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First Looks at our 2016 Reunion in San Antonio, TX

2016 reunion will be held in San Antonio, TX, October 23-28, 2016.

Holiday Inn on Riverwalk.
217 N St Mary's St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: 210-224-2500
Room rate $125 plus tax
5 nights $729.70
Use supper shuttle from air port
Hosted by Jack and Kathy Kilcrease.
201 La Jolla Drive Live Oaks ,TX 78233


For those of you who served aboard Constellation over the years you might have noticed hanging in the hanger bay a plaque memorializing those 50 yard workers killed in the Dec 1960 fire that happened in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
That plaque came up missing when the ship was decommissioned in 2003.

New Plaque Building 92

The engraving shows yard workers sitting on the dock, across from them you can see a ship at dock side in the navy yard, crane is visible.

This a redesigned replica of that plaque which we will be presenting to the yard in early May commemorating their sacrifice.

Also we have designed a coin which will be available for all to purchase, $15.00, commemorating that faithful day in "Connies" history.


We have not set an exact midweek date for the presentation, but we're hoping as stated in early May. We will have final details concerning all matters within the next few week so check back with us periodically. We 're hoping for a nice turnout for this occasion!


Fredericksburg, Texas

APRIL 19, 20, & 21, 2016

Fredericksburg Inn & Suites
201 S. Washington St.
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624
830-997-0202 (Front Desk)
(When you call, be sure to tell them you are with the U.S.S. Constellation group!)
Rate: $109. + tax
Deadline for this rate is March 19, 2016

Complimentary Breakfast Buffet!
Served in original German home-a recorded Texas Historic Landmark built in 1848!

Things to do!
National Museum of Pacific War (Nimitz)
Shop! Shop! Shop!
Hill Country Wineries
Great German Food!!

Don't wait!!! Make your reservations now!!!

See ya'll in April!

Take care and be safe!!


Here's a link to photos of the 2015 Reunion in Washington D C.  Contact Leslie if you would like copies of any of there;

Click Here


Parts of Connie on Ebay

Photos of the 2014 Branson 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

Service Leaders Will not Relax Combat Requirements
Caregivers Lose Stipends
Valentine's Deal: 10% Off Personalized Chocolate
Beware of IRS Impersonators
Officials Announce Winning WWI Design
DoD Force of the Future Initiatives
Deadline Approaches for Scholarships
Verizon Offers Discounts
New ID Rule Impacts Use of State Driver's Licenses
Top 35 Veteran Employers
AF 2015C Officer Promotions
New Education Requirement for Marines
7 Steps to Landing a Civilian Job
Navy Anti-terrorism Protection Exercise
Travel Health Notice for Zika Virus
New DoD Child Care Website Coming
AF Voluntary Education Policy Update
2016 Navy Personnel Assignment System
American Legion Small Business Workshop
Save Big on Costs Not Covered by TRICARE
Community College of the Air Force Degree Policy
AF Newsletter Available
Navy Offers 'COOL' App
Buy or Refi for as Little as $0 Down
Wounded Warrior Program for Native American Vets
Get $1 Million Coverage from $41 a Month
Air Force 'MyVector' Professional Development
TRICARE Update: Time to Have Your Eyes Checked
Vet Jobs: Answering the Big Resume Question
Vet Job Fair and Hockey at Boston University
Headline Military News


Recent News Stories:

NNS160130-01. Cutlass Express 2016 Commences

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

PORT VICTORIA, Seychelles (NNS) -- Maritime forces from Eastern Africa, Western Indian Ocean island nations, Europe and the United States, as well as several international organizations began the fifth iteration of the multinational maritime exercise Cutlass Express, Jan. 30.

Cutlass Express 2016, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness (MDA) and information sharing practices to increase capabilities of participating nations to counter sea-based illicit activity.


Cutlass Express is another great example of the global network of navies. During this exercise, partner nations will come together and increase maritime security, which benefits everyone. - Vice Adm. James Foggo III, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet

Security of commerce, protection of maritime economic assets, and the prevention of piracy and illicit trafficking is a critical mission that directly affects all maritime nations. The Republic of Seychelles archipelago is the ideal location for this training; water conditions, weather, and its location along a pivotal trade route combine to ensure we are training here ... how, when, and where it matters. - Capt. Tate Westbrook, deputy commodore of Task Force 65/Destroyer Squadron 60; tactical commander, Cutlass Express

Quick Facts:

Cutlass Express scenarios will test watchstanders' ability to respond to illicit trafficking, piracy, illegal fishing, and search and rescue situations.

Scenarios will take place in the vicinity of two operational hubs: Djibouti and Port Victoria.

The exercise, which is scheduled to last eight days, will include an in-port preparatory phase and three days of underway drills.

Maritime Operations Centers (MOCs) of participating nations will exercise tracking and reporting procedures of simulating suspect vessels.

The exercise leverages The Djibouti Code of Conduct, which 20 nations are signatory to, as a framework for exercising information sharing practices and enforcing international law of the sea.

Scenarios focused on the globally recognized Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) will allow endorsing nations to develop capabilities to detect and disrupt the delivery of materials used to build and develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) will facilitate a new 3-day seminar with Cutlass Express participating nations to promote the development of national maritime strategies and the development of operational concepts and capabilities to operationalize maritime strategy.

Exercise Cutlass Express is one of three Africa-focused regional "Express" series exercises facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet (CNE-CNA/C6F). The exercise falls under Africa Partnership Station, the umbrella program for the Express series exercises and other capacity-building initiatives throughout Africa.

Participating nations in Cutlass Express 2016 include Australia, Canada, Comoros, Djibouti, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as representatives from the Eastern Africa Standby Force, EU Naval Force, International Maritime Organization (IMO), and Combined Task Force 150.

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

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

NNS160201-11. USNS Spearhead Arrives in Ghana

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amy M. Ressler, USNS Spearhead Public Affairs

SEKONDI, Ghana (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command's expeditionary fast transport vessel USNS Spearhead (T-EPF 1) arrived in Sekondi, Ghana, for a scheduled port visit Jan. 30.

This serves as the first port visit for Spearhead in support of Africa Partnership Station (APS); the ship is scheduled to embark members of the host nationals who will work alongside U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment members for maritime security exercises.


"I am looking forward to working in collaboration with our African partner nations for capacity building and "increased interoperability in maritime domain management." - Lt. Gary Callahan, APS 2016 deputy mission commander

Quick Facts:

*Spearhead is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to support the international collaborative capacity-building program Africa Partnership Station.

*While on deployment, Spearhead brings a unique set of capabilities to the U.S. 6th Fleet AOO. Its crew comprises Sailors and civil service mariners with a wide range of capabilities from engineering specialist to a fully outfitted Embarked Security Team (EST).

*The 338-foot-long aluminum catamaran is capable of carrying 600 tons of military troops, vehicles, supplies, and equipment, and can transit 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. It has a 20,000-square-foot mission bay area that can be reconfigured to adapt to whatever mission the ship is tasked with. Anything from carrying a containerized portable hospital to supporting disaster relief or transporting tanks and troops.

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

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

NNS160201-04. US, Japan Complete GUAMEX 2016

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christian Senyk and Ensign Michael Madrid, Commander Task Force 70 Public Affairs

WATERS NEAR GUAM (NNS) -- The forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Mustin (DDG 89) and USS McCampbell (DDG 85) completed Guam Exercise 2016 (GUAMEX) with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Jan. 23.

"GUAMEX was a fantastic opportunity to hone our tactical skills in close cooperation with our JMSDF allies," said Cmdr. Thane Clare, commanding officer of USS Mustin. "Just as importantly, exercises like these build close personal and professional ties that strengthen our partnership at the Sailor-to-Sailor level, making us even more effective as we operate together at sea."

This annual training exercise allows JMSDF and U.S. Navy to work alongside each other in the international waters near Guam. The helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH 182) served as the JMSDF flagship for Rear Adm. Hiroshi Ito, commander, Escort Flotilla 4, during the exercise and was accompanied by six ships of various classes of JMSDF Escort Divisions 4 and 8. The training events spanned the anti-submarine, anti-surface and anti-aircraft warfare areas, in some cases involving the protection of the flagship Ise.

"I'm always excited to work with our Japanese counterparts," said Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 2nd Class Kevin Hughes, assigned to Mustin. "Working with them in the past, and now again, I'm impressed with the JMSDF personnel's professionalism and the proficiency of their sailors."

The crews of both Mustin and McCampbell enjoyed a brief visit to Guam, where they were joined by their Japanese counterparts from the JMSDF ships. Additionally, both countries exchanged liaison officers for the duration of the exercise.

Ensign Soon Kwon described his experience hosting one of the Japanese liaison officers aboard McCampbell.

"This exercise provided a great opportunity for the JMSDF and U.S. Navy to work on various tactics and the ability to work together as allies," Kwon said. "However, the most important takeaway was that it allowed JMSDF and U.S. Navy officers to learn about each other's cultures and create long-lasting relationships."

Mustin and McCampbell participated in GUAMEX as part of a routine patrol in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asian Pacific.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS160201-18. USS Abraham Lincoln Catapult Returns to Service with Tests

By USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors aboard aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) completed no-load testing on catapult one Jan. 28, marking another milestone in the ship's Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH).

Capt. Ron L. Ravelo, Lincoln's commanding officer, was the first "shooter" to give the signal to launch for the first time in more than three years.

"No-loads are conducted every single day by operational carriers in order to warm up the catapult in anticipation of launching aircraft," Ravelo said. "I look forward to when we are once again operational and firing no-loads in advance of actual flight operations."

Lincoln Sailors worked alongside their counterparts at Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) to overhaul the carrier's Aircraft Launch and Recovery (ALRE) equipment.

"Throughout the process, there was excellent integration between our ship, NNS and engineers from Naval Air Warfare Center, Lakehurst," said Cmdr. David Burmeister, Lincoln's air boss. "Because these entities worked so well together, we are standing here today executing this major milestone and celebrating a great deal of hard work our Sailors and their teammates put in to bringing these systems back on line."

No-load testing is required to verify the operation function of the entire catapult and provides the ship with an interim certification to launch aircraft.

The duration of testing began Dec. 7, 2015, when all hydraulic, air and steam systems were filled and charged, culminating in 20 catapult shots with no more than five minutes of recovery time between shots.

Lincoln is currently undergoing RCOH at NNS, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

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

NNS160201-13. Navy Divers Support POW/MIA Mission at WWII Crash Sites

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Micah P. Blechner, CTF 73 Public Affairs

SINGAPORE (NNS) -- Sailors from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1 Company 1-5, embarked USNS Safeguard (T-ARS-50) and began an 80-day mission Jan. 31 to document World War II aircraft crash sites in waters around Papua New Guinea.

The Navy divers and Safeguard's crew of civilian mariners are conducting dive operations using a side-scan sonar system to gather information for a potential excavation of a B-24 Liberator that crashed off the coast of Kawa Island.

Additionally, the MDSU team is using their capabilities to search for remains of U.S. airmen at a separate Grumman TBF Avenger crash site in the area. The operations are in support of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).

"The sites are very remote and access to the dive sites is challenging," said Lt. Mark Snyder, MDSU 1 Company 1-5 officer in charge. "A dive and salvage platform like Safeguard provides us the capability to access sites like these."

Snyder said his team must be self sufficient because of the austere location of the diving sites. It took Safeguard more than a week to arrive on station in waters near Papua New Guinea. Once on station, the diving crews used rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB) to access the crash sites.

"We had to rely heavily on our small boats (RHIB) for access to the sites," Snyder said. "My team had to be very proficient in operating and maintaining our RHIBs in order to make the 30-mile round trips from the ship to the dive sites. We were operating in an area with small, acre-sized islands and reefs. It's a very unique location that many people do not get to see."

Snyder said the remote location of the dive sites gave his team a greater appreciation for the vast scope of Pacific operations during WWII and the enormous sacrifices made by U.S. service members and their families.

"These types of missions are about supporting fallen/missing service members and their families and maintaining the precedence that the U.S. is committed to bringing everyone home," said Snyder.

DPAA is a Department of Defense organization dedicated to providing the fullest possible accounting for missing U.S. service personnel to their families and the nation.

"Our divers are working hard and appreciate the opportunity to put their small boat and diving skills to use in such a unique environment," Snyder said. "It is also very rewarding to know that our work could result in the repatriation of a lost service member's remains."

Safeguard is a forward-deployed diving and salvage ship and is part of U.S. 7th Fleet, Task Force 73 (CTF 73). CTF 73 conducts advanced planning, organizes resources, and directly supports the execution of maritime exercises and operations, such as the CARAT exercise series with Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste; the Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) with Vietnam, and the multi-lateral Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

For more news from Commander, Task Force 73, visit

NNS160201-19. Submarine Forces Commander Visits Groton Submarine Community to Share His Newly-Released Commander's Intent

By Chief Mass Communication Steve Owsley, Naval Submarine Support Center, New London Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- The Navy's top submarine commander completed a visit to Naval Submarine Base New London Jan. 28.

Vice Adm. Joseph E. Tofalo, Commander, Submarine Forces, held three all-hands calls to discuss his recently released "Commander's Intent for the Submarine Force and Supporting Organizations" with students, staff at the Naval Submarine School, senior submarine leadership and supporting staff in the Groton submarine community.

The Commander's Intent focuses on four prioritized Lines of Effort: (1) provide ready forces, (2) employ the force effectively, (3) develop future capability, and (4) empower our people, the foundation of our strength.

Tofalo held one all-hands call with Naval Submarine School students and staff, one with major commanders, commanding officers and their senior staff, and one with department heads and below. The Navy's top submarine boss tailored each message to the specific audience.

Tofalo told Naval Submarine School students and staff, "It is a fundamentally different world, even in the time since you entered high school five years ago. Over the last 10-15 years our Navy has primarily focused on power projection ashore from the uncontested water near foreign shores. In the next 10-15 years our emphasis must instead be on high-end combat in contested open oceans."

Tofalo pointed to Russia's military resurgence on the world stage and China's increased naval maritime capacity and technological sophistication as they attempt to assert dominance over the South China Sea region. These two international powers are attempting to bridge the technology gap with the U.S. Navy's submarine force.

Tofalo stressed the importance of the submarine force to the students, "You are a very small, highly leveraged, and elite force. We invest significantly in your training and readiness, so that you are the best."

Tofalo addressed the importance of personnel, material and operational readiness of the submarine force, specifically highlighting Groton's long legacy in delivering combat ready submarines.

"Generating submarine readiness is what you do here. On average, every six weeks Groton pumps out another SSN to go on deployment," said Tofalo. "That's tough work, that's generating readiness and we've got to continue this vital work for the country."

Tofalo stressed the importance of independent operations and preparing for high-end combat when he told the commanding officers, "You are out there operating alone and unafraid, operating far forward -- sometimes intentionally without routine communications. You have that command pin on your chest because you have to make tough decisions. I expect you to exercise the full extent of the authority vested in you."

While Tofalo had specific messages for each audience, many themes were universal.

"We are a maritime nation," he said. "Approximately 70 percent of the world is covered in water, 80 percent of the population lives within a few hundred miles of an ocean coast, 90 percent of all global commerce travels not by plane, but by ship, and over 95 percent of intercontinental communications (including financial transactions) travel not by satellite, but via an underwater cable. Our Founding Fathers saw the importance of the maritime domain, stating in the Constitution that the Congress had the power "to raise and support armies" ... but requiring it, "to provide and maintain a Navy."

The Submarine Force Commander stressed the consistent, high return on investment submarines provide.

"In World War II, about two percent of the Navy manpower was submariners, yet they were responsible for sinking about 55 percent of enemy shipping," said Tofalo.

He noted that today "submarine officers comprise only 7 percent of the Navy's officer corps and the submarine force accounts for only about 13 percent of the Navy's budget, yet we operate about 25 percent of the warships including over 50 percent of our nation's strategic deterrence. That's high return on investment."

Tofalo told all three groups our adversaries are increasing their Anti-Access, Area Denial (A2-AD) capabilities to thwart U.S. power projection efforts. He then described how the submarine force is uniquely capable of countering those efforts.

"The U.S. submarine force is the nation's anti-A2-AD force," he said. "We can get in underneath that A2-AD bubble, on scene, unseen, ready to open the door that enables the rest of the joint force."

Tofalo also focused on continued improvement and not falling into the trap of past accomplishments, "You're either getting better or you're getting worse, you're never standing still."

For more information regarding the Commander's Intent for the Submarine Force and Supporting Organizations, please visit the SUBLANT website at's%20Intent%20DEC%202015.pdf

For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, Atlantic, visit

NNS160201-17. Army-Navy Football Legends Honored

From Naval Academy Public Affairs

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Academy and West Point leadership and alumni gathered in Coral Gables Jan. 31 to mark the 70th anniversary of the 1946 Army-Navy game and pay tribute to two academy football legends.

Those legends, Pete Williams (USNA '49) and Arnold Tucker (USMA '47), lined up on opposite sides of the ball during the 1946 game and remain friends and neighbors at the Palace at Coral Gables, a retirement facility not far from where they attended high school together at Miami High.

The 70th anniversary celebration was hosted at the Palace and organized by members of the Alumni Associations for both Army and Navy.

Williams was Navy's starting running back in the 1946 game. Tucker was the quarterback for Army, leading a backfield that included legendary runners Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis.

Army emerged victorious in the game only after Navy's Williams failed to get out of bounds as the clock expired with Navy driving for the winning touchdown. Army was favored by 30 points in the game and was a perennial football powerhouse at that time, having won the national championship in 1944 and 1945. They entered the game against Navy undefeated, and Army would eventually become national champions again in 1946 after the victory over Navy.

It was the close margin in the 1946 game and the performances of Williams and Tucker, as well as their lifelong friendship, that was noted in the anniversary celebration. And, as always, the purity of the Army-Navy rivalry was a constant theme.

Vice Adm. Ted Carter, Naval Academy superintendent, attended and gave keynote remarks.

"The 1946 game is not entirely unlike the game we just played this past December," said Carter. "We were heavily favored as Army was back then. And yet, in this game, the teams always find a way to play admirably and keep it close. We should never lose respect for the history of this game, the performances of the men in this room today and the fact that this is the best rivalry in the country. Period."

Lt. Gen. Joseph DiSalvo, a 1981 West Point graduate and current deputy commander of U.S. Southern Command in Miami, gave remarks for Army and noted the significance of the 1946 game and the importance of the rivalry based on who attended.

"President Truman was in the stands, as were a host of other names like MacArthur, Eisenhower, Marshall, Halsey, Nimitz and Leahy," said DiSalvo.

"As is always the case, this game goes beyond the final score," DiSalvo continued. "It is never about who wins and loses, but rather how special these two institutions are and what the academies mean to America."

Williams and Tucker were joined by friends and family and approximately 100 guests, who rose for a standing ovation for each of the men at the conclusion of the ceremony.

The men were presented with commemorative footballs and helmets from West Point and the Naval Academy respectively and posed for pictures with Carter and DiSalvo.

In the end, after 70 years, the day came down to the bond that exists between Army and Navy and the friendship that has lasted between two great men from the time they were in high school to now, as they reside in the same retirement community.

"I tried to get him (Williams) to come to Army," joked Tucker to the crowd. "His being a member of the Navy football team never infringed on our friendship."

The rivalry continues.

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

NNS160201-10. NECC PAC Announces Senior Civilian of the Year

By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs

PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Pacific (NECC PAC) selected its Senior Civilian of the Year for 2015, Jan. 28.

Audrey Barba, who serves as the Expeditionary Service Support Center site manager in Port Hueneme, was selected for the top honors for her and her team's efforts to provide automated data processing and communication support to 64 lower echelon commands across the expeditionary forces.

"Thank you, Audrey, for your continuous 'Can Do' work ethic and for supporting our Navy Expeditionary Combat Forces across the globe," said Nancy Harned, executive director, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.

As the ESSC site manager, Barba and her team ensured overall compliance on NECC PAC systems and circuits impacting 12,500 personnel across the expeditionary force.

"I am honored to be recognized as Civilian of the Year for Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, Pacific," said Barba. "It is with great pride that I serve as manager of the Expeditionary Service Support Center. I am deeply appreciative to the command for their recognition and continued support."

As a good leader Barba also recognized her team of 10 talented IT professionals who were consistently dedicated to the mission.

"It is with their commitment and support that these accomplishments were made possible," said Barba.

NECC PAC was established Oct. 1, 2012 by Commander, Pacific Fleet to provide administrative control for Navy expeditionary forces assigned to the Pacific theater.

NECC is an enduring warfighting force providing sea-to-shore and inland operating environment capabilities across the full range of military operations that is focused on delivering combat effective expeditionary forces ready for worldwide operations now and into the future.

For more news from Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, visit

NNS160201-08. Legalman of the Year, Naval Legal Service Command Sailor of the Year Announced

From Navy Judge Advocate General Corps Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The 2015 Legalman of the Year and Naval Legal Service Command Sailor of the Year were announced during a ceremony at Washington Navy Yard, Jan. 29.

Legalman 1st Class Calvin Gordon was named the 2015 Legalman of the Year and Legalman 1st Class Angie Ruiz-Diaz was named the 2015 Naval Legal Service Command Sailor of the Year.

Rear Adm. John Hannink, commander, Naval Legal Service Command, recognized the six finalists for their accomplishments and the impact they have had on not only the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps community but the entire Navy.

"It truly is a special day for all of our finalists," Hannink said. "The future of our legalman community is strong and the JAG Corps is in good hands for the foreseeable future."

Gordon is currently assigned to USS Wasp (LHD-1) as an independent duty legalman and executive department leading petty officer.

"This honor is a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication of my fellow Sailors and our commitment to serving our country with all we have," Gordon said.

Ruiz-Diaz is currently serving as the Region Legal Service Office (RLSO) Midwest command services leading petty officer responsible for overseeing military justice cases for eight commands that are responsible for the initial accession training of 20,000 Sailors annually.

"Being recognized as the Naval Legal Service Command Sailor of the Year means the world to me," Ruiz-Diaz said. "Winning will truly be motivation for all my Sailors to strive to be the best. This is in honor of them having believed in me and all of their hard work."

The six finalists traveled to Washington, D.C. for the final board and toured the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and the Pentagon where they met with Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens.

"In December, a preliminary board was convened to select the top three finalists in each category," said Command Master Chief Jondell Ritchie, Office of the Judge Advocate General. "There were 18 legalmen nominated for JAG Legalman of the Year and 14 Sailors were nominated for Naval Legal Service Command Sailor of the Year. The finalists represent the best of the Sailors serving in the Navy JAG Corps."

The Legalman of the Year finalists were Legalman 1st Class Matthew Gammon, USS Boxer (LHD-4) and Legalman 1st Class Giannina Gutierrez, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet.

The Sailor of the Year finalists were Legalman 1st Class Rebecca Duclayan, RLSO Northwest and Legalman 1st Class Michael Montieth, Naval Justice School.

The Navy JAG Corps provides commanders, Sailors, and Navy families with legal solutions wherever and whenever required to enable effective naval and joint operations.

Naval Legal Service Command provides prosecution, defense, personal representation, legal assistance and other command services to shore and afloat commands throughout the world.

For more news from Navy Judge Advocate General, visit

NNS160201-05. Commander, Submarine Group 9 Announces Sailors of Year

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Amanda R. Gray, Commander, Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs

BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Rear Adm. David Kriete, Commander, Submarine Group 9 (COMSUBGRU-9), announced the 2015 sea and shore COMSUBGRU-9 Sailors of the Year and Junior Sailors of the Year during a luncheon at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Plaza, Jan. 29.

The Sailor of the Year (SOY) and Junior Sailor of the Year (JSOY) from many local commands participated in a rigorous evaluation process. They were each required to complete an oral presentation in front of a selection board, who took into consideration characteristics such as professional knowledge, military bearing, teamwork, education and professional development.

"Each of the Sailors we recognize here today were specifically selected by their parent command to compete in a very challenging administrative and verbal evaluation boards made up of chiefs, senior chiefs, and some salty master chiefs," said Command Master Chief Ted Calcaterra, assigned to COMSUBGRU-9. "Most of them completed this process twice before they arrived here today against group of very skilled and professional Sailors at each level. The competition at these boards is always very competitive and it is a complete pleasure to see these Sailors perform at this high level."

Sonar Technician 1st Class Sarah Riha, assigned to Naval Ocean Processing Facility (NOPF) Whidbey Island, was selected as the Sea SOY, and Information Systems Technician 1st Class Nicholas Stenftenagel, assigned to Priority Material Office (PMO) Bremerton, was selected as Shore SOY.

Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Alexander Weitemeyer, assigned to the Blue Crew of the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Alabama (SSBN 731), was selected at Sea JSOY, and Yeoman 2nd Class Jennifer Reeder, assigned to COMSUBGRU-9, was selected as Shore JSOY.

All of the nominees were recognized for their efforts by Treasurer of the Pacific Northwest Naval Submarine League Roy Rasmussen, who presented each nominee with a gift from the Submarine League.

"The Sailors you see here today, whether or not they move on in the SOY program, represent the highest sense of professionalism, performance and standards at each command," said Kriete. "These Sailors are representative of the tremendous talent and ability of the thousands of Sailors here in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the Navy that are getting the job done every day, for our country."

Riha and Stenftenagel are scheduled to participate in the Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SUBPAC) Sailor of the Year competition, which will kick off in San Diego Feb. 7.

The Navywide SOY program was initiated in 1972 by former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo Zumwalt. The goal was to recognize outstanding Sailors throughout the fleet. The Shore SOY program was introduced in 1973.

Sponsored by the chief of naval operations, the program provides recognition to the Navy's outstanding Sailors through numerous presentations, awards, and meritorious advancement to the next pay grade.

For more news from Commander, Submarine Group 9, visit

NNS160201-02. Interactive Performance Reinforces SAPR Training for Navy Korea

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jermaine M. Ralliford, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

CHINHAE, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea (CNFK) and Commander, Navy Region Korea attended an innovative Sexual Assault and Prevention Response (SAPR) training event in Chinhae, Jan. 28.

The training, part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet's Resiliency Workshop, consisted of an interactive show that highlighted topics such as identifying, assessing and responding to sexual harassment and assault.

Cmdr. Terry McNamara, the commanding officer of Commander, Fleet Activities Chinhae, welcomed the training team and stressed the impact any individual can make by responding to those in need.

"I feel strongly about bystander intervention," McNamara said. "One choice by one person can make a big difference in someone's life. If you see somebody in need, give them a hand."

Actors Anthony DiNicola and Katie Higier held the audience's attention by performing everyday situations and periodically challenging the crowd with probing questions that highlighted the ability of bystander intervention to prevent sexual assault.

"When there is good leadership and initiative, you can enact incredible change," said Higier. "All it takes is one person to speak up."

Quartermaster 2nd Class Woodly Milord, assigned to CNFK in Busan, said he appreciated the performance and its use of humor to communicate a difficult subject.

"At first, everyone was uncomfortable talking about rape and assault," Milford said, "but we need to speak openly about the problem if we want to help solve it and once they [DiNicola and Higier] had the crowd laughing, participating was a lot easier."

Capt. Roy Nafarrete, the SAPR for Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet said the Navy is changing, and Sailors must continue to align their behavior to the Navy Core Values.

"Times are changing, and the Navy is changing with it," Nafarrete said. "It is challenging, but it's the right thing to do, and we simply can't wait."

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea recently shifted to Busan and is the only U.S. Navy headquarters in Korea stationed on a Republic of Korea Navy base.

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

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

NNS160201-01. Sexual Assault Reports: December 2015

From Office of the Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- This month's overview of alleged sexual assaults is compiled based on 52 initial reports across the Navy from December 1-31. This timeframe reflects only the receipt of the initial reports; twenty-four of the reported incidents occurred during this period, 13 of the reported incidents occurred outside of the report period and 15 occurred at an unknown time. Each report will be fully investigated. Looking at this snapshot in time, we see the following:

* Eleven reports are from events that occurred on-base, 21 are from events that occurred off-base and 20 events occurred at unknown locations.

* Among the 57 alleged offenders, two are chief petty officers, 13 are petty officers, five are E-3 and below and 37 are unknown. Eighteen of the alleged offenders are male and 39 are unknown.

* Seventeen of the reported incidents were alleged to be service member on service member, four were service member on non-service member and 37 were unknown.

* Among the 52 alleged victims, one is a chief petty officer, 21 are petty officers, 27 are E-3 and below, and three are unknown. Fourty-three of the alleged victims are female, seven are male and two are unknown.

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

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

NNS011213-13. This Day in Naval History - Feb. 01

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1800 - USS Constellation engages French frigate La Vengeance in a 5-hour battle during the Quasi War.

1902 - USS Plunger (SS-2), the lead ship of the Plunger-class submarine, launches. She is commissioned Sept. 19, 1903, at the Holland Company yard at New Suffolk, Long Island, N.Y. Ensign Chester W. Nimitz is the submarines final commander when Plunger is decommissioned Nov. 6, 1909 at the Charleston Navy Shipyard.

1942 - USS Enterprise (CV 6) and USS Yorktown (CV 5) make the first World War II air strike against the Japanese at their outposts in the Marshall Islands to protect the Trans-Pacific supply route to Australia.

1944 - Three US Navy submarines, Guardfish (SS 217), Hake (SS 256) and Seahorse (SS 304), attack Japanese convoys, sinking a destroyer, cargo ship and another vessel.

1944 - USS Guest (DD 472) and USS Hudson (DD 475) sink the Japanese submarine I-171 off the Bismarck Archipelago.

1945 - USS Jenkins (DD 447), USS OBannon (DD 450), USS Bell (DD 587) and destroyer escort Ulvert M. Moore (DE 442) sink the Japanese submarine RO 115, 125 miles southwest of Manila.

1955 - Task Force 43 is established to plan US Navy Antarctic operations called Operation Deep Freeze.

2003 - Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates and is lost with all astronauts due to a failure in the shuttle heat shield protective system on the leading edge of the left wing during its re-entry into the Earths atmosphere.

NNS160202-01. CNO to Expand Partnerships in India

From Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson will visit India Feb. 2 through Feb. 6 to help deepen maritime partnerships between the two countries.

In his first stop to New Delhi, CNO will meet with key national security officials from across the government of India to discuss Navy-to-Navy relations and opportunities for further technical and security cooperation.

CNO will then travel to Visakhapatnam to participate in the Indian Navy-hosted International Fleet Review, which will have participation from 50 countries with visiting warships, tall-masted ships, and Heads of navies. As such, the International Fleet Review is being promoted as the Indian Navy's premier international engagement event for 2016.

While in Visakhapatnam, CNO will meet with Sailors from USS Antietam (CG 54), a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, and USS McCampbell (DDG 85), an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.

A central line of effort for CNO's is to "expand and strengthen our network of partners." The visit to India and interactions with Indian and other Navy leaders helps to deepen relationships and expand shared maritime interests.

This is Richardson's first visit to India.

NNS160202-20. NDW Celebrates African-American/Black History Month

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Pedro A. Rodriguez, Naval District Washington Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval District Washington (NDW) has joined the national celebration of African-American/Black History Month by honoring the history and culture of African-American and black Sailors.

The recognition of African-American/Black History Month (AA/BHM) originated in 1926 as "Negro History Week." Led by Carter G. Woodson, it recognized the contributions of African Americans to the country and fostered a better understanding of the African-American experience.

This year, Navy commands are encouraged to celebrate and reflect on the theme "Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African-American Memories."

"Celebrating Black History Month gives us an opportunity to honor the historic leaders of the black community both past and present," said Chief Electrician's Mate Christopher James, NDW's Special Observance Committee Chief.

James explained the goals of AA/BHM, "During Black History month, we try to highlight the finest aspects of the African-American culture and steer away from the negative stereotypes depicted in the mainstream media. We also take the time to highlight the works of historical figures less known, like Harriet Ann Jacobs, an African-American writer who escaped from slavery and was later freed." Jacobs later became an abolitionist speaker and reformer.

The NDW Special Observance Committee is also holding a poster competition within the command in line with this year's theme. For details on how to participate in the competition, visit The winner will be announced during an observance ceremony on February 17.

"Hosting the poster competition gives everyone an opportunity to participate in the annual celebration of achievements attained by African Americans, and to recognize the central role they have played in U.S. history," said James. "Black history month should help us confront the past as well as celebrate it. By taking part in it, we are not only paying tribute to the achievements of past years but also reflecting on how to create a better tomorrow for African Americans."

African-American Sailors have made great contributions to shape today's Navy. One of the most famous examples is Master Chief Master Diver Carl Brashear who was the first African-American Navy Diver. He was also the first African American to attain the designator of Navy Master Diver. Today, a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship bears his name, the USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE-7).

"African Americans have made tremendous contributions to the Navy over the years." According to James, "...Samuel Gravely, who was the first African American to serve aboard a fighting ship as an officer; Wesley Brown, who was the was the first African American graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy; and The Golden Thirteen who were the enlisted men who became the first African-American commissioned and warrant officers in the United States Navy."

Observed during the second week of February, a week that encompassed the birthdays of two champions of equality, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, the event brought National recognition to African-American contributions throughout American history. Fifty years after its creation, during the bicentennial of the United States in 1976, President Gerald R. Ford expanded the observance and proclaimed February to be Black History Month.

More information on the many milestones achieved by black Sailors and the history of the African-American Navy experience can be found at the Naval History and Heritage Command webpage at

A full-color brochure on the history of African Americans in the United States Navy is also available for download through the Naval History and Heritage Command link.

Individuals can obtain a complete educational presentation, including a downloadable educational poster on African-American/Black History month from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) website

For more information on Navy diversity events, including the observance of African-American/Black History Month visit the Navy Office of Diversity and Inclusion calendar at

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

For more news from Naval District Washington, visit

NNS160202-18. Information Warfare Sailors Compete with "American Ninja Warrior" Contestant

By Carla M. McCarthy, Center for Information Dominance Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Information Warfare Sailors at the Center for Information Dominance (CID) Unit Corry Station showcased their athleticism in a friendly competition with an "American Ninja Warrior" TV show participant, Jan. 28.

Lt.j.g. Dustin McKinney, a student attending the Afloat Cryptologic Manager (ACM) course, competed on the show in 2014 and again in 2015. His background in football, gymnastics, inline skating, break dancing and professional wrestling gave him a shot at the show, while he was assigned to Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Georgia.

"It is important to always look for ways to promote physical fitness," said Lt. Scott Aaron, the coordinator for the local Ninja Warrior Challenge. "Having Lt. j.g. McKinney in our ACM class presented a fantastic opportunity to engage Sailors. Dustin is a great motivator."

For the past two years, McKinney has solidified himself as one of the most consistent contestants on "American Ninja Warrior," especially after winning the military region by becoming the only finisher.

The local competition at Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station started out with 20 participants, and the top 12 combined into six teams to meet the challenge. McKinney designed the course to allow Sailors with varying fitness levels to participate.

"Although we didn't use the same type of obstacles you may see on 'American Ninja Warrior,' we used the same core competencies of physical skills that are required to be successful on the show: balance, speed, agility and grip strength," said McKinney.

The group started with a dynamic warm up and calisthenics. The qualifying round consisted of five countdown rounds of push-ups, sit-ups, full-body exercises and sprints. For the competition itself, the teams navigated an obstacle course of a stack line, wheelbarrows, island hopping, bear crawls, somersaults and a 20-foot bar traverse.

"When Sailors operate forward, we need to have a strong sense of teamwork and unity, so I also incorporated teamwork into the course," said McKinney. "The Sailors chose a partner to run the course with, which helped build the trust and reliance we need to have with one another as we serve."

Information Systems Technician Seaman Apprentice John Parsons and Cryptologic Technician (Networks) Seaman Apprentice Marc Johnson were the only team to beat McKinney on the course, when he made an attempt to complete the course without a partner, losing by nine seconds.

"It was a great honor to win the Ninja Warrior Challenge and to get to meet the Ninja Warrior, Lt. j.g. McKinney," said Parsons, an information systems technician "A" school student.

"The Sailors who beat my time worked together and pushed themselves, and that is what being in the Navy is all about," said McKinney.

McKinney's interest in the TV competition developed when he was an cryptologic technician (collection) and continued when he was selected for Officer Candidate School.

"To me, physical fitness is the means to a happy, healthy, and satisfying life," said McKinney. "Physical fitness has taught me the importance of goal setting, which has led to success in many other areas of life. Goal setting is an integral tool for the success of anyone wanting to reach for something higher, accomplish something bigger, and be more than what they currently are.

"Goal setting has been my path to everything I have accomplished inside and outside of the Navy, and I highly encourage others to utilize goal setting to get what you want out of life."

McKinney said he will soon be featured on the new TV spinoff of "Team Ninja Warrior," where he will compete alongside Geoff Britten and his wife Jess Britten. McKinney will also appear on an "All-Star Ninja Warrior" episode later this year.

Although McKinney will be deployed during season eight of "American Ninja Warrior," he plans on training and continuing to pursue his dream of winning.

"What 'American Ninja Warrior' has done for me is that I have found a way to have fun while exercising and working out," said McKinney. "Finding an exercise activity that you enjoy is so important to physical fitness because it can keep you coming back for more."

The Center for Information Dominance (CID), with headquarters based at Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station, is the Navy's learning center that leads, manages and delivers Navy and joint forces training in information operations, information warfare, information technology, cryptology and intelligence.

With nearly 1,300 military, civilian and contracted staff members, CID provides training for approximately 22,000 members of the U.S. armed services and allied forces each year. CID oversees the development and administration of more than 200 courses at four commands, two detachments and 12 learning sites throughout the United States and Japan.

For more information on the Center for Information Dominance, visit;; and

For more news from Center for Information Dominance, visit

NNS160202-14. Commander, US Naval Activities Spain Names Senior Enlisted Leader of the Year

By Lt. Cmdr. Connie Johnson, Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit 7 Public Affairs

ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- When Chief Hospital Corpsman Crystal Ingram reported to Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit Seven (NEPMU-7), she had one goal in mind: to help Sailors under her charge excel personally and professionally.

In recognition of her hard work and dedication Ingram, leading chief petty officer (LCPO) for NEPMU-7 was selected as the 2015 Commander, U.S. Naval Activities (COMNAVACT) Spain Senior Enlisted Leader of the Year (SELY) Jan. 29.

The award recognizes Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines assigned to COMNAVACT Spain and the National Support Elements for excellence in performance, leadership, self-improvement, community involvement and military appearance.

Ingram was selected from among 216 senior enlisted service leaders in the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy paygrades E-7 and E-8 from COMNAVACT Spain activities across Spain and Portugal.

With her husband, a senior chief master-at-arms, in attendance Ingram was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal by Capt. Gregory S. Pekari, Commander, Naval Activities Spain, as part of the recognition ceremony.

A native of Haddon Field, New Jersey, Ingram was extremely surprised to be named as COMNAVACT Spain SELY.

"It is a humbling yet motivating feeling to be selected for such a title," said Ingram. "It is hard to believe that I could be recognized and awarded for doing what I love and what is expected of me as leader and a chief."

According to Capt. Juliann Althoff, NEPMU-7's officer-in-charge, Ingram is a true deckplate leader and one of the best CPOs she has ever served with.

"Her performance is exemplary; she flawlessly balances the tasks of being the unit's LCPO with service to the community at large," said Althoff. "She is not only an exemplary representative of NEPMU-7, but also the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) and Navy Medicine at large."

Capt. Eric R. Hoffman, NMCPHC executive officer echoed those sentiments adding his congratulations to NEPMU-7 leadership for being a shining example of how to develop and reward personnel.

"Clearly, this award not only acknowledges Chief Ingram's exceptional performance and commitment to her Shipmates and the community, but reflects positively on the entire NEPMU-7 staff for pursuing excellence in all that they do," said Hoffman. "Without question, the entire NMCPHC enterprise is very proud of Chief Ingram's accomplishment and values the tremendous leadership she displays every day."

In addition to unit LCPO, Ingram is also NEPMU-7's administrative LCPO. Her management ability and leadership were critical in the administrative establishment, staffing and structure of the unit, which recommissioned in 2014. She has been an active member of Naval Station Rota's CPO association as events coordinator, has been sought out as a leader in diversity for Women and African-American/Black history month activities, and acts as the U.S. Naval Hospital Rota CPO-365 chairman. Ingram accomplished these all while earning a second Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and pursing a master's degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma.

When asked about her leadership philosophy, Ingram strongly believes in this quote from speaker, author and Pastor John C. Maxwell, "Leadership is not about titles, positions or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another."

"Before I start my day I take five to ten minutes to meditate and pray for guidance on being a better leader, better friend, wife and mother, added Ingram.

"My team at NEPMU-7 makes my job as a leader easy, everyone is motivated to excel and strive for excellence. This drives and motivates me to be the best I can be when I see how hard each Sailor pushes themselves and each other. There is a lot of friendly competition and there is nothing wrong with that when it is used for good," said Ingram. "My reward is seeing previous and current Sailors excel and it's not necessarily because of what I've done alone, but as a member of the team."

"Chief Ingram is an immensely talented chief petty officer," said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman William Hayden, senior enlisted leader at NEPMU-7. "You know a chief is effective and [makes an impact] when her reputation for success brings individual Sailors and organizations from around the installation to her office to seek her guidance."

For more news from Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, visit

NNS160202-11. Europe-Africa Sailors of the Year Named

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Brian Biller, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, Adm. Mark Ferguson announced the 2015 CNE-CNA Shore Sailor, Sea Sailor and Junior Sailor of the Year in a ceremony held at Naval Support Activity, Naples, Capodichino, Jan. 29.

Operations Specialist 1st Class Amparo Balderas, from Commander, Task Force 68 in Rota, Spain, was named Sea Sailor of the Year.

Legalman 1st Class Stephani Pavoni, from CNE-CNA in Naples, Italy, was named Shore Sailor of the Year.

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Dawn Weston, from Commander, Task Force 69 in Naples was named Junior Sailor of the Year.


"Each of you embody the greatest values we hold dear in the service, and by your actions, the next generation of Sailors who are coming out of boot camp today will see you and say 'I want to be like that individual.'" - Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, Adm. Mark Ferguson

Quick Facts:

*Balderas will advance to compete next month at the Navy Sea Sailor of the Year competition at Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

*Pavoni will advance to compete later this spring at the Navy Shore Sailor of the Year competition at the Chief of Naval Operations.

*Sailor of the Year candidates travelled to Naples from across the theater to compete.

*During the week, in addition to the competition, Sailor of the Year candidates visited cultural sites including Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius, participated in a community relations project, attended physical training sessions with U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Fleet Master Chief Steven Giordano and were involved in several other area activities.

*Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, former chief of naval operations, created the Sailor of the Year program in 1972 to recognize outstanding Sailors at sea. The following year, the Shore Sailor of the Year program was introduced.

*U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, headquartered in Naples oversees joint and naval operations, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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

NNS160202-10. Military Sealift Command Sailors Volunteer at Thailand Orphanage

By Grady Fontana, Military Sealift Command Far East

HUAY YAI, Thailand (NNS) -- Members of Expeditionary Port Unit 111 (EPU 111) participated in a community-relations event at a local Thailand orphanage as part of their civic outreach program during Cobra Gold 2016 (CG-16), Jan. 30.

Eight members of EPU 111 went to the Protection and Development Center (CPDC), which is dedicated to the caring of displaced children, orphans and rescued trafficked children.

"Today we came to deliver some school supplies and spend some time with the kids," said Cmdr. Mark Early, commanding officer and reserve-component Sailor, EPU 111. "We played some soccer and played some games, and all the kids seemed to have a really good time."

In the prior days, members of EPU 111 voluntarily raised enough funds to purchase much needed school supplies, toys and snacks to give to about 70 children at CPDC, who range in age from 4 to 17.

The CPDC is located inland about 12 miles southeast of the Sattahip Port in Chuk Samet, Thailand, which is where the EPU is posted conducting exercise port operations training.

Surge Sealift, Roll-on/Roll-off ship USNS Maj. Stephen W. Pless (T-AK 3007) just completed an offload of equipment that will be used during CG-16. A second Military Sealift Command vessel, USNS 1st Lt. Jack Lummus (T-AK 3011), is scheduled to arrive in the coming days to offload additional CG-16 gear.

During a break in between offloads, the members EPU 111 took advantage of the lull in operations and decided to visit the orphanage and learn a little more about Thai culture.

"It's always good to give back to the community," said Early. "There's nothing like getting to know the local culture than getting engaged and involved in the local community."

This community outreach event was an opportunity to help local children, however the event was equally important to the Sailors.

"We wouldn't have seen this part of the country or their culture if we hadn't conducted this event," said Early. "This was an opportunity to immerse the member of the EPU into Thai culture. For most, this was their first time in Thailand."

During the three-hour evolution, the children were separated into two groups; one group played soccer and the other group played a variety of playground-type games that often lead to many laughs, cheers and yells of encouragement that were fostered by the EPU members, the facility volunteers and the children.

"These kids enjoy these visits very much," said Maria Cissah J. Car馻veral, volunteer coordinator at CPDC. "Once they see us setting up the gymnasium, they know that volunteers are coming and they get very excited."

This community relation event allowed for one member of the EPU to pause and take an introspective view of the morning event.

"You know that these kids are coming from poverty-stricken homes, some of them from abusive homes," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven Chase, logistics and supply, and reserve-component Sailor with EPU 111. "Just to see that little bit of joy in their face was very meaningful to me. So far, the visit to the orphanage was the best part of the visit to Thailand."

Chase recalled one boy who developed a fondness toward him.

"He just kind of stayed glued to me for the majority of the time," said Chase, from Shamrock, Texas. "To him, it didn't seem like he was too concerned about what we were doing, I think he just enjoyed having some social interaction with an adult. Giving out the school supplies and toys was nice, but the interaction with the kids was the best part."

EPU 111 is a reserve unit based out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and conducts expeditionary port operations in support of operations and contingencies. There are 17 EPU units under the control of MSC.

Thailand and the U.S. are scheduled to co-host the annual, multilateral Exercise CG-16 in various areas throughout the Kingdom of Thailand Feb. 9-19. This year's CG-16 will consist of three primary events -- a command post exercise, which includes a senior leader seminar, humanitarian civic assistance projects in Thai communities, and a field training exercise that will build regional relationships.

For more information, photos, and stories about the CG-16, including past iterations, please visit the official Facebook page at

For more news from Commander, Task Force 73, visit

NNS160202-09. NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Receives Retention Excellence Award

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

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistic Center (FLC) Yokosuka unveiled its golden anchor Jan. 27 as a result of being announced a winner of the fiscal year 2015 Retention Excellence Award, which authorizes awardees to fly the retention excellence pennant and paint their anchors gold.

"Your success represents commitment to the growth and development of your Sailors and serves as the foundation of fleet readiness," said Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen, commander NAVSUP and chief of Supply Corps.

Each year, commands have their career information program assessed, which includes benchmarks for reenlistments, retention and attrition. This year NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka exceeded all applicable benchmarks, said Navy Counselor 1st Class Alex March, career counselor at NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka.

Navy Career Counselors (NCs) play a vital role to the success of any command. This specialty focuses on enhancing the career development and opportunities for other Sailors, which allows them to spend more time doing their specific jobs for the command. NCs also focus on manning, placement, and retention, which contribute to the success of the command and the Navy overall.

"To earn an award like this really shows how well our Sailors are informed about their careers," said Capt. Raymond Bichard, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka commanding officer. "The effort that NC1 March put into educating our Sailors not only aided those individuals but benefited this command as a whole."

Retention and reenlistment of qualified Sailors is a mutual benefit to the Sailor and the Navy. However, the Navy is only looking to retain the best and brightest. The career navigator program is the primary force shaping tool used to identify top performers, said March.

"Sailors will make several critical decisions regarding duty stations, platform types and reenlistments over the course of a career," said March. "My job is to help or assist the Sailor in making the right career choice for his/herself and their family members."

"I accomplish this by becoming the subject-matter expert on Navy programs and policies regarding career assignments and special programs. I provide the Sailor with current, up-to-date information and offer expertise and insight, so that they can make informed and deliberate career decisions," March added.

Many Sailors have found the information put out by NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka's career counselor to be extremely helpful when making those big decisions.

"My time for reenlistment in coming up in a few months," said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Anthony Medeles, an inventory manager for NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka's Industrial Supply department. "Sitting down with our NC really helps me get a better understanding of all my options."

At the end of the day NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka has the kept the very best Sailors in its ranks, which enables superior logistics support to the warfighter within the 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).

NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, one of eight fleet logistics centers under NAVSUP Global Logistics Support (GLS), is the Western Pacific region's largest U.S. Navy logistics command. Headquartered just 26 miles due south of Tokyo, the enterprise networks more than 20 sites and fuel terminals from Misawa, Japan, to Sydney, Australia; Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to Guam with a mission to serve the Asia Pacific Region's forward deployed maritime warfighter with 24/7 operational logistics support integrating an extensive service provider network to deliver fuel, material, mail and supply chain services across the U.S. Navy's largest geographical AOR.

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit

NNS160202-07. NHB Facilitates Special Olympics Qualifiers

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Charles Gaddis IV, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Det. Northwest

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Special Olympics joined together with the Kitsap community and nearby military bases to hold the first qualifying basketball tournament for special needs athletes at the Kitsap Sun Pavilion, Jan. 30.

The Kitsap Sun Pavilion has hosted Special Olympics events for more than 30 years, but this was the first time it held qualifiers for the upcoming regional tournament.

"We're providing more competition by converting the tournament into qualifiers," said Justin Kautz, Northwest Regional manager for Special Olympics. "The athletes play more games. Rather than just staying here, they have the opportunity to join the regional tournament in Vancouver or even join the state tournament."

Thirteen teams competed with a roster of six to eight members per team, totaling an estimated 300 athletes playing in the qualifiers.

"What makes this so awesome to me is there are so many volunteers here and Special Olympics wants more," said Kautz. "We like that volunteers come in, take charge of the events and come together as a community."

Service members from all over the Northwest Region also joined the volunteer roster. Naval Hospital Bremerton has been volunteering for the past six years, including for the Washington State Special Olympics Summer games.

"I enjoy volunteering and coming out to assist the athletes," said Yeoman 3rd Class Britany Schloth, Naval Hospital Bremerton. "Coming out and helping our community is an honor and privilege that we take pride in."

Teams from all over the Northwest Region played hard during the qualifying matches.

"I believe the teams were evenly matched and it was great watching them out on the court having a good time," said Bruce Beyers, head coach of the South Kitsap Nitros. "Even though we lost, it was good to see the teams play with so much spirit."

After the games, teams were awarded medals and were ranked to move on to the regional tournament.

"This is a fabulous opportunity to put athletic skills along with social skills together with a team," said Barbara Pool, program coordinator. "I believe teaching sports and keeping our athletes active is better than leaving them alone."

With smiles and handshakes, the tournament concluded.

"I enjoyed playing today and I've been with Special Olympics since 1984," said Paul Dour, a member of the South Kitsap Thunderbolts. "I love sports and was unable to play in high school, [but] Special Olympics gave me a chance. So I took it and haven't stopped yet."

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element, visit

NNS160202-06. Air Force Chief of Staff Awards Naval War College Student Flying Cross

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

NEWPORT, R.I (NNS) -- Air Force Maj. Chris Marslender, a student at U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in Newport was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Gen. Mark Welsh III, Air Force Chief of Staff, during a ceremony held at the school, Feb. 1.

The citation explained Marslender's actions showed "exemplary knowledge and outstanding airmanship, displayed under hazardous conditions," and "professional competence, aerial skill and devotion to duty."

Marslender acknowledged those who served with him.

"This goes to the credit of everyone who was there with all the support we had," said Marslender. "My wingman and all the great coalition pilots were just amazing. And the squadron I came out of, and was fortunate to be deployed with, was an incredible group of individuals."

Marslender was also pleased his family was able to attend the ceremony.

"It was really amazing," he said. "And to have my parents here who are both U.S. Army veterans -- it was really neat."

Welsh stressed he understands the importance of family in Marslender's award.

"I know that you had the support of your wife and family," said Welsh. "And without their support, this may not have been possible. For you, I know discussions about the importance of national security started around the breakfast table as you were growing up with parents who are both veterans."

Marslender is currently enrolled in College of Naval Command and Staff and also in the Maritime Advanced Warfare Studies program.

According to the award criteria, the Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded to any officer or enlisted person of the armed forces of the United States who has distinguished him or herself in actual combat in support of operations by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight.

Prior to the ceremony, Welsh spoke to students, faculty and staff of NWC about leadership and the military.

Welsh stressed that in the military, joint operations and interagency cooperation are concepts are here to stay and are vital parts of our national defense.

He also stressed that respect, teamwork, and trust are the basis of leadership.

He noted to the students that as they increase in rank and responsibility, how they lead will impact the people assigned to them.

"More and more people will listen to what you say," said Welsh. "And what you say will either impress them or depress them."

NWC is a one-year resident program that graduates about 600 resident students and about 1,000 distance learning students each year. Its missions include educating and developing leaders, helping define the future of the Navy, supporting combat readiness, and strengthening maritime partnerships. Students earn Joint Professional Military Education credit and either a diploma or a master's degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.

Established in 1884, 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 and about 300 of today's active duty admirals, generals and senior executive service leaders are alumni.

NNS160202-05. Blood Work: ONR-Sponsored Technology Simulates How Legs Bleed

By Warren Duffie, Office of Naval Research

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- To make training for combat medics more realistic, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have designed the first detailed computer simulation model of an injured human leg-complete with spurting blood, officials announced today.

Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the simulator was created at UCLA's Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology (CASIT). The research team included surgeons, fluid dynamicists, biomedical engineers, mathematicians and psychologists.

"This model truly is a breakthrough in how combat medics can be taught to control hemorrhaging," said Dr. Ray Perez, a program officer in ONR's Warfighter Performance Department. "Leg injuries are particularly difficult to treat since different points of entry cause different levels of blood loss. This new simulator model can better prepare medics with various ways to staunch bleeding."

The goal of the simulator is to provide future medics with a virtual patient that reacts in realistic fashion to leg wounds. Although previous work has measured blood fluid dynamics and the impact of gunshot and shrapnel wounds to different parts of the body, this is the first such modeling for legs.

Legs, which are rich in blood vessels, are particularly vulnerable places to be injured. Bullets or shrapnel can slice through veins and arteries, resulting in lost limbs or even death. Another threat is damage caused by improvised explosive devices, roadside bombs or mines.

To create the simulator model, researchers combined detailed knowledge of anatomy with real-life CAT scans and MRIs to map out layers of a human leg-the bone, the soft tissue containing muscle and blood vessels and the skin surrounding everything. Then the design team applied physics and mathematical equations, fluid dynamics, and pre-determined rates of blood flow from specific veins and arteries to simulate blood loss for wounds of varying sizes and severity.

"This simulator is unique because it uses mathematics and fluid physics to replicate blood flow," said Dr. Erik Dutson, a general surgeon and CASIT's executive medical director, who oversaw the simulator's design. "Other simulators provide a less detailed, more cartoonish picture of blood flow. We worked with experts in fluid dynamics to create an accurate, realistic vision of the speed and distribution of blood loss."

Dutson envisions the simulator being used in real-time training exercises by combat medics. It would enable them to test different methods of staunching blood flow to perform more effectively in actual battlefield situations. Even better, Dutson said, medics could change the size and shape of virtual wounds-as well as the speed and amount of blood flow-and complete exercises multiple times to improve proficiency.

The CASIT team also designed the simulator to reflect the latest breakthroughs in the science of learning-targeting how the human brain best processes information, adapting to an individual's learning proficiencies, and accelerating learning time and retention during training.

While Dutson is pleased with the simulator's design, his team already is planning improvements-chiefly, enhancing the liquid model representing blood.

"As it stands, the liquid model is similar to water in its composition," he said. "We eventually want to have it mirror more closely the physiological characteristics of blood, which is a living tissue. These include red and white blood cells, plasma and platelets and clotting properties. We feel we'll get to that level of accuracy soon."

Perez said talks are underway with the Navy and Marine Corps to test the simulator on a trial basis among combat medic recruits.

"Dr. Dutson and his team have created an ambitious suite of technologies serving a major need for the military," said Perez. "We look forward to helping him get this in the hands of combat medics."

Watch a video link found at about the leg-bleeding simulator.

Warren Duffie is a contractor for ONR Corporate Strategic Communications.

For more news from Office of Naval Research, visit

NNS160202-03. Navy's Great Green Fleet Initiative Powers USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group

By Brian J. Davis, Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Puget Sound Office of Corporate Communication

MANCHESTER, Wash. (NNS) -- The fast combat support ship USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7) departed the Manchester Fuel Depot Jan. 22 with more than 3 million gallons of alternative fuel provided by Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Puget Sound in support of the Navy's Great Green Fleet Initiative.

Rainier pulled into the Manchester Fuel Depot, the largest single site DoD fuel terminal in the continental United States and took on more than 3.7 million gallons of F-76 marine diesel fuel.

It was a typical operation for NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound fuel personnel and Rainier's crew, but this time the ship's liquid cargo was composed of an alternative blend consisting of 10 percent biofuel manufactured from animal fat mixed with standard petroleum-based fuel.

The alternative fuel blend is being used to power the surface ships assigned to the USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCS CSG) during its current deployment. Upon departing San Diego to join the JCS CSG Jan. 20, Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) officially became the first Navy surface ship in history to use the alternative fuel blend for regular operations.

The Navy's focus with the Great Green Fleet initiative is to demonstrate the ability to adapt new technologies to expand options for energy sources available to the Navy and Marine Corps.

"The purpose of this initiative is to prove we can do it," said NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound Fuel Department Director Lt. Cmdr. Scott McCarthy. "It shows that there is another option available, giving us greater flexibility for powering our operational forces."

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said, "Diversifying our energy sources arms us with operational flexibility and strengthens our ability to provide presence, turning the tables on those who would use energy as a weapon against us."

Manchester Fuel Depot received the initial biofuel product via Military Sealift Command chartered tanker M/T Empire State earlier in the week. Once the fuel was offloaded, NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound Fuel Department personnel conducted testing and processing to verify the fuel's purity, quality, and mixture proportions. Once the technicians finished their work, the fuel was ready for issue to the Rainier and subsequent distribution to the JCS CSG.

The operation was a milestone for the Fuel Department crew. Their first time operating with alternative fuel went smoothly, from initial receipt of the fuel shipment through processing and fuel transfer to the Rainier.

"This was an opportunity to showcase our capabilities," said McCarthy. "Our operational flexibility and ability to provide top-notch logistics support for the Great Green Fleet Initiative is evidenced by the hard work of the men and women working behind the scenes at the Manchester Fuel Depot."

According to NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound officials, being chosen as a source for the JCS CSG's alternative fuel supply provided a chance to put the full potential of the organization's logistics capabilities on display for its customers to see.

"This opportunity to support the JCS CSG truly demonstrates the Manchester Fuel Depot's ability to adapt to new technology and provide capable, flexible fuel support to our operational forces," said NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound Commanding Officer Capt. Tim Jett.

According to a press release from the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, the biofuel is obtained from waste beef tallow and fat provided by Midwest farmers and ranchers that is collected and processed into fuel by a California-based company.

The Great Green Fleet initiative showcases the ability of the Navy and Marine Corps to use energy efficiency and alternative energy sources to enhance combat capability and operational flexibility.

The Manchester Fuel Depot is managed by the NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound Fuel Department. The fuel depot's mission is to provide customers with top quality military specification fuel, lubricants, and additives used by land, sea, and air forces. The facility issues, manages, and receives bulk petroleum products and is tasked with ensuring compliance of product quality, inventory control, and environmental regulations. Manchester Fuel Depot provides fuels support for U.S. and allied forces throughout the Puget Sound region and the Pacific Rim.

NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound, one of eight fleet logistics centers under NAVSUP GLS, provides operational logistics, business and support services to Navy, Coast Guard, Military Sealift Command and other joint and allied forces. Products and services include contracting, fuels, global logistics, hazardous material management, household goods, integrated logistics support, material management, postal, regional transportation and warehousing.

NAVSUP GLS provides global logistics for a global Navy. The organization is made up of more than 6,300 military and civilian logistics professionals operating from 105 locations worldwide providing an extensive array of integrated global logistics and contracting services to Navy, Marine Corps, joint operational units, and allied forces across all warfare enterprises.

For news and information about NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound, visit or find it on Facebook at

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit

NNS160202-02. Navy Training Announces 2015 Excellence Awards

By Ensign James A. Griffin, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) announced the winners of the 2015 Training Excellence Awards (TEA), Feb. 1, honoring superior accomplishments in preparing Sailors and Marines for the fleet.

The Training Excellence Award structure resembles the Battle Effectiveness (Battle "E") competition held throughout the fleet, recognizing sustained superior performance in an operational environment within a command.

"These annual awards recognize commands [that] epitomize the highest degree of training excellence found throughout NETC," said Rear Adm. Mike White, commander, NETC. "The continued success in the delivery of training, from both instructors and staff, will ensure mission-ready, high-quality Sailors and Marines are available to meet the needs of our fleet."

At the end of the year, NETC training headquarters directors assess the learning centers and training support centers based on established performance measures, and total the results. Areas evaluated include results of Inspector General and safety visits, how well the staff manages training and student throughput, and correct handling of specialty items such as ordnance, radiation, and high-risk training. TEA Board Coordinator Dorothy Berry noted that winning in the TEA categories is no easy task.

"Providing a ready relevant maritime force for the fleet is the mission of NETC, and the TEA competition shows the incredibly hard work done by the staff at each center fulfilling that mission," said Berry.

NETC training activities and those that conduct NETC training courses are eligible for TEA awards. The competition is composed of three award categories: the Learning Center Training Excellence "White T", the Training Support Center Training Support Excellence "White TS", and Functional Excellence Awards. The two winners of the T and TS will receive a burgee denoting their award, which they are authorized to display throughout 2016.

This year's winners are:

Learning Center Training Excellence "White T" Award:
- Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving, Panama City, Florida.
Training Support Center Training Support Excellence "White TS" Award:
- Training Support Center Great Lakes, Great Lakes.
The Learning Center recipients of the Functional Awards are:
* Business Administration and Support (Yellow T):
- Center for Information Dominance, Pensacola.
- Center for Surface Combat Systems, Dahlgren, Virginia.
* Planning and Programming (Silver T):
- Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving, Panama City, Florida.
- Center for Security Forces, Virginia Beach, Virginia.
- Center Service Support, Newport, Rhode Island.
- Center for Information Dominance, Pensacola.
- Submarine Learning Center, Groton, Connecticut.
* Total Force Management Award (Red T):
- Surface Warfare Officers School, Newport.
- Center for Information Dominance, Pensacola.
- Center for Surface Combat Systems, Dahlgren, Virginia.
* Logistics Management Award (Blue T):
- Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving, Panama City.
- Surface Warfare Officers School, Newport.
- Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training, Pensacola.
- Center for Service Support, Newport.
- Naval Chaplaincy School and Center, Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
- Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering, Port Hueneme, California.
- Submarine Learning Center, Groton.
* Curriculum Management Award (Black T):
- Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving, Panama City.
- Surface Warfare Officers School, Newport.
- Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training, Pensacola.
- Center for Security Forces, Virginia Beach.
- Center for Service Support, Newport.
- Center for Information Dominance, Pensacola.
- Naval Chaplaincy School and Center, Fort Jackson.
- Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering, Port Hueneme.
- Center for Surface Combat Systems, Dahlgren.
- Submarine Learning Center, Groton.
* Training Production Management Award (Green T):
- Surface Warfare Officers School, Newport.
- Center for Service Support, Newport.
- Center for Information Dominance, Pensacola.
* Training Support Management Award (Bronze T):
- Center for Security Forces, Virginia Beach.
- Center for Information Dominance, Pensacola.
- Naval Chaplaincy School and Center, Fort Jackson.
- Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering, Port Hueneme.
- Submarine Learning Center, Groton.
* Financial Management Award (Purple T):
- Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving, Panama City.
The Training Support Center recipients of the Functional Awards are:
* Business Administration and Support (Yellow TS):
- Training Support Center Great Lakes, Great Lakes.
* Planning and Programming Award (Silver TS):
- Training Support Center Hampton Roads, Norfolk.
- Training Support Center San Diego, San Diego.
- Training Support Center Great Lakes, Great Lakes.
* Logistics Management Award (Blue TS):
- Training Support Center Hampton Roads, Norfolk.
- Training Support Center San Diego, San Diego.
- Training Support Center Great Lakes, Great Lakes.
* Training Support Management Award (Bronze TS):
- Training Support Center Hampton Roads, Norfolk.
- Training Support Center San Diego, San Diego.
- Training Support Center Great Lakes, Great Lakes.
* Financial Management Award (Purple TS):
- Training Support Center Hampton Roads, Norfolk.
- Training Support Center San Diego, San Diego.

For more information about Naval Education and Training Command, visit and

NNS011213-14. This Day in Naval History - Feb. 02

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1848 - The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican-American War and establishes the boundaries between the two republics.

1862 - Capt. David G. Farragut, commander of his flagship, the screw sloop of war Hartford, departs Hampton Roads for Ship Island, Miss., where Farragut takes command of the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron in preparation for the assault on New Orleans.

1938 - While piloting a PBY-2 aircraft in a tactical exercise off California, Lt. Carlton B. Hutchins collides with another VP-11 PBY-2. Remaining at his badly damaged planes controls, Hutchins courageously allows members of his crew to parachute to safety, but is killed in the planes subsequent crash. For his "extraordinary heroism," he is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

1942 - USS Seadragon (SS 194) sinks Japanese army cargo ship Tamagawa Maru.

1943 - A Japanese destroyer is damaged, and later scuttled, by a mine laid by US Navy light minelayers off Cape Esperance.

1944 - Destroyer USS Walker (DD 517) sinks Japanese submarine RO 39, 10 miles east of Wotje, Marshall Islands.

NNS160202-22. President Obama to Award the Medal of Honor

From Naval Special Warfare Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- On February 29, 2016, President Barack Obama will present the Medal of Honor to Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Byers.

Byers will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as part of a team that rescued an American civilian being held hostage in Afghanistan on December 8-9, 2012.

He will be the eleventh living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan. He and his family will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service.

"The strength of the Naval Special Warfare community is in its exceptional people. Senior Chief Ed Byers' actions on the battlefield reflect the highest ideals of our profession: bravery, selfless dedication to duty, and above all, the highest level of commitment to protect the lives of others and the freedom for which our nation stands," said Rear Admiral Brian Losey, Commander Naval Special Warfare. "We are humbled by Senior Chief Byers' incredible example of service, and are proud to call him Teammate."


Senior Chief Byers was born in Toledo, Ohio, August 4, 1979. He graduated from Otesgo High School in Tontogany, Ohio in June 1997.

Senior Chief Byers currently holds a National Paramedics License, and will graduate from Norwich University with a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis in early 2016.

Senior Chief Byers entered the Navy in September 1998, attending boot camp and Hospital Corpsman School at Great Lakes, Illinois. He served at Great Lakes Naval Hospital, and then with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In 2002, he attended the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL course, graduating from Class 242, and completed the Special Operations Combat Medic course in 2003. Senior Chief Byers has been assigned to various east coast SEAL teams, and completed eight overseas deployments with seven combat tours.

Senior Chief Byers' awards and decorations include five awards of the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V device, two awards of the Purple Heart, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor device, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat V device, two additional awards of the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two awards of the Combat Action Ribbon, three Presidential Unit Citations, two Joint Meritorious Unit Awards, two Navy Unit Commendations, and five Good Conduct Medals.



The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their own lives above and beyond the call of duty while:
* engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
* engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
* serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

There must be no margin of doubt or possibility of error in awarding this honor. To justify this decoration, the deed performed must have been one of personal bravery and self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades, and must have involved risk of life. It must also be the type of deed which if not done would not subject the individual to any justified criticism.

NNS160203-10. USNS Choctaw County Enters 5th Fleet

From U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs

RED SEA (NNS) -- Auxiliary, Expeditionary Fast Transport ship USNS
Choctaw County (T-EPF 2) arrived in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO) Feb. 3, the first ship of its platform to be forward deployed to the region following a routine transit of the Suez Canal.

Choctaw County is a non-combatant vessel with a civilian crew. The ship will operate under Commander, Task Force (CTF) 53 to accomplish a range of missions in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOO and provide a range of flexible and adaptable capabilities in order to conduct theater security cooperation efforts, maritime security operations and provide crisis response.

"I'm thrilled to have Choctaw County in the 5th Fleet," said Capt. Edwin D. Kaiser, commander of CTF 53. "The ship gives us tremendous capacity and operational flexibility."

CTF 53 provides logistics support to the Naval Forces Central Command area of operations, including underway replenishment by Military Sealift Command-operated ships.

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) is responsible for approximately 2.5 million square miles of area including the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, North
Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. NAVCENT's mission is to conduct maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts, and strengthen partner nation's maritime capabilities in order to promote security and stability in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOO.

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

NNS160203-11. USS Bataan Completes Sea Trials

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Caleb Strong, USS Bataan Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) completed sea trials Feb. 1 after conducting major shipyard maintenance over the past 12 months.

Sea trials are conducted after ships complete major shipyard maintenance and tests the ship's systems and to make sure the ship is ready for deployment.

"Sea trials provided the ship with a series of tests and validations in order to test newly installed, modified or overhauled equipment," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Aaron Dowdy from Richmond, Virginia, the ship's repair officer. "Major equipment that needed testing included radars, the ship's propulsion system and the countermeasure wash down system, which is designed to defend the ship against chemical, biological and radiological attack."

Thanks to cooperation between Bataan Sailors and shipyard workers, work was performed to further prepare the ship to answer the nation's call.

"Sea trial success comes from Sailors and shipyard workers quickly learning how to work together," Dowdy said. "It's been months of planning and training. When it came down to execution, the crew was ready, and they made it happen."

Bataan's crew has been working many months in preparation for sea trials. The ship's maintenance period started in February 2015 in BAE Shipyards with the ship going into drydock. The crew spent months prior to that identifying maintenance needs and requesting them through the ship's maintenance system. After months of hard work from the crew and the shipyard workers, the ship returned to Naval Station Norfolk in December. Now all their hard work has paid off.

"The necessary system checks and work by the crew during sea trials makes certain Bataan will be ready to rejoin the fleet and get the crew for their next deployment," said Dowdy. "After a long shipyard period, it feels great to get the ship back out to sea. I'm extremely happy with the way the crew has come together and performed."

Once sea trials are completed, the ship will begin its training and qualification cycle. Sailors, new and old, will train and then be tested to show they are ready for the ship's next deployment.

"Since returning from deployment in 2014, we set three priorities here aboard Bataan," said Bataan's Commanding Officer Capt. John "JC" Carter. "Our first two priorities were taking care of the Sailor and taking care of the Bataan family. After a long deployment, these were at the top of the list."

"Our third priority was taking care of the ship," said Carter. "This crew, along with quite a number of new Sailors who checked into the command this past year, have stepped up to the plate and seriously hit a home run. I couldn't be prouder of the accomplishments we've made during this maintenance period."

Bataan is scheduled to begin the basic phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Training Plan in order to prepare for future deployments.

NNS160203-14. Navy Medicine Hosts Inaugural Women's Health Summit

By Steve Van Der Werff, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) hosted its first Women's Health Summit, Jan. 25-28.

The summit gave stakeholders an opportunity to understand and discuss critical topics regarding women's health and health care; as well as contribute to the development of a comprehensive, strategic plan to shape and guide the future of the Navy and Marine Corps women's health community.

Vice Adm. Nora W. Tyson, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet was the featured guest speaker and emphasized the importance and value of the summit with regards to readiness.

"As the Third Fleet Commander, I'm in the readiness business. I owe the Pacific Fleet Commander the ready forces he needs to carry out their mission in the region," said Tyson. "The health of our force has a very real impact on my ability."

Topics addressed during the summit included:

*Women's health challenges and opportunities in the Navy Medicine community.
*Population health management throughout the continuum of care.
*A community vision and goals for the future of women's health and health care delivery.

"Our goal is to develop a strategic plan for the Navy and Marine Corps women's health community to guide the delivery of health care and optimize the health of female beneficiaries," said Cmdr. Eva Domotorffy, BUMED Office of Women's Health. "This plan will be evidence-based, driven by stakeholder input and aligned with SECNAV and BUMED priorities. "During our breakout sessions we discussed existing and anticipated challenges to the delivery of care and achieving optimal health for female beneficiaries."

Cmdr. Gregory Freitag, BUMED Office of Women's Health, emphasized that the number of women serving in the military is increasing and their roles in the military and civilian sector are changing, which means health requirements need to change as well.

"Attendees discussed women's health issues, challenges and opportunities from the provider perspective and the patient perspective," said Freitag. "This summit allowed us to address key findings, trends and themes that will influence women's health care across the Navy and Marine Corps."

Navy Medicine is a global health care network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

For more news from Navy Medicine, visit

NNS160203-01. USS Abraham Lincoln Kicks Off African American/Black History Month

By USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee (MCHC) held a cake-cutting ceremony to begin the ship's observance of African American/Black History Month on the mess decks aboard the Floating Accommodation Facility (FAF) at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News Feb. 1.

The ceremony kicks off a month-long celebration for the Lincoln crew to honor the contributions of African Americans to the nation and the U.S. Navy.

African American/Black History Month honors the history and accomplishments of African Americans.

Cmdr. Louis Scott, Lincoln's maintenance officer served as guest speaker, telling his story of growing up in southern Georgia and joining the Navy a month after graduating from high school.

"My hope is that my story will inspire a young Sailor in the audience today to the possibilities that await them if they work hard and strive to be the best in everything that they do," Scott said. "Now that I'm older, I have a great appreciation for of all the experiences I had growing up in the South. Those experiences helped shape me into the man I am today, and the better person I want to be tomorrow."

During his closing remarks, Lincoln's Commanding Officer Capt. Ron Ravelo, reflected on the ship's namesake.

"I was sitting here thinking about the theme for this month (hallowed ground), and in my mind I think it's actually kind of fitting," Ravelo said. "I can't think of a ship in the U.S. Navy that is named after an individual who has done more for the cause of African Americans."

Lincoln is currently undergoing Refueling and Complex Overhaul at Newport News Shipyard, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

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

NNS160203-07. Presentation Highlights Importance of Sexual Assault Prevention

By Zach Mott, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- Eliminating sexual assault in the ranks is a top priority for military leaders. For the more than 5,000 new accession Sailors in Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes, learning skills and tactics to reach that goal were the focus of a presentation Feb. 3 to a packed Ross Theater crowd.

"It helps emphasize the importance of sexual assault prevention and that there are people out there who do bad things," said Chief Damage Controlman Jeremy Hardnack, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response command liaison for TSC. "This program is another tool to help us use in order to help get the information out there to the students."

During the hour-long, interactive presentation, students were instructed on the harm of retaliation and reprisal, the role of each individual in the prevention of sexual assault, how to be a good bystander, the connection between harassment and sexist remarks, creating a culture that does not tolerate sex offenders and reinforce Navy core values.

The scenario depicted Sailors reacting to a reported sexual assault between shipmates. Sailors are first observers then take on more involved roles as the scenario dives deeper into the issue of sexual assault and the reprisal thereafter.

"It really makes you think," said Seaman Elizabeth Jones, a student at TSC. "Going through these scenarios it helps to get an idea of how to deal with a real situation like this."

The production is researched and put on by Peer Praxis, a group based out of Long Beach, California, that stages productions for Navy and Marine Corps groups throughout the world.

"This show specifically deals with retaliation because we've seen a lot of that," said Alfredo Avila, a member of the Peer Praxis group who cited 2014 statistics on retaliation to reported sexual assaults.

This scenario is designed to give Sailors a toolkit of responses if they encounter similar issues.

"Sexual assault is a difficult issue with how do you curb it," Avila said. "When presented with an opportunity when you can do something about it and do an action. That's how you train for combat, you practice. That's how we feel people should train to prevent these kinds of things."

This presentation is a continuation of an education that began in student indoctrination during their first week at TSC as bystander intervention is introduced. That training continues through instruction from Navy Military Training Instructors (NMTI) and programs taught by outside agencies, such as this one.

"The CO (commanding officer), XO (executive officer) and CMC (command master chief) are very adamant about having this training because it's one of the top programs for the CNO and the SECNAV to make sure we're talking about sexual assault prevention," Hardnack said.

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

NNS160203-03. Sailors Begin Surface Warfare Pin Snow Sculpture

By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ryan C. Delcore, Naval Air Facility Misawa, Japan Public Affairs

SAPPORO, Japan (NNS) -- Sailors stationed at U.S. Naval Air Facility (NAF) Misawa and its tenant commands began work on a snow sculpture as part of the 67th annual Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan, Jan. 30.

The team will carve a 3-D surface warfare pin in honor of the Navy's surface warfare program, marking the 33rd consecutive year the U.S. Navy has sent a team of eight Sailors to participate in the festival.

The surface warfare pin will be carved from a 10-by-10 foot block of compacted snow and will be on display during the festival, which is visited by more than two million spectators each year.

"Our team has never had this experience before and it's their first time ever trying to complete a sculpture," said Builder 1st Class Thomas Thornton, this year's team leader from Huntington, Massachusetts, and assigned to Public Works Detachment Misawa. "I think they're doing a phenomenal job. They're on their second day on the site and the surface warfare pin is in a recognizable state and you can see the ship."

The Sailors were chosen by their commands as a result of their stellar performance while on and off duty.

"My personal experience here has been amazing so far, this is a once in a lifetime chance to be able to participate in an event like this," said Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Nicholas Garcia, assigned to Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Far East (NCTSFE), from La Mirada, California, and a member of this year's snow sculpting team.

In recent years, the Navy snow sculpting teams have sculpted replicas of "The Lone Sailor," USS George Washington (CVN 73), the famous U.S. Navy Seabee logo, "The Fighting Bee," and the Navy's oldest commissioned ship, USS Constitution.

The team has seven days to build the sculpture in time for the festival's kick off, Feb. 5, and they have made quick progress shaping the ship's hull and waves.

While in Sapporo, the Navy's team will once again be hosted by the Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members at Camp Sapporo.

Along with Thornton and Garcia, this year's all-Navy snow sculpting team is also comprised of Mineman Seaman William Deaver, assigned to Navy Munitions Command East Asia Division Unit Misawa, who hails from Troy, Missouri; Yeoman 2nd Class Pauline Foust, assigned to Naval Air Facility Misawa, from New York; Utilitiesman Constructionman Victoria Holland, assigned to Public Works Detachment Misawa, originally from McDonaugh, Georgia; Operations Specialist 2nd Class Ellington Morgan, assigned to Commander, Task Force 72, from Sacramento, California; Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Darshelay Rockette, assigned to Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department Misawa, and a native of Benton Harbor, Michigan; and Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Samuel Weldin, assigned to Naval Air Facility Misawa, from Columbia, South Carolina.

There are many snow sculpting teams from around the world that participate in the festival every year. JGSDF and the city of Sapporo create some of the largest sculptures measuring more than 40 feet high and 80 feet wide.

There will also be a snow sculpting competition that is held annually during the festival.

For more news from Naval Air Facility Misawa, Japan, visit

NNS160203-02. Naval Education and Training Commander Visits USNA

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

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) Rear Adm. Michael White toured the U.S. Naval Academy Feb. 2.

For White, a 1983 graduate of the University of Colorado, it was his first visit to the historic institution, which has been training and educating future naval officers for 170 years.

His tour included visits to classrooms, physical exercise facilities and the many monuments that scatter the Yard.

"The grounds at USNA are something to behold," said White. "I am very interested in how we mold our Sailors, morally, ethically and of course in their technical field. This gave me an interesting perspective on how we can do better in the schools we run."

NETC's mission is to transform civilians into highly skilled, combat-ready warfighters and enable their career-long growth and development. The amount of time spent in NETC schools is significantly shorter than the 4-year program at USNA, but both institutions share the goal for creating better, smarter and ethically stronger students.

"It is slightly different in that USNA has its midshipmen for four years, and we have ours for a much shorter period of time," said White. "USNA does an incredible job of molding the ideas of technology into training, bringing ethical decision making into its learning, and overall character development. We want to be able to further incorporate those ideas into our schools."

While observing the faculty, staff, and facilities and interacting with midshipmen, White recalled the initial impression he had of USNA, further clarified by today's visit.

"I have had many peers over the years who have graduated from USNA," he said. "I've always had great respect for the institution both educationally and professionally, and what I saw here today matched that exactly, incredible professionalism by everyone I met today on the staff and a compassion for learning and developing our country's future officers. All matched by the spectacular venue that is USNA."

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

NNS160203-05. USS Dallas Commanding Officer Relieved of Duty

From Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- The commanding officer of the Groton-based Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Dallas (SSN 700) was relieved of his duties Feb. 2 due to loss of confidence in his ability to command.

Cmdr. Edward Byers was removed from his position by Capt. Oliver Lewis, Commander, Submarine Squadron 12. Byers has been administratively reassigned to the staff of Commander, Undersea Warfare Development Center, Groton, Connecticut.

Capt. Jack Houdeshell, deputy commander at Submarine Squadron 4, has been assigned as commanding officer. Houdeshell previously served as commanding officer of Dallas prior to Byers.

Commissioned July 1981, Dallas is one of 16 submarines homeported in Groton.

For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, Atlantic, visit

NNS011213-12. This Day in Naval History - Feb. 03

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1863 - The "double-ender" side wheel steam gunboat USS Sonoma captures the blockade running British bark Springbok during the Civil War.

1917 - President Woodrow Wilson, in an address to Congress, severs diplomatic relations with Germany after the country decides on the first of the month to reintroduce the policy of unrestricted U-boat warfare.

1944 - PBY Catalinas and USAAF B-25s 5th Air Force aircraft attack a Japanese convoy west of New Hanover and sink a cargo ship, Nichiai Maru.

1944 - USS Tambor (SS 198) attacks a Japanese convoy and sinks Goyu Maru and merchant tanker Ariake Maru about 200 miles southeast of Shanghai.

1990 - Dock Landing Ship USS Comstock (LSD 45) is commissioned.

NNS160204-31. SECDEF Carter Visits Naval Base San Diego

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Will Gaskill, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Secretary of Defense Ash Carter spoke to Sailors about the impact of the proposed fiscal year 2017 defense budget, during a visit to Naval Base San Diego Feb. 4.

After touring Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) and guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), and meeting with Navy senior leadership, Carter addressed a crowd of more than 150 Sailors and local and national media about how the Department of Defense is investing in long-term naval power.

Carter said the budget will increase aircraft, ship, munitions, and technological capabilities over the next five years. This plan includes nine new Virginia-class submarines, 10 new Aegis destroyers, 40 new littoral combat ships, 13 more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, and 16 more F/A-18E/F Super Hornets than originally planned, as well as additional funding for advances in cyber, space, and electronic warfare.

He also announced a new weapons capability.

"We're modifying the SM-6 (standard missile) so that in addition to missile defense, it can also target enemy ships at sea," Carter said. "It makes the SM-6 basically a twofer. You can shoot down airborne threats, and now you can attack and destroy a ship at long range with the very same missile."

Carter spoke about current terror threats around the globe, as well as strategic naval challenges and how the Navy and Marine Corps will receive the needed power to continue their efforts.

"Our fleet will be larger," said Carter. "It will be much more effective, potent, and lethal than it is today, because it will be equipped with weapons and the advanced capabilities that we'll need to deter any aggressor and to make any aggressor who isn't deterred very much regret the decision to take us on."

Carter stressed the significance of balancing investments and ensuring the U.S. continues to have the greatest technology and the most powerful capabilities of any other military in the world. He then commended the Sailors in attendance for their performance and asked they take a message home.

"I thank you, and since I know behind every Sailor is a family, tell them how proud we are of them and thank them for standing by you as you stand by our country," Carter said.

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

NNS160204-14. Antietam, McCampbell Build Relationships at IFR 2016

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David Flewellyn & Ensign Soon Kwon, Commander Task Force 70 Public Affairs

VISAKHAPATNAM, India (NNS) -- Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) arrived Feb. 4 in India to participate in the nation's International Fleet Review (IFR) 2016.

IFR 2016 is an international military exercise hosted by the Indian Navy to help enhance mutual trust and confidence with navies around the world.

From Feb. 4 through 8, more than 50 countries will participate in the event, according to the Indian Navy's website. Some of the IFR 2016 events include: the fleet review and fly-by attended by the honorable president of India, and the International City Parade attended by the honorable prime minister of India.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson will also be present at IFR 2016 to help deepen maritime partnerships between India and the United States. Furthermore, the visit to India and interactions with other Navy leaders are reflections of CNO's recently released "A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority," which mentions "expand[ing] and strengthen[ing] our network of partners."

"These critical relationships are enhanced by maintaining interoperable navy capabilities that deter regional aggression and build partner security capacity," said Cmdr. Ed Sundberg, McCampbell's commanding officer, "For some of my crew, this will be their second time visiting with the Indian Navy. They have a terrific navy and my crew looks forward to continuing and expanding our relationship with them."

In addition to attending various events of IFR 2016, the CNO will meet with Sailors from Antietam and McCampbell.

Capt. Michael McCartney, Antietam's commanding officer said, "We are excited to be part of the Indian International Fleet Review. Most of our shipmates have never visited India and look forward to experiencing Indian Culture first hand."

The five-day exercise will provide a great opportunity for Sailors assigned to both ships to see and interact with sailors from all over the world.

Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Malina Deru, from Taylorsville, Utah, said, "This is the type of experience that only happens maybe once or twice in your career. It's not every day that you get to represent the United States Navy amongst 50 other navies while getting to experience the culture of a foreign country."

Antietam and McCampbell are forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, and are on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS160203-20. MARSOC Navy Corpsman to Receive Silver Star

From MARSOC Public Affairs

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (NNS) -- Petty Officer 2nd Class Alejandro N. Salabarria, a Navy corpsman with 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Raider Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, will be awarded the Silver Star Medal for his heroic actions during 2014 deployment to Afghanistan.

The award ceremony is scheduled to take place at MARSOC headquarters aboard Stone Bay, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Feb. 5, at 3 p.m.

Salabarria, a Miami native, was serving with 2nd Marine Raider Battalion in support of Operation Enduring Freedom when his team, along with Italian Special Forces and Afghan Special Operations Commandos were engaged by a rogue Afghan Commando. During the initial seconds of the attack, several U.S. and Afghan personnel were wounded, creating immediate overwhelming chaos across the formation. Without hesitation, Salabarria maneuvered into the kill zone, engaging the rogue commando.

Once he reached a severely wounded fellow corpsman, he dove between him and the rogue commando, using his body as a shield to prevent further injuries. While protecting the other corpsman with his body, he engaged the rogue commando with his M4 assault rifle, eliminating him and any further threat to his team. Immediately after securing the area, Salabarria rendered aid to two wounded team members and coordinated their evacuation via helicopter. His bold actions ultimately saved the lives of his fellow team members and Afghan Commando partners.

Major Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, will present the award.

NNS160204-32. NAVSTA Newport Partners with Community in Mass Casualty Training

By Lisa Woodbury Rama, Naval Station Newport Public Affairs Officer

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- On the morning of Feb. 4, a message went out over the airways that an active shooter incident was taking place within Naval Health Clinic New England (NHCNE) building 43 at Naval Station Newport.

The active shooter scenario was part of Exercise Solid Curtail-Citadel Shield (SC-CS) 2016, an annual training exercise designed to enhance the training and readiness of Navy security forces.

The automated telephone messages, computer generated emails, social media posts, texts and giant voice announcements all triggered a series of events within every building on board the installation.

Emergency procedures include an initial lock down of all facilities including the gates onto and off of the installation.

This level of training can have impacts on the community outside the gates, which can add to the realism of the training.

Installation officials made great efforts to inform the local community about the drill in advance, including how emergency crews would deal with the traffic back-ups. As a result, the scenario provided essential lessons to learn.

"Naval Station Newport is like another town on the island and we work closely with them on many actions," said Newport City Mayor Jeanne Marie Napolitano.

"Every time they drill, it provides us an opportunity to review our procedures and refine them as well," Napolitano said.

In past years, Newport, along with nearby Middletown and Portsmouth, participated in various exercises by sending their fire and emergency response personnel.

There are active mutual aid and response relationships between the Navy and these communities. The coordinated training strengthens those ties.

"Having the assistance of state and local agencies in training through these scenarios builds teamwork, helps the Navy better plan for how we would actually respond to events recognizing that we would need the assistance of our community partners and greatly improves the scenarios," said Capt. Dennis R.D. Boyer, Naval Station Newport commanding officer.

Once exercise participants confirmed NHCNE's building 43 as the location of the active shooter/mass casualty event, community and base restrictions in the surrounding areas eased, and traffic issues were barely noticeable.

Activity around building 43 was bustling beginning with NAVSTA Newport Police responding to the scene and establishing the Incident Command Post.

They were quickly followed by NAVSTA Fire Department and members of the Navy Criminal Investigative Service, who have an office at the installation.

In addition to members of the NAVSTA Newport Incident Management Team, five members of the R.I. Department of Health (DoH) had arranged to be part of the drill by simulating the local communities of Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth, Tiverton and Jamestown's emergency response teams.

"Hands-on training of putting patients in the system and coordinating through to the hospitals is invaluable," said Chris McGrath, Asst. Strategic National Stockpile Manager for R.I., DoH and emergency response team member.

McGrath had a portable computer with him and explained that had this been an actual event, as soon as the Incident Commander declared a mass casualty incident, either via the computer or on a radio, the R.I. DoH team would have mobilized.

R.I. DoH monitors emergency notification systems around the clock in an effort to make sure that hospitals and emergency facilities can handle emergency patient influx that would result with a mass casualty event.

"Triage, Transport and Treatment, we would have begun moving patients to Newport and then branched outward throughout the state as space was available," said Team Leader Joe Reppucci.

SC-CS 2016 is a planned annual exercise and not in response to any particular threat.

NAVSTA Newport is a major part of industry in Rhode Island with over 12,000 people working and training on the base, daily. NAVSTA Newport is the Navy's Center of Excellence for Officer and Senior Enlisted Education and Training.

For more about the installation, go to

For more news from Naval Station Newport, visit

NNS160204-29. Active Shooter Exercise Tests Hospital's Response

By Yan Kennon, Naval Hospital Jacksonville Senior Writer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital (NH) Jacksonville participated in Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2016 (SC-CS16) an anti-terrorism/force protection exercise, Feb. 3, which included a simulated active shooter threat.

NH Jacksonville Executive Officer Capt. Christine Dorr said, "This exercise enabled us to not only test our ability to care for victims, but also respond to an active shooter threat right here at our facility."

Dorr underscored the importance of the training, "This is part of a continuous process to strengthen our emergency systems, to keep patients and staff safe during times of crisis."

NH Jacksonville partnered with Naval Air Station Jacksonville and other commands aboard the installation.

During the drill, the hospital received mock victims in a mock emergency room. One of the patients then became a simulated active shooter.

The drill is part of NH Jacksonville's emergency management program to continuously assess and enhance the command's readiness to protect patients and staff.

Throughout the training evolution, hospital staff implemented measures to minimize disruption to patient care.

NH Jacksonville encourages staff and patients to follow the guidance, "If you see something, say something."

Celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, 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. Of its patient population (163,000 active and retired sailors, soldiers, Marines, airmen, guardsmen, and their families), about 85,000 are enrolled with a primary care manager and Medical Home Port team at one of its facilities.

To find out more or download the command's mobile app, visit

For more news from Naval Hospital Jacksonville, visit

NNS160204-28. SM-6 Testing Displays Missile's Range, Versatility

From Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems Public Affairs

PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE FACILITY, Hawaii (NNS) -- The Navy successfully executed four flight tests of the surface-to-air Standard Missile-6 Block I (SM-6 Blk I) off the Hawaiian coast between Jan. 11 and 22.

These tests, designated Alpha, Bravo, Delta, and Golf, are part of the SM-6 Blk I Follow-on Operational Test and Evaluation (FOT&E) events planned to assess missile performance.

"These flight tests, once again, demonstrate the versatility and capability that the SM-6 provides for our Navy's fleet defense," said Capt. Michael Ladner, Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) major program manager for Surface Ship Weapons. "I'm extremely proud of our Standard Missile team for their hard work and efforts in achieving four more successful SM-6 missions. These tests mark the longest downrange and cross-range engagements of the SM-6 to date."

The SM-6 provides an over-the-horizon engagement capability when launched from an Aegis warship and uses the latest in hardware and software missile technology to provide needed capabilities against evolving air threats.

Flight test Alpha was the longest downrange, and flight test Bravo was the longest cross-range intercepts with an SM-6 to date. Along with flight tests Alpha and Bravo, flight test Delta successfully intercepted two targets with simultaneous engagements, and flight test Golf successfully intercepted a target with electronic counter-measures.

"I consider these tests a major milestone and a confirmation of how far the team has come since this program first started," said Kirk Johnson, PEO IWS Surface Ship Missiles principal assistant program manager. "These program accomplishments are a testament to many years of hard work and dedication of the entire Standard Missile team."

The SM-6 is the sixth fielded variant of the Standard Missile family. The SM-6 program has completed development and achieved Initial Operational Capability in November 2013. It is currently in the FOT&E phase, with a projected Full Operational Capability declaration date during the first quarter of fiscal year 2018.

PEO IWS is an affiliated Program Executive Office of the Naval Sea Systems Command. IWS is responsible for spearheading surface ship and submarine combat technologies and systems, and for implementing Navy enterprise solutions across ship platforms.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS160204-27. NAVSEA Wounded Warrior Program Surpasses Hiring Goals

From Naval Sea Systems Command Office of Corporate Communication

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Wounded Warrior program exceeded its fiscal year 2015 hiring goal by 78 percent with the onboarding of 711 veterans across the enterprise, NAVSEA announced Feb. 4.

The program seeks to match service-disabled veterans with employment opportunities in NAVSEA's industrial, scientific, contracting and administrative fields.

Internships offer the training and education for wounded warriors to excel in entry-level placements and advance in their chosen field. NAVSEA has approximately 60,000 positions at 38 different field activities across the country and overseas.

"Since 2009 NAVSEA's Wounded Warrior retention rate is more than 92 percent," said NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. Willy Hilarides. "That's also incredible considering that they are such high-character individuals. They're committed. They're loyal. And not just that, they're highly competent. We're not hiring Wounded Warriors because we feel sorry for them, NAVSEA isn't a charity. We're hiring them because of their demonstrated skills and commitment to serve."

The Wounded Warrior program works with hiring managers and Wounded Warrior candidates during the hiring process and continues to support Wounded Warrior employees through the Mentor, Assist, Train to Excel and Support (MATES) program. The skills and experiences of Wounded Warriors and veterans represents a rich resource of talent that can support NAVSEA's mission of developing, delivering and maintaining ships and systems on time, on cost for the Navy.

"Veterans are a highly respected part of our workforce, and paramount to the mission we serve every day," Capt. Ann Duff, the Wounded Warrior program manager explained. "Wounded Warriors are a valuable resource and NAVSEA is serious about hiring and training remarkable young men and women, into our civilian ranks who have already proved themselves in uniform, and giving them an opportunity to keep serving."

Since Wounded Warrior outreach began, NAVSEA commands have steadily increased both hiring goals and successes, hiring a total of 3,057 Wounded Warriors between the program's start in 2009 through December 2015, exceeding annual goals in all but one year. The program's hiring goal is established annually and equates to approximately 10 percent of all hires across the command.

To learn more about the NAVSEA Wounded Warrior program, visit the Web site at

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS160204-26. USS America Recertifies for Search and Rescue

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kyle Goldberg, USS America Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS America (LHA 6) completed a search and rescue (SAR) recertification with the Afloat Training Group (ATG) at Naval Base San Diego from Jan. 22 to Feb. 2.

The recertification process allowed America to continue operations while underway and covered a wide array of missions ranging from downed pilots to capsized vessels.

On the first day, America's SAR swimmers went into the base pool and were evaluated on their ability to untangle a pilot from a parachute, perform a 400-meter 'buddy' tow, defend against combative victims, and use floating medical litters, while in the water.

"The purpose of recertifying is to keep the SAR swimmers proficient in all the latest techniques throughout the Navy," said Boatswain's Mate Senior Chief Leonard Miller, America's Deck Department leading chief petty officer. "The swimmers have to be ready for anything that comes at them, like treating downed pilots or survivors in a panic."

Rescue swimmers must ensure their own safety and the safety of the victim, at all times.

It is paramount for SAR swimmers to maintain physical readiness through consistent training regimens. According to Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Jarrett Hall, a SAR swimmer assigned to America, they have to be strong swimmers.

"They also have to be mentally and physically tough to stay safe in the open sea," said Hall. "Our weekly training paid off toward getting through the inspection."

The second day consisted of equipment, swimmer gear, boat, and administrative checks as well as a live practice rescue in the harbor. The rescue consisted of the swimmer retrieving a victim in the harbor and administering proper first aid.

"They're all professional, they're all proficient, and they have a lot of pride in what they do," said Miller. "I couldn't ask for more. Those guys are the ones who keep it going."

America's swimmers successfully completed the training. As a result, officials certified the ship for underway duty.

"Any inspections that involve life-saving procedures are important because it can mean the difference between life and death," said Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Somers Steelman, America's primary SAR swimmer. "I'm proud to be part of what SAR stands for."

America is currently undergoing a Post-Shakedown Availability (PSA) in which the ship's crew and assigned contractors make improvements to the ship's design. America's PSA will pave the way for future America-class amphibious assault ships.

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

NNS160204-25. Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2016 Exercise Sharpens First Responders' Skills

By Barbara Wagner, Naval Support Activity South Potomac

DAHLGREN, Va. (NNS) -- The words of Naval Support Activity South Potomac (NSASP) Chief of Police Bob Brooks were still fresh in the minds of exercise participants at Wednesday's Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield security exercise at Naval Support Facility (NSF) Indian Head, Feb. 3.

"We have a number of different commands [that] are very active in supporting the warfighters," Brooks said. "It's a well-known fact that they operate within our fence line and any faction that considers the United States a potential enemy will be looking at us as a target."

That is how Brooks summed up why annual training with an exercise like Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2016 is so vital to the security of the command.

Solid Curtain is designed to test the emergency management skills and abilities of the NSASP first responders and ensure they are prepared for any situation. A Navywide annual event, the Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield exercise is designed to not only "test the mettle" of the emergency responders, but also to refine the installations' crisis management practices and enhance the security measures in place. The exercise is important to ensure that NSASP and all service members and civilians are prepared and protected and that Navy property is secure in a crisis event.

Even as the exercise was underway, a pre-brief held the week before ensured that those who would be taking an active role in the exercise were prepared for the event.

"It adds realism to the fact that 'hey, I have to lock a door or go through a window' and now I am in a situation where I actually have to do that it helps to identify any shortcomings or issues," Brooks said.

With Brooks' training guidance of, "Run, hide, fight," it becomes important for the participants to work out concerns they might encounter with contingencies they might have planned ahead of an event.

"We see shortcomings in plans, for instance if an office has planned to shelter in a particular room and during the exercise they discover that perhaps the door doesn't lock or realize the room is too small or even if they can't get to the room because the shooter is in between," Brooks said. "There are a lot of things that come out during these training evolutions that really highlight the ability of those inside the structures to learn what they should do in the event of an active shooter."

Brooks held rapt attention from participants at the pre-brief as he traced the historical evolution of "active shooter" events in the United States. As those types of events increased, law enforcement tactics evolved to meet the threat and Brooks explained how the role of police officers is often the difference between life and death.

"It's all well and good to have a plan," Brooks explained. "But if you don't take it out and exercise it, it's not worth the paper it's written on. Doing this kinetic work of actively and physically going through to identify the weaknesses and initiating that muscle memory of what we are actually going to do is critical."

The active exercise began at Naval Support Facility (NSF) Indian Head with an active shooter drill that took place in Building 1558. The premise of the scenario could have been taken straight from the headlines: a disgruntled employee decides to lash out violently. Portrayed by Gunner's Mate 1st Class Josef Muench for the training, the employee gained entrance into the secure building and systematically swept through the building in search of fellow co-workers with whom he had issue as well as taking aim at "collateral targets", individuals who happened to cross his path while on his way to his intended target.

Even though employees from Bldg. 1558 participated in the pre-brief and were prepared for the day's events, the view from the inside taken from a "victim's" perspective was tense and apprehensive. From the starting "shot" that began the exercise, the employees proceeded per their training, preparing to meet at a rally point at a nearby building. Left behind however, several employees who were unable to retreat took their training to heart and sought safety in offices, barricading themselves inside to wait out the "active shooter."

The acrid sulfur smell lingered in the hall from the starter pistol that alerted the workers that the exercise was actively underway. Life-sized dummies represented the victims who were unable to move out of the way of the gunman before he could reach them. As Muench moved through the building in search of his prey, he tested doors throughout the halls, finding some
securely locked and others open but empty.

Outside of the facility, the NSASP Police Special Response Force (SRF) was already on the move, calculating the safest entry in to the building. NSASP sent in relatively new staff to ensure that everyone on the NSASP SRF had the opportunity to experience this sort of event first hand. The team members worked in unison methodically sweeping through the building, checking the same doors that just moments before the gunman had rattled, in search of the perpetrator.

Following a brief "exchange of fire," the officers apprehended and cuffed the gunman. His victims were rapidly assessed and the information relayed back to dispatch and the Emergency Response Team (ERT) who were standing by for the all clear. Once the reported single gunman was neutralized, NSASP SRF began clearing the building, searching for potential other shooters and clearing the rooms of remaining staff trapped inside during the ordeal.

On this second sweep, responding to the alert from the officers, doors began to crack and the remaining employees nervously peered out to ensure that it was safe to exit their secured location. Workers streamed out with arms up, filed out, and made their way to the safe location in an adjacent building. As employees made their way to safety, they assessed their numbers and began to question the location of others who were co-workers.

"It was terrifying," Jonelle Walters said. "I knew it was a drill but it was still terrifying. It was pretty effective I think, better than I had expected."

Walters shared that prior to the event, she and her co-workers questioned the extensive preparations and briefings they had received, all agreeing it seemed very calculated.

"I don't think we could have handled it if it had not been as calculated," Walters said. "It would have seemed too real, now I understand." Walters went on to share how a phone call just minutes before the event brought home the seriousness of the event."

"Just literally two minutes before the exercise started I got a call from my husband," Walters said. "I told him I couldn't talk and that I had to go and as I hung up I thought, what if that was the last conversation we had?"

For more news from Naval District Washington, visit

NNS160204-24. American Council on Education Reviews Information Warfare Courses

By Carla M. McCarthy, Center for Information Dominance Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- An American Council on Education (ACE) team visited the Center for Information Dominance (CID) to evaluate six courses and perform an occupational review of the cryptologic technician (collection) (CTR) rating, Feb. 2-3.

The team looked at three cryptologic technician (technical) courses and three information systems technician courses, spanning from entry-level "A" school to "C" school.

Two of the courses had not been reviewed before, and the other four are courses that have undergone changes and required a re-evaluation.

"American Council on Education is important for the service members who attend Center for Information Dominance courses," said Instruction Systems Specialist Denise Myers, CID's ACE liaison. "The courses we offer that are more than 45 unclassified instructional hours are eligible for ACE to review."

ACE, a nationally recognized accreditation organization, recommends equivalent college credits for members of the armed forces for certain types of military training and service experiences, based on high quality standards of practice.

ACE teams are composed of college and university faculty members who are actively teaching in the areas they review. They provide a collaborative link between the U.S. Department of Defense and higher education through an evaluation process that includes a site visit to analyze the content and an evaluation consensus in determining learning outcomes and appropriate academic credit recommendations.

"The ACE credit-recommended courses combined with the college credit recommendations that a service member can get for their Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC), Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) or Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) can assist them in attaining a college degree," said Myers. "ACE requires the courses and occupations to be reviewed at a minimum every 10 years.

"However, courses that are updated to reflect the fast pace of technology and evolution within the information warfare community need to be reviewed more frequently."

For the CTR occupational review, the team conducted panel interviews with enlisted and senior enlisted CTRs to represent a variety of ranks and skill levels within the CTR occupation. The goal was to assess the job assigned to CTRs to determine if the learning that has occurred above and beyond formal military training warrants college-level credit recommendations.

ACE occupation reviews are focused on validating the Navy's job standards and expectations. Before the interviews begin, faculty evaluators review the occupation description, occupation standards, job task analysis, promotion exams when available, and manuals used on the job.

A final report that outlines the consensus on the alignment of credit recommendations for the occupation is usually completed by the ACE team within 30 working days of the evaluation. The final report will then appear in ACE's Military Guide, which presents credit recommendations for formal courses and occupations offered by all branches of the military. These credit recommendations appear on the service member's Joint Services Transcript.

"Our students learn the skills that kick start their careers in the information warfare community or build upon their naval profession when they return to us for more training later," said Capt. Maureen Fox, CID headquarters commanding officer. "They also learn an incredible amount as warfighters and employ their skills in so many ways while supporting the fleet and the national security establishment, so it's essential to have those skills translate into college credits. Our Sailors deserve it."

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

With nearly 1,300 military, civilian and contracted staff members, CID provides training for approximately 22,000 members of the U.S. armed services and allied forces each year. CID oversees the development and administration of more than 200 courses at four commands, two detachments and 12 learning sites throughout the United States and Japan.

For more information on the Center for Information Dominance, visit;; and

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NNS160204-21. Breaking Down Barriers, New Logistics Cell Introduced

By Sarah Glinski, NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support Office of Corporate Communications

PHILADELPHIA (NNS) -- NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (WSS) celebrated the stand-up of its P-8 Logistics Cell (LOGCELL) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Philadelphia, Feb. 1.

The LOGCELL, designed to seamlessly connect government and industry stakeholders in an effort to provide more reliable P-8A logistical support to the warfighter, will function as a collaborative space for a new cross-functional team.

"In keeping with the chief of naval operations' focus on innovation, LOGCELL redefines the manner in which NAVSUP WSS supports the warfighter," said Rear Adm. Paul Verrastro, commander, NAVSUP WSS. "LOGCELL allows us to better align our organizational functions towards the ultimate goal of readiness."

Featuring an open-seating, war room-style working environment next to a high-tech video teleconferencing (VTC) room, the LOGCELL design aims to combine the efforts, resources and talent of inter-organizational logisticians to boost P-8A material availability.

The cross-functional team will address key logistical challenges as they receive supply support information from the fleet in real time, enabling the team to make empowered decisions and provide proactive support.

"The LOGCELL is entirely focused on aircraft availability to the fleet, with the ultimate expectation of 100 percent uptime," said Capt. Matt Ott, director, Aviation Operations at NAVSUP WSS. "LOGCELL provides an umbrella approach to empower the right teammates to collaborate, integrate technology, and become anticipatory in providing near real-time response to sustain warfighters who experience a very complex, global, and dynamic supply chain."

Using the P-8A program as a prototype, NAVSUP WSS plans to scale the LOGCELL concept across the portfolio of its DoD managed aircraft type/model/series programs.

A field activity of the Naval Supply Systems Command, NAVSUP WSS is the Navy's supply chain manager providing worldwide support to the aviation, surface ship, and submarine communities. NAVSUP WSS provides the 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 and

NNS160204-20. American Heart Month: Are You at Risk?

By Yan Kennon, Naval Hospital Jacksonville Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- February is American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness about heart disease and learn strategies to prevent it.

Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. It is responsible for one in four deaths each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it also costs the U.S. over $320 billion each year in health care, medication, and lost productivity.

"Everyone is potentially at risk for heart disease, but it is preventable," said Capt. Michael Sullivan, Naval Hospital (NH) Jacksonville's director for medical services. "Prevention is a life-long commitment. The smart and healthy choices we make now, such as exercise and diet, will benefit our heart and overall health in the years to come."

Some factors that put people at a higher risk are race, ethnicity, or having close relatives with heart disease. Controllable factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, poor diet and tobacco use.

NH Jacksonville's Medical Home Port teams place patients in the center of a collaborative team of caregivers that are dedicated to each patient's comprehensive care needs, including heart disease prevention.

Patients are encouraged to visit their primary care managers for an annual checkup. To control risks: monitor blood pressure and cholesterol, manage diabetes, eat healthily, manage weight, get exercise, quit tobacco, limit alcohol, take prescribed medications and follow treatment plans.

In addition, NH Jacksonville's Wellness Center offers a variety of classes for active duty, retirees, and family members. Classes include health fitness assessments, Healthy Heart (cholesterol and blood pressure management), Choose My Plate (healthy eating), ShipShape (weight loss for active duty, retirees and family members) and Tobacco Cessation.

To register, call the Wellness Center at 904-542-5292.

Spread the word about strategies for preventing this deadly disease and encourage people to live heart healthy lives.

Celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, 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.

Of its patient population (163,000 active and retired Sailors, soldiers, Marines, airmen, guardsmen, and their families), about 85,000 are enrolled with a primary care manager and Medical Home Port team at one of its facilities.

To find out more or download the command's mobile app, visit

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NNS160204-16. Commander, Submarine Forces Visits Kings Bay

By Lt. Lily Hinz, Submarine Group 10 Public Affairs

KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- Commander, Submarine Forces, Vice Adm. Joseph Tofalo, visited Naval Submarine Base (NSB) Kings Bay, Feb. 3 in order to communicate his Commander's Intent to all Kings Bay submariners.

The visit marked the second in a series of visits to submarine waterfronts to communicate his intent, priorities, goals and vision.

Tofalo was able to address Kings Bay Sailors during two sessions. He held an all-hands call with department heads and juniors in the base gymnasium and hosted a triad call with commanding officers, executive officers, chiefs of the boat, and major commanders in the Trident Training Facility auditorium.

Tofalo presented his Commander's Intent, which focuses on four prioritized lines of effort: (1) provide ready forces, (2) employ the force effectively, (3) develop future capability, and (4) empower our people, the foundation of our strength.

Tofalo stressed the importance of material and operational readiness, while also acknowledging the old age of the Ohio-class submarines.

"Because you SSGN and BN Sailors are so squared away, the decision was made to expand the lifespan of the platform out to 42 years vice 30. Given what's at stake, it so important to maintain high standards in everything you do," said Tofalo.

"Every single submarine has to get underway on time, and you all here in Kings Bay are getting a submarine to sea every three weeks, a remarkable feat."

There were 900 Sailors in attendance at the all-hands call and for Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Santos Tobias, a Sailor assigned to the USS Wyoming (SSBN 742) Gold Crew, the admiral's visit was truly meaningful.

"The fact that the admiral made the time to come down here and speak to us, face-to-face, really demonstrates the value of each individual Sailor here at Kings Bay," said Tobias.

During his session with senior leadership, Tofalo stressed the importance of independent operations and preparing for high-end combat.

"You are out there operating alone and unafraid, operating far forward, sometimes intentionally without routine communications," he said. "You have that command pin on your chest because you have to make tough decisions. I expect you to exercise the full extent of the authority vested in you."

Tofalo spoke candidly with senior leadership, who walked away with a better understanding of his priorities and vision for the future of the force.

"I appreciate the admiral's willingness to use his influence to better equip the BNs, GNs and SSNs in peace and for war," said Lt. Cmdr. Dave Crescitelli, the executive officer of USS Georgia (SSGN 729) Blue Crew.

Tofalo assumed his current duties in September 2015. As commander, Submarine Forces he is the Undersea Domain lead, and is responsible for the submarine force's strategic vision. As commander, Submarine Force Atlantic he commands all Atlantic-based U.S. submarines, their crews, and supporting shore activities. These responsibilities also include duties as Commander Task Force (CTF) 144, CTF 84 and CTF 46. As commander, Allied Submarine Command, he acts as the principal strategic adviser to the NATO strategic commanders on submarine-related issues.

For more news from Commander, Submarine Group 10, visit

NNS160204-15. NAVFAC Marianas Business Director Awarded Peggy Craig Lifetime Achievement Award

By Catherine Cruz Norton, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas Public Affairs

PITI, Guam (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas Business Director Samuel V. Roundtree was awarded the 2016 Peggy B. Craig Lifetime Achievement Award for significant achievements and honorable service, Jan. 28.

Roundtree, who holds a doctorate in organizational leadership, is one of five NAVFAC employees enterprise wide to be recognized with this honor in January 2016.

"I am truly honored and humbled," said Roundtree. "I share this acknowledgment with every NAVFAC employee and client that I have had the privilege of working with and making history throughout the years".

Roundtree has been the business director of NAVFAC Marianas since 2007. Roundtree joined the federal civil service in 1981 and began his NAVFAC career in 1988 as the Management Analysis Officer with the former U.S. Navy Public Works Center, Guam.

In a congratulatory letter from Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, and Chief of Civil Engineers Rear Adm. Bret J. Muilenburg, he is praised for standing among the best executives and leaders within the entire enterprise.

He is further recognized for his laser focus on filling critical vacancies through weekly personnel boards and other initiatives that enabled NAVFAC Marianas to achieve the lowest vacancy rate across the NAVFAC enterprise.

"He has consistently tackled organizational and personnel challenges with superb business and strategic planning expertise, and has driven the NAVFAC Marianas organization with consistent engagement and strong leadership," wrote Muilenburg. "Sincerely concerned for the welfare of the workforce, he closely managed and assisted with employee transitions for over 600 employees during the outsourcing of the public works function in 1999."

This is the third year where an employee of NAVFAC Marianas has gained recognition through this prestigious award program. NAVFAC Marianas Comptroller Rose Wright received the award in 2014 and NAVFAC Marianas Supervisory Contract Specialist Doris Castro was bestowed the honor in 2015.

"I am elated that our employees are recognized for their significant accomplishments and absolute dedication," said NAVFAC Marianas Commanding Officer Capt. Stephanie Jones. "These professionals are more than just top-performers; they are role models who inspire each and every one of us to strive for success every day here at NAVFAC Marianas."

The Peggy B. Craig Lifetime Service Award was established in 2012 in honor of a longtime NAVFAC headquarters employee to recognize civil servants with 20 or more years of selfless and dedicated service to NAVFAC, the 1st Naval Construction Division, the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering, or any subordinate unit.

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit

NNS160204-12. Coastal Riverine Squadron 3 Returns From Deployment

From Coastal Riverine Group One Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Coastal Riverine Squadron 3 (CRS-3), based out of Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach, California, returned home, Feb. 2 and 3, following a six-month deployment supporting operations in U.S. Navy Central Command.

During the deployment, the 450 Sailors completed a variety of missions to include maritime domain awareness, seaward and landward security, and unmanned aerial vehicle operations. Additionally, Sailors provided tactical air control and aircraft security teams during their deployment.

CRS-3 participated in operations in the U.S. Central Command area of operations, including Kuwait, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, during this deployment Sailors of CRS-3 supported U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command operating out of Rota, Spain, and conducted missions in Panama in support of U.S. Southern Command.

CRS-3 is part of Coastal Riverine Group 1 (CRG-1), whose primary mission is to man, train, and equip subordinate forces for tasking as assigned in the required operational capability and projected operational environment.

CRG-1 works in an extremely high operational tempo deploying squadrons in Djibouti and Bahrain while conducting high value unit escorts in San Diego; Bangor, Washington, and Guam.

The Coastal Riverine Forces deliver near shore littoral sea control of the coastal and riverine environment, effectively bridging blue water and landward operations and denying the use of these areas to hostile forces.

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NNS160204-10. NSA Annapolis Water Treatment Plant Fully Operational

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Pedro A. Rodriguez, NDW Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis held a ribbon cutting and open house for the U. S. Naval Academy Water Treatment Plant in Annapolis, Md., Feb. 3.

This is the first event showcasing energy conservation measures Naval District Washington (NDW) and Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington have on tap for the Secretary of the Navy Great Green Fleet initiative.

"The NSA Annapolis water treatment plant project was developed as a Utility Energy Service Contract (UESC) water conservation project with Baltimore Gas & Electric," said Paul A. Bianco, water and waste water plant engineering technician NSA Annapolis Public Works Department.

The $7.7 million project is expected to save 130 million gallons per year by recycling plant backwash, reducing groundwater production requirement up to 40% and costs (and impact) associated with run-off discharged into the Chesapeake Bay.

The plant upgrades include centrifuges and gravity settlers. The reject water/iron sludge mixture will be reduced from a 98% water mixture to a 30% cake through a process called sludge-dewatering. Instead of weekly removal of the water/iron sludge mixture via five tankers; we will extend removal to months and remove the iron sludge cake via a roll-off dumpster.

"The project will drastically reduce operational costs ($1.5 Million, annually) through an improved sludge removal process, recapturing of filter backwash, reduced energy consumption and a reduction of chemical treatment," said Bianco. "This plant will conserve millions of gallons of groundwater and drastically reduce the amount of treated effluent discharged to the Chesapeake; two precious and significant natural resources."

In 2016 as part of the Department of the Navy's Great Green Fleet initiative, U.S. Navy shore installations are highlighting energy conservation methods that aide the transformation of the Navy's energy culture and enhance energy security. The water treatment plant is one of several U.S. Navy water conservation projects.

"The Great Green Fleet initiative has a lot to do with using alternate energy, but it's about energy conservation, to find energy conservation measures that will help us be a greener entity and making a better use of our money," said Naval Support Activity Annapolis Commanding Officer Capt. Logan Jones. "Often these initiatives are just proclamations from people who understand that we can save thousands or even millions of dollars just by taking initiative, caring enough, finishing the project to start reaping those benefits."

For more news from Naval District Washington, visit

NNS160204-09. USS Patriot Visits Otaru, Japan

By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ryan C. Delcore, Naval Air Facility Misawa Public Affairs

OTARU, Japan (NNS) -- USS Patriot (MCM 7) pulled into Otaru, Japan, Feb. 4 for a scheduled port visit.

The ship's crew will be given the opportunity to experience the word-famous Sapporo Snow Festival and Otaru's Snow Light Path Festival during the visit.

"This is the Patriot's first visit to Otaru and the crew and I are excited to interact with the community," said Lt. Cmdr. Emily Royse, commanding officer of the USS Patriot.

Sapporo is a popular winter destination for Japanese citizens and other people from around the world.

"Our crew looks forward to spending some time off in Otaru and the surrounding areas, seeing the beautiful Snow Light Path Festival as well as the snow festival in Sapporo, and, of course, enjoying the fantastic cuisine," said Royse.

Patriot is a mine countermeasures ship forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan. Patriot serves under Task Force 76, which serves as the U.S. 7th Fleet's mine countermeasures arm in forward-deployed operations.

For more news from Naval Air Facility Misawa, Japan, visit

NNS160204-04. Navy Celebrates 2016 African American/Black History Month

From Navy Office of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Throughout the month of February, the Navy joins our nation in celebrating the history and culture of African-American and Black Sailors during African-American/Black History Month.

Established in 1926, President Gerald R. Ford expanded the celebration in 1976 to include the entire month of February. This year, Navy commands are encouraged to celebrate and reflect on the theme "Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories."

"Our past is our history and our future is our destiny," said Victoria Bowens, Department of the Navy director for diversity and inclusion. "We must look at what worked, what did not work and how we can improve our efforts in promoting inclusion to optimize our results to achieve mission success."

From port cities where Africans disembarked from slave ships to the battle fields where their descendants fought for freedom, from the colleges and universities where they pursued education to places where they created communities during centuries of migration, the imprint of Americans of African descent is deeply embedded in the narrative of the American past.

USS Mason (DE 529), manned by a predominantly African American crew came under dire conditions during WWII in heavy weather when Mason's deck split, threatening the structural integrity of the ship. The crew made emergency repairs allowing the ship to continue its convoy operations. In 1994, President Clinton awarded commendations to the 67 surviving crew members.

USS PC 1264 was a submarine chaser built during World War II. She was one of only two U.S. Navy ships to have a predominately African-American enlisted complement during the war, the other being the Evarts-class destroyer escort USS Mason (DE 529). PC 1264 was in service for less than two years, but the performance of her crew--and of the USS Mason's--caused the U.S. Navy to reevaluate the role of African American Sailors. Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Navy Commendation Medal winner Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely served aboard the PC 1264 during the war, paving the way for future African American Navy leaders.

The USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7) was named for Master Chief Boatswain's Mate Carl M. Brashear (1931-2006). Brashear's career spanned more than four decades and exemplifies outstanding service and dedication. Brashear enlisted in the Navy in February 1948 and qualified as a First Class Diver in 1964. In 1965, while recovering atomic bombs off the coast of Spain, Brashear sustained injuries which eventually required the amputation of his leg. Despite his injuries, he became recertified in March 1968 as a diver, the first amputee to serve as such in the Navy, and in 1970, Brashear became the first African-American master diver in the Navy.

In April 2009, Vice Adm. Michelle Howard commanded CTF-151, a multinational task force established to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean when the U.S.-flagged M/V Maersk Alabama container ship was hijacked by pirates off the Somali coast. Howard and twelve U.S. naval forces coordinated the rescue of the ship and its crew including Captain Richard Phillips, who had been kidnapped and held hostage in a lifeboat.

African-Americans continue to serve with distinction, now comprising almost 19 percent of our active duty enlisted force, 8 percent of our active duty officers and 5 percent of our flag officers. The Navy continues to do outreach toward African American youth in order to ensure a diverse pool of people and backgrounds comprises the best talent possible.

Sailors and their commands are encouraged to use this month to celebrate and recognize the exceptional and distinctive contributions and the unique histories and cultures that our African-American shipmates bring to our Navy.

More information on the many milestones achieved by black Sailors and the history of the African-American Navy experience can be found at the Naval History and Heritage Command at

A complete educational presentation, including a downloadable educational poster on African American/Black History month, can be requested from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) by email at

For information from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS011213-15. This Day in Naval History - Feb. 04

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1779 - Capt. John Paul Jones takes command of Bonhomme Richard (formerly Duc de Duras), which was given to the United States by King Louis XVI of France. The name honors Benjamin Franklin, the American commissioner at Paris whose famous almanacs had been published in France under the title Les Maximes du Bonhomme Richard.

1813 - During the War of 1812, the sloop ship Hornet, commanded by James Lawrence, captures and burns the British merchant ship Resolute off Pernambuco, Brazil.

1942 - While the battle for Bataan rages throughout the night, USS Trout (SS-202) loads 20 tons of gold bars and 18 tons of silver coins as ballast to replace the weight of ammunition they had just delivered to US and Philippine forces in Manila.

1944 - Destroyers Charrette (DD 581) and Fair (DE 35) sink Japanese submarine I 175, 100 miles north of Jaluit, Marshall Islands.

1944 - PV-1 Ventura aircraft sink Japanese water tanker Goryu Maru off Emidj Island, Jaluit.

NNS160205-04. Navy Installations Begin Enforcement of REAL ID Act

By Ed Wright, Navy Installation Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy installations worldwide will no longer authorize base access for individuals who do not have an approved U.S. government-issued credential or state driver's license that is compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005.

Driver's licenses from Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, Washington, and American Samoa are not compliant with the congressionally-mandated REAL ID Act of 2005 and therefore personnel seeking base access from these states will require a secondary form of identification.

Washington and Minnesota enhanced driver's licenses, however, which do meet the REAL ID Act requirements, will be accepted.

Navy installations will require visitors who present a driver's license from a non-compliant state or territory to provide an additional form of identification. Examples include a U.S. passport or passport card; employment authorization document (card); foreign passport with an I-551 stamp; federal, state or local government ID, Social Security card without restrictions; student ID with photo; original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued in the U.S., or a Native American Tribal document U.S. citizen identification card (Form I-179).

"Information about the Real ID Act has been shared with our installations and we are working with our security personnel to ensure awareness of base access changes," said Capt. Anthony Calandra, director of public safety for the Navy Installations Command. "We are implementing this process in accordance with the Department of Defense (DoD), which recently announced that all DoD installations would comply with the Act."

Installation commanding officers (COs) may waive DoD access control requirements for special situations, such as air shows or other public events. Visitors may also enter Navy installations under a "Trusted Traveler" procedure. This procedure allows a uniformed service member or Government employee with a valid Common Access Card (CAC), a military retiree (with a valid DoD identification credential), or an adult dependent of at least 16 years of age (with a valid DoD identification credential) to present their identification token for verification while simultaneously vouching for any vehicle occupants. A contractor who has been issued a CAC may, with the permission of the CO, be authorized as a Trusted Traveler. The number of people a Trusted Traveler is allowed to vouch for and/or sponsor at any one time is determined by the installation commander or designated representative.

Procedures for currently authorized identification cards for access onto Navy installations such as the DoD CAC, DoD uniformed services identification and privileges cards, federal personal identification verification cards or transportation workers' identification credentials will not change.

The REAL ID Act grew out of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Congress tightened up issuance processes and documentation needed to get a driver's license. Compliant cards must have specific security features to prevent tampering, counterfeiting or duplication of the document. The licenses also must present data in a common, machine-readable format.

Additional REAL ID Act resources:
- Background and information:

- Questions and answers:

Navy Installations Command comprises more than 52,000 military and civilian employees across 70 installations under 11 regions worldwide supporting the fleet, fighter and family.

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NNS160205-03. CNO Attends Kickoff of Indian International Fleet Review

From From Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

VISAKHAPATNAM (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, along with senior representatives from more than 50 navies around the world, joined Adm. RK Dhowan, Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy, in opening the International Fleet Review Feb. 5 in Visakhapatnam, India.

The event is the Indian Navy's premier international engagement for 2016, allowing the host nation an occasion to display its maritime capabilities and the "bridges of friendship" it has built with other maritime nations.

During an opening press conference Dhowan told the audience navies and coast guards of the world must work together to keep the world sea lanes safe and secure.

"Security stability and safety in the global commons is the responsibility of coastal states and navies of the world," said Dhowan. No one navy can do it by themselves--it is the responsibility of all of us in "white uniforms" to do it together.

CNO is on a five-day visit to India, his first since taking office in September. During a stop in New Delhi, he met with key national security officials from across the government of India to discuss strategic relations between the two countries, as well as opportunities for greater security cooperation.

"Today, U.S.-India defense ties are strong and continue to grow stronger with each passing engagement. We are two countries with similar values--democratic governments, civilian control of the military, all volunteer forces. There is much that binds our nations and navies together."

At a press conference on Tuesday, CNO told reporters that the U.S. has a vested interest in seeing a stable, secure, and peaceful maritime domain to support the global economy, but it cannot do it alone.

"We value partners of like-minded countries, such as India," said Richardson. "A close, continuing, and expanding partnership is important for security and stability in Asia and for effectively managing Indian Ocean security in the twenty-first century."

In addition to participating in Fleet Review events, while in Visakhapatnam, CNO will meet with Sailors from USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS McCampbell (DDG 85). The two ships are representing the U.S. Navy in the "President's Fleet Review" Saturday.

Richardson and other heads of Navy will join Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on the Presidential Yacht as he reviews the International Fleet and observes a 45-aircraft flyover.

A central Line of Effort for CNO is to expand and strengthen our network of partners. The visit to India and interactions with Indian and other Navy leaders help to deepen relationships and expand shared maritime interests.

NNS160204-34. Two-Part Discussion of Design in Latest CNO Podcast

From From Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Two new episodes of 'Soundings' were released this week, in which Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson expands on key points in his strategic guidance, 'A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority'.

The Design released last month identifies significant changes in the strategic environment and outlines four Lines of Effort that must be undertaken to ensure the Navy continues to meet mission and stay ahead of potential competitors.

"The character of the entire 'game' has changed, and that's the thing that captures my attention as I begin my tenure as Chief of Naval Operations," said Richardson.

In the first episode, CNO discuses several forces changing the environment and identifies new competitors within the maritime domain.

"If we do not responds to those changes, if we do not recognize and adapt to the changing character of the game, we are a Navy that is at risk of falling behind-shooting below our potential-or worse, falling behind our competitors," said Richardson.

The second episode, further discusses each of the design's four Lines of Effort, which focus on warfighting, learning faster, strengthening our Navy team and building partnerships.

Soundings can be downloaded through iTunes or

NNS160205-06. Texas Visits Yokosuka during Indo-Asia-Pacific Deployment

By Lt. j.g. Eric Wootten, USS Texas Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Virginia-class attack submarine USS Texas (SSN 774) arrived at Fleet Activities Yokosuka Feb. 5 for a visit as part of its Indo-Asia-Pacific deployment.

The visit strengthens the already positive alliance between the U.S. and Japan through the crews' interaction with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).

"The fighting spirit is alive and well on the Texas!" said Cmdr. Todd Nethercott, commanding officer. "Texas maximizes every opportunity it has to work with regional partners. Exercises with the JMSDF, enables us to sharpen our skills and strengthen the relationship between our two nations."

Texas is the second Virginia-class attack submarine commissioned by the United States Navy. This submarine is capable of executing a multitude of missions including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare and shallow water operations.

"Everything is bigger in Texas!" said Master Chief Machinist's Mate Daniel Kloepfer, chief of the boat. "You will not find a group of Sailors with bigger hearts that the Sailors on this boat. I know the crew enjoys Japan and all of the amenities that Yokosuka has to offer. Spending time in foreign ports is what a lot of the crew joined the Navy to do. The memories made here will be something they cherish for the rest of their life."

Many crew members said they were excited to experience the rich culture of Japan.

"I can't wait to get back on land," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class Nathan Nosar. "I have been looking forward to watching the Super Bowl all year and I'm glad we are in port to catch the game."

Measuring more than 377-feet long and weighing more than 7,900 tons when submerged, Texas is one of the quietest and most technologically advanced submarines in the world. Built in Newport News, Virginia, Texas was homeported in Groton, Connecticut, before transferring to Pearl Harbor in 2009.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 7, visit

NNS160205-08. Military Sealift Command's USNS 1st Lt. Jack Lummus Arrives, Supplies Cobra Gold 2016

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Joshua Fulton, USNS 1st Lt. Jack Lummus Public Affairs

LAEM CHABANG, Thailand (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command (MSC) Marine Prepositioning Force ship USNS 1st Lt. Jack Lummus (T-AK 3011) arrived in Laem Chabang, Thailand, to offload vital military equipment in support of Marine Corps personnel participating in Exercise Cobra Gold 2016 (CG-16) Feb. 1.

Exercise CG-16 is an annual multinational and joint-theater security cooperation exercise co-sponsored by the Kingdom of Thailand and the U.S. with more than two dozen participating partner nations, making it one of the largest military exercises in the Asia-Pacific region.

"We arrived in port the morning of the first and discharged 129 pieces for support of U.S. Marines participating in the exercise," explained Brad Shelly, chief officer of the Lummus. "This involved an offload and backload of a number of (additional) vehicles in order to get to the specific items that they needed."

Lummus will anchor off the coast of Thailand until the completion of CG-16 at which point the ship will return to port to reload the equipment used in the exercise prior to embarking on their next assignment.

Lummus is designed to deliver military cargo and supplies for planned operations and in response to a contingency situation. MSC deploys prepositioning ships like the Lummus globally in order to ensure equipment is always ready to deploy in any situation worldwide.

"MSC has always been in the supply business for the ground troops," said Shelly. "We are a prepositioned ship; we carry this cargo onboard all the time. We locate to different spots around the world so that in the event of a situation where the military needs to get boots on the ground, we already have their equipment at the location, offloaded and ready for them to turn the key and go."

Lummus boarded approximately 117 additional military personnel to work the offload and backload procedures. The combined knowledge and skill of the civilian mariners and military members resulted in a professional and proficient offload, contributing to the successful commencement of CG-16.

"I have got a great crew, they know the ship in and out, and that level of expertise means that whatever the military requests, we can accommodate," said Shelly. "That is what we are here for."

CG-16 will be conducted in locations across the Thailand Feb. 9-19 and consists of three primary events: a command-post exercise, which includes a senior leadership seminar; humanitarian civic assistance projects in Thai communities; and a field-training exercise designed to enhance regional relationships.

For more information, photos, and stories about the Cobra Gold exercise, including past iterations, please visit the official Facebook page at

For more news from Commander, Task Force 73, visit

NNS160205-12. Benfold Visits Otaru, Japan

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sara B. Sexton, Commander Task Force 70 Public Affairs

OTARU, Japan (NNS) -- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) made its first port visit while forward deployed to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region in Otaru, Japan, Feb. 5.

Benfold's port visit is intended to strengthen the relationship between the U.S. Navy and the local people of Japan.

The Japan and U.S. relationship is rooted in operations at sea. U.S. Navy ships routinely operate with Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and visit various Japanese port visits. It is only fitting that a U.S. ship visit Japan to celebrate Otaru's Snow Festival and nearby Sapporo Ice Festival.

"I'm excited to visit Otaru," said Quartermaster 2nd Class Anacristina Nunag, assigned to Benfold. "I'm looking forward to experiencing a different part of the country and a culture that is different than my own."

While visiting Otaru, the crew is looking forward to meeting local citizens, taking advantage of opportunities for recreation, sightseeing, shopping, enjoying the local cuisine, cultural attractions, and learning more about the scenic and historic area of Hokkaido.

The Sailors will also participate in a basketball game with Otaru locals as a part of the ship's community relations events.

"Our Sailors are lucky to have an opportunity like this," said Cmdr. Justin Harts, commanding officer of Benfold. "This is our first port visit as a forward deployed destroyer. It will be beneficial to our Sailors to see more of the country and interact with the good people of Japan."

Following the visit to Otaru, Benfold will return to sea on a planned patrol in the waters near Japan to support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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NNS160205-15. NSA Annapolis Hones Security Skills during SC/CS 16

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Pedro A. Rodriguez, Naval District Washington Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis teamed up with the city of Annapolis, Maryland, and the county of Anne Arundel to conduct an active-shooter exercise as part of the annual exercise Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield (SC-CS) 2016, Feb. 5.

"Exercises like this are important for our first responders," said City of Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides. "While the Annapolis Fire Department/EMS, the Annapolis Police Department and Office of Emergency Management work closely with the United States Naval Academy and Naval Support Activity Annapolis on a daily basis, this exercise reinforces training and improves familiarity between the various responders."

SC-CS 16 is a force protection exercise conducted by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) and Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) on all Navy installations in the Continental United States to enhance the training and readiness of Navy security personnel as well as establish a learning environment for security personnel to exercise functional plans and operational capabilities.

"This exercise is a critical component of our training program," said NSA Annapolis Commanding Officer Capt. Logan Jones. "It allows us to validate and refine training we have conducted to date, and it allows us to integrate security operations with NCIS; police from local jurisdictions; local, city, and county fire departments; and the Anne Arundel Medical Center."

The scenario consisted of multiple "active shooters" at the Brigade Sports Complex, where first responders from NSA Annapolis, Anne Arundel county and Annapolis City worked together to neutralize the shooters and help the simulated casualties on the scene.

"We try to pick a different site each year when we conduct this large drill in order to give our law enforcement officers - and the responding police officers from nearby jurisdictions - an opportunity to expand their familiarity with our various facilities," said Jones.

As an annual exercise, SC-CS allows military and civilian responders alike to hone emergency skills as threats evolve, but in a safe environment, much like any other military evolution.

Jones explained conducting the drill this year in a building that was not part of the United States Naval Academy academic complex allowed the participants to spend a little more time "in scenario" without unduly impacting midshipmen's academic schedules.

Jones emphasized the exercise helps to practice military forces' interoperability with local first responders in the case an active-shooter emergency would happen on his installation.

"For several years we have been fortunate to exercise in partnership with the Annapolis City Police," said Jones. "This year, we were pleased to exercise with the Anne Arundel County Police too. Both departments were fantastic."

Exercise SC-CS 16 is the largest force protection exercise across the Department of Defense and consists of roughly 130 simultaneous field-training exercise attacks across the country.

SC-CS is not in response to any specific threat, but is a regularly scheduled exercise.

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NNS160205-14. NSAB Conducts Security Training as Part of Navy-wide Exercise

By Andrew Damstedt, Naval Support Activity Bethesda Public Affairs

BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- Sailors aboard Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) might notice an increase in security training there, as the installation participates in the Navy-wide Exercise Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2016, during the first two weeks of February.

Since Feb. 1, NSAB personnel have experienced various security threats at the installation, designed to train Navy personnel on how best to respond in times of crisis.

"The majority of the training is for security personnel," said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Jonathan Cales, leading petty officer of NSAB's Security Training Department. "But that doesn't mean that the installation as a whole doesn't get training out of it."

One of the scenarios could be a false credentialing incident at a gate, he said, so people who happen to be there when it happens will see how security responds.

"People are going to see what the steps are, what we do to deter that sort of behavior," Cales said.

There will be active shooter drills during this two-week exercise as well, which will be all-hands training where everyone in the building will be instructed to shelter in place. Announcements will be sent via Everbridge mass notifications and over the base's loudspeakers telling everyone that an active shooter exercise is occurring.

An active shooter event is one of the biggest threats facing Navy installations today, Cales said.

In 2013, 12 people were fatally shot at the Washington Navy Yard. There have been reports of suspected active shooters on several installations, with one reported on NSAB July 6 that put the base on lockdown.

Cales said his department conducts active shooting training at various commands frequently, but said actually experiencing an exercise is beneficial.

"To actually conduct an exercise where there is an active shooter and you are sheltering in place and people are evacuating a building - it's that mind-muscle connection," Cales said. "It's that muscle memory so if it were to happen, you know that when we practiced, this is what we did."

Experiencing the exercise will enable everyone on base to learn how to respond in a real-life event.

"A lot of people have one route that they take every day to get to work," Cales said. "There may come a time during Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield that they're not going to be able to take that route to work, so they'll have to find another entry control point to come on base."

The NSAB security team executes drills every month, but the difference with Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield is that it happens Navy-wide for two weeks.

This annual exercise consists of 300 field-training exercise events on and off Navy installations across the country, which helps assess law enforcement response to attacks both on installations and at soft targets off-installation, according to Navy Installations Command and U.S. Fleet Command Public Affairs.

Safety observers wearing green vests will be at each training site and can answer questions about what's happening.

"The safety observer will more than likely just let them know that we're conducting an exercise, there's no reason to be alarmed, and they're free to carry on with their day," Cales said.

As with any security threat, the exercises may create detours or unexpected changes in the working day for those in the affected areas.

"Most of the (events) should not impact operations for the base - at least not on a large scale - the base isn't just going to get shut down one day out of the blue like that," he said. "If there is an exercise going on at an entry control point, it might take a little bit longer to get through."

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NNS160205-13. SPAWAR, San Diego Law Enforcement Partner During Force Protection Exercise

By Tina C. Stillions, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) partnered with local law enforcement agencies in San Diego during a force protection exercise, Feb. 4.

"Today's drill was part of training to improve our own reactions and improve our coordination with local law enforcement agencies," said Rear Adm. Dave Lewis, SPAWAR's commander. "From my experience, today's training on run-hide-fight was right on the mark."

The force protection team included the San Diego Police Department's (SDPD) Emergency Negotiations Team (ENT). A unique, hybrid team of negotiators, the team is comprised of members from the SDPD, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

"We've worked collaboratively for many years to provide enhanced service capable of seamlessly crossing jurisdictional boundaries between the city, federal government and military," said San Diego Police Department Northwestern Investigations and Emergency Negotiations Team Sergeant Wes Albers. "The team has participated in joint military training operations for a number of years on bases all around San Diego."

Yesterday's training operation at SPAWAR, which also included members of the SDPD SWAT team and Western Division patrol officers, represented a significant collaborative step toward ensuring the safety of local citizens and further strengthened the security net that protects those who provide essential support to American assets deployed around the world.

During the scenario, personnel were instructed to either shelter in place or evacuate to another location, utilizing the run-hide-fight technique developed and approved by myriad federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security.

"We've provided tours for local law enforcement over the past few months to improve their familiarity with the specifics of our facility," said Lewis. "Today's exercise reinforced the effort to ensure we're all on the same page and prepared. After the training, I encouraged everyone to take the time to think about their individual work spaces and any actions they would take in the event of an active shooter scenario. "

The command occupies a facility that dates back to World War II when B-24 bombers were manufactured in San Diego. The main buildings are located across a sprawling complex. In many ways, they still resemble an industrial manufacturing plant, with concrete floors, high bays, ceiling windows and hangar doors from which bomber planes emerged. In an emergency scenario, the vast, cavernous complex creates a greater challenge for safety and security due to its size and vast expanse of office spaces. The force protection exercise was organized to assess any necessary facility improvement requirements beyond those already implemented or planned to help thwart these types of incidents said Lewis.

"Recent events worldwide have shown that there are no infrastructures immune from an attack," said Lt. William Carter, San Diego Police Department, Western Division. "An immediate mutual aid response by law enforcement and the ability to work together to stop a threat is critical to saving lives. The San Diego Police Department appreciates and welcomes the opportunity to prepare and train for critical incident response with our regional military security and DOD law enforcement. Despite being one of America's safest large cities, the San Diego Region must remain vigilant and prepared."

As the Navy's Information Warfare systems command, SPAWAR designs, develops and deploys advanced cyber communications and information capabilities. With more than 9,600 active-duty military and civil-service professionals located around the world and close to the fleet, SPAWAR is at the forefront of research, engineering, acquisition and support services that provide vital decision superiority to our forces from seabed to space.

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NNS160205-10. USNA Water Conservation Project Will Save $1.5M Per Year

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

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house Feb. 3 celebrating recent upgrades to the U.S. Naval Academy Water Treatment Plant.

The event marked the completion of the Utility Energy Service Contract (UESC) water conservation project with Baltimore Gas & Electric at NSA Annapolis.

The $7.7 million project will save money by reducing disposal costs, chemicals, electricity and groundwater.

"I'm very excited about the project," said Paul A. Bianco, water and wastewater plant engineering technician with Public Works Department Annapolis. "The project will drastically reduce operational costs, $1.5 million annually, through an improved sludge removal process, recapturing of filter backwash, reduced energy consumption and a reduction of chemical treatment. My colleagues and I have been working hard to bring this project to fruition."

In 2016, as part of the Department of the Navy's Great Green Fleet initiative, U.S. Navy shore installations will highlight energy conservation methods that aide the transformation of the Navy's energy culture and enhance energy security. The Navy's goal is to produce 50 percent of its shore-based energy requirements from alternative energies.

"Part of the Great Green Fleet mindset entails a number of energy conservation measures," said Capt. Logan Jones, commanding officer of Naval Support Activity Annapolis. "Making better use of our tax payer dollars allows us flexibility and the ability to contribute that money toward our operations and presence overseas."

The project is the first in a series of Naval District Washington's regional contributions toward the Great Green Fleet initiative. Within five years, the facility will have recouped upgrade expenses and will continue to save the U.S. Navy money every year after.

"Often conservation projects like this one are realized by local subject-matter experts who take the initiative," said Jones. "The members who worked on this put their best efforts forward with great energy and brilliant ideas. It's an opportunity that was made by their dedication to doing the best work they can."

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NNS160205-07. Submarine Force Commander Welcomes Future Officers to Fleet

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Correa, Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- The Navy's top submarine commander welcomed the future submariners of the U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 2016 to the fleet at a dinner and reception Feb. 2.

Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic, Vice Adm. Joe Tofalo addressed the 137 first-class midshipmen who were selected for service assignment about the history of U.S. Navy submarines and the part they will have as future submarine officers.

"You are that future of the submarine community, and we need you to do what you are doing and step up to be part of this legacy we have," said Tofalo. "If you think about a submarine, there is not one single defensive weapon on a sub. We are all teeth. During World War II Navy submarines made up less than 2 percent of the forces but were responsible for about 55 percent of maritime losses. Now submarines are responsible for over 50 percent of our nation's nuclear weapons."

The assignment dinner is an annual event and represents a unique opportunity for the Midshipmen to meet the senior submarine officers in the Navy and be welcomed into the community.

"I am very proud of what you have done," said Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Ted Carter. "The submarine community has been our asymmetric advantage going back to World War II and still continues to be today. You, the Class of 2016, are going to lead that into the future."

Midshipmen were able to sit and talk with senior submarine officers including Adm. James F. Caldwell Jr., director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program; Vice Adm. William H. Hilarides, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command; Rear Adm. David J. Hahn, senior technical advisor to the deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance; and Rear Adm. Michael E. Jabaley, program executive officer for submarines.

"It is very motivating to hear from some of the top submarine officers in the fleet," said Midshipman 1st Class Riley Miller. "I am so privileged and honored to be one of the women selected, because it was really competitive in my class. I cannot wait to go out in to the fleet and hopefully get on a fast attack."

"It was a very exciting process to become the first class of women to enter the submarine community," said Lt. Kayla Barron, flag aid to the academy superintendent.

Barron was part of the Naval Academy Class of 2010 and in the first-ever group of women to enter the submarine community.

"I would tell the midshipmen to work as hard as they can in power school and prototype, so they can show up to their first command with a good technical foundation and then work to develop a really good relationship with the crew because that's what makes or breaks a junior officer," she said. "The Sailors are willing to help train and help with your development in becoming a strong leader."

The Naval Academy Class of 2016 received their service assignments Nov. 19, a milestone that put them one step closer to joining the fleet. After graduation May 27, these 137 midshipmen will attend power school and prototype training before heading to their first command.

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NNS160205-05. DON and Mississippi Power Sign Lease for Solar Facility

From Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Department of the Navy (DON) and Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, announced plans today to build a four megawatt (MW) direct current (DC) (three MW alternating current) solar facility at Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport in Gulfport, Mississippi.

The parties signed a real estate outgrant Jan. 28 for 23 acres of base land that will house the facility.

In exchange for the land needed for the project, NCBC Gulfport will receive in-kind consideration in the form of electrical infrastructure upgrades. Once online, the power generated will benefit Mississippi Power customers, including NCBC Gulfport.

Capt. Cheryl M. Hansen, the commanding officer of NCBC Gulfport, commended the agreement.

"NCBC Gulfport plays a critical role in keeping our Seabees trained and deployable at a moment's notice," said Hansen. "This project, coupled with our existing energy programs, will increase the energy security of the installation, which will allow us to operate more effectively during times of crisis."

No stranger to energy efficiency and security efforts, NCBC Gulfport was a recipient of the FY 2015 Secretary of the Navy's Energy and Water Management Award, Small Shore category.

The Mississippi Public Service Commission approved the project in November 2015. Hannah Solar, Mississippi Power's developer, will finance and build the project with power being routed to the Mississippi Power electric grid.

An investor-owned utility company that serves 23 counties in southeastern Mississippi, Mississippi Power provides electricity to NCBC Gulfport. The company expects to break ground on the project early this year and bring the facility online before the end of the calendar year.

"This cost-effective, utility-scale solar energy project once again places Mississippi Power at the forefront of the state's energy economy by adding renewables into the company's portfolio," said Mississippi Power President Anthony Wilson. "Working together with the Navy and Hannah Solar, this project will have a substantial impact on the amount of electricity generated by renewables in Mississippi. We continue to work closely with our military leaders to help them meet their renewable energy goals."

This project is one of five collaborations between the DON and Southern Company subsidiaries. In the last six months, the parties broke ground on solar facilities at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay (42 MW DC), Naval Air Station Pensacola (65 MW DC) and Naval Air Station Whiting Field (52 MW DC). Announcement of the fifth project is anticipated this spring. Together, the five projects could produce nearly 200 MW DC.

Renewable energy generation projects improve the DON's energy security, operational capability, strategic flexibility and resource availability.

NNS160205-01. Commands Collaborate at Mentoring Event Aimed at Workforce Development

By Sandra L. Niedzwiecki, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- More than 90 personnel from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Navy Facilities Command (NAVFAC), and Navy Installations Command joined together Feb. 3 to participate in a speed-mentoring event at Washington Navy Yard.

This was the second event held in the past five months as part of Navy Installations Command's commitment to workforce development.

Navy Installations Command Deputy Commander Joseph Ludovici welcomed the mentors and proteges to the event as a way to build relationships on Navy Yard.

"We do this for the purpose of demonstrating to the workforce how much the leadership and mentors are invested in their future," said Ludovici.

He emphasized the importance of training opportunities, guest speakers, and mentoring as a way to develop our leaders of tomorrow. Additionally, he spoke about the chief of naval operations' design for maritime strategy by optimizing the Navy's intellectual enterprise, and added that having the mentoring will help guide the future leaders of the Navy.

The combined command event was sponsored by the Asian American Pacific Islander Employer Resource Group along with the African American Employee Resource Group, and was conducted by several workforce development team members from both Navy Installations Command and NAVSEA.

"This is the first mentoring event I have attended in the eight years I have been a federal employee and I am very excited," said Shalini Puri, program analyst for NAVFAC Expeditionary Program Office. "It was a great opportunity to come out and meet the accomplished leaders of our organization. They emphasized that good communication, always asking questions, time management and frequently getting out of your comfort zone are vital for one to be successful."

During the event 27 mentors and 64 proteges participated in two 10-minute mentoring sessions followed by a half-hour networking event. The mentors were a diverse group of senior executive service, senior military leaders, and senior general schedule civilians from the three commands and various N-codes.

The 10-minute mentoring session was an opportunity for the proteges to meet and talk about career paths, background, and anything else that might be helpful for them to apply to their career.

"We are very happy to be hosting our second mentoring event on Navy Yard," said Carrie Locklear, a member of Navy Installations Command's command advisory group. "The goal of the mentoring event is to develop the workforce and show them guidance, direction, and leadership."

Locklear also noted that the reason they coordinated the event with three echelon-two commands was that having more than one mentor gives an individual a broader perspective, while also observing how different skill sets, experiences and personality, may contribute to enhancing a career.

At the conclusion of the event attendees were thanked for their participation and exchanged contact information in order to stay connected with their new-found mentors. The next mentoring event on Navy Yard will be hosted by NAVFAC in the second quarter of 2016.

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NNS011213-16. This Day in Naval History - Feb. 05

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1813 - During the War of 1812, the frigate Chesapeake chases the British merchant brig Earl Percy ashore on Long Island. Chesapeakes crew saves the Earl Percys crew and the 58 prisoners who are on board.

1854 - The dedication of the first chapel built on Naval property was held at Annapolis, Md.

1942 - USS Bernadou (DD 153), escorting convoy HX 173, rescues 10 survivors of the Belgian freighter Ganda that had been sunk by German submarine U 135 on Jan. 22.

1944 - USS Flasher (SS 249) sinks Japanese army cargo ship Taishin Maru off Mindoro. Also on this date, USS Narwhal (SS 167) lands 45 tons of ammunition and cargo to support Filipino guerrilla operations at Libertad, Panay, Philippines.

1962 - USS Stoddard (DD 566) and USS Surfbird (ADG-383) rescue 29 crewmen from the sinking Greek merchant vessel Yanix off Luzon, Philippine Islands.

1971 - Apollo 14 astronauts Capt. Alan B. Shepard Jr., commander, and Cmdr. Edgar D. Mitchell, lunar module pilot, become the fifth and sixth humans to walk on the moon.

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