeler's OPDS is a completely self-contained terminal capable of providing up to 1.7 million gallons of fuel in a 20-hour day, or about 1,400 gallons per minute, from a distance of up to eight miles offshore.

"The OPDS is a vital capability for MSC, allowing fuel to be pumped to shore during contingency operations where port facilities may be damaged, destroyed, or non-existent," said Capt. Robert Rochford, commodore of Maritime Prepositioning Ships Squadron 3. "It also allows us to support areas that have been affected by natural disaster or other underdeveloped coastal areas for humanitarian assistance."

During the OPDS Exercise, Wheeler was positioned approximately 9,000 feet from Dogu Beach using her sophisticated Dynamic Positioning System (DPS), which allows the ship to automatically approach and maintain positioning from a designated fixed point without anchoring. The OPDS flexible piping was then connected to the Beach Termination Unit (BTU), and 65,000 gallons of potable water was pumped through all eight miles of flexible pipe that was laid out on the ocean bottom.

"The first 1,000 feet of pipe is outfitted with stainless steel armor to protect it from sharp obstacles that may be encountered in the surf zone while beaching the pipe," said Mansfield. "It is important to coordinate a site survey of a potential OPDS location to understand factors such as water depths, bottom conditions, and tides to determine the impacts to the OPDS flexible piping."

Full mission operating capability was exercised by the Wheeler crew resulting in a valuable training opportunity for crew members and positive lessons
learned for MSC. The OPDS Exercise was made successful through coordination with ROK Marine Corps 1st Division, ROK Navy Pohang Port Defense Battalion, Pohang Maritime and Port Administration, ROK Pohang Coast Guard, and Pohang Fishery Radio Control Tower.

"The OPDS Exercise could not have been completed without support from our local Korean counterparts," said Cmdr. Eric St. Peter, commander of Military
Sealift Command Office, Korea. "We do our best to provide them with an understanding of MSC capabilities including the OPDS."

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

NNS140923-22. Future USS Ralph Johnson Keel Authenticated

From Team Ships Public Affairs

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy held a keel-laying ceremony for the future USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard Sept. 23.

The keel was authenticated by ship sponsor and military wife Georgeanne McRaven, and 41-year veteran shipbuilder, Robert Boegner, Jr. The two traced their initials into the ship's keel plate after which they said, "We hereby declare that the keel of the future USS Ralph Johnson has been truly and fairly laid."

"I'm extremely honored to have Mrs. McRaven and Mr. Boegner here today to take part in this momentous event. Their participation demonstrates and celebrates the role that each individual involved in this vital shipbuilding program plays to help bring these warships to life," said Capt. Mark Vandroff, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "I'm very proud of and grateful to the men and women of Ingalls shipbuilding. Their hard work has allowed us to celebrate this major ship milestone today."

Ingalls shipbuilding has a long history in destroyer shipbuilding, beginning with the keel-laying of the USS Spruance (DD 963) in the same shipyard over 40 years ago, in 1972. Ralph Johnson is the 64th Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, and the 30th DDG 51 class destroyer built by the shipyard. HII is under contract to build an additional six of the 14 DDG 51 class ships currently under contract. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is also under contract to build seven destroyers as part of the DDG 51 program restart.

DDG 51 class ships are integral players in global maritime security, engaging in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense. Ralph Johnson, a Flight IIA destroyer, will be equipped with Aegis Baseline 9 which incorporates Integrated Air and Missile Defense and enhanced Ballistic Missile Defense capabilities.

The ship is named for Marine Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War. Johnson used his body to shield two fellow Marines from a grenade, absorbing the blast and dying instantly in March 1968.

As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships and special warfare craft. Delivering high-quality war fighting assets - while balancing affordability and capability - is key to supporting the nation's maritime strategy.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS140924-14. Energy Efforts Support a Sustained, Ready Force

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

ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- The assistant secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations and Environment) visited Naval Station Rota, Spain, Sept. 23, to meet with regional and base leadership and discuss energy initiatives currently in place on the installation.

"Rota is one our most important geographical and strategic locations and the fact that you have a deep water port, a major airfield and the ability [to] handle just about any type of ship or aircraft, it's a key node in our logistics supply and directly supports multiple warfighters throughout the theater," said Dennis McGinn.

Throughout his visit, McGinn toured base housing, port and maintenance areas as well as the air cargo facility, which is one of the base's newest energy-efficient structures.

"What we're trying to do is make sure that everyone understands the importance of energy and we're basically looking at the best value for the least cost to provide mission readiness and quality of life," said McGinn.

Beyond the efforts taking place like solar panels and energy-efficient lighting, McGinn stressed that developing an educated and active force on the issue is the best way forward in creating a culture of energy-smart Sailors and Marines.

"It's two things really. First, leadership by example whereby knowledgeable people and leaders make that connection and not just talk the talk but walk the walk. Second, it's training, from the basic boot camp to the indoctrination programs when our Sailors come aboard a new command," said McGinn.

Naval Station Rota recently competed in the region's "Biggest Loser" competition, which compared the base's energy use for 2013 and 2014 during the month of July. The efforts resulted in nearly a seven percent decrease from the previous year's usage. Establishing a culture of energy-aware service members goes beyond an annual competition, however, and requires a persistent approach to setting the example and holding members of the command accountable.

"At the installation level, it's key that we communicate to our personnel how we as a base support the local operational, expeditionary, and special warfare units and ultimately their efforts downrange," said Capt. Greg Pekari, Naval Station Rota's commanding officer. "We'll continue to stay at the front of this critical initiative, promote that culture and implement proactive measures to support the long-term efforts throughout the year."

Future energy projects in Rota include several roof-mounted solar panels, renewable energy studies, as well as continuing with quarterly energy awareness training. Additionally, Rota plans on rolling out the Navy's newest "Energy Warrior" campaign locally, which will include tools and resources to lead change and increase combat capability through energy decisions.

"It's technology, culture and partnerships. And from my brief time here in Rota, it's apparent all of those things are in play and evident the leadership team here has got that message and it's going out and having an effect," said McGinn.

For more news from Naval Station Rota, Spain, visit

NNS140924-12. NMCB 3 Helps Ventura County 'Walk Out of Darkness'

By Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Zachary Miller, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 Public Affairs

CAMARILLO, Calif. (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 joined hundreds of people from Ventura County to support the "Out of the Darkness" suicide prevention community walk in Camarillo, California, Sept. 20.

Sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (ASFP), the annual nation-wide event helps raise funds and awareness to prevent future suicides.

According to NMCB 3's Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) president, Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Maria Escamilla, the optimistic event allowed those affected by suicide to come together, heal and help support a life-saving cause.

"Not only does the walk bring families who have lost someone together to support one another, it also raises money to promote awareness," said Escamilla. "I hope people take the information here and apply it to their personal lives, notice the signs and help someone suffering."

Every 13.3 minutes, someone dies from suicide with an attempt made every minute of every day - a fact promoted on the website.

In the military, this message is taken as a call to help strengthen trust and meaningful connections between peers through the Navy's "Every Sailor, Every Day" campaign. The campaign offers webinars and special training to command leadership, chaplains and individual members to help support resilience and regards seeking help as a sign of strength. Training also includes open communication, individual responsibility and bystander intervention.

For more information, visit or

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 information, visit or

For more news from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3, visit

NNS140924-05. Security, League of Women Tag Team to Teach Self-Defense

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Beverly J. Lesonik, USS George Washington Public Affairs

USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) participated in a three-day basic self-defense class, Sept. 22-24.

Members of Security department trained Sailors with George Washington's League of Women group on basic patterns and movements, how to properly move and maintain balance, how to execute blocks to defend themselves and basic strikes to create distance from an attacker who is trying to press in.

"A lot of the training we taught here are techniques that we teach to our own security forces," said Chief Master-at-Arms Kevin McCaslin, one of the self-defense instructors. "We get the curriculum from the Center for Security Forces and it is a highly effective means of using the least amount of force necessary to defend yourself until you can either get away or get assistance."

According to Chief Master-at-Arms Jeff Harris, a self-defense instructor, this is the first class they held that is open to anyone on the ship and they are expecting it to become a more common occurrence.

"This class originally began when the League of Women group approached us about the idea," said Harris. "However, the class is open to both men and women who want to learn basic self-defense techniques. We have used this training many times in the past and know that the techniques are effective. We want to provide Sailors the correct tools and confidence to limit and reduce the amount of vulnerability that they experience in today's society."

According to McCaslin, the lessons are defensive in nature and the training is meant to help develop muscle memory for Sailors to use effectively in real-life situations.

"These are good techniques to get away from an attacker without really hurting them," said McCaslin. "No one wants to cause serious injury, but [Sailors] do need to gain control. We are teaching these Sailors to create distance, facilitate an escape route or find someone to interfere."

Participants learned different strikes before practicing on one another and eventually the "Redman," an instructor in red padding that allowed participants to practice what they learned.

"I thought the class was great and it is one of those activities that creates self-confidence," said Lt. Lauren Specht, a participant in the class. "It is important that Sailors learn to be aware of their surroundings and be able to react to a threat. We should have more classes and I will be working with Security to, hopefully, develop a monthly schedule."

Specht played a key role in coordinating with Security to set up the class and get Sailors involved, starting with the League of Women group

"Knowing how to defend yourself gives confidence that can be seen by family, friends and even potential attackers," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jessica Downing, from Marissa, Illinois, a participant from the League of Women group. "I believe it's very important for men and women to know how to defend themselves and both can benefit from these self-defense classes."

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

For more news from USS George Washington, visit

NNS140924-11. Naval Hospital Bremerton Emergency Department Transitions to Urgent Care Clinic October 1

By Douglas H. Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- By this time next week, Naval Hospital Bremerton's Emergency Department officially will officially be converted to an Urgent Care Clinic (UCC) on Oct 1.

The UCC will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is similar to a provider's office. The UCC will provide attention for non-life threatening medical problems, or health concerns that could become worse if not attended to in a timely manner.

"We are not discontinuing services and the Urgent Care Clinic will continue to provide patient-centered care that will better serve the beneficiary population," said Capt. Christopher Quarles, NHB commanding officer.

The UCC will provide walk-in appointments and will handle such common illnesses as colds, the flu, ear aches, sore throats, migraines, fever and rashes.

The UCC will also be available for minor injuries such as sprains and strains, minor cuts and lacerations, bumps and bruises, back pain, minor broken bones and/or minor eye injuries.

According to Capt. Steven Kewish, director for Medical Services, the main difference between an emergency department and an urgent care clinic is that with the clinic, patients will be seen in the order they are received, whereas in an emergency department setting, patients are triaged and then seen depending on the severity of the injury or illness.

"It will be first come, first serve, in our Urgent Care Clinic," explained Kewish, adding that if a true emergency arrives at NHB, the patient will be transferred via ambulance to the local emergency room at a community hospital.

Any beneficiary who is experiencing any of the following are urged to call 911 or get to the nearest hospital emergency room; chest pain, severe abdominal pain, coughing or vomiting blood, severe burn(s), deep cuts or bleeding that won't stop, sudden blurred vision, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, sudden dizziness, weakness, or loss of coordination or balance; numbness in the face, arm, or leg; sudden severe headache (not a migraine); seizures, high fever(s), any condition believed to be life threatening.

In a personal letter sent on behalf of Naval Hospital Bremerton to beneficiaries in the West Sound region, Quarles explained that "in order to reshape and realign resources to better serve you and your family, our Emergency department will be transitioning to an Urgent Care Center (UCC) on Oct. 1.

"A comprehensive analysis showed that our patients often require urgent care much more frequently than emergency care. This change will result in quicker and more cost effective services, while continuing our long tradition of delivering the highest quality care. The NHB UCC will be available to eligible beneficiaries 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For emergencies that threaten life (chest pain, difficulty breathing, seizures, sudden numbness or dizziness, etc.) limb, or eyesight, individuals should dial 911 or seek care at the nearest emergency room. If emergencies arrive at the NHB UCC after we have transitioned, those patients will be transferred via ambulance to the nearest appropriate Emergency Room. As a note, NHB's obstetrical services will not change in any way."

NHB has also recently implemented a new Nurse Advice Line (NAL). The NAL is staffed by a team of registered nurses who answer healthcare questions and provide live advice 24/7. NHB beneficiaries have the option to contact the NAL for professional medical advice to help decide whether self-care is the best option, or wait for an appointment with their primary care manager, or seek urgent or emergency care. Call 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273) and select option 1 to connect to the NAL. Beneficiaries may still call their Medical Home Port Team for medical advice and appointments during business hours.

"The NAL is just another example of self-service options available to help beneficiaries manage their healthcare needs around the clock," said Quarles.

In addition, beneficiaries can now email/communicate directly with their Medical Home Port Team with the Online Medical Home Port service, powered by RelayHealth. RelayHealth provides the ability to e-mail a provider's office for questions or request advice about non-urgent health concerns; request medication renewals and specify pick up or mail delivery; request, cancel or reschedule appointments; receive lab, x-ray and other test results more quickly; and submit referral requests even when provider's office is closed. Beneficiaries can talk to their primary care clinic about getting connected to the NHB Online Secure Messaging Service or to register, visit

"We want to provide quality, safe healthcare to those that are entrusted to us. We want these services to be convenient, helpful and positive. We are excited to offer these new services and programs and are confident that it will allow our patients to better address their healthcare needs. We are truly grateful to all those who choose Naval Hospital Bremerton as their preferred choice in healthcare," said Quarles.

There are approximately 59,000 eligible beneficiaries of active duty service members, retirees and their families in the West Puget Sound, with over 29,000 enrolled at NHB.

"NHB will focus on offering timely outpatient services, obstetrical, inpatient and ambulatory surgical services to support our valued military members, their families and retirees. NHB is maximizing our resources to maintain mission readiness, provide value and quality patient-centered health care to all patients," Quarles stated.

For more news from Naval Hospital Bremerton, visit

NNS140923-18. USS Coronado Performs Live-Fire Test of Norwegian Strike Missile

From Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

USS CORONADO, At Sea (NNS) -- The crew of littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) successfully performed a live-fire demonstration of a Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) during missile testing operations off the coast of Southern California, Sept. 23.

During the test, the Norwegian-made Kongsberg NSM was launched from the deck of Coronado and scored a direct hit on its intended target, a mobile ship target (MST).

The Kongsberg NSM is a long range precision strike missile designed to be launched from a variety of ships against a variety of targets.

Testing took place on board the Navy's newest littoral combat ship to show the LCS' ability to readily accept new weapons systems as part of the Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) program.

"We are extremely pleased with the outcome of today's test on board Coronado," said Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces. "We view this successful missile test as a possible future warfighting capability for the LCS program."

Rowden said the Navy is interested in increasing both quantity of firepower and range across the surface fleet.

"Both classes of the LCS are based on modular design concepts," said Rowden. "This allows for the integration of weapons and sensors like the Kongsberg NSM technology as part of the LCS warfare suite."

Since 1980, the FCT program has helped the United States and allies reap substantial savings by avoiding research and development costs, lowering procurement costs, reducing risk for major acquisition programs and accelerating the fielding of equipment critical to the reading and safety of operating forces.

Commissioned on April 4, 2014, Coronado was designed to be high-speed, shallow draft multi-mission ship capable of operating independently or with an associated strike group. LCS ships are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in coastal waters.

A fast, maneuverable, and networked surface combatant, LCS provides the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions such as surface warfare, mine warfare and anti-submarine warfare.

LCS delivers combat capability from core self-defense systems in concert with interchangeable, modular mission packages and an open architecture command and control system. Modularity maximizes the flexibility of LCS and enables the ship to meet changing warfare needs, while also supporting rapid technological updates. LCS employs advanced tactical networks to share information with aircraft, ships, submarines, and joint and coalition units both at sea and shore.

For more news from Naval Surface Forces, visit

NNS140923-19. CPX Prepares NMCB 3 for Field Training Exercise, Deployment

By Construction Electrician Constructionman Curtis Lee, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 Public Affairs

PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 kicked off the first Command Post Exercise (CPX) of their 2014 homeport aboard Naval Base Ventura County, California, Sept. 22.

The four-day exercise challenges NMCB 3's command and control, communications, and timely decision making capabilities through real-world scenarios centered on humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations.

Similar to a carrier strike group's Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX) and Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFX) certification process, CPX is one in a series of training events leading to the battalion's final graded Field Training Exercise (FTX), which certifies the battalion can deploy.

"With many new people in battalion and change in company leadership, CPX sets a baseline for where the company and battalion stand as a whole," said NMCB 3 Bravo Company Commander Lt. j.g. Jonathon Gomez-Rivera. "It helps us identify our deficiencies and areas where we can improve."

Each company within the battalion was entrusted with an area of responsibility in order to effectively defend the camp and perform their specialties.

While Seabees in Alpha and Charlie Companies take care of Civil Engineer Support Equipment and vertical construction, Bravo Company focuses on camp security and maintenance.

In addition to maintaining all camp utilities, Bravo Company also mans the camp entry control point and quick reaction force, ensuring battalion security.

NMCB 3 will use the lessons learned during CPX 1 in order to formulate creative solutions for CPX 2-4 and the battalion's upcoming FTX scheduled next year.

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

NNS140923-21. Three Navy IA Sailors in Afghanistan Promoted Through CMAP

By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, International Security Assistance Force HQ Public Affairs

KABUL, Afghanistan (NNS) -- Three U.S. Navy Sailors received a surprise when they found out they had been selected for promotion to the next pay grade while serving overseas in Afghanistan recently.

The three Sailors were advanced to the next pay grade thorough the Combat Military Advance Program (CMAP). Command Master Chief (AW) Peter Steinberg, Naval Forces Central Command Forward HQ Afghanistan, reflected on the accomplishments of these Sailors.

"It is an honor to Combat Meritorious Advance our Sailors in theater with the great contributions they give to the progress in Afghanistan, making it safer for everybody here," said Steinberg.

Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jorge Soriano, one of the three Sailors advanced said the promotion was the best form of "ultimate recognition."

"It has made me feel that I have done my job and have done it well," said Soriano. "Receiving this recognition has provided me with a great sense of accomplishment in our quest to help the people of Afghanistan in their fight for freedom."

Shortly before receiving his promotion to the next pay grade Soriano had received notification of recognition for other outstanding performance.

"I had been selected as the 5th Fleet's Individual Augmentee Task Force Junior Sailor of the Quarter for 3rd quarter 2014," said Soriano, who entered the Navy Reserve at a later age.

"When I enlisted in the Navy four years ago at the age of 39, I knew I had made a great choice, and this deployment and the recognition bestowed upon me have solidified those sentiments," said Soriano, who also added that it was an honor that Steinberg participated in his pinning ceremony. "He also pinned my EXW device, when I earned it a couple of years ago. It is a small Navy."

Both Steinberg and Soriano were stationed together at Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron 14.

Another Sailor who was advanced was Information Systems Technician 1st Class Katrina Knauff, who had no idea she had been selected when her command chose to surprise her with the announcement of her advancement.

"I am truly humbled by the entire experience," said Knauff, who added that the advancement had been the milestone and highlight of her naval career. "I could not believe how much I was in shock as the entire command congratulated me."

Knauff, a Navy Reservist who extended her tour in Afghanistan is working in her rating and appreciates the recognition for all of her hard work.

"As a Reservist, this is the first time I have been able to perform as an IT. With that said, I wanted as much experience as I could possibly get. But never in my wildest dreams did I think that the Navy would recognize me for my hard work and dedication to duty," said Knauff.

CMAP was established to promote Sailors in pay grades E1 through E5 in recognition of uncommon valor and extraordinary deeds demonstrated while engaged in, or direct support of, combat operations.

For more news from Commander, Navy Reserve Force, visit

NNS140923-23. Navy Gold Star Program Prepares to Launch

By Ensign Egdanis Torres, Commander, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- A new initiative to assist Gold Star Families - those whose military members have died in service - will be launched Oct. 1 by Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC).

The Navy Gold Star (NGS) program will provide Gold Star Families a level of long-term assistance and support not previously available through the Navy. It is enhanced with the active participation of new NGS region and installation coordinators, which are the lead agents for actions within the long-term casualty supporting process.

"I am excited about this new Navy program. I believe in it," said Vice Adm. William French, commander, Navy Installations Command during his opening comments for the NGS coordinators' initial training held at the CNIC headquarters in Washington, DC. "Gold Star Families need and their sacrifices need to be recognized. I envy you all because you come to an organization that makes a big difference to families."

According to the NGS Program Manager for CNIC Mike Bruner, NGS coordinators play an important role providing support for family members through a very difficult time, helping them build resilience and establish a new normal. Guided by the coordinators, Gold Star Families will be able to connect with support groups and grief counselors. Additionally, new services may also include chaplain care, school liaison assistance, and family employment.

The training for the coordinators is a two-day program filled with informational tools including the description of the duties and responsibilities of the Casualty Assistance Calls Officers, an overview of all CNIC fleet and family support programs, discussions on the standardized procedures for survivor assistance, and training on the Defense Casualty Information Process System (DCIPS), among others.

"Another great benefit is the inclusion of financial counselors that can provide education on budgeting and investing," added Bruner. "These financial counselors are committed to assisting survivors to create a solid foundation for financial success."

At the training French also spoke to each one of the coordinators stressing the importance of collaboration and team work.

"You are building this program; take all the great ideas from our counterparts, the best ones and leverage each other, push the headquarters ... we want all of you to have the tools in place to be successful," he said.

French spoke about the standardization of procedures across the enterprise and emphasized that this new program provides the opportunity to work on regulating the delivery of services across the regions. In order to accomplish this, he highlighted the importance of the coordinators and urged them to begin working on achieving consistency, identifying the inconsistencies they come across, selecting the ones that really matter, and then feeding back to CNIC so that leadership may be involved in helping solve those inconsistencies.

"A program like this one cannot be managed from the headquarters," French said. "We need the people from the deck to push us for change."

For more information about the Navy's Gold Star Program visit

For more information about Navy Installations, visit

NNS020724-34. This Day in Naval History - Sept. 24

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1864 - The steam tug USS Fuschia and the sidewheel steamer Thomas Freeborn conduct a raid against a boat works above Milford Haven, Va., on Stutt's Creek. Some three miles upstream a force of 40 sailors landed, destroying four Confederate boats, capturing five, and demolishing a fishery.

1918 - Lt. j.g. David S. Ingalls, while on a test flight in a Sopwith Camel, sights an enemy two-seat Rumpler over Nieuport. In company with another Camel he attacks and scores his fifth aerial victory in six weeks to become the Navy's first ace.

1941 - USS Eberle (DD 430) is screening convoy HX 150 in Task Unit 4.1.1. when she rescues the crew of British freighter, Nigaristan after it suffered an engine room fire.

1943 - USS Cabrilla (SS 288) attacks three Japanese ships, a carrier, escort carrier and destroyer, northwest of Chichi Jima.

1960 - USS Charles Berry (DE 1035) begins a goodwill cruise of the southern Philippine Islands, visiting the small cities not usually visited by naval units.

NNS140925-03. George Washington Wins SECDEF Field-Level Maintenance Award

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

USS George Washington, At Sea (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) was announced as a recipient of the 2014 Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Field-Level Maintenance Award, Sept. 20.

The SECDEF Maintenance Awards program recognizes outstanding achievements by field-level units engaged in military equipment and weapon system maintenance within the Department of Defense (DoD).

"This award is great recognition for the George Washington team, maintenance professionals of Puget Sound Naval Ship Yard, and Ship's Repair Facility Yokosuka who support the ship's maintenance efforts," said Cmdr. Joe Montes, George Washington's Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance officer. "The ship has accomplished a great deal in the past year. The maintenance plan we had was very complex and comprehensive, and was executed flawlessly because of the teamwork and planning that took place during our in-port period."

Six DoD maintenance units are awarded SECDEF Field-Level Maintenance Awards annually, two from each competition category (small, medium and large). George Washington won for the large command category.

"It's definitely a recognition that's seen and heard across the DoD because the competition includes all branches of the military and civilian DoD activities," said Montes.

George Washington received the field-level award based on several criteria, including innovative and effective use of maintenance resources, quality-of-life programs and mission accomplishments.

"Our success in these awards is due to the fact that we're manned, trained and equipped properly," said Cmdr. Charles Ehnes, George Washington's chief engineer. "Our Sailors have the skill sets and the necessary tools to apply their knowledge. They've done a fantastic job executing any challenge put in front of them."

According to Montes, he attributes the success of George Washington's maintenance program stems from an all-hands effort.

"Winning this award shows that every Sailor aboard George Washington is committed to maintenance and the operational requirements of the ship," said Montes. "It says that above all else, they're dedicated to completing our maintenance projects on schedule and with sound results."

The Navy displayed a strong showing in this year's competition, winning three of six field-level awards.

"The very nature of sea service requires a constant level of training and effort to become self-sufficient," said Ehnes. "When a ship is at sea, it's physically separated from logistical and depot-level facilities that can assist in maintenance projects. Maintaining physical readiness of the ship has been carried on as naval tradition through years of operational experience."

From the six award-winning units, one is selected as the best of the best, and presented with the Phoenix Trophy, DoD's highest award for maintenance.

"It's an incredible honor to be recognized as one of the finalists for the Phoenix Trophy," said Montes. "The mission accomplishment that resulted from our hard work exceeded every expectation and I couldn't be more proud that George Washington is considered for the honor."

The field-level awards, as well as the announcement of the SECDEF Phoenix Trophy winner will be formally presented Nov. 18, at the SECDEF Maintenance Awards banquet in Birmingham, Alabama.

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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

NNS140925-01. Team Navy Begins Warrior Games Training

By Patty Babb, Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (NNS) -- Thirty-nine seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors - who hail from across the country - landed in Colorado Springs, Colo., this week to begin training for the fifth annual Warrior Games, which kick off at the Olympic Training Center Sept. 28.

The weeklong training camp, which began Sept. 22, will help the athletes acclimate to the 7,000-foot altitude and encourage team bonding. By practicing together, Team Navy will compete more seamlessly against wounded warriors from the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Special Operations during the Warrior Games next week.

"It has been very challenging adjusting to the thinner air here in Colorado," said Navy Counselor 1st Class Misty Taylor, who was wounded in combat in 2005. "Yesterday was very exhausting, and it was hard to breathe while participating in cardio events. Even at rest I would feel my heart begin to pound."

During the Warrior Games, nearly 200 accomplished wounded warrior athletes will go head-to-head in archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, and wheelchair basketball. Taylor, who is a Warrior Games rookie, will compete in archery (recurve) and swimming.

The members of Team Navy were selected after an intensive trials event in June in Norfolk, Virginia. More than 70 seriously wounded, ill and injured service members - the largest turnout at any Navy adaptive sports event - competed for a spot on the team roster.

Since then, the Team Navy athletes have participated in two other training events including a camp at the cutting-edge facilities at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, and practiced at home.

"I have been training every week since the trials," said Taylor. "I spent two to three hours working on swim drills at least three times a week. And I was able to train two hours twice a week at the outdoor archery range as practice. I really want to do well and make my team proud."

Spending time together, and with wounded warriors from other branches of the military, has made the week leading up to the Warrior Games especially enjoyable for Team Navy.

"For many of the sports, including basketball, volleyball, swimming and archery, the services are sharing spaces for training," said NWW Acting Deputy Director Lenora Weatherford. "The athletes have been mentoring each other regardless of service affiliation. Though this is a competition, at the end of the day, it is primarily an opportunity for them to heal - and to help each other heal - through sport."

Retired Navy Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Patrick Blair, a first-time Warrior Games competitor who was injured in a shipboard accident in 2011, compares Team Navy to a family. He will compete in cycling (upright) and swimming next week.

"I love seeing these guys," said Blair. "It's like a family reunion whenever we see each other. It's going to be great putting all our training to work at winning as a team."

Since its inception in 2010, the Warrior Games have been hosted by the United States Olympic Committee and presented by Deloitte Corporation with support from the Department of Defense. The event emphasizes capabilities - not disabilities - and the role of sports in the recovery of seriously wounded, ill and injured service members.

All of the wounded warrior athletes on Team Navy are enrolled in NWW. The team includes active-duty and retired service members with upper-body, lower-body and spinal cord injuries; serious illnesses; traumatic brain injuries; visual impairment; and post-traumatic stress disorder.

To learn more about NWW and adaptive athletics, visit, call 855-NAVY WWP (628-9997) or email The latest news about Team Navy will be posted on Facebook at

For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit

NNS140925-16. FMS - 7 Things Sailors Should Know

From Chief of Naval Personnel

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- This spring, based on Fleet feedback, Navy revised the Final Multiple Score (FMS), the weighted formula used to select Sailors for advancement.

The new formula rewards sustained superior performance and increases the role of the command triad in the advancement of Sailors, officials said, Sept. 25.

Changes to the formulation were made to achieve the right balance between technical skill proficiency, as measured by the test, and on the job performance as gauged by chain of command input through the evaluation process. It also places less emphasis on longevity-based elements.

This fall's petty officer advancement results will be the first use of the new formula.

Here are seven things Sailors should know about FMS:

1. FMS is a weight-based calculation used to rank Sailors eligible for advancement.

2. The advancement examination is the largest factor considered for advancement to E4 and E5, increasing in weight by eight percentage points, going from 37 percent to 45 percent.

3. For E6 and E7, Performance Mark Average (PMA) becomes the largest factor in determining Sailors' FMS. For advancement to E6, PMA increased three percentage points and now counts for 50 percent of the FMS calculation. For advancement to E7, PMA increased 10 percentage points to count for 60 percent of the total FMS.

4. Sailors who pass the advancement exam, but do not advance due to quota limitations, are eligible to receive Pass Not Advanced (PNA) points; however, the new policy limits PNA points to the top 25 percent of Sailors - 1.5 PNA points go to the top 25 percent of Sailors by test score, and 1.5 go to the top 25 percent by Performance Mark Average. However, for the next five test exams, those who have PNA points will have those points carried over.

5. Total PNA points in the FMS are determined from a Sailor's last five advancement cycles for a maximum of 15 possible points.

6. Service in Pay Grade has been reduced from seven percent to a weight of one percent of FMS for advancement to E4 through E6.

7. The Good Conduct Medal and the Reserve Meritorious Service Medal will no longer contribute award points in the FMS.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS140925-05. Iwo Jima ARG and 24th MEU Complete ARG/MEU Exercise

From Amphibious Squadron 8 Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) arrives in Mayport, Florida, after completing a 23-day ARG/ Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise (ARG/MEU Ex) with the 24th MEU.

This was the first pre-deployment exercise where the Iwo Jima ARG and 24th MEU were fully integrated. The exercise is one in a series to prepare the ships and the MEU for their upcoming deployment.

"The successful completion of ARG/MEU Ex means that we're one step closer to being deployment ready and able to execute national tasking in various operational theaters," said Capt. Timothy Schorr, the commodore of the ARG and commander of Amphibious Squadron (COMPHIBRON) 8. "It demonstrates that all of the different components of the ARG/MEU team can come together to accomplish any task within the scope of our capabilities."

The exercise is designed to foster a better working relationship between the Sailors and Marines on board. Every facet of their training is put into use during evolutions as varied as damage control on the ship to landing Marines on a beach. Working together smoothly is essential, as these service members will be depending on each other while the ship is deployed in just a few short months.

"It was kind of rough starting off the integration between the Navy and Marines," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Lajuane Lindo, a Bronx, New York, native onboard amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7). "However, this underway has been outstanding. We're all on the same page when it comes to getting the mission accomplished."

For Marines onboard, whether they are seasoned or fresh out of boot camp, ship life can be a shocking change from their normal routines. Stairs and walls become ladders and bulkheads. Even a good sense of direction becomes lost quickly in the myriad passageways.

"Most Sailors know that the Marines aren't going to know what to do as soon as they come on so they're pretty helpful, courteous, and respectful," said Lance Cpl. Colton Slabaugh, an avionics technician with the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 (Reinforced). "As long as everyone is respectful to each other I think it'll be a good deployment."

As a comprehensive and complex training evolution, ARG/MEU Ex combined the Navy and Marine Corps maritime and sea-to-shore capabilities. Operations included various amphibious operations and ship-to-shore movements, simulated straits transits, day and night flight operations, mass casualty drills, damage control drills, communication emission exercises, weapons familiarization training and visit, board, search and seizure exercises.

"The Sailors and Marines with the ARG and the 24th MEU have done a fantastic job getting us to this point," Schorr said. "They have displayed unrelenting devotion to duty and the ability to overcome any obstacles while still executing each evolution safely."

Iwo Jima ARG is comprised of amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima, amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43).

For more news from Commander, Amphibious Squadron 8 , visit

NNS140925-04. US, Bangladesh Navy Commence 4th CARAT Bangladesh

From Commander, Task Force 73 Public Affairs

CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (NNS) -- The fourth annual exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Bangladesh commenced with an opening ceremony at Naval Base Issa Khan, Sept. 25.

Continuing through Sept. 30, CARAT Bangladesh 2014 consists of six days of shore-based and at-sea training events designed to address shared maritime security priorities, develop relationships and enhance cooperation among participating forces.

"In just a few years, CARAT Bangladesh has become the premier engagement between our navies," said Rear Adm. Charlie Williams, commander, Task Force 73 and U.S. 7th Fleet's executive agent for theater security cooperation in South Asia. "CARAT provides a credible venue to sharpen skills, share knowledge and practice cooperation in this vital maritime region."

In its 20th year, CARAT is a bilateral exercise series between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of nine partner nations in South and Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor-Leste. Though a relatively new participant, Bangladesh stands out as the only South Asian nation in the CARAT series and the exercise continues to make steady progress each year.

Training events in each CARAT phase are tailored based on available assets and mutual exercise goals across a broad range of naval capabilities. For the first time, a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft will participate in CARAT Bangladesh alongside the Bangladesh Navy's Dornier 228 NG maritime patrol aircraft, taking naval aviation training to the next level and enhancing shared maritime domain awareness.

In the Bay of Bengal, the diving and salvage vessel USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50) with an embarked mobile diving and salvage unit, will work with Bangladesh Navy ships including the former Hamilton-class cutter, BNS Somudro Joy (F-28), the frigate BNS Banga Bandu (F-25) and an AW-109 naval helicopter. Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 staff will embark Somudro Joy as part of a ship rider exchange.

"We are looking forward to going to sea with the Bangladesh Navy this year and training with their ships and aircraft in the Bay of Bengal," said Capt. Fred Kacher, DESRON 7 commodore. "We expect to learn a great deal from them about operating in these vital waters which connect our navies and our nations."

U.S. Navy divers and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians will train alongside the Bangladesh Navy's elite Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS) unit in Chittagong and the surrounding area. Focus areas will include close quarters battle, small boat maintenance, demolition techniques, hydrographic surveys, diving medicine, and salvage operations.

Legal and medical professionals from both navies will exchange best practices during military law and medicine symposia. Receptions, sporting events, and community service projects will broaden opportunities to develop personal relationships.

U.S. Navy units participating in CARAT Bangladesh include the diving and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50) with embarked Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1, a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft operated by Patrol Squadron (VP) 5, staff from Commander, Task Force (CTF) 73 and Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, Afloat Training Group Western Pacific (ATGWP), Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5, and Navy Environmental and Preventative Medicine Unit (NEPMU) 6.

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

NNS140925-18. TSC Leadership Training Focuses on Sexual Assault Prevention

By Sue Krawczyk, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Training Support Center (TSC), Great Lakes conducted a Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Leadership workshop in conjunction with a presentation by Catharsis Productions, Sept. 24, as part of an ongoing effort to prevent sexual assault.

The training was held for TSC staff members in order to keep the senior staff current on the training that is being given to the younger students.

"Specifically, we are focusing on sexual assault prevention, bystander intervention - which is critical to everyone, whether you're in the military or a Department of Defense civilian - and sexual harassment and equal opportunity in the workplace," said Capt. John B. Vliet, commanding officer, TSC. "We as the TSC leadership are taking this training very seriously so that we are aligned with the training that is being given to our student population."

Catharsis Productions' mission is to reduce interpersonal violence by producing artistically innovative and research-supported programming that challenges oppressive attitudes, transforms behavior, and inspires communities to create a world without violence.

MVP provides the leadership necessary to address the global issues of sexism, especially men's violence against women. Through their training programs, they educate, inspire and empower men and women to prevent, interrupt and respond to sexist abuse.

Catharsis Productions has developed new programs that approach sexual violence prevention from different, yet mutually reinforcing vantage points. Their programs explore the complexity of "hook-up culture," enabling participants to identify the core differences between healthy sex and rape, along with the critical role alcohol plays in increasing vulnerability.

They also provide audiences with the tools to step in and intervene as a bystander, whether that means physically intervening in a specific situation, or arming them with the arguments they need to challenge corrosive, blaming attitudes. Their programs give audiences the language and tools that enable them to act, along with the analytical capacity they need to do so in a timely and responsible way.

"This is effective because it gets people to participate and to examine their own ideas and thoughts about these issues," said Shirley Moody, Catharsis consultant and trainer. "For a lot of people, they've never really taken time or have been asked to think about their own values and ideas. The leadership piece is important as we get the group thinking what kind of leadership role they can take and this helps inspire people to want to do something."

Moody also explained the importance of the bystander portion.

"It empowers everyone because people are in situations all the time where they have opportunities to act, and we help them to think what are the reasons that they don't act and how can they raise awareness around these issues so that they feel some kind of compulsion to act," said Moody.

The program gives participants the chance to speak, especially during the breakout sessions where they interact and engage in conversation with others to share their ideas.

"Usually most people come into training sessions kicking and screaming, thinking, 'how much time do we have to spend? What is this going to be like?' but what we really employ is discussion-based training that focuses on active learning strategies along with a lot of media presentations to help stimulate their focus," said Jeff O'Brien, director of MVP National.

The training serves to emphasize TSC's commitment to a climate which elevates the Navy's core values, as well as charge each Sailor and civilian partner to actively participate in an environment that does not tolerate, condone, or ignore destructive and sexist behaviors.

"This shows a lot of the training that we are giving to the students and it puts us into a prospective so that way our leadership can see what they're learning and help us reinforce it better," said Chief Fire Controlman (AW/SW) Martin Soto, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response command liaison for TSC.

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

NNS140925-17. NAVFAC Southeast Awards $10 million to Small Business for Cadastral Modernization Project

By Sue Brink, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Public Affairs Office

Jacksonville, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast awarded a $10 million contract Sept. 24 for architect and engineering services for the Cadastral Modernization Program (CMP), to Rochester and Associates, Inc., a small business based in Gainesville, Georgia.

An initial task order is being awarded at $8.4 million for digital real estate cadastral services, Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping and database management. Cadastral documents are public real estate records, surveys or maps showing ownership, boundaries or value of a property.

"This is the very first contract award for the NAVFAC community that addresses all cadastral business requirements," said NAVFAC Southeast Real Estate GIS Cartographer, Jill Rose. "This was a long and involved acquisition process that only Southeast Asset Management was able to accomplish for the enterprise."

Rose explained this project is a key component in support of NAVFAC's goal of standardizing, updating, and verifying all Navy and Marine Corps real estate records, and to provide internet portal accessibility to authoritative documents and maps.

"Historically, staff have sometimes struggled to find pertinent historical records," said Rose. "Having digital access to key real estate and historical documentation will help us serve our customers better, faster and cheaper."

Work for this task order is expected to be completed by December 2017.

All work on this contract will be performed within the NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic (50 percent), Navy District Washington (25 percent), and NAVFAC Southeast (25 percent) areas of responsibility. The contract is expected to be completed by September 2019.

This award is primarily for architectural and engineering services to complete Phase II of the CMP to build and update the cadastral baseline, provide a workable GIS Real Estate Summary Map platform in the GeoReadiness Explorer capable of accessing parcel internet Navy Facilities Asset Data Store (iNFADS) records and scanned cadastral files; and for Phase III of the CMP which solidifies the foundation of the program by standardizing all sites.

NAVFAC Southeast strives to meet its goals building on its success by providing contract opportunities to small businesses.

"It is NAVFAC Southeast's policy to provide as many opportunities as possible to small businesses," said Nelson Smith, NAVFAC Southeast small business deputy. "Small businesses are the engines of job creation and essential to strengthening our national economy."

Each year NAVFAC establishes target goals for Small Business, Small Disadvantaged Business, Historically Underutilized Business Zone Small Business, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, and Women-Owned Small Business categories. Smith explained the maximum practicable utilization of small business concerns is a matter of national interest with both social and economic benefits.

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit

NNS140925-13. CSS Hosts Learning Site Senior Leaders

By Center for Service Support Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- NEWPORT, R.I. - Center for Service Support (CSS) hosted the senior leadership of all seven CSS learning sites for an off-site visit to Newport, R.I., Sept. 23-25.

The off-site was established for refresher orientation, training, and to enhance working relations to benefit tomorrow's Sailors. The event included breakout sessions for site senior officers and enlisted leaders, manpower reviews and discussions on emerging technologies in Navy training.

CSS Director of Training Gary McGowan said the event was productive and successful.

"We accomplished our objectives in establishing ways to meet our future goals, with our main goal of ensuring we are producing the best Sailor we possibly can," McGowan said. "It was a great opportunity to generate open dialogue on a wide range of topics."

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

For more news from Center for Service Support, visit

NNS140924-20. NMCB 3 Restores Vintage Meeting Hall, Supports Seal Beach Sub Vets

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chris Fahey, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 Public Affairs

SEAL BEACH, Calif. (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 completed $44K worth of renovations to a 1960's era meeting hall for Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, California, Sept. 23.

The seven Seabees assigned to the project spent 65 days installing new flooring, ceiling, carpet, fixtures, plumbing and painted the entire interior of the 2,880 square-foot building.

In addition to saving planners and leadership at Seal Beach thousands of dollars in outside contracting costs, the project allowed new Seabees a chance to receive on-site training.

"I've seen a lot of real growth," said Construction Electrician 1st Class Samantha Craig, the project's officer in charge. "We've had headaches associated with a typical project that could have been real problems had we not slowed down, used those moments to learn and teach each other the skills we know."

Used as a brig decades ago, the renovated building now serves as a meeting hall for various groups including submarine veterans from the Seal Beach area.

According to Herb Bolton, a former Navy engineman and current liaison for Submarine Veterans Inc., seeing Seabees perform the renovations provided a sense of comfort.

"I feel more secure with the work when I see Seabees doing it," said Bolton. "They put more heart into the project, have been very cordial and everyone is doing a great, great job."

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

NNS140924-19. Foreign Attache Officers Visit Great Lakes Training Commands

By Lt. Adam Demeter, Recruit Training Command Public Affairs and Sue Krawczyk, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- A group of foreign military officers toured the Navy's Recruit Training Command (RTC), Training Support Center (TSC) and its learning sites, Sept. 22.

The 16 Assistant Naval Attaches are on a weeklong trip, sponsored by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), to visit different Navy and Coast Guard commands. They are escorted by Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance Vice Adm. Ted Branch and Director of Intelligence Operations Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless.

"It's important for us to maintain relationships around the world and for our naval allies to get a first-hand look at some of the training, culture and diversity of our Navy," said Branch. "The key to success, like everywhere else in the Navy, is the people that perform the mission. It really is inspiring to come to a place like this and have the opportunity to show how well we're able to turn out a consistent, well-trained and well-motivated Sailor for the fleet."

Rear Adm. Richard A. Brown, commander of Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), hosted Branch, Loveless, and the 16 officers, all from different countries, as they toured the commands to observe training at RTC and the Navy's follow-on "A" schools.

The foreign attaches started at RTC, also known as "The Quarterdeck of the Navy," and went aboard USS Trayer (BST-21), a 210-foot Arleigh Burke-class destroyer simulator, the largest in the Navy.

Trayer is where recruits conduct Battle Stations 21, the capstone event that culminates their eight weeks of boot camp training. Each recruit must complete 17 scenarios during a 12-hour overnight period. The scenarios encompass all training learned during boot camp from firefighting to preventing and stopping flooding in a ship compartment. There are also casualty evacuations, watch standing, loading and unloading supplies, and line handling.

The guests also saw Freedom Hall, the command's state-of-the-art, 187,000 square-foot physical training facility; USS Arizona, a recruit barracks and galley; and the Golden Thirteen -- the in-processing building named after the thirteen enlisted men who became the first African-American commissioned and warrant officers in the United States Navy.

After their time at RTC, the group met with TSC leadership as they received an overview of the command.

The group then proceeded to the Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving (CEODD) and Special Warfare Preparatory School to visit with the SEAL Pre-BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition) and EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) preparatory schools. After completing boot camp, designated students are sent through the Navy Diving and EOD preparatory course to ensure they are prepared for the rigorous training they will experience during their next phase of training. The group saw the physical readiness qualifications in progress.

Next, they visited the Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit's (CSCSU) Operations Specialist (OS) and Quartermaster (QM) "A" school, which offered them a glimpse into the technical training in charting, radar scope operations, and other core specialties of the rates.

"It was great to meet Vice Admiral Branch, Rear Admiral Loveless, Rear Admiral Brown, and the Foreign Naval Attaches and to showcase CSCSU's teamwork as we train our young Sailors into apprentice-level technicians," said Cmdr. Gregory Ludwig, commanding officer for CSCSU. "As we engage in more operations with other navies, it's vitally important that we all understand the capabilities and limitations of our foreign partners. I hope that the Foreign Naval Attaches concluded their tour with a better understanding of our mission, purpose and our role in training Sailors."

The group then continued their visit at Surface Warfare Officer School Command Unit (SWOSCU) with the Basic Engineering Common Core (BECC) strand where they were shown the training facilities of BECC and computer-based training (CBT) classrooms and various labs where they observed the course features in detail. BECC balances CBT training with hands-on training labs, instructor-led classroom training, and the study of fleet equipment in extremely realistic simulations, creating an integrated learning environment (ILE). They wrapped up their visit with a tour of the flat panel diesel simulator and explained how SWOSU prepares students into becoming apprentice technicians.

"When you have a group such as this from different navies, it's interesting to note how some of the navies are very similar as to how we do business, but just use different terminologies," said SWOSU's commanding officer, Cmdr. David Dwyer.

RTC is primarily responsible for conducting the initial Navy orientation and training of new recruits. TSC is the Navy's premier technical training command, responsible for five learning sites that make up the Navy's largest technical training operation.

All enlistees into the U.S. Navy begin their career at boot camp. Training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms familiarization, firefighting and shipboard damage control, lessons in Navy heritage and core values, teamwork, and discipline. Since the closure of RTCs in Orlando and San Diego in 1994, RTC Great Lakes is the Navy's only basic training location. Approximately 37,000 recruits graduate annually from RTC to begin their Navy career.

NSTC oversees 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy, as well as the Navy's Citizenship Development program. NSTC includes RTC, the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) at more than 160 colleges and universities, Officer Training Command Newport, and Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide.

For more information about RTC, visit
For more information about TSC, visit
For more information about NSTC, visit or visit the NSTC Facebook pages at

For more news from Recruit Training Command, visit

NNS140924-17. Naval Station Mayport Kicks Off Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Wiss, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, East, Detachment Southeast

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- "Stop the silence and end the violence," was the theme of keynote speaker Mildred Muhammad's "After the Trauma" domestic violence presentation during a safety standdown at Naval Station Mayport, Sept. 23.

The speech is a precursor to the official kickoff of Domestic Violence Awareness Month which officially begins Oct. 1.

Muhammad is the ex-wife of the late John Allen Muhammad, the convicted and executed Washington, D.C. sniper who terrorized the D.C. metro region in 2002. Mildred Muhammad is a domestic violence survivor who told her story built on her experience with domestic violence and the depths of its terror.

After her children were kidnapped she began the silent struggle of looking for them, knowing that if she exposed herself, John Allen Muhammad would locate her and kill her. She struggled to get through 18 months of not knowing where her children were and eventually regained full custody of them.

She fled from her estranged husband and moved to Maryland with the children. She sat through lengthy court proceedings during the trial and regain strength enough to assist survivors of domestic violence, keeping her promise within herself to help other survivors.

"My domestic abuse was psychological, financial and stalking," she said. "You don't have to have physical abuse; domestic violence comes in many different forms. The major goal is to raise awareness about domestic abuse. It is an epidemic in this country and we are trying to do our part to raise awareness and try to eventually eliminate this problem."

Using her own personal funds, Mildred Mohammad became the founder and executive director of "After the Trauma, Inc." The non-profit's mission is to provide assistance to domestic violence survivors through nine programs from mentoring and education to transportation.

According to Muhammad, "After the Trauma" creates a way to help survivors face their next day and rebuild their life.

"Our primary objective is creating a place to house their growing needs," she said. "I believe we can make a difference to these women and their children. It starts one day at a time. The tragic stories would alarm anyone, but I understand because I've lived through it. I want to help the survivors through it."

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. It can affect anyone of any gender at any stage of a relationship. During the month of October, Naval Station Mayport's Fleet and Family Support Center will focus on educating personnel on domestic violence and its effects.

According to Counseling and Advocacy Program Manager Amie McKague, through this effort prevention is being promoted not only to raise awareness of domestic violence, but to also help stop it.

"Our goal is to make people aware about the destructive results associated with domestic violence," said McKague. "We want victims or survivors of domestic violence aware of the services we provide. We are here to help."

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Southeast, visit

NNS140924-18. Son of 'Men of Honor' Sailor Talks to Lincoln Sailors

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

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Phillip Brashear, son of the first African-American Navy master diver Master Chief Boatswain's Mate Carl Brashear, visited Sailors from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Sept. 23, to talk about never giving up.

Brashear told Sailors how his father was never swayed from his belief that anyone can do anything, even in the face of adversity. Carl's story was the basis for "Men of Honor," a 2000 movie that starred Cuba Gooding Jr., as Brashear.

"My father beat racism, lack of education and money, being physically crippled, and alcohol abuse," Phillip Brashear said. "He defeated all of these things and because of that, no one should ever have an excuse to say they can't do something."

This example of sheer determination led Phillip to realize as he was growing up that nothing could stop him from achieving his dreams. He expressed to the crew that pursuing excellence and never quitting are important to attaining personal success.

"Growing up in my household, you were never allowed to use the word 'can't'," Brashear said. "My father never cared if you failed trying to do something, as long as we gave our full, honest efforts and didn't quit. He respected it."

Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Latoya Thompson was moved by Carl Brashear's dedication and personal sacrifice.

"We make who we are; it's not controlled by the people who surround us," Thompson said. "I learned that you can never say you can't do it if you've never given it your all."

Carl Brashear refused to let anything in life tell him he was unable to reach his goals. Phillip agrees with his father, who died in 2006, and wanted to let everyone know that personal merits are nothing if you don't believe in what you're doing.

"My father just wanted people to know that they shouldn't quit and should always believe in themselves," Phillip said. "There's nothing anyone has been through that they can't change in life."

Lincoln is currently undergoing a refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz-class to undergo a RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet and will continue to be a vital part of the nation's defense.

For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit

NNS020724-35. This Day in Naval History - Sept. 25

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1863 - Commodore H. H. Bell reports to Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles from New Orleans about the yellow fever outbreak onboard steamers coming into port.

1925 - USS (S 51) sinks after being rammed by SS City of Rome off Block Island, R.I., killing 33 of her crew.

1943 - USS Skill (AM 115) is sunk by German submarine (U 593) in Gulf of Salerno. Only 32 of her men survive from the 103 officers and men on board.

1944 - PFC John D. New serves with the 1st Marines against the Japanese on Peleliu Island. When an enemy soldier hurls a grenade in the area where two Marines are directing mortar fire, he throws himself on the deadly missile and absorbs the full impact of the explosion, sacrificing his life to save his comrades. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity", he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

1952 - USS Taylor (DD 468) is fired on by a shore battery in the vicinity of Wonsan, Korea. Counter-battery fire by USS Taylor silences the enemy guns.

1957 - In project Stratoscope, Office of Naval Research obtains sharp photographs of sun's corona from first balloon-borne telescope camera.

NNS140926-03. SECNAV Discusses Presence and the Global Economy

From Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs

PHILADELPHIA (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus delivered remarks about maritime security and the global economy Sept. 25 at the University of Pennsylvania.

During his speech, Mabus talked about the impact of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps' presence on the security and stability of the global economy.

"The world economy is doing as well as it is because of navies, and, primarily, because of the United States Navy," Mabus said.

The event, sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania's Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps unit and its schools of Arts and Sciences and International Politics, as well as the Foreign Policy Research Institute, was largely attended by an audience focused on international relationships.

Mabus discussed the significance of these relationships and the importance of partnerships in maintaining freedom of trade and navigation.

"No matter how big, no matter how capable, no one country can do everything. We have to rely on partners worldwide. The more interoperable we are, the more we exercise together, the more we operate together, the better we will be when a crisis comes," Mabus said.

He also addressed the role of energy in powering the fleet and how increasing operating costs could affect the Navy and Marine Corps' ability to accomplish their mission.

"Every time there's a crisis somewhere," Mabus said, "traders in oil and gas add what is known as a security premium, usually about $10 a barrel. Every time the price of oil goes up $1 a barrel, it costs the Navy and Marine Corps $30 million in additional operating costs."

To counter this effect and to help the Department of the Navy enhance its warfighting capabilities, he reinforced the need for alternative energy solutions.

Mabus added the Navy and Marine Corps' presence also depends on having the right sized fleet. He told the audience that in the five years he's been in office, he's placed 70 ships under contract. These ships will contribute to growing the fleet to 309 ships by the end of this decade and to 314 ships by the beginning of the 2020s.

"You have to have these platforms. You have to have these big gray hulls on the horizon to deter potential conflicts, to reassure allies and to do all the things that presence requires," Mabus said. "You have to grow the fleet for us to simultaneously rebalance to the Pacific, but also not ignore other parts of the world."

Mabus closed his speech by reinforcing the importance of the Navy and Marine Corps' future presence in waterways vital to the global economy.

"The global economy, despite its ups and downs, is running as smoothly as it is because of that presence," Mabus said, "and that's what we have to maintain; that forward presence to make sure we are there, to make sure we are where we need to be when we need to be there."

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

NNS140926-15. NSW Renames Training Site to Honor MOH Recipient

From Naval Special Warfare Group ONE Public Affairs

CAMPO, Calif. (NNS) -- Naval Special Warfare Group ONE (NSWG-1) held a dedication ceremony at the Assaults and Tactical Weapons Training Complex, La Posta Sept. 25 to rename the site Camp Michael Monsoor.

The dedication further honors Master-at-Arms Second Class (SEAL) Michael Monsoor, who died Sept. 29, 2006, while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Camp Michael Monsoor includes established weapons ranges and tactical training centers, as well as several state-of-the-art training facilities; including a live-fire Close Quarters Combat (CQC) building, light explosives trainer, residential mock-ups and additional administration buildings. The 15,000-square-foot CQC facility is the largest live-fire "shoot house" in North America. There are also plans for additional dynamic weapons ranges.

Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, Rear Adm. Brian L. Losey, spoke about the Camp's importance to future generations of SEALs, affording the opportunity to acquire advanced combat techniques and revere Monsoor's heritage.

"The dedication of this camp in honor of MA2 Michael A. Monsoor will remind every warrior that trains here of the highest examples of the heroic, selfless service that he lived," said Losey. He added that Monsoor was the embodiment of the SEAL Ethos and a hero to be idolized by all those who serve and wish to serve as special operators.

More importantly, Monsoor learned to be an altruistic leader through the example of his family, which is devoted to service and the greater good, said Losey.

More than 100 friends, family members, and SEALs who served with Monsoor attended the ceremony. George and Sally Monsoor, parents of MA2 Monsoor, traveled from Orange County, California, with members of their extended family to participate in the ceremony and witness their beloved son's legacy.

"Mike would have loved being here; he loved being a SEAL and loved the guys he worked with," said Mrs. Monsoor, with tears in her eyes. "This is a beautiful facility. If Michael were here, he would have said 'there are other men and women who deserve to be recognized.' That's just how he was. Mike was a humble guy."

Additionally, Mrs. Monsoor said she was grateful for the support her family received from NSW and thanked all the Sailors and everyone involved who helped make this dedication a reality.

NSWG-1 Commander, Capt. Todd J. Seniff, noted that Monsoor's namesake and character add to the legacy of the hallowed grounds.

"On this range complex, you can trace the arc of the SEAL operator's existence," said Seniff, "and so it is right and fitting that is should have Michael's name on it."

While repelling an attack by insurgents, Monsoor and his teammates were providing cover fire from a rooftop. After an intense exchange of fire, an insurgent threw a hand grenade in the middle of Monsoor's team. Without hesitation, Monsoor covered the grenade with his body, sacrificing himself to protect his fellow teammates. Michael Monsoor was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on April 8, 2008.

NNS140926-14. NPC Social Media Provides Sailors Direct Personnel Feedback Options

From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Experts at Navy Personnel Command (NPC) are ready to assist Sailors on any personnel-related topic, and the best way to get questions answered is via social media, leaders said Sept. 26.

"Our social media viewership has expanded significantly over the last year, largely due to producing relevant content for Sailors based on their participation and comments on content, and our responses to their specific questions," said Lt. Nicholas Watts, NPC social media manager. "If it's a question we can't answer right away, we send it to the appropriate subject matter expert to get the best response. Our goal is to provide the best information, backed by governing documents, within 24-48 hours."

NPC has presences on Facebook at, and Twitter @USNPeople. These sites not only allow NPC to push information to Sailors, but allow Sailors to provide feedback about the best way to deliver information.

"We've asked everyone in NPC how we can best get out information, and we've made a lot of changes," said Watts. "Now we need Sailors to tell us how to make things better. And, while we are not a means for conducting official detailing business, we are the best resource for accessing answers to your career questions, including putting you in contact with your detailer."

Sailors are reminded that social media is a public forum and they should not include any sensitive or personally identifiable information.

For more information, visit NPC's social media pages or at

For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit

NNS140926-11. Navy Announces Changes to High Year Tenure Policy

From Chief of Naval Personnel

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced changes to its High Year Tenure (HYT) policy in NAVADMIN 223/14, released Sept. 26.

"High Year Tenure is a management tool used to properly size and shape the Navy's Total Force," said Capt. William Kronzer, branch head, Enlisted Personnel Plans and Policy. "In 2012, we merged active and drilling reserve HYT policies and adjusted gates on length of service (LOS). After a subsequent review, and keeping with the Total Force perspective, we saw a need to include Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) members under this same policy."

The IRR includes members of Navy Reserve Volunteer Training Units (VTUs) and the Navy Reserve's Active Status Pool (ASP). New rules impacting these members include making LOS limits apply to the IRR and establishing a ceiling for ASP Sailors not serving in the VTU. ASP Sailors can affiliate with the VTU prior to reaching the imposed ceiling. The new rules will effect an estimated 700 ASP and IRR Sailors but are intended to ensure parity for all.

"Until now, LOS limits for IRR were not consistent with active duty and drilling reservist limits," said Kronzer. "We have corrected this to ensure equity for all members serving in the Navy."

All changes are enumerated in MILPERSMAN (MPM) article 1160-120, the Navy's HYT policy. Other updates include a Reserve status chart clarifying service categories, the inclusion of Reserve-specific language in the revised MPM, and updated procedures for applying for waivers.

The NAVADMIN advises all affected Sailors to receive counseling from their command and unit career counselors. Notification of ASP Sailors will be done by the Reserve Enlisted Personnel Branch (PERS-913).

Both NAVADMIN 223/14 and MPM 1160-020 are available online at the Navy Personnel Command website at

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS140926-12. Motorcycle Road Warriors Listen Up

From Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Recently Sailors may have heard rumors that the Navy's motorcycle training courses were no longer being offered or that there was a prolonged gap. Not true!

During the month of October motorcycle safety training courses WILL be offered, but on a limited and first-come-first-served basis while new instructor schedules are secured for the new fiscal year.

Sailors interested in taking a class may still sign up through the routine channels of visiting the ESAMs website and checking with their local installation safety office.

Additionally, during this interim period Sailors who are qualified instructors who may be interested in volunteering to teach may coordinate their availability with their local installation safety office. Volunteer instructor courses will also be posted on the ESAMs website in the usual manner.

Courses will focus on Basic Rider Course (BRC) 1 and 2, the Advanced Rider Course (ARC), and Motorcycle Sportbike Rider Course (MSRC).

"Each command has the option to request surge training for a specific number of students, at a specific location, for a specific type of class," said CNIC's Safety Director, Rick Maiello.

To schedule motorcycle training, go to the Navy's Safety Training Program website at

NNS140925-20. First of Class Destroyer Completes Generator Light Off

From Program Executive Office Ships Public Affairs

BATH, Maine (NNS) -- The Navy's Zumwalt class (DDG 1000) destroyer program continues to make significant progress achieving key shipbuilding milestones, completing ship generator light-off Sept. 23 for the first-of-class ship, the future USS Zumwalt.

The lead ship, DDG 1000, is 92 percent complete and currently in the test and activation phase of construction at General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works. The ship is successfully activating its fuel systems, advanced induction motors (AIM) and generators, with fuel onload and AIM light-off completed in July. The generators are used to produce the electricity required to operate the ship - the first Navy surface combatant to employ the innovative Integrated Power System (IPS). Key design features that make the IPS architecture unique include the ability to provide power to propulsion, ship's service, and combat system loads from the same gas turbine generators.

"Light-off of DDG 1000's generators is a critical step forward in the activation, test, and trials of the ship's systems," said Capt. Jim Downey, DDG 1000 program manager. "With deliberate and incremental test and activation, the DDG 1000 team is systematically retiring risk and preparing this highly complex ship for at-sea testing and eventual transfer to the fleet."

Completion of generator light-off represents the latest electrical system milestone in an effort that began years ago with early prototype testing at the Naval Ships Systems Engineering Station Land Based Test Site in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lessons learned from this effort guided activation events onboard DDG 1000 including energizing the high voltage power system, lighting off the port AIM utilizing shore power to demonstrate operation of the propulsion motor system, and continual testing of the engineering control system responsible for the automated control of the engineering plant. Most recently, successful testing of the fuel oil service and transfer system allowed for the onload of fuel utilized in the light-off event.

Test and activation of the ship's systems will steadily continue, with activation of the ship's computer system, the Total Ship Computing Environment planned for later this fall. Zumwalt will begin at-sea testing in 2015 off the coast of Maine and is expected to arrive in San Diego, in the 2016 timeframe for an extensive period of operational integration with the fleet.

Upon entry into the fleet, Zumwalt-class destroyers will be multi-mission surface combatants designed to fulfill volume firepower and precision strike requirements.

These surface combatants represent a significant leap forward in naval surface warfare capability through the use of highly-advanced technologies. With significant signature reductions over previous surface combatants, increased automation, and reduced manning levels, Zumwalt-class destroyers will provide the fleet with the capabilities required for today's naval operations as well as critical resources to face the threats of tomorrow.

As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, Program Executive Office Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special-mission and support ships, and special warfare craft. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets, while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the Navy's maritime strategy.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS140925-19. NAVSEA Successfully Completes Implementation of New Surface Ship Maintenance Process

From Naval Sea Systems Command Office of Corporate Communication

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy's Surface Maintenance Engineering Planning Program (SURFMEPP) announced on Sept. 25 the successful completion of the Baseline Availability Work Package (BAWP)/Availability Work Package (AWP) process for all surface ships, thereby meeting a major milestone in the Navy's continued effort to improve surface ship maintenance.

All surface ships now have an articulated, technically rigorous and engineered maintenance oversight process that supports each ship reaching its expected service life.

USS Essex (LHD 2) completed an 85-week Docking Phased Maintenance Availability (DPMA) in San Diego in April and is now preparing to enter the new Fleet Readiness Plan cycle in this month. This transition marks the attainment of Naval Sea Systems Command's (NAVSEA) goal of implementing the BAWP/AWP process on all surface ships by the end of fiscal year 2014.

"This milestone represents a significant accomplishment for the surface maintenance community and is a testament to the professionalism and partnership between the SURFMEPP team and all our maintenance partners," said SURFMEPP Commanding Officer, Capt. Michael Malone. "The process efficiencies gained through the completion of the BAWP will help improve ship availability planning and execution, providing an engineered foundation by which to plan, execute, track and document surface maintenance."

The BAWP/AWP process represents the NAVSEA-mandated technical requirements to ensure a ship reaches its expected service life and meets operational commitments while reducing surface ship maintenance cost overruns through early identification and planning of material deficiencies. This process, which includes detailed and timely material condition assessments for critical ship systems and structures, is tailored specifically to each ship based on the requirements outlined in the ship's Class Maintenance Plan, and includes a list of work that must be accomplished during scheduled availabilities. SURFMEPP then tracks the execution of all BAWP-required maintenance actions.

This process codifies a centralized and streamlined approach to plan and document surface ship maintenance requirements, which in turn improves surface ship maintenance execution by reducing the potential for unknown and growth work to impact cost and schedule execution.

The Program phased in the BAWP/AWP process in 2009. Since then, a total of 136 initial surface ship BAWPs have been issued. By implementing processes such as the BAWP, SURFMEPP plays a key role in ensuring the Navy meets its surface ship readiness goals.

The Navy's Surface Maintenance Engineering Planning Program, a NAVSEA field activity, provides centralized surface ship life cycle maintenance and engineering planning. SURFMEPP is headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, with detachments in Norfolk, Virginia, Mayport, Florida, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Everett, Washington, San Diego, Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan, Manama, Bahrain and Rota, Spain.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS140925-21. Unique Shock Machine Saves Navy Testing Costs

By Joseph Battista, Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs

PHILADELPHIA (NNS) -- The Navy's new Deck Simulator Shock Machine (DSSM) improves shipboard electronics reliability while reducing testing costs as equipment evaluations commenced in Philadelphia, Sept. 15, saving the Navy $75,000 per test.

The mammoth machine evaluates state-of-the-art, vibration-sensitive electronics cabinets weighing up to 1,500 pounds on shock isolation mounts. One of two such machines worldwide, the mechanism sits on 22,000 pounds of steel and concrete and records the effects of simulated underwater explosions on electronics equipment.

"After careful evaluation of expensive travel to the Virginia test site, shipping costs and time schedules, the determination was made that installing the DSSM was the most cost effective way for the Navy to perform heavy weight shock testing," said Drew Napolitan, Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division environmental test labs technical manager.

Any new shipboard isolated electrical equipment is required to undergo shock testing before to its installation aboard a Navy ship. Engineers from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSESA) use the test results in order to verify its ability to withstand a shock force from an explosion or blast according to military specifications.

As Navy engineers collect more test data, the DSSM will become the primary heavyweight shock test vehicle for testing much of the Navy's shock isolated equipment.

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

For more news from NAVSEA, visit

NNS140925-24. Naval Aviation Enterprise Leadership Visits USS Ronald Reagan

By MCSN Jonathan Nelson, USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) senior leadership visited USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Sept. 23 as part of the Boots on the Ground/ Deck (BoG/D) program.

NAE is a partnership of naval aviation resource providers working together to advance and sustain warfighting readiness by resolving interdependent issues affecting multiple stakeholders. This mission is enabled by continuous process improvement (CPI), which is transforming the maintenance and supply chain into an integrated, reliable, demand-pull-based replenishment system. This is accomplished by training and mentoring fleet Sailors and Marines in CPI methodologies and philosophies, as well as institutionalizing business practices.

Those in attendance included Commander, Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. David Buss; Commander, Naval Air Systems Command Vice Adm. David Dunaway; Commander, Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime Rear Adm. David Pimpo; Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers Rear Adm. Paul Sohl; and Assistant Deputy Commandant of Marine Aviation Russell Howard.

BoG/D events are a venue for Sailors and Marines from all ranks to candidly discuss working-level concerns with flag officers, senior executive service civilians and subject matter experts from provider commands and activities. The visits are also an opportunity for senior leadership to see how junior Sailors and Marines improved on current practices across the Navy and Marine Corps and how to replicate them across the fleet.

"What we do every single day matters to this nation," said Buss. "The small improvements we make each and every day ultimately matter. At the end of the day, these choices and improvements add up and enable us to maintain fleet readiness and make things like the recent air strikes in the Middle East possible."

The visits from NAE encompass multiple military installations. They focus on the challenges that installations overcame in order to improve command and naval aviation efficiency.

"I take great pride in how far we've come and matured as a whole, and how we are improving our future by empowering junior Sailors," Buss said. "The best ideas don't come from the top; they come from the people walking the flight line."

Reagan's crew successfully improved efficiency in multiple problem areas thanks to the CPI program. The program trains Sailors to look at their job processes and find ways to decrease lost time and wasted efficiency.

"One of the best aspects of CPI is it brings Sailors from all parts of the ship and all walks of life together," said Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Reid, the aviation maintenance officer aboard USS Ronald Reagan. "Sailors learn as a team, and they make things better as a team."

Reagan recently improved the process of shipboard hazardous material (HAZMAT) issue and receipt.

Historically, HAZMAT issue was a one- to two-hour process that negatively impacted man hours and operational effectiveness.

A rapid improvement event, or RIE, on the ship's HAZMAT issue found a way to decrease customer wait time, freeing Sailors up to focus their time and energy on required aircraft maintenance.

"As with most CPI projects, the Sailors leveraged common sense solutions to dramatically improve ship board life," Reid said. "People often forget the power of one simple idea."

Reagan is currently undergoing a Planned Incremental Availability period in preparation for its homeport change to Yokusuka, Japan. The ship's leadership is also using this time to conduct a major overhaul on various aviation practices, thereby improving time and resources spent on common processes.

"NAE is probably one of the most significant enterprises in the world, it recognizes that good ideas don't need rank to implement," said Reagan's Commanding Officer Capt. Chris Bolt. "You'll see that most of the initiatives on the Reagan came from our junior Sailors."

The CPI program and NAE have saved the Department of Defense a lot of man hours and money through its efforts. It allows Sailors to implement the best practices across the board, improving fleet readiness.

For more news from Commander, Naval Air Forces, visit

NNS140925-25. NAVSUP WSS Team Greets C-2A and E-2D Flight Crews

By Jenae Jackson, Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support Corporate Communications and Laura Furgason, E-2/C-2 Integrated Weapons Support Team

PHILADELPHIA (NNS) -- Approximately 50 yards of tarmac and 50 years of historical enhancements separated a C-2A Greyhound from an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye during a recent Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS) site visit at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

Commander, Airborne Command Control and Logistics Wing (COMACCLOGWING) Commodore Capt. Todd Watkins was on site to accentuate the importance of NAVSUP WSS's role in providing exceptional operational readiness.

"I don't know of any other platform that the Commander Air Group (CAG) schedules 100 percent every day; it's the lifeblood of the fleet," Watkins said about the E2/C2. "Naval Aviation is the ultimate team sport, and NAVSUP WSS Philadelphia is an integral part of the team that makes the Hawkeye mission happen."

A C-2A Greyhound and E-2D Advanced Hawkeye were flown in by the Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40) "Rawhides" and the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125 (VAW-125) "Tigertails" as part of an ongoing effort within NAVSUP WSS to amplify employee awareness and their vital role in fleet readiness.

More than 50 NAVSUP WSS employees spanning several departments were given the opportunity to step beyond the telephone receiver and computer monitor and physically shake the hands of the flight crew and tour the aircraft they work so diligently to sustain.

Originally fielded in the mid-1960's and re-introduced in 1990 bearing substantial airframe and avionic systems improvements, the C-2A Greyhound hails as the U.S. Navy's primary at-sea delivery aircraft for transporting cargo and personnel. The Greyhounds underwent a Service Life Extension Program to increase their operating service life from 15,020 landings and 10,000 flight hours to 36,000 landings and 15,000 flight hours.

The E-2D is the Navy's fourth iteration providing world-class, all-weather Airborne Early Warning and Battle Management Command and Control. Advanced electronic sensors coupled with digital computerized signal processing are used to support the early warning of approaching enemy surface units, cruise missiles, and aircraft. VRC-40 and VAW-125 are currently preparing for an upcoming deployment onboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), which marks the E-2D's first deployment.

At the conclusion of the site visit, Watkins recognized and presented five NAVSUP WSS team members with coins for their outstanding contributions and continuous support to the C-2/E-2 platforms.

A field activity of the NAVSUP WSS is the U.S. Navy's supply chain manager providing worldwide support to the aviation, surface ship, and submarine communities. NAVSUP WSS provides Navy, Marine Corps, joint and allied forces with products and services that deliver combat capability through logistics. There are more than 2,000 civilian and military personnel employed at its two Pennsylvania sites. The NAVSUP WSS Philadelphia site supports aircraft, while its Mechanicsburg site supports ships and submarines.

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit

NNS140926-07. Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station Employees win three 2013 Warfare Center Awards

By Joseph Battista, Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Public Affairs

PHILADELPHIA (NNS) -- Seventeen engineers, scientists, and support personnel at Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station, Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NAVSSES) received 2013 Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Warfare Center Collaboration and Innovation Awards at a ceremony Sept. 23.

Sixteen of the NAVSSES winners were part of teams that earned Collaboration Awards while Dr. John Heinzel, chemical engineer with Energy Conversion Research and Development Branch, won an Innovation Award for his research identifying unique methods for utilizing adsorption to remove sulfur from distillate fuels. Adsorption is the capability of a solid substance (adsorbent) to attract to its surface molecules of a gas or solution (adsorbate) with which it is in contact. His work is necessary to make energy storage technologies such as fuel cells viable for large-scale power and energy applications on Navy ships.

Audrey Bauer, Energy Conversion Research and Development Branch head who nominated Heinzel for the award, said in the award nomination that his, "research, performed as part of his doctoral program at Auburn University, showed enormous creativity and innovation, as well as patience and tenacity."

John Ledder, Glenn Eberhardt, Michael Pieri, Lance McCarty, Jason Delisser, Brian Edwards and Paul Rush with Antenna Engineering and Sail Systems Branch at NAVSSES were part of a team that earned a Collaboration Award for their work on upgrading the towed communication buoy system (AN/BRR-6/6B) for the Ohio and Ohio replacement class submarines.

The complex buoy system contains multiple antennas attached to the ship by a tow cable that must operate close to the surface, but remain submerged to receive communications while avoiding detection. The improvements increase system reliability, maintainability and sustainability while reducing overall life-cycle costs.

"I am very proud of our team for their many accomplishments on the Towed Buoy program, and it feels good to be recognized for those efforts at the command level," said Eberhardt. "The outstanding collaboration between NAVSSES, NSWCCD, NUWC Newport and PMW 770 has directly contributed to the success of the program by bringing together a dynamic team with expertise in multiple engineering specialties."

A group of NAVSSES engineers, scientists and support personnel were recognized for teaming with Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) to earn a Collaboration Award for developing a new integration pathway between combat systems and machinery control systems to support integrated, multi-site testing of electric weapons.

The proof-of-concept tests included more than 300 scenarios where engineers at NSWCDD determined engagement profiles for electric weapons systems. The data was sent over a secure network to a server at NAVSSES where a software program analyzed the amount of power requested, compared the requested power to the amount of power available, and provided an almost instantaneous response back to NSWCDD indicating whether the power was or was not available to support an electric weapon engagement.

The NAVSSES team included: Matthew Bosack, electrical engineer with Automation and Controls Research and Development Branch; Automation and Controls Research Development Branch Head Timothy Scherer; Dr. Frank Ferrese, electrical engineer with Automation and Controls Research Development Branch; Dr. E. Michael Golda, NAVSSES chief technologist; Mark Kokoska, from Major Programs Branch; Charles Fisher and Michael Jacobi from Corporate Information Services Division; and Frank Sapienza from DDG 51 Class Machinery Control Systems Branch.

"Successful collaboration grows from trust and respect, which we built a lot of while working together," said Bosack. "Receiving the NSWC Collaboration Award is an honor for both organizations and all of the team members. Not only does it recognize the team's efforts, but it encourages other project teams to look beyond their horizons for opportunities which complement and strengthen their own."

The Warfare Center Awards, established in 2005, recognize individuals, teams and activities across the Navy's Warfare Centers for their contributions of innovation and improvement in areas of product quality, technical and business development, and change leadership.

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

For more news from Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock, visit

NNS140926-10. NCCOSC Hosts Combat and Operational Stress Symposium

By Regena Kowitz, Naval Center for Combat and Operational Stress Control Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Naval Center for Combat and Operational Stress Control (NCCOSC) hosted a combat, operational and occupational stress control symposium Sept. 25 to promote the psychological health and well-being of Sailors and Marines.

The symposium focused on advancing the quality and delivery of mental health care by sharing best practices, the latest research and technological advances for treating and preventing stress injuries. Navy Medicine caregivers from the San Diego area were able to attend in person at the medical center and those outside the area attended virtually via Defense Connect Online (DCO).

"We've clearly learned over 12 years of war, that supporting and producing resilience in our Sailors, Marines and Soldiers is a critical element of their readiness," said Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, commander, Naval Medical Center San Diego and Navy Medicine West. "It's also a critical prevention element to prevent the more severe conditions such as post-traumatic stress."

During the symposium, psychological health subject-matter experts delivered presentations on topics that included evidence-based treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), electronic data capture for mental health, resilience, occupational stress in the military, mind body medicine, and Caregiver Occupational Stress Control (CgOSC).

"The goal of the symposium was to provide relevant and timely information about stress illnesses and injuries, and how best to treat them," said Capt. Scott Johnston, NCCOSC director. "The world is still a precarious place and we know combat stress is not going away. In the current fiscal climate, we all need to do more with less, so operational stress is not going away. Our caregivers continue to see more patients with traumatic injuries, so caregiver stress is not going away. It's crucial that we equip all of our Sailors and Marines, from the hospital to the deckplate, to manage stress."

CgOSC, which was presented by Cmdr. Jean Fisak, NCCOSC deputy director, is a Navy Medicine initiative to establish a formal program that addresses stress injuries in health care providers. A variation of Combat and Operational Stress Control (COSC), CgOSC is designed to foster resilience, strengthen unit cohesion and develop supportive work environments for caregivers.

"CgOSC is critically important," said Gillingham. "Most of our caregivers are very selfless individuals and they're so dedicated to the work they're doing that they don't care for themselves. Highlighting the importance of developing techniques and knowing where the resources are for them to develop resilience is a force multiplier. It not only helps them protect themselves, but it allows them to do even more of the incredibly important work that they need to do."

Among the attendees was Lt. Col. Gregory Price, executive officer for Wounded Warrior Battalion West, who has worked with Marines who've struggled with combat and operational stress as well as PTSD. Price said he's seen firsthand the need to build resilience skills in wounded warriors to support their long-term wellness and give them the skills that will sustain them as they transition from active duty to veteran status.

Another aspect of mental health care highlighted by the symposium was Mind Body Medicine, which has been gaining traction as an effective treatment for stress symptoms as well as for building resilience.

"I think that socially, mentally, spiritually, if everything's not all in order, you're going to have problems," said Lt. Dru Nelson, command chaplain, USS Chancellorsville (CG 62). "There needs to be a holistic, all-inclusive approach that addresses all of those aspects. From a chaplain perspective and a mental health perspective, it all goes hand in hand."

Johnston, also a presenter at the symposium, discussed leveraging technology to improve clinical practice and patient care. He shared how electronic data capture provides standardized measures that reduce data entry errors, program costs, processing times and increases the ability to share data. Additionally electronic data capture provides a consistent means of determining whether patients are getting better.

The symposium finished with the presentation of the 2014 Peabody Caregiver of the Year Award, which was presented to Dr. Beth Teegarden, a civilian psychiatrist from Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. The annual award is presented to a Navy Medicine mental health care provider who demonstrated outstanding mental health care skills, values, attitudes and behaviors that embody compassionate concern and caring.

"Ultimately, the information we provided to caregivers at the symposium was designed to enhance the quality of patient care provided by Navy Medicine's mental health caregivers," said Johnston. "Whether you're a psychologist, nurse, chaplain, social worker or hospital corpsman, we all came together today because we care deeply about doing what is best for the psychological welfare of our warfighters."

NCCOSC supports the psychological health and resilience of Sailors and Marines throughout the fleet with psychological health research, program development and anti-stigma initiatives with the ultimate goal of improving mission readiness.

For more news from Naval Center for Combat & Operational Stress Control, visit

NNS140926-05. NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Awards Contract for Dredging at Earle

By Tom Kreidel, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic awarded an $18 million contract Sept. 24 for maintenance dredging at Naval Weapons Station Earle, Colts Neck, New Jersey, to Weeks Marine, Covington, Louisiana.

According to Len Topp, a project manager with NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic's Northeast Integrated Product Team, the project will not begin until June 1, 2015, due to environmental concerns related to aquatic spawning and hatching of eggs.

"Virtually all of the turning basin and berths around piers 3A and 4 will require dredging the identified channel areas," he said.

He added that in addition to those areas, there will be dredging of the terminal channel and a portion of the Sandy Hook Federal Channel. When complete, the project will include the removal and offshore disposal of more than two million cubic yards of dredge material.

He says that routine hydrographic surveys are used to figure out when the area needs to be dredged, so projects can be planned ahead of time.

"Based on the differences between surveys, they determine a rate of siltation," he explained. "From there, they can project when births will become unusable."

The project is expected to be completed by September 2016.

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit

NNS140926-02. CNO Visits Navy Cyber Forces

From Navy Cyber Forces Public Affairs

SUFFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert visited Sailors and Department of Defense civilian employees at Navy Cyber Forces (NAVCYBERFOR) in Suffolk, Virginia, during his tour of the Hampton Roads area, Sept. 24.

The CNO recognized 21 of NAVCYBERFORs Sailors and civilian employees during an awards ceremony. After the ceremony, Greenert discussed the importance of the Information Dominance Corps (IDC) and the establishment of the Navy Information Dominance Forces (NAVIDFOR) type command (TYCOM), Oct. 1.

"I need you all, as an Information Dominance Corps and community, to become a mainstream source for knowledge and information," said Greenert. "The wave of requirements, the wave of the world that we live in, are going to sweep us in that direction."

Greenert stressed the importance of having a professional, experienced IDC with the expertise to respond to a complex cyber warfare environment.

"We wanted to bring the best of what we knew for who collects information from various sources and bring them together into more of a federation," Greenert said.

Greenert discussed the standup of the Navy NAVIDFOR TYCOM as a significant step in the right direction.

"This idea of standing up a type commander is really important for the Information Dominance Force, but it's also very important for the rest of the fleet to understand who you are and what you're doing," Greenert said to the NAVCYBERFOR audience, which will soon be part of the new NAVIDFOR TYCOM.

"We, the fleet, have to understand the tremendous value of information dominance," he said. "Those who control information will certainly define the pace of any future conflict and probably the outcome of the conflict itself."

NAVIDFOR TYCOM will stand up Oct. 1 and be fully operational Dec. 31. The new TYCOM mission will be to provide commanders ashore and afloat, forward deployable, combat-ready information dominance forces capable of conducting prompt and sustained naval, joint and combined operations in support of U.S. national interests.

For more information about NAVIDFOR, visit the NAVCYBERFOR website and like it on Facebook at

For more news from Navy Cyber Forces, visit

NNS140925-23. Fleet Engagement Team Visits Pearl Harbor Sailors

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

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- Representatives from the BUPERS Millington/Navy Personnel Command (BPM/NPC) fleet engagement team met with Sailors and leadership at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Sept. 22-23 to discuss personnel policies and force management measures impacting the fleet.

The two-day visit to JBPHH was intended to update Sailors on Navy force-shaping initiatives. These discussions included topics such as advancement and how important that is in regard to Career Waypoints (C-WAY).

C-WAY (formerly Fleet RIDE) is the system that supports key Sailor decisions about their next career choice. Areas to which C-WAY applies include: reenlistment (formerly PTS/Perform to Serve), PACT designation (formerly REGA/Rating Entry for General Apprentice), conversion, transition between active component (AC) and reserve component (RC), and re-classification.

"The main purpose of this visit is to speak to the fleet," said Master Chief Electrician's Mate Ted Hillebrand, a fleet engagement team member. "In this case, we're talking to Sailors in Pearl Harbor and others throughout the island of Oahu about things that we feel and think are important to the Sailor's career and help them make the right decisions in regard to their career."

To demonstrate the Navy's willingness to ensure Sailors find themselves in their desired field, Capt. Bruce Deshotel, the head enlisted community manager of BPM/NPC Millington, assures all actions are being taken to ensure PACT Sailors are forwarded opportunities for gaining a career path within ratings which best align the Sailors skills/desires to the needs of the Navy.

Deshotel also said there is good news.

"For our fiscal year '13 and more recently recruited FY-14 PACT Sailors, relief is coming," said Deshotel. "We are committed to offering each Sailor the opportunity to get on the viable career path that is in sync with both our Navy's, as well as their requirements and desires. We primarily utilize the "RED" method, or rating entry designation. This basically allows a Sailor to fill a valid, vacant billet onboard the ship they're assigned. This is a win for the ship, the Sailor and Navy."

The BPM/NPC team is committed to providing Sailors opportunities for a career in the Navy.

According to Navy Region Hawaii career counselor Chief Navy Counselor Athena Allen, one of the new improvements under C-WAY will allow Sailors the opportunity to view important actions regarding their career pathway.

"It's important for the Sailors to hear directly from the subject matter experts," said Allen. "With funding constraints and sequestration, we're very fortunate to have them out here in the region, so it's very important that we do our best to support them and get every sailor possible to the briefings."

Sailors should also contact their command career counselor for more information on C-WAY.

The fleet engagement team travels to fleet concentration areas around the world in order to meet with Sailors and their leaders to provide the most current policy information and to gather feedback from the fleet. The team is scheduled to visit other areas of the island throughout the week. The other commands include Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific, Navy Information Operations Center, and Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay.

For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit

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

NNS140926-01. Navy Reserve Forces Command Holds Change of Command

By Lt. Cmdr. Kimberly Brubeck, Navy Reserve Forces Command Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Eric Coy Young relieved Rear Adm. Bryan P. Cutchen as commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command (CNRFC) during a change of command and retirement ceremony at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk Sept. 25.

The guest speaker was the Honorable Juan M. Garcia, III, assistant secretary of the Navy, manpower and reserve affairs. Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin Braun spoke as presiding officer.

After congratulating Cutchen on a job well done, Braun congratulated her former deputy Chief of Navy Reserve, now CNRFC's eighth commander.

"Under your command the readiness of our Force is better situated than ever. We are grateful for everything you've done and wish you the best in your retirement," said Braun. "Over the next few years, I am confident that Rear Adm. Young will continue to build upon CNRFC's tradition of excellence, and lead his Sailors confidently into this very challenging time in our nation's history."

During his retirement remarks, Cutchen reflected on the changes he has seen over the years, and the challenges he sees in the future, before he handed over the helm to his son and daughter, Ensigns Max Cutchen and Annie Cutchen, during the reading of the watch.

"Since 2001, over 72,000 Sailors have mobilized in support of the Global War on Terror and Operational Contingency Operations, almost 10,600 of those during my time as commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command alone," said Cutchen. "With the threat of sequestration looming above us each year, there is no doubt that times are going to get tough however, I am confident that our Sailors are trained and equipped to handle the task. I am consistently impressed with the professionalism, passion and commitment to the mission that our Sailors exhibit from day to day. The hard work they put in is evident in the seamless integration of our Reserve Force into the active duty Navy. I am extremely proud of our Sailors, but most importantly, I am thankful for the support of my family throughout my 31 years of service."

Directly following the change of command, a retirement reception was held to honor Cutchen's 31 years of service.

Young, a native of Abilene, Texas, received his commission in February 1985. He holds a Master of Science in Financial Management from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. A surface warfare officer, his most recent assignment was as deputy chief of Navy Reserve in Washington, D.C.

CNRFC mobilizes approximately 4,000 Navy Reserve Sailors a year to fill global augmentation requirements. Since 9/11, more than 72,290 Navy Reserve Sailors have mobilized in support of overseas contingency operations, most directly supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. During any given week 26 percent of the Reserve Force provides global operational support.

For more news from Commander, Navy Reserve Force, visit,,!/U.S.NavyReserve , or

NNS140925-22. EOD Site Receives VPP Star Site Status

From Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division Public Affairs

INDIAN HEAD, Md. (NNS) -- Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division's (NSWC IHEODTD) EOD Site received the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Site status during a ceremony, Sept. 22.

The VPP Star certification is OSHA's highest honor and is designed for exemplary worksites with comprehensive, successful safety and health management systems. The average VPP site has a work-related injury rate at 52 percent below the national average for their respective industries.

"You are the world's premiere EOD workforce recognized by warfighters everywhere, for developing EOD technology and information that is used daily on the battlefield," said NSWC IHEODTD Commanding Officer Capt. Vincent Martinez. "It takes a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication into making an organization that conducts high-risk operations into a leader in workplace safety. Everything associated with what it is we do down here, to either learn how to diffuse, render safe and build information publications for the Joint Force."

"Being certified as an OSHA Voluntary Protection Program Star Site shows everyone in the Navy, and in the Department of Defense, that we are not only experts in our field, but we are committed to executing our mission safely," Martinez said.

The OSHA team performed a three-day worksite evaluation last December which included a comprehensive inspection of safety programs, work processes, site facilities and interviews with employees. During the evaluation, NSWC IHEODTD's EOD Site was identified as having multiple best practices/areas of excellence in areas such as employee involvement and ownership in safety and health, communications processes, trend analyses, and qualification and certification processes.

"This recognition is terribly important to everyone who cares about safety in the Department of the Navy, so I am going to call you our superstars," said guest speaker Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Safety Paul Hanley. "Right now, the Department of the Navy is at a turning point that only happens every 50 years or more. A whole new energy has accumulated around the concept of safety. What do we stand for? Warfighting excellence -- and we all know now that a unit that is more safety-conscious, perfectly trained, with well-maintained equipment, and good teamwork is a lethal unit.

"We have the most wonderful patriots in the world, and the very least we owe our workforce is the safest possible environment to do their job and thrive," Hanley continued. "Safety is also about cost avoidance. If we break our things and hurt our people, we do the enemy's job for them. That's the basis of thinking in the Department of the Navy about safety these days."

"You are the epitome of what we need in this new era of Safety," said Hanley. "You are today's leaders and are providing future leaders. This award is exactly the kind of inspiration that spreads like wildfire. Only 18 units out of 7,000 commands in the Department of the Navy hold VPP Star Site status, so this is a really big deal, and is an inspiration to everyone who comes in contact with you."

Following Hanley's remarks, Department of Defense Director of Personnel Readiness, Leonard Litton presented command leadership with a congratulatory letter from the Under Secretary of Defense Personnel and Readiness. OSHA Representative Brett Beall presented the VPP Star Site Certification flag and plaque.

"This is by no means the end of our VPP program, nor our focus on safety," said NSWC IHEODTD Technical Director Ashley Johnson. "We will continue to make safety a priority. We will focus on safety to improve our processes and succeed as a team," he concluded.

VPP Star participants are re-evaluated every three to four years with site injury and illness incident rates reviewed annually. NSWC IHEODTD's Indian Head Site previously earned VPP Star Status in June 2012.

NSWC IHEODTD, a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command and part of the Navy's Science and Engineering Enterprise, is the leader in ordnance, energetics and EOD solutions. The Division focuses on energetics research, development, testing, evaluation, in-service support and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.

For more news from Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head EOD Technology Division, visit

NNS140926-06. Shiloh Sailors Reach Out in Saipan

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin V. Cunningham, Commander Task Force 70 Public Affairs

SAIPAN (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) took part in a cultural exchange at the Brilliant Star Montessori School in Saipan, Sept. 25.

"It was a great opportunity to share with the local students who were interested in the Navy," said Lt. Autumn M. Wilson, Shiloh chaplain. "I was surprised at how much they knew about different ships and our life. It was great to see their thirst for more knowledge."

Sailors introduced themselves and spoke about their jobs in the Navy. They presented the students with a slide show of life on the ship and participated in some classroom games.

"This was the highlight of my port visit," said Religious Specialist 3rd Class Curran B. Croft-Greenwell, from Holden, Maine. "It's a great feeling being able to share my life in the Navy with local children and to see their interest.

"We have many outside presenters come visit us here," said Richard Sikkel, the school principal. "But this is the first time any American Sailors have come; we appreciate it and look forward to more visits in the future."

The port visit provided the crew with an operational break after participating in Valiant Shield, a U.S. only exercise integrating 18,000 U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army and Marine Corps personnel.

Fostering diplomatic relations with allies through friendly community interactions in port is part of America's maritime strategy to build a joint coalition force of allies capable of ensuring maritime security.

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

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS020626-14. This Day in Naval History - Sept. 26

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1860 - The sloop-of-war, USS Constellation captures the American slaver Cora with 705 slaves on board off the Congo River. The newly freed slaves are taken to Monrovia, Liberia.

1863 - During the Civil War, the "double-ender" side-wheel steamer, USS Tioga captures Confederate steamer Herald near the Bahamas off the Florida Keys with cargo including cigars and sugar.

1918 - After shepherding a convoy to the Irish Sea, USCG Cutter Tampa is steaming through the Bristol Channel when she is torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine (UB 91). All those on board, 115 crew members and 16 passengers, are killed, resulting in the greatest combat-related loss of life suffered by the U.S. Naval forces during WWI.

1931 - The keel to USS Ranger (CV 4) is laid at Newport News, Va. She is the first ship designed and constructed as an aircraft carrier.

1944 - USS Pargo (SS 264) sinks the Japanese minelayer, Aotaka, off Borneo. Also on this date, USS McCoy Reynolds (DE 440) sinks Japanese submarine (I 175) northeast of Palaus.

1961 - USNS Potomac (T AO 181) is damaged by fire and explosion while at Morehead City, N.C.

1963 - First steam-eject launch of Polaris missile at sea off Cape Canaveral, Fla., (now Cape Kennedy) from USS Observation Island (EAG 154).

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