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NNS140613-06. Navy Awards Contract to Dismantle Constellation

From Naval Sea Systems Command Office of Corporate Communication

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy competitively awarded a contract to International Shipbreaking Limited of Brownsville, Texas, for the towing, dismantling and recycling of conventionally powered aircraft carriers stricken from service, June 13.

Under the contract, the company will be paid $3 million for the dismantling and recycling of the decommissioned aircraft carrier Constellation (CV 64). The price reflects the net price proposed by International Shipbreaking, which considered the estimated proceeds from the sale of the scrap metal to be generated from dismantling.

The Navy continues to own the ship during the dismantling process. The contractor takes ownership of the scrap metal as it is produced and sells the scrap to offset its costs of operations.

This is the third of three contracts for conventional aircraft carrier dismantling. All Star Metals of Brownsville was awarded the first contract Oct. 22, 2013, which included the towing and dismantling of ex-USS Forrestal (AVT 59). ESCO Marine of Brownsville was awarded the second contract May 8, 2014, for the scrapping of ex-USS Saratoga (CV 60).

After the initial award of one carrier to each successful offeror, the Navy has the capability of scrapping additional conventionally-powered aircraft carriers over a five-year period under delivery orders competed between the three contractors.

International Shipbreaking will now develop its final tow plan for the Navy's approval for the tow of Constellation from its current berth at Naval Base Kitsap, Washington, to the company's facility in Brownsville. The ship is expected to depart Kitsap this summer. Navy civilian personnel will be on site full time to monitor the contractor's performance during dismantling of the ship.

Constellation was the second Kitty Hawk-class aircraft carrier to be built. She was laid down Sept. 14, 1957, at New York Naval Shipyard in Brooklyn, New York, and was the last U. S. aircraft carrier to be built at a yard outside of Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. The ship was commissioned Oct. 27, 1961. After nearly 42 years of commissioned service, Constellation was decommissioned at the Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego Aug. 6, 2003. In September 2003, she was towed to the inactive ship maintenance facility in Bremerton to await its eventual disposal.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS140721-03. CNO's China Visit Builds Cooperation for Greater US, PLA Navy Relationship

From Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

BEIJING (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert departed the People's Republic of China (PRC) Friday after a successful four-day counterpart visit with military leaders, fleet units and leaders of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA).

Adm. Wu Shengli, commander in chief of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), hosted Greenert's visit, which marked the fourth major interaction between Greenert and Wu in the past year and is a clear indication of each country's desire to grow their existing relationship.

Directed by both the President and PRC Premier to improve military to military relations both Greenert and Wu have been focusing on identifying tangible measures that can build a better understanding and trust between each other's navies and safeguard maritime peace and stability in the region.

"I'm here at the invitation of Adm. Wu to continue our agenda for improving cooperation of our navies," said Greenert. "We are moving ahead in a series of steps to increase our confidence in each other."

In meetings between the two leaders during the visit several actions were discussed that, if implemented over the course of the next year or two pending approval, will provide the cooperative opportunities mutually sought out by the U.S. Navy and PLAN.

Creating additional port visits in the U.S. for PLAN ships and additional Chinese port visits for U.S. ships as well as extending more invitations to take part in each other's exercises were two of the actions Greenert and Wu discussed. These initiatives would help advance the relationship portion of the countries' desires to militarily work more closely together.

Ensuring the full understanding and implementation of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) through the ranks was one of the more challenging proposals by Greenert and Wu as it will take time to integrate CUES into the standard operating procedures for both navies; however, achievable and actually already in the works.

But the action proposed by Wu and Greenert that will present the greatest hurdle for each Navy to overcome is conducting personnel exchanges-exchanges that if approved will mitigate any doubt as to whether or not trust exists between the two navies and will signify a huge relationship milestone. Greenert said that although personnel exchanges are on the table, it could take years to implement, but that the previously mentioned actions are a step in the right direction.

Wu said after the initial meeting with Greenert that a new type of naval relationship had positive significance for the "new type of great power relations" that China and the United States are trying to build.

Greenert's visit was not solely spent in meeting rooms with Wu, he also toured several PLAN ships pier side and got underway on a PLAN frigate interacting with PLAN sailors at each juncture.

Greenert even held an all-hands call as he would with his own Sailors but with aircraft carrier Liaoning crewmembers, who were eager to talk with the U.S. service chief about a number of topics ranging from his impressions of their first aircraft carrier, to port visits and chow, to his views on women in service. During the all-hands call, a female PLAN officer told Greenert she was inspired by the recent news of Adm. Michelle Howard's four-star promotion to vice chief of naval operations and that it gave her hope to aspire to great heights in her own organization.

When asked by a Liaoning crewmember during the all hands about how the U.S. and Chinese Navy can cooperate, Greenert highlighted that common interests and potential cooperation can take place in areas such as disaster relief, search and rescue, counter piracy, and counter smuggling operations. Greenert also emphasized that both navies have to be responsible examples for others in the world and that the two navies have to work together to gain a better understanding of each other.

The all-hands call proved to be equally valuable to the Liaoning crew and Greenert in gaining a better understanding of each other as Sailors and as people.

Another valuable interaction that occurred during Greenert's visit was in a meeting with civilian leadership at the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), whose coast guard ships are frequently used as frontline forces patrolling the disputed areas of the East and South China Seas. Greenert said although he and the other 20 member-states of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) are focused on their navies implementing CUES, he stated the Chinese Coast Guard should also adopt CUES in order to reduce the chances of misunderstanding.

The Asia-Pacific rebalance has been a huge priority during Greenert's tenure as CNO. In the Asia-Pacific Greenert has placed a major emphasis on forces, capabilities and pushing for better understanding among nations. To enhance understanding, CUES, which was endorsed at the WPNS in the Chinese port city of Qingdao in April 2014, has been a major step in facilitating communication and synergy among navies and could easily be extended to mariners such as the Chinese Coast Guard to reap the same benefits and avoid miscalculations.

Greenert said, "These visits combined with our discussions on confidence building measures provided me valuable insight to the PLAN as we work to manage our way through a growing relationship."

Greenert's next planned interaction with Wu will take place in September at the International Seapower Symposium (ISS) at the U.S. Naval War College. During ISS, leaders from the world's maritime forces will come together to find solutions to areas of common interest and foster cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. The theme for this year's symposium will be "global solutions to common maritime challenges."

NNS140721-04. Fitzgerald Strengthens Relations with Japan through Goodwill Port Visit

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin V. Cunningham, USS Fitzgerald Public Affairs

FUKUOKA, Japan (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) arrived in Fukuoka, Japan, July 18 for a goodwill and friendship building port visit.

This marks Fitzgerald's first visit to Japan's sixth largest city.

"We are excited to interact and learn more about the beautiful Japanese culture and share a bit of our own," said Cmdr. Robert Y. Shu, Fitzgerald's executive officer. "The port visit represents an opportunity for Sailors to serve as goodwill ambassadors of the U.S. It also serves as an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to regional partnerships, and foster growing relationships."

During this port visit, Fitzgerald plans to foster international relationships through friendly interactions including community relations events and sporting competitions.

"Visiting a port like Fukuoka gives us the opportunity to see other parts of Japan and interact with people that don't often see American Sailors," said Damage Controlman 3rd Class Jordan K. Belcher, from Witchita, Kansas. "I'm proud to be able to represent my country in a new place."

Fostering relations with allies through friendly community interactions in port is part of America's maritime strategy to build a joint coalition force of allies capable of ensuring maritime security.

Fitzgerald is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15, a key element to 7th Fleet, the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with approximately 60 ships, 250 aircraft and 40,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any given time.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS140721-08. USNS Mercy Hosts Midshipmen during RIMPAC

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Pyoung K. Yi, USNS Mercy Public Affiars

USNS MERCY, At Sea (NNS) -- The crew of Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) are hosting two midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014, July 14 to Aug. 10.

The midshipmen are aboard the Mercy to further their professional development as future leaders of the fleet by introducing them to underway hospital operations, expose them to how the Navy prepares itself, manages mass casualty situations on a hospital ship and give them a sense of day-to-day life at sea.

"It's the first time midshipmen have been aboard Mercy," said Lt. j.g. Erin Dowling, a ward nurse aboard Mercy. "It is very beneficial for these two midshipmen to be on a floating medical treatment facility (MTF) that does strictly medicine and nursing."

Midshipman 1st Class Vikram Mukherjee and Midshipman 1st Class Chelsea Sehifferle, upcoming seniors at the Naval Academy, plan on pursuing careers in the medical corps. To date, they said they've enjoyed their time on the ship and have been impressed with the mission-first mindset and personable demeanor of the ship's staff.

"Everyone has been very hospitable, easy to approach and very knowledgeable," said Mukherjee, from North Carolina. "They seem to be experts in their field and I can really sense the passion with which they go about their duties."

The two midshipmen have been shadowing junior officers, who have been providing mentorship and sharing their experience with the midshipmen during their time aboard the ship. The junior officers are also helping the midshipmen learn about underway operations underway while answering questions about the different jobs people have on the ship.

"I've learned how all the different medical professionals work together - the doctors, nurses and corpsmen, and I get a sense of the 'we-must-operate-as-one-team' type of ethos on the MTF," said Sehifferle, from California.

Thus far, the midshipmen have participated in several activities, including serving as runners during a mass casualty drill, playing injured patients during a medical evacuation exercise, standing on the ship's bridge as it got underway and are scheduled to take a tour of the People's Republic of China, People's Liberation Army (Navy) hospital ship Ark Peace (T-AH 866).

"They are learning how a floating MTF is run," said Dowling. "How we triage patient care for the MTF and disseminate the patients to various parts of our hospital, like the intensive care unit, ward, and casualty receiving."

Sehifferle said the crew has been very supportive of them and are eager to share with them the lessons they have learned as Sailors.

"Everyone from the Medical Staff to the Military Sealift Command have been more than willing to help integrate the midshipmen into their daily schedule making this a great learning opportunity for all parties involved," said Lt. Cmdr. Iradj Stroble, a medical officer working with the midshipmen.

As the midshipmen are aboard Mercy during RIMPAC, they have immersed themselves in the ship's various training evolutions and are interacting with the international military medical community, including officials from the Canadian Armed Forces and the People's Republic of China, People's Liberation Army (Navy) [PLA(N)].

"With all the training and the drills were conducting, as well as the opportunity to interact with the other countries' military medical personnel, our ship's personnel are teaching the midshipmen time-tested wisdom to ready them for their next journey," said Mercy's Command Senior Chief Dedrick Walker.

Stroble added that the time the midshipmen spend aboard Mercy will help them make a well-informed decision concerning the next step in their naval careers and will prepare the ship's crew for hosting the next wave of midshipmen on a summer cruise.

This year's RIMPAC marks the first time in the exercises history that hospital ships have participated. Twenty-two nations, 49 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the California coast and Hawaiian Islands. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

For more news from USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), visit

NNS140720-05. George Washington Conducts Distinguished Embark with Republic of Korea Guests

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew Riggs, USS George Washington Public Affairs

USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's forward deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) hosted distinguished visitors from the Republic of Korea (ROK) July 19.

Visitors were taken around the ship to witness flight operations, learn about the ship to further their understanding of aircraft carrier operations, and strengthen the interoperability between U.S. and ROK naval forces.

"It's important for us to work together during times of peace," said Brid. Gen. Jong Dek Lim, executive officer, commander, Joint Chiefs of Staff. "Tours like this allow us to know each other's capabilities and be more able to maintain mission readiness."

Other visitors included Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander, U.S. Combined Forces Command, Adm. Yoon Hee Choi, Republic of Korea commander, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, commander, U.S. 7th Air Force, and Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea.

Distinguished visitors toured the ship's combat direction center, flight deck control center, and flight deck to see the ship and its crew during normal operations.

"It was quite impressive to see how quickly Sailors can send off and receive aircraft," said Lim. "It was even better to see that the ship is able to do both at the simultaneously."

"I hope our visit communicates the importance of our relationship with the U.S," said Choi. "It helps build confidence in our alliance, and we sincerely wish to maintain it as long as we can."

At the end of the visit both parties exchanged gifts and gave parting remarks.

"It has been a pleasure to have everyone aboard today," said Capt. Greg Fenton, commanding officer of George Washington. "I hope this visit gives credence to our mission in the area. On behalf of the 5,500 Sailors stationed aboard this ship, thank you."

Distinguished visitor embarks are aimed at improving the relations with other nations, and to showcase the ship and its capabilities.

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

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

NNS140720-06. PRC Vice Admiral Tours Mercy during RIMPAC 2014

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Pyoung K. Yi, USNS Mercy Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) hosted the commander of People's Republic of China, People's Liberation Army (Navy) [PLA(N)] South Sea Fleet July 15 while the ship was underway for Rim of the Pacific's (RIMPAC) 2014.

While aboard, Vice Adm. Weilie Jiang toured Mercy's facilities including casualty receiving, the ship's operating room complex, intensive care unit and the pilot house.

During the tour, Jiang stressed to Mercy's hospital staff about the importance of exchanging ideas with PLA(N)'s hospital ship Ark Peace's (T-AH 866) crew about medical practices and how to coordinate future humanitarian relief and disaster response efforts.

"I think Vice Admiral Jiang's presence aboard Mercy sends a pretty strong signal that we're committed to exchanging ideas and technological expertise, especially in the field of health care, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief," said Capt. Michael Taylor, commander, Military Sealift Command Pacific. "Both Ark Peace and Mercy have similar missions and it's very beneficial for us to share ideas and exchange thoughts."

One of the main topics discussed during Vice Admiral Jiang's tour aboard Mercy was the idea of exchanging knowledge between medical personnel aboard Mercy and Ark Peace.

"During the subject matter expert exchanges scheduled, there are areas in which we are well-versed and can pass on what we've learned," said Dr. Xiaodong Zhang, the infection control officer aboard Ark Peace. "On the flip side, there are subjects in which the Mercy's crew are probably very knowledgeable, and we can learn what they have to share in those subjects. It's important for us to cooperate and improve each other's capabilities."

Jiang expressed interest in Mercy's capabilities during his tour of the hospital ship and exchanged command ball caps and command coins with Mercy's mission commander and commanding officer.

RIMPAC 2014 is scheduled to have the largest medical presence in its 24-exercise history - with two hospital ships, symposiums, subject matter expert exchanges and over 20 medical exercise events. Twenty-two nations, 49 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

For more news from Rim of the Pacific, visit

NNS140720-04. USS Mesa Verde Sailors Participate in Health Challenge

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Shannon M. Smith, USS Mesa Verde Public Affairs

USS MESA VERDE, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) used deployment as an opportunity for fitness by participating in a six-week long health challenge hosted by the ship's medical staff throughout June and July.

Participants could compete as individuals or in teams up to three people, and collectively 46 Sailors lost 314 pounds, 65.5 inches from the waist and saw a total of 120 points decrease in body composition assessment (BCA) percentages.

"It was really to kind of break up the monotony of deployment... to kind of re-invigorate the culture of fitness on board," said Chief Information Systems Technician Curtis Buzard, Mesa Verde's command fitness leader. "Using the long deployment is a good opportunity for people to kind of zero in on not just getting their quals done, but they have a little bit more time to get in shape, more than they would back on shore where you're dealing with regular family life, and other things off board the ship."

Buzard said the challenge was useful because it provided a focus for those who wanted to make a change in their lives but didn't know where to start.

"You build the foundation out here where it's a little bit easier and you can maybe get over those initial hurdles," Buzard said. "It's a slow process for some people to get it started, but once you get that momentum going, it's a little easier to keep it, especially when you start seeing results."

As part of the challenge, Sailors weighed in weekly and were measured around the neck, waist and hips to mark their progress.

In addition to daily food and exercise logs, the contest also included weekly challenges, aimed at informing and educating on different topics related to overall health, such as basal metabolic rate, body mass index and how to read a nutrition label.

"Essentially I just wanted to bring awareness to the crew about weight loss, but also healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle," said Lt. John Morrison, the ship's medical officer. "The focus being if that people had a better understanding about what it took to help maintain a healthy weight that maybe they'd be a little more engaged in their own wellbeing."

The winners in the male, female and team categories were awarded gift cards to the ship's store, as well as various privileges on the ship such as head-of-the-line priority for chow and laundry services.

The winner in the male category, Chief Culinary Specialist Jesse Wallace, lost 30 pounds during the challenge, in addition with the 15 he'd lost since the deployment began in February. Wallace said he'd already set a goal for personal fitness during deployment, but that the challenge helped him stay on track.

"It was more motivation for me to keep on working out without giving up," Wallace said. "And I hate quitters, so I didn't want to be one."

Other participants said they could notice a change in themselves after the challenge.

"Now I'm in the habit of working out, I enjoy working out and that's a good habit to have," said Quartermaster 2nd Class Lavette Williams, who lost 17 pounds during the challenge. "I feel a whole lot better, a lot healthier, I move a lot faster, I have a lot more energy."

Wallace and Williams agreed that the changes have been hard at times, but rewarding, and they are both excited to get home to show their results to friends and family.

Wallace said he plans to continue his progress and his advice to others is to stay motivated.

"Find something that will motivate you, like I have my wife to motivate me, I had the challenge to motivate me, switch it up, find more and more things to motivate you to keep you going," Wallace said. "I still go to the gym now, and when I get on the machine, sometimes I watch the calories, sometimes I watch the time, but you push yourself more and more each time... you just have to find something to keep you going."

Mesa Verde is part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

For more news from USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), visit

NNS140721-10. Region Southeast Holds Change of Command Ceremony

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stacy D. Laseter, Commander, Navy Region Southeast Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Region Southeast (CNRSE) held a change of command ceremony on board Naval Air Station Jacksonville, July 18.

Rear Adm. Mary M. Jackson relieved Rear Adm. Rick Williamson.

The time-honored ceremony marked an end to Williamson's leadership of the command that supports and guides 17 installations throughout the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean. Vice Adm. William D. French, the commander of Navy Installations Command, served as the guest speaker for the ceremony.

Williamson is a Jacksonville, Florida, native and a 1985 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he earned a bachelor's in computer science. He also holds a master's in business administration from the Naval Post Graduate School and is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College. Williamson reported to CNRSE from his previous assignment as commander, Navy Region Midwest, Great Lakes, Illinois.

"I have had such an incredible experience leading an CNRSE outstanding team," said Williamson. "I will always cherish the relationships that I have built during this tour."

Williamson will be reporting to commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, in August to assume command.

Originally from Wimberley, Texas, Jackson entered the United States Naval Academy in July 1984, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in physics with an emphasis in oceanography. She later went on to earn a graduate degree from George Washington University in engineering management and became qualified as a joint specialty officer.

She has served on board five U.S. Navy ships, in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets with deployed operations in the Atlantic, Caribbean, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Western Pacific areas of operation. Her command tours include serving as commanding officer, USS McFaul (DDG 74) and commanding officer, Naval Station Norfolk, the world's largest naval installation. Most recently, she served as chief of staff to commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia.

"It is an honor and privilege to become a part of such a dynamic team of Sailors and civilians," Jackson said. "And I look forward to challenges we'll tackle together."

Jackson will be the region's 44th commander.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Southeast, visit

NNS140719-05. USS Elrod Returns to Norfolk

By Ensign Mary Senoyuit, USS Elrod Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Elrod (FFG 55) returned to Norfolk Naval Station today following the successful completion of her final scheduled deployment.

Elrod deployed to the U.S. Navy's 6th Fleet area of operations in late January advancing national security interests in Europe and Africa, conducting maritime and theater security operations and partner-building exercises.

The ship conducted port visits to Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia in support of enhancing maritime partnerships.

In Mauritania, crewmembers conducted damage control and vessel boarding, search and seizure (VBSS) training for members of the Mauritanian Navy. In addition, they hosted a reception for foreign dignitaries and military officers. In Morocco, the Elrod crew hosted another reception and engaged in a Passing Exercise through the Straits of Gibraltar with the Moroccan Navy.

"It was gratifying to work with our African partners and continue to build relationships that benefit all of our navies," said Cmdr. Brad L. Stallings, Elrod's commanding officer.

The crew also visited Greece, Portugal and Italy. While in Sicily, the crew volunteered some of their off-duty time to clean a public park as part of a community relations project.

Also, while patrolling the Mediterranean Sea, Elrod assisted USS Bataan (LHD 5) in the rescue of 282 persons in distress.

"It was a really interesting and cool thing to be a part of," said Seaman Ulysses Valencia, speaking of the rescue.

During their time at sea, many Sailors excelled on an individual level, helping one another achieve various watchstanding and warfare qualifications, as well as other major career milestones. Fifty three Sailors earned their Enlisted Surface Warfare qualification, six Sailors reenlisted, and 25 advanced in rate during this deployment.

Elrod was commissioned in 1985 and named after U.S. Marine Corps aviator, Maj. Henry T. Elrod. He was the first aviator to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War II, which was awarded posthumously for his heroism in the defense of Wake Island on Dec. 11, 1941.

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

NNS140719-02. ROK Navy Embarks George Washington, Improves Bilateral Warfighting Readiness

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Trevor Welsh, Commander, Task Force 70 Public Affairs

WATERS WEST OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA (NNS) -- Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) Commander, Maritime Task Flotilla (MTF) 7 Rear Adm. Kim Jong-Il, and members of his staff, embarked the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Shiloh (CG 67) as part of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group (GWCSG) for five days while conducting bilateral operations off the coast of the Republic of Korea.

The ROKN sailors boarded the ships while in port Republic of Korea to work side by side U.S. Navy sailors with the intent of improving the collective warfighting readiness of the two forces and learn each other's tactics, techniques and procedures.

"I see three main benefits to bringing Maritime Task Flotilla 7 of the Republic of Korea navy on board George Washington and integrating them with Task Force 70 staff," said Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet. "It allows MTF 7 staff to see the tactical operational deployment of a carrier strike group in the West or East Sea and therefore improve their situational awareness of how we would operate during a contingency.

It allows them to provide us with their knowledge of the specific environmental and operational factors in the waters immediately surrounding Korea and share their lessons learned, tactics, techniques and procedures, thereby elevating our staff's warfighting readiness. Lastly, it allows us to operate together, and the more often we operate together in peacetime, the more likely we will be able to integrate smoothly during the confusion that might be surrounding a contingency."

While aboard, the visitors toured the ship's spaces to become familiar with Sailors' daily lives, compare standard operating procedures and learn about how the U.S. Navy conducts operations underway.

"By embarking the carrier with my staff and living on board for a few days we are able to see how the U.S. Navy operates an aircraft carrier, how Sailors live and work on board and how the crewmembers implement our shared tactics in the combined operations we are having together," said Kim. "Although we do operations together on a regular basis, by coming here and seeing the crew operating with my own eyes, I am now able to go back and pass along this knowledge and information to ROK navy."

The U.S. Navy regularly conducts bilateral operations with its partners and allies in and around the Korean peninsula to strengthen maritime interoperability and enhance forward-deployed proficiency while operating with foreign military forces.

"When we are doing a mission in the Korean theater of operations, by U.S. Navy and ROK navy training and conducting exercises together, we can carry out that mission more effectively and more successfully," said Kim. "In the areas where we need improvement and development in terms of procedure and tactics, by working side by side we can identify those areas and have discussions to improve them step by step."

GWCSG provides a combat ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its partners and allies by supporting security and economic stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS140719-01. N96 Holds Change of Command

By Lt. Robert Myers, Director Surface Warfare Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Peter Fanta relieved Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden as director, Surface Warfare (OPNAV N96) during a change of command at the Pentagon July 18.

Rowden, a native of Washington, D.C. assumed command as N96 in January 2012 and ensured resourcing requirements for surface combatant ships operating around the world.

While under Rowden's command, N96 planned and programmed current and future readiness, including maintenance, modernization, manpower, sensors, weapons and training for surface ships to complete their assigned missions. The N96 team supports ships which include, but are not limited to, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Zumwalt-class destroyers (DDG 1000) and the future large surface combatant replacement for the 2030s timeframe.

"It has been a privilege to lead an outstanding group of professionals- active duty, civilian and contractor - charged with building the budget for all elements of the surface force," said Rowden. "I have no doubt that Surface Warfare will continue to move forward and meet high expectations."

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy and native of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Fanta assumed command as N96 following his last tour of duty as deputy director for Resources and Acquisition (J8) in Washington, D.C.

"I am excited to be the new Director of Surface Warfare and I look forward to the hard work ahead," said Fanta. "We will continue to work together, set the standard even higher, and meet the needs of the fleet."

Fanta's at sea assignments include: Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 5, Commander, Amphibious Squadron 2 and Bataan Expeditionary Strike Group. He was also the commanding officer of USS Rushmore (LSD 47) and commanding officer of USS Falcon (MHC 59).

His previous shore assignments include: director, Ballistic Missile Defense and Combat Systems Integration, Surface Warfare Division (N86F); executive assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller); senior fellow, Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group; chief, Programming and Budget Joint Staff (J8) and chief, Programming Branch, Navy (OPNAV N8).

N96 is aligned under the deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems (OPNAV N9).

For more news from the Navy, visit,, or @USNavy.

NNS140718-29. Commander, Naval Education and Training Command visits Recruit Division Commander "C" School

By Brian Walsh, Recruit Training Command Public Affairs Specialist

GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- The commander of Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), Rear Adm. Michael White, visited Recruit Division Commander (RDC) "C" School at Recruit Training Command (RTC) July 17.

During his visit, he met and addressed the dedicated team of instructors and students going through the school.

"Thank you for choosing to become a RDC," said White. "Just being here in this seat proves that you stand out among your peers. We understand that this is a rough course of instruction, but, for good reason. You are entrusted with forging the next generation of Sailors."

RDCs, also known at RTC as "red ropes", are entrusted with the job of developing recruits into smartly disciplined, physically fit and basically trained Sailors.

Prior to being considered for duty at RTC, Sailors are extensively screened and recommended for duty by their commanding officer. After arrival, they are evaluated and trained by a team of seasoned RDCs that make up RTC's RDC "C" school instructors.

Currently, there are nearly 600 trained RDCs and 53 RDC "C" school students, known as "blue ropes" at RTC.

RDC "C" School is a 13-week long, physically challenging and intensive hands-on training course that prepares the "C" school students with the skills, perspective and physical readiness to be a RDC.

"The most difficult part for incoming students is the physical training and being held to an extremely high standard," said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Eric Atkinson, a RDC "C" School instructor. "It takes commitment, a strong sense of attention to detail and dedication to be a RDC."

Atkinson says that all RDC "C" school students start their training in the drill, administration and the star phase. During this time, blue ropes work on things like folding and stowing, compartment and personnel inspections as well as dynamic material inspections. This includes the lockers and the way gear should be properly folded and stowed.

The next phase, the leadership phase, teaches the blue ropes specific leadership skills, which are tailored to the unique recruit chain of command structure.

The final phase of training is the shadow phase. During this phase, blue ropes follow a recruit division to observe the training by a qualified RDC.

Information Systems Technician 1st Class Jake Boles, currently going through RDC "C" School, says he decided to become a RDC because the leadership and mentorship opportunities while training recruits are hard to duplicate anywhere else in the fleet.

"Of all the people I have met during my time in the Navy, RDCs have been the most professional," said Boles. "I wanted to become a RDC because I believe I can live up to that standard in training the future of the Navy."

For recruits entering RTC, their RDCs are the first people they encounter that will prepare them to accomplish the Navy's mission. To ensure that recruits get the best training, RDCs are dedicated to not only giving recruits the information they need to succeed, but setting the example of the standards they should strive for while in the Navy.

Boot camp is approximately eight weeks, and all enlistees into the United States Navy begin their careers at the command. Training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms familiarization, firefighting and shipboard damage control, lessons in Navy heritage and core values, teamwork and discipline. Since the closure of RTCs in Orlando and San Diego in 1994, RTC Great Lakes is, today, the Navy's only basic training location, and is known as "The Quarterdeck of the Navy." Today, approximately 38,000 recruits graduate annually from RTC and begin their Navy careers.

RTC is overseen by Rear Adm. Rich Brown, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), headquartered in Building 1; the historic clock tower building on Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill. NSTC oversees 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy. NSTC also oversees the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) at more than 160 colleges and universities, Officer Training Command at Naval Station Newport, R. I., and Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide.

Learn more at, and

For more information about NSTC, visit or

NNS140718-28. Connecticut Native Assumes Command of Groton-based Submarine

By Lt. Timothy Hawkins, Submarine Group 2 Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Springfield (SSN 761) welcomed a new commander July 18 during a change of command ceremony aboard the historic ship Nautilus in Groton, Conn.

Cmdr. Daniel Lombardo, who was born and raised in Danbury, Conn., relieved Cmdr. Christian Williams as Springfield's commanding officer during the time-honored ceremony attended by crew members, other Navy personnel, and invited guests.

Rear Adm. Ken Perry, commander, Submarine Group 2, was the keynote speaker.

"Today's ceremony is to witness the transfer of authority for the crew, from one skipper who has expertly borne the mantle of command to another who is fully qualified as his relief," Perry said.

Williams, a Georgia native, assumed command in January 2012 and led Springfield on a successful six-month deployment last year. Perry highlighted Springfield's exceptional performance at sea in his remarks.

"Under Williams' leadership Springfield has delivered," he said. "Springfield's readiness at sea was second to none."

Springfield earned a 100-percent mission readiness grade in 2013 while operating in the Middle East, a feat that hadn't been achieved in the U.S. Central Command region since 2010.

Perry also lauded Williams for the crew's performance under his command during multiple inspections and certifications.

"Chris Williams' leadership is evident in the ship's high morale, high retention and positive results on every major ship inspection," said Perry. "His contagious zeal, professionalism and dedication to the mission carried over to Sailors throughout the ship."

Though Williams was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of many accomplishments, he gave crew members the credit. "I'm so proud of you," he told crew members.

Williams' next assignment is in Washington, D.C. He is scheduled to serve on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations.

Lombardo reports to Groton after having left the Washington area where he served on the staff for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"I could not be more proud and excited to be taking command of such a fine ship," he said.

After graduating from Danbury High School in 1993, Lombardo attended the U.S. Naval Academy. He graduated from the academy in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He later earned a master's in engineering management from Old Dominion University.

Lombardo has experience on both attack submarines and ballistic-missile submarines. He has served aboard USS Florida (SSBN 728), USS Tucson (SSN 770), and as executive officer aboard USS Alaska (SSBN 732).

In addition to his most recent job, Lombardo's assignments ashore have included tours at both the Office of Naval Intelligence and Anti-Submarine Forces Western Atlantic.

Lombardo told crew members he looks forward to maintaining Springfield's legacy of success.

"I'm truly humbled to be your commanding officer," he said. "I am confident that we will continue to execute the mission with excellence as a team."

USS Springfield was commissioned Jan. 9, 1993. It is named for cities in both Illinois and Massachusetts.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit

NNS140718-27. NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support Welcomes Milton Hershey School Interns

By Jennifer Blair, NAVSUP Corporate Communications

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (NNS) -- Navy Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS) welcomed two interns to its Mechanicsburg, Pa. site as part of Milton Hershey School's Spartan Internship Program.

Located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Milton Hershey School (MHS) was founded in 1909 and serves students who are in financial need. The school provides students in Pre-K through 12th-grade education, housing, food, health care, and clothing at no cost to the family. Originally founded to care for orphan boys, the first class had just 10 students. Today, the school is home to approximately 1,925 boys and girls of diverse backgrounds.

The Spartan Internship Program is a five-week program offered to MHS students entering their senior year of high school. This is the first year the school has offered internships on board the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mechanicsburg. The base has a total of four interns, two of whom are working at NAVSUP WSS in the command's Comptroller directorate. The interns have been assigned to the Operating Budget division and Workforce Planning.

"Working at NAVSUP WSS has given me an idea of what the real world is like," said intern Brendaliz Bonilla. She added, "I've learned how busy it is, and that if you don't stick to a schedule, you can easily fall behind. It's also been interesting to talk to other NSA Mechanicsburg interns to see what they are working on and learning."

"I'm very happy we were given the opportunity to partner with Milton Hershey School on their intern program," said Karen Meloy, NAVSUP WSS vice commander. "I look forward to working with the school in the future to offer more internships at our command."

A field activity of the Naval Supply Systems Command, NAVSUP WSS is the U.S. Navy's supply chain manager providing worldwide support to the aviation, surface ship, and submarine communities. NAVSUP WSS provides Navy, Marine Corps, joint and allied forces with products and services that deliver combat capability through logistics. There are more than 2,000 civilian and military personnel employed at its two Pennsylvania sites. The NAVSUP WSS Philadelphia site supports aircraft, while its Mechanicsburg site supports ships and submarines.

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit

NNS140718-26. NAS Meridian Welcomes 24th Commanding Officer

By Penny Randall, Naval Air Station Meridian Public Affairs

NAVAL AIR STATION MERIDIAN, Miss. (NNS) -- Naval Air Station Meridian welcomed its 24th commanding officer during a change of command ceremony July 18.

Capt. Scott Bunnay relieved Capt. Charles C. Moore II who served as the installation's commanding officer since July 2011.

"This assignment brings me happily back to Mississippi to command NAS Meridian," said Bunnay who completed flight training and received his Wings of Gold and designation as a naval aviator in July 1994 from Training Air Wing One on board the installation. "Please rest assured the service members and civilians of NAS Meridian will continue to strive to be the best possible citizens, leaders, friends and neighbors."

The guest speaker for the ceremony was Capt. Steven H. Blaisdell, chief of staff for Navy Region Southeast.

"Meridian is true Navy town USA," Blaisdell said. "You cannot have success without support and it is evident that Capt. Moore has developed a tremendous partnership among the team at NAS Meridian. He knows how to take care of his Sailors and staff, and at the same time accomplish the goals of the Navy. I send a sincere thank you to all the Sailors, Marines, civilians and contractors who make this base run."

Under Moore's leadership, the installation provided the highest quality support for its tenant commands, skillfully managed response to disasters, and received numerous accolades.

"I consider the responsibility of being the commanding officer of NAS Meridian an incredibly humbling experience. The installation will be in great hands with Capt. Bunnay," Moore said. "I could not have done this job without the loving support from my family."

Moore guided 400 personnel in providing facilities and services with a $30 million budget, which enabled 73,400 flight operations more than 135,735 flight hours at two airfields which led to the winging of 387 naval aviators during his tenure.

He orchestrated $65 million in repairs and renovations, which facilitated the graduation of 6,350 students from Naval Technical Training Center Meridian and 2,100 students from Marine Aviation Training Support Squadron One.

Moore's extensive leadership was further evidenced by the installation's awards, including Southeast Region's small installation nomination for the 2011 Installation Excellence Award, the Secretary of the Navy's Gold Energy Award, the National Weather Service's StormReady Community designation, three consecutive Ney Five Star Accreditations, the 2013 Retention Excellence Award, Southeast Region's 2013 Environmental Stewardship Community Service Flagship Award, and 2013 Chief of Naval Operations Installation Environmental Restoration Award.

Moore's next assignment will be commanding officer of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Illinois.

Bunnay's Navy career has included assignments with the EA-6B Prowler Fleet Replacement Squadron, Electronic Attack Squadron 129 at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., and with Electronic Attack Squadron 135 assigned to the "World Famous Black Ravens," where he deployed as part of Carrier Air Wing 11 aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) supporting Operation Southern Watch and later aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in support of Operations Southern Watch and Desert Fox.

In May 1999, Bunnay reported to the Combined Air Operations Center of NATO's 5th Allied Tactical Air Force in Vicenza, Italy. He served as the electronic warfare coordination cell chief in support of Operation Allied Force. In November 1999, he reported to VAQ-129 as an instructor pilot and served as a familiarization and navigation instructor, safety officer and landing signal officer.

In May 2002, Bunnay was assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 136 (VAQ-136), part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces home ported in Atsugi, Japan, for his department head tour. As a "Gauntlet," he deployed in 2003, as part of Carrier Air Wing 5 aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), supporting Operations Southern Watch and Iraqi Freedom. He served as the safety officer, administrative officer, electronic warfare officer, and operations officer while with VAQ-136.

In December 2004, Bunnay reported to The Joint Staff, Directorate for Command, Control, Communications, and Computer Systems. While serving as an action officer, he earned a master's degree in the management of information technology from the University of Virginia. Following selection for aviation command, he reported to VAQ-129 as executive officer in June 2007.

In June 2008, he reported to Electronic Attack Squadron 132 as executive officer and assumed command of the "Scorpions" in April 2009. During his tenure, the squadron completed the first fleet transition from the EA-6B Prowler to the EA-18G Growler.

Following his operational command tour, Bunnay reported to the RAND Corporation in August 2010 as a federal executive fellow. In August 2011, he reported to the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy.

NAS Meridian supports 24 tenant commands providing aviation and technical training. It accomplishes its mission of "Training the Warfighter" by providing timely, quality services and facilities in an environmentally safe, secure community. Departments working under the commanding officer form the backbone for the entire installation's functioning.

For more news from Naval Air Station Meridian, visit

NNS140718-25. Special Operations Forces, USS Independence Train during RIMPAC 2014

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Corey T. Jones, Rim of the Pacific Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Special forces from the U.S., the Republic of Korea and Peru conducted a covert training mission aboard the littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2) as part of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.

The two-day scenario provided realistic and relevant training for both the special forces teams and the ship's crew.

Cmdr. Joseph "Joe" A. Gagliano, Independence commanding officer, said his crew and the special forces teams gained invaluable experience from the training.

"This is the first time an Independence-class ship has participated in a RIMPAC exercise," he said. "Coming together to do these exercises at RIMPAC every two years is a good way to forge relationships, learn from each other, learn how each of our navies do business and then learn a way to operate."

The training mission kicked off when numerous helicopters from the U.S. Navy, Army and Marine Corps offloaded special forces teams onto the flight deck of the Independence. Before long, the spacious mission bay of the Independence was filled with elite fighters and a special forces canine.

A first-in-class overhead hoist lifted an 11-meter rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) off the deck, extended it outboard through the mission bay doors, and lowered it into the Pacific Ocean to launch a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team.

A unique eight-wheeled Mobicon straddle-lift carrier then maneuvered about the mission bay to steer a second 11-meter RHIB into position under the hoist and launch a different VBSS team.

Once all the players were ready, the RHIBs moved into position. The special forces teams, organized by country, descended into the speed boats, sped off and circled back around. They then moved into place and threw a grappling hook aboard the ship to climb up.

Aircrew members assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6 readied two MH-60S Seahawk helos in the hangar bay, later assisting the special forces teams with completing their mission.

At evening, each special forces team covertly departed Independence under the glow of red lights to continue the next segment of their training mission.

Gagliano said the training mission demonstrated the capabilities of Independence to support special forces as a fast, modular, highly adaptable, and increasingly autonomous vessel.

"All along, we've had a goal of being able to show the United States Navy what the Independence-class can contribute to warfighting for our nation, and coming out here to RIMPAC has been an opportunity for us to show our multinational partners exactly what the ship can contribute in a multinational environment," he said.

Twenty-two nations, 49 ships, six submarines, about 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

For more news from Rim of the Pacific, visit

NNS140721-06. Crafting with Hell Fire: HTs' Various Welding Techniques

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Oscar Albert Moreno Jr., USS George Washington Public Affairs

USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- Hull technicians (HT) aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) operate tools that use temperatures as high as 8,500 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the habitability of the ship is in top condition.

HTs use different welding techniques to fuse metals together, fill in cracks and permanently fix defects to ensure the ship's hull structure is sound.

"We are in charge to ensure that whatever flows through the ship doesn't go off on a tangent," said Hull Technician 1st Class Cornelius Klein, from Chicago. "We fix, repair and replace pipes, piping systems, doors, hatches and bulkheads. We ensure that whatever can go wrong doesn't go wrong."

According to Kirksey, the ship's pipe shop and ship fitters are capable of three different welding techniques: stick welding, tig welding and brazing.
Stick welding involves using a stinger, which is a torch and an electrode, or a flux coated welding rod, that is lit to start a chemical reaction. Stick welding binds two metals together, like an angle iron to a bulkhead. After the weld is finished, the excess flux is chipped off and wire brushed to perfection.

Tig welding, also known as tungsten inert-gas welding, involving using argon gas to keep the metal from oxidizing, and a torch and a filler rod fuses two metals together.

While with tig welding, HTs ensure that the welding does not burn through the metal and the amount of heat administrated is enough for a proper fusion to form. Brazing involves using acetylene, a combustible gas, to start up the chemical reaction while utilizing oxygen as a constant heat source to melt filler metal over a seal. Steps to braze properly begin with ensuring the seal area is properly cleaned. HTs then use heat and filler metal to fill a hole in a joint. Additional filler metal is traced around the seal and then left to cool slowly to reduce the likelihood of cracking.

"We take great pride in our work, from large scale jobs down to the simplest tasks," said Hull Technician 2nd Class Kevan Kirksey, from San Bernardino, California. "On a daily basis, we work with heat that burns through metal. Therefore, every weld we do around the ship is done with extreme precision to ensure the weld is refined and our personnel complete jobs without injuries."

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

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

NNS020715-19. This Day in Naval History - July 21

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1905 - USS Bennington (Gunboat #4) is wrecked by a boiler explosion at San Diego, Calif. One officer and 65 enlisted men die in the explosion, along with numerous crew injuries.

1918 - During World War I, German submarine (U 156) surfaces and fires on U.S. tugboat, Perth Amboy, and four barges, three miles off Nauset Beach, Cape Cod, Mass.

1943 - PBY aircraft (VP 94) sinks German submarine (U 662) off the mouth of Amazon River, Brazil.

1944 - Following landing on Guam's Asan-Adelup Beachhead, Pfc. Luther Skaggs, Jr., takes command of his squad, leading his men to a position to provide fire support for the Marine assault. Severely wounded that night when Japanese forces counter-attack, he fights on for many hours, until enemy opposition was suppressed. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" on this occasion, Skaggs awarded Medal of Honor.

1944 - Task Force 53, (commanded by Rear Adm. Richard L. Connolly) lands the Third Marine Division and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, along with the U.S. Army 77th Infantry Division on Guam. The island is declared secure on Aug. 9 though bands of enemy Japanese are long encountered after VJ Day.

1946 - In the first U.S. test of adaptability of jet aircraft to shipboard operations, an XFD 1 Phantom piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Davidson makes landings & takeoffs without catapult from USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB 42).

NNS140722-07. Allied Joint Force Command, Naples/U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Bids Farewell to Outgoing Commander, Welcomes New Leader

From Allied Joint Force Command, Naples Public Affairs

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- U.S. Navy Adm. Mark Ferguson assumed command as Commander Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Naples/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, relieving Adm. Bruce W. Clingan in a ceremony, July 22.

U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, presided over the change of command ceremony. Gen. Philip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe/Commander, U.S. European Command and Gen. David Rodriquez, Commander, U.S. Africa Command, also participated in the event.

Greenert praised Clingan for his leadership and performance while in command.

"Bruce has been the right leader, in the right place, at the right time. The Clingans have provided us an enduring contribution both to the Navy, to NATO and to Naval Forces Europe-Africa. Our Navy, our nation and all the international partners here and around the NATO area very much thank you," remarked Greenert.

During the ceremony, Greenert also presented Clingan with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.

Clingan expressed his gratitude to the men and women serving under him and with him at NATO and U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.

"I am proud of you, all of you in both staffs, that you had the courage to act; the creativity to turn impediments into opportunities; and the integrity to make good on our solemn promise to be able to defend our nations," said Clingan.

Clingan also commented on the dedication of the military and civilian personnel from 20 different countries who work at JFC.

"Each of the nations represented owe an immense debt of gratitude to these consummate professionals, who ultimately form the foundation of our collective military strength," said Clingan. "Their exceptional contributions have inspired me every day."

Clingan will retire this fall after 37 years of naval service.

Ferguson, who previously served as Vice Chief of Naval Operations in Wash. D.C., addressed his and NATO's continued commitment to the alliance.

"As history has demonstrated, the NATO alliance remains the bedrock of U.S. national security. It is an alliance founded on shared values, cemented in trust and built to endure," said Ferguson. "I am committed to strengthening the alliance and working with our allies and partners to ensure we remain a positive force for stability and peace throughout the region."

Ferguson will be the 28th U.S. naval officer to serve as commander of JFC.

As commander JFC Naples, Ferguson will prepare for, plan and conduct military operations in order to preserve the peace, security and territorial integrity of Alliance member states and freedom of the seas and economic lifelines throughout the Supreme Allied Commander Europe's area of operations and beyond. NATO operational responsibilities include operations in the Balkans, Black Sea, Mediterranean and NATO training missions.

As Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, Ferguson will be responsible for providing overall command, operational control, and coordination of U.S. Naval Forces in the Europe and Africa Command areas of operations.

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

NNS140722-20. MCPON to host Live Chat on Facebook

By Office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens will host his third virtual call on July 23, at 4:00 p.m. EST.

The virtual call will be located online at He will give an update on the Navy, discuss CPO 365 Phase 2, uniform changes, and family readiness.

"I am extremely honored to get the opportunity to have another virtual conversation with Sailors, family members, Navy civilians and retirees through social media, said MCPON.

Questions can be posed during the virtual call. Personnel submitting questions should include their name, rank, rate and command.

For more information, visit,,, or

NNS140722-08. US, ROK Build Relationships to Increase Allied Interoperability

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Declan Barnes, USS Kidd Public Affairs

USS KIDD, At Sea (NNS) -- The Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100), in cooperation with members of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group, participated in a bilateral exercise with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy, July 15-19.

"We are allies and close friends, and this exercise is absolutely critical," said Capt. Shan Byrne, commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15. "ROK navy has continued to build state-of-the-art technology to align to U.S. capabilities over the past six to seven years, and this has transformed the way we operate together at sea. The purpose of these exercises is to prepare, and help grow their naval capabilities as we get closer and closer together while working at sea."

The exercise is one of many held annually to strengthen interoperability and teamwork between U.S. and ROK navies, while enhancing the security and readiness in the entire Korean theater of operations.

"This allows our navies to refine techniques to integrate surface and air weapons, sensors, and communications," said Capt. Fred Kacher, commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, embarked on Kidd. "Just as importantly, operating together at sea reaffirms the enduring partnership and alliance between our nations that has spanned six decades."

The exercise affords a unique training opportunity to watchstanders of all ranks and rates as they worked side-by-side with ROK navy exchange officers to improve command and control between the two navies.

"These coordinated events are a fantastic opportunity to train both bridge and combat information center watch standers alike through maneuvering tactics, foreign ship familiarization, international communications, and air asset coordination," said Cmdr. T.J. Zerr, Kidd's commanding officer.

To increase the interoperability, ROK navy liaison officers embarked on board U.S. Navy ships.

"Having the chance to work together with the crew on board Kidd has been extremely valuable to me," said Lt. Dong-Hoon Lee, a ROK navy liaison officer embarked on board Kidd. "Through this exercise, our two navies have formed a formidable team on the water."

During the events, Kidd played an essential role in controlling U.S. and ROK aircraft, coordinating anti-submarine tactical training, and employing advanced sensors in co-operations with the ROK.

"This exercise provides a highly integrated and fast-paced air control environment for both U.S. and ROK pilots," said Operations Specialist 1st Class Andrew Petrie, one of Kidd's air warfare coordinators. "Our teams worked together to build a highly effective and extremely capable combined surface and air naval force."

Fostering diplomatic relations with allies through bilateral operations at sea is part of America's maritime strategy to build a joint coalition force of allies capable of ensuring maritime security.

"[DESRON 15] ships spend a lot of time in and around the Republic of Korea," said Byrne. "It's one of our primary missions since they are a critical ally. We are there not only to conduct exercises with ROK navy, but working on our personal relationships with all the different ROK navy fleets. Our Sailors get a lot out of it, and we have spent enough time there for them to get to really know their counterparts and build the relationships. I think it is one of the many unique experiences a forward-deployed Sailor can get; working with our allies up close and personal. The other side of that is being able to host ROK sailors on our ships and see the special friendships develop. Even beyond normal friendships, we are building trust and capability."

Kidd, home ported in San Diego, is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting regional security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS140722-01. USS Gary Demonstrates Capabilities during RIMPAC 2014

By Ensign Michael Singer, USS Gary Public Affairs

USS GARY, At Sea (NNS) -- Working alongside multinational naval forces during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014, the Oliver Hazard Perry-Class guided-missile frigate USS Gary (FFG 51) demonstrated her proficiency in gunnery, maritime interdiction operations, helicopter operations, small boat operations, navigation, communication, and ship handling.

Gary began her involvement transiting the Pacific Ocean during a group sail including USS Cape St. George (CG 71), USS Sampson (DDG 102), USCGC Waesche (WMSL 751), USNS Rainier, CNS Blanco Encalada (FF 15), HnoMS Fridt Jof Nansen (F310), and HMCS Calgary (FFH 335).

Operations Officer Lt. William Hessell coordinated most of Gary's participation in RIMPAC.

"Gary was fortunate to participate in DESRON [Destroyer Squadron] 9's multinational group sail en route to Hawaii," Hessell said. "It was an excellent opportunity to work with our coalition partners and rehearse exercises we would conduct during RIMPAC. The highlight was the cross-deck program, which allowed sailors to spend a week on other nations' ships and gain valuable experience in the process."

Operations Specialist 2nd Class Bradly Ingram said participating in the group sail was a unique experience.

"I enjoyed working alongside the foreign nation's ships so closely," he said. "It gives you a kind of bird's-eye view that only the participants could see."

During group sail, the ships performed gunnery exercises, tactical shipboard maneuvers, underway replenishments, helicopter operations, anti-submarine operations, and a passing exercise. Following the group sail, Gary pulled into Pearl Harbor for the RIMPAC in-port phase.

During that time, Gary Sailors served as tour guides and gave more than 90 tours of their frigate. Ship's Serviceman Seaman Joshua Ronquillo not only gave tours, but visited many other ships.

"The best part for me was being able to go see the other ships from different countries on the waterfront," Ronquillo said. "Seeing their traditions, uniforms, and sailors was a very unique opportunity that I will remember for the rest of my life."

Lt. j.g. Andrew Walter was grateful for the opportunity to interact with other sailors from around the world.

"Being able to participate in the Hawaii portion of RIMPAC has been a huge help in understanding the other navies of the world and how they work," he said. "Meeting sailors from different navies in the Navy Exchange, at the sporting events, ship tours, and fun times around Oahu have given personality to the ships we operate with."

Gary crew members enjoyed their liberty in Hawaii, including hiking, scuba, kayaking, and RIMPAC sponsored sporting events with other countries such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, and tennis.

"It's never a bad time to be in Hawaii!" Hessell said.

After the in-port sea phase, Gary departed Pearl Harbor for the at-sea phase portion of RIMPAC.

Lt. Jean-Christophe Berger of the Belgian navy, a foreign exchange officer serving on board Gary, said he's found the exercise both challenging and rewarding.

"RIMPAC gives international participants many opportunities to collaborate together, to demonstrate their material, capacities, and, most importantly, how they operate in a group sail," Berger said. "The main opportunity that RIMPAC represents for these foreign countries is the possibility to work with the U.S. Navy. It is a chance to observe how the most powerful force at sea is able to work with others. Communication is the key to successfully completing the exercises and is an essential element allowing multiple countries to reach shared goals."

Cmdr. Steven McDowell, Gary's commanding officer, said the exercise has provided invaluable training for his ship and crew.

"RIMPAC offers a unique opportunity to meet and work with our international counterparts in an effort that unifies our collective force and enables it to respond more effectively when a crisis arises," he said. "The value of the partnerships that are built and sustained is well worth the effort that goes into planning and executing RIMPAC."

Twenty-two nations, 49 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 26 to Aug. 1 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

For more news from Rim of the Pacific, visit

NNS140722-09. Flagship Blue Ridge Honors Partnership during Visit to Otaru

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jacob Waldrop, USS Blue Ridge Public Affairs

OTARU, Japan (NNS) -- U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) departed Otaru, Japan, after a four-day port visit devoted to boosting U.S.-Japanese ties July 22.

During the visit, Blue Ridge crew members, embarked 7th Fleet Staff, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12 and Marines from Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Pacific hosted a ceremony on the main deck for local military and government leaders and enjoyed some of Otaru and Sapporo's rich culture.

"It's important to maintain a strong partnership with our Japanese allies because we work together so often to maintain regional security," said Chief Quartermaster Andrey Mihaylovski.

The capabilities of that partnership were on display in the neighboring city of Sapporo. The fifth largest city in Japan hosted an air show in which Japanese and American pilots performed highly skilled maneuvers.

HSC-12 flew their MH-60S Seahawk helicopters from Blue ridge's flight deck to Okadama Airport in Sapporo to put them on display for all the spectators to see.

"It was a really great experience," said Lt. Sam Reno, a pilot from the HSC-12 detachment aboard Blue Ridge. "My favorite thing was taking pictures with all the smiling children."

For some Blue Ridge Sailors, the air show was a major highlight of the port visit.

"I had a great time," said Yeoman 2nd Class Shane Belgrave. "It was great to see the awesome capabilities of each country's aircraft."

Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for 34 years. As the flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas, Blue Ridge is vital in maintaining partnerships in the 7th Fleet area of operations.

For more news from USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), visit

NNS140722-10. Sailors and Navy Families Build Relationships in the Republic of Korea

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

DONGHAE, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Sailors and Navy families assigned to Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea (CNFK) and Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy 1st Fleet improved cultural relations and strengthened the U.S.-ROK alliance through a two day team building event hosted in Donghae, July 20-21.

"This trip is a great opportunity for the U.S. to strengthen our partnership with the ROK navy," said Lt. j.g. Christopher Quast, who helped organize the event in conjunction with the ROK Chief of Naval Operations staff. "Interacting with Korean sailors in an informal setting is a terrific way to improve our professional relationships."

The event kicked off on Mangsang Beach where Korean sailors and their families welcomed the U.S. Seoul-based Sailors, accompanied by their families, with refreshments and water sports. Many Korean and American service members enjoyed the unique opportunity to talk with their counterparts in an informal setting, while others competed in the team building activities including a water balloon toss, a bean bag toss and a friendly game of soccer.

"I firmly believe that the strong Alliance between our navies is sustained through relationships - and this starts by getting to know each other on a personal level - as people - and building close friendships with each other," said Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea. "These relationships enable the success and lay the foundation for teamwork in our bilateral exercises we just completed in the East Sea this week."

The first day wrapped up with a dinner and cultural performance at the Hyunjin Hotel hosted by Rear Adm. Chung, An Ho, commander of ROK Navy 1st Fleet. The performers included a Samul-Nori (traditional Korean drum quartet), a magic show for the children, a cross-cultural saxophone duet and a ROK Navy band showcasing a variety of American classic rock songs.

The next day, the 45 Americans had the choice of visiting Ojukheon, a traditional Joseon Dynasty estate and museum, or hiking in Mureung Valley with a tour of the Samhwa Buddist Temple. Their Korean counterparts were on hand to help translate and expand the U.S. Sailors' knowledge of the Republic of Korea's history and culture.

"This trip was a great family adventure, and a wonderful opportunity shared with our ROK Navy colleagues," said Jessica Hentze, president of the Navy Family Readiness Group in Seoul. "We experienced part of their culture and enjoyed many laughs together along the way."

The two-day event closed with a traditional meal of bulgogi served in a stone bowl with rice and kimchi hosted at the ROK Navy Golf Club House.

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

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

NNS140721-19. America departs Colombia, Continues Course to San Diego

By USS America (LHA 6) Public Affairs

CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA (NNS) -- The future amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) departed Cartagena, Colombia, July 19 after a three-day port visit.

This was the crew's first stop on the ship's maiden voyage, "America Visits the Americas," as the ship makes its way from Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi to its homeport of San Diego.

While in Colombia, the ship hosted a welcome reception in the ship's hangar bay. Distinguished guests included Dr. Kevin Whitaker, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia; Gen. John F. Kelly, commander, U.S. Southern Command; Juan Carlos Pinzon Bueno, Colombian Minister of National Defense; Gen. Juan Pablo Rodriguez Barragan, commanding officer, Colombia Military Forces; as well as local Colombian civilian dignitaries and military officials.

During the visit, the ship's military and civilian crew had the opportunity to experience their host nation and to serve as goodwill ambassadors.

"I enjoyed exploring the culture and tasting some local food while touring the city," said Marine Cpl. Jessica McGinnis, landing support specialist assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 13.

While anchored off the coast of Cartagena, the crew offloaded 52 pallets of medical supplies and toys to children suffering from terminal illnesses in the city. The supplies were delivered as part of Project Handclasp, a Navy program that accepts and transports educational, humanitarian and goodwill material donated by America's private sector for distribution to foreign nation recipients.

"Shipping this amount of cargo into Colombia would have cost a fortune for any charity organization. America on the other hand, did this at no extra cost to the taxpayer or to the volunteer organizations that provided the donations," said Lt. Cmdr. Jonathon Cox, America's assistant supply officer. "Just knowing where these items are headed, and knowing our crew has made a direct, positive impact on peoples' lives here in Colombia, was a powerful reminder that the Navy really is a global force for good."

Also during the visit, America's soccer team played a friendly match against the local Colombian naval team.

Although the America team didn't win, Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuels) 2nd Class Luis Garcia said playing against the local soccer team was a great experience.

"Soccer is the number one sport in this country. Their national team recently made the final 16 during the 2014 World Cup," said Garcia.

America is also scheduled to visit Brazil, Chile, Peru and Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the crew will continue enriching partnerships through a variety of interactions with host nations, acting as goodwill ambassadors and participating in community relations projects.

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

America is currently traveling through the U.S. Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility on her maiden transit, "America Visits the Americas". America is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tarawa-class of amphibious assault ships. As the next generation "big-deck" amphibious assault ship, America is optimized for aviation, capable of supporting current and future aircraft such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. The ship is scheduled to be ceremoniously commissioned Oct. 11 in San Francisco.

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

NNS140722-11. Roosevelt Completes Replenishment-at-Sea

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert, George H.W. Bush Public Affairs

USS ROOSEVELT, At Sea (NNS) -- Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), successfully completed a replenishment-at-sea (RAS) with the Military Sealift Command USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4) the afternoon of July 20.

The RAS lasted roughly two hours with more than 120,000 gallons of fuel being transferred to Roosevelt. Byrd is one of 12 dry cargo/ammunition ships operated by Military Sealift Command that provide underway replenishment of fuel to U.S. Navy ships at sea. Byrd pulled alongside the Roosevelt to coordinate the transfer of fuel lines from one ship to the other.

The RAS began when the two ships were traveling parallel to each other moving at the same speed. Once the ships are at a close enough proximity, Sailors shot a phone and distance line from the receiving ship to Byrd to establish communication and help keep accurate distance between each ship. Once communications were established, the process of transferring the fuel lines began.

"Without proper teamwork, the whole evolution could completely come apart" said Cmdr. Jason Reller, commanding officer of Roosevelt. "It takes the diligence of both ships to ensure a successful RAS."
Once the fuel transfer hoses successfully coupled the ships, the refueling could begin.

"A RAS will allow a ship to stay out to sea for prolonged periods of time which is an essential part of our mission readiness" said Cmdr. Meger Chappel, Roosevelt's executive officer. "During a deployment our ability to maintain our stores is paramount."

Roosevelt is deployed as a part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group supporting maritime security operations and theater security co-operation efforts in the U.S. 5th fleet area of responsibility.

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

NNS140722-04. Royal New Zealand Navy Midshipman Experiences Carrier Operations Aboard USS George Washington

By Lt. j.g. Phillip Chitty, USS George Washington Public Affairs

USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) hosted a Royal New Zealand navy Midshipman, July 19-20.

Originally from Dannevirke, New Zealand, Midshipman Anna-Marie Garnett, 19, has served one year as a supply officer in the Royal New Zealand navy. After graduating Supply Officer Initial Professional Course in 2014, she was selected for a naval foreign exchange program.

"It's been an amazing experience to see everything in action," said Garnett, who is the equivalent to an Ensign in the U.S. Navy. "I've been blessed to be able to witness the capabilities and operations of our U.S. allies."

Garnett embarked Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) June 16 during the George Washington Carrier Strike Group's goodwill port visit to Hong Kong. A month later, she had the opportunity to come aboard George Washington.

"It's been an overwhelming experience," said Garnett. "[George Washington] is bigger than any naval ship I've seen before. We only have 11 ships and less than 2,000 people in our navy - the dynamics are completely different."

More than 5,500 Sailors call George Washington home during its 2014 patrol, and Garnett had the opportunity to see them all in action. From aircraft launch and recovery, visiting the ship's navigation bridge, to witnessing a replenishment-at-sea (RAS), Garnett was immersed in aircraft carrier operations.

"Observing the RAS from the ship's hangar bay was amazing," said Garnett. "There were hundreds and hundreds of sailors working together, each with a vital role in the evolution - it was great to see everyone in action."

George Washington Sailors also played a big part to make Garnett's experience a memorable one through kindness, and by helping her navigate the 1,092 foot-long and 24-story-tall ship.

"I really appreciate the hospitality," said Garnett. "I've met so many great people who have gone out of their way to show me around, and point me in the right direction."

Although her time aboard George Washington was short, the crew made it an experience that Garnett will never forget.

"I've loved every moment of my time aboard George Washington," said Garnett. "If the opportunity arises, I would love to come back - I would definitely volunteer to do this again."

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

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

NNS140721-13. USS Hopper Crew Welcomes Frank Rose

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

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Space and Defense Policy, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance (AVC), toured the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) July 18 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Rose met with the Commanding Officer Cmdr. David Snee aboard the ship where they discussed the future of Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), assets, its integration aboard naval ships, and toured various spaces including wardroom, combat information center and the bridge.

"The primary purpose of my visit is to consult with my Navy colleagues on cooperation in missile defense," said Rose. "And I received a fantastic and informative visit aboard USS "Amazing Grace" Hopper."

During his visit, Rose discussed the operations of the Pacific-based destroyers such as USS Hopper, their capabilities and role with the current defense systems as well as possible upgrades to newer systems.

"It was an opportune visit, and we were fortunate to host Mr. Rose and give him a brief on what we did on our most recent deployment to the Arabian Gulf," said Snee. "We talked about our collection missions and BMD missions, as well as high-visibility Missile Defense Agency (MDA) tests conducted last month."

Snee discussed the importance of a naval presence in the Pacific that is capable of conducting defense missions with proper support and training of the crew.

"In the Pacific theater, we not only conduct BMD missions but also air defense, submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare - we bring all the capabilities in this one ship to the region," he explained. "We are in a 'no fail' business. When the ships are called to do a BMD mission we cannot fail in what we do and that requirement is near and dear to the crew onboard. It trickles down to all the jobs on the ship, from cooking to engineering. The crew members all understand how important our mission is. You get only one opportunity to track a ballistic missile and shoot it down, and if you have missed that opportunity a lot of people can die."

The U.S. presence and its future in the Pacific were a crucial part of Mr. Rose's visit to Hawaii.

"It is critical to our defense posture in this region. We currently have ships with Aegis BMD capability in the Pacific," said Rose. "Given the importance of capabilities to the mission in the region, Secretary of Defense Hagel has directed that additional ships be sent here in the next couple of years."

Rose also added, "Creating the new strategic environment depends on strong cooperation with our allies and partners. In order to make this vision a reality, President Obama has made international cooperation on missile defense a key priority, and we are pursuing a region-by-region approach."

Upon completion of his visit, Rose shook hands and thanked the Sailors stationed aboard USS Hopper for the important job that they do in the service of their nation.

USS Hopper is named for Rear Adm. Grace Hopper, a naval officer and a pioneering computer scientist. The ship is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 31, deploying to the 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.

Aegis BMD system was developed by the MDA in cooperation with the Navy. It is a sea-based element and provides warships with the capability of intercepting and destroying short and medium-range ballistic missiles.

Rose's primary task is advising on key issues related to arms control and defense policy. These issues include Ballistic Missile Defense, space security policy, and conventional arms control. His responsibilities also include liaison with the U.S. Intelligence Community on issues related to the verification of arms control treaties and agreements.

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

NNS140721-18. Want To Make Your PCS Move Smoother? Help Household Goods With Their Survey

By H. Sam Samuelson, NAVSUP Global Logistics Support

San Diego (NNS) -- The Navy's Household Goods (HHG) directorate at NAVSUP Global Logistics Support (GLS) launched an all-Navy customer survey in a continuing campaign to gauge the moving experience and provide a better quality household goods move in the future.

All service members and their spouses who moved recently, or within the last year, are encouraged to log on and take the short survey. The online survey is quick, easy and can be completed in less than 20 minutes.

The survey is located at:

"If you've experienced a household goods move, this is the best opportunity to tell us -- the Navy -- how we are doing and what we can do to improve the process." said Deloma Miley, Household Goods Program Analyst. "Be honest, we can take it. More than that, the results will improve your move in the future and the moves of your friends and family who experience future PCS (Permanent Change of Station) moves."

The survey comes on the heels of three scheduled Household Goods Focus group sessions. Participation in the focus groups provides a face-to-face forum to share your experiences and help the Household Goods team perform a better, higher quality job with more effective and efficient service. HHG representatives are still seeking focus group participants. The focus group days and locations are:

The Navy Household Goods team will hold a focus group in the San Diego area on Thursday, July 24 at the following times:
8:30 to 10 a.m.: (Officers)
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: (Enlisted)
1:30 to 3 p.m.: (Spouses)

The San Diego focus groups will be held at the Naval Base San Diego (at 32nd St.) Fleet and Family Support Center, up the hill from the commissary, next to the housing office, building 3005 Corbina Alley, Bldg 263, classroom 3.

The Navy Household Goods team will hold a focus group in the Norfolk area on Tuesday, July 29 at the following times:
8:30 to 10 a.m.: (Officers)
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: (Enlisted)
1:30 to 3 p.m.: (Spouses)
The Norfolk focus groups will be held at the Naval Station Fleet and Family Support Center, 7924 14th Street, Suite 102.

There are also focus groups scheduled for Washington, D.C.:
8:30 to 10 a.m.: (Officers)
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: (Enlisted)
1:30 to 3 p.m.: (Spouses)
The Washington D.C. focus groups will be held at the Mark Center, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Executive Room 15, B1 level, Alexandria, VA 22350-3607

Again all service members and spouses are encouraged to attend. If you are interested in participating in one of the focus groups, please contact Deloma Miley at .

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit

NNS140722-19. Navy's Air Boss Announces Improvements to Blues' Selection Process

From Commander, Naval Air Forces Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The commander of Naval Air Forces announced July 22 several policy and procedural changes designed to strengthen the selection process for future Blue Angel teams.

The process improvements are being made and codified in both governing instructions and practice for the future.

"I am committed to upholding the highest standards of professionalism while preserving the tradition of excellence that is the hallmark of the Blue Angels," said Vice Adm. David Buss, commander, Naval Air Forces. "My focus is on ensuring that the Blue Angels team, our Navy and Marine Corps' elite Flight Demonstration Squadron, is made up of the most qualified and professional aviators."

One of the organizational changes that Vice Adm. Buss has directed is the establishment of an executive officer (XO) billet for the Blue Angels. As part of the leadership command triad in Navy operational squadrons, the XO is second-in-command, a near peer for solid backup to the commanding officer. The XO ensures that Navy policies are carried out properly and day-to-day business is executed smartly. The XO will be a naval aviator but will not be a flying member of the demonstration team. A new XO will be named with the announcement of the 2015 Blue Angels Team.

"The 'Command Triad' is the leadership core of any Navy ship or squadron, consisting of the Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, and Command Master Chief, who support, reinforce, and challenge, when appropriate, each other in all aspects of leading a unit. The Blue Angels have never had a complete 'Triad' as they've never had a dedicated XO; we are seizing this opportunity to fix that," said Rear Adm. Roy J. Kelley, commander, Naval Aviation and Training.

Additionally, changes to the application and selection process have been implemented to assure the team continues to be made up of the best Naval Aviation has to offer. Specifically, additional oversight has been included so that Navy Personnel Command will review finalists and the Chief of Naval Aviation Training will have final approval authority of the team. The new selection process changes are being used during the selection of the 2015 team.

"Every individual selected to join the Blue Angels is chosen based on their individual merits," said Cmdr. Tom Frosch, commanding officer of the Blue Angels. "I couldn't be more proud of the great talent and professionalism of the current team, and we remain committed to selecting the most talented and qualified individuals for future Blue Angel Teams. As we continue to incorporate changes, we will carry on the Blue Angels tradition of excellence."

The 2015 Blue Angel Team announcement is expected later this week and will represent the talented range of both Navy and Marine Corps officers who applied this year.

"I am fully confident in the current Blue Angels team and that future teams will continue the proud tradition of excellence, discipline, and teamwork, as they represent our Navy and Marine Corps around the nation and around the globe," said Vice Adm. Buss.

For more news from Commander, Naval Air Forces, visit

NNS140722-12. Don't Give Up the Jet: GW's Emergency Reclamation Team

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew Riggs, USS George Washington Public Affairs

USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- The emergency reclamation team (ERT) aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) conducted a drill in the ship's hangar bay to test team proficiency, July 22.

ERT is responsible for the preservation of equipment in the event of an aircraft mishap by removing and repairing salvageable parts.

"We try to save as much as we can as quickly as possible," said Aviation Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Anne Esguerra, an ERT member from Vallejo, California. "The faster we can get these parts repaired, the faster we can get that aircraft functioning properly."

ERT is composed of more than 60 Sailors from the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) from both ship's company and George Washington's embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5.

"We have many different divisions, and each one specializes in a particular area of an aircraft," said Aviation Machinist's Mate 3rd Class James Flores, from San Diego. "Each shop knows if a particular part is valuable and will be able to judge if something can be salvaged."

According to Flores, emergency reclamation is a simple but lengthy process. Aircrew are to first identify what parts are vital and which ones can be salvaged. The ship's crew will then receive, identify and catalog each piece of equipment and perform initial repair actions.

ERT will next pass the damaged equipment on to the department most suited for deeper level repair. If successful, the parts are reintegrated into the aircraft or system.

"The most critical part of the process is the initial action before we pass it on," said Aviation Machinist's Mate 1st Class Michael Mendoza, the ERT program manager, from San Diego. "Sometimes it's as basic as wiping a part down, or rinsing it out with fresh water. However, some of our equipment is sensitive and certain things, like saltwater, are highly corrosive. It's important to remove corrosives as quick as we can to lessen the damage it can do."

ERT is ready to respond to a variety of different situations, such as aqueous film forming foam, discharge onto an aircraft, fire and aircraft crashes.

"We also respond to other mishaps," said Esguerra. "If something happens to a space with important equipment like a magazine, we'll be there."

The team can be ready to respond to a crisis in less than 15 minutes and will be on station for several hours to ensure saving as much equipment as possible.

"ERT plays a vital role for our ship," said Mendoza. "Without an ERT, there would be no one to rapidly respond to save recoverable's."

George Washington and CVW 5 provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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

NNS140721-15. Naval Hospital Bremerton Runners take part in 196-Mile Relay Run

By Douglas H Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

Langley, Wash. (NNS) -- As the old saying goes, 'the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray.' Add marathoner to that list because deployments and distance running events sometimes overlap.

When the Original Port Orchard Slugs, a run team composed primarily from Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) and other local commands took part in the 196-mile Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage on July 18-19, 2014, it was without one of their earliest commitments.

Lt. Tim Rutherford, of NHB's Human Resource department is approximately 7,000 miles away on deployment to Camp Leatherneck, Helmond Province, Afghanistan as executive officer for Charlie Surgical Company.

When word was shared that a team was being formed to participate in the relay event, he had quickly signed up himself and his fiancee Michele Gurnsey, who decided to honor the commitment and partake in the event.

"Realizing that this deployment would limit my participation in Ragnar was tough to process," said Rutherford, a Gresham, Oregon native. Not only was this going to be Michele's and my first Ragnar, it's significant because of the geography and symbolism of the race. Running is such a big part of our relationship. The fact that the race starts near the Canadian border - Michele is Canadian and in the process of immigrating down -and ends near our home, symbolically marks the end of a long journey for both the Ragnar runners and for us. Knowing she ran with a great team and great friends helps with my absence though."

The eighth running of the annual event this year had over 575 teams sign up, 150 more than the previous year and a huge jump from just 63 teams in the inaugural event in 2007. The Ragnar name itself is in homage to a ninth century Norse king, who was reputed to be quite the wild man and somewhat of a wanderer.

"I had heard the name Ragnar before but not connected to a relay run event. This was the funniest-most challenging race I've done yet," said Navy Chaplain Lt. Shawn Redmon of NHB Pastoral Care, adding that although he might still be a little delirious, he would strongly consider being part of an ultra team next time around.

Each team primarily has 12-members (unless they are an 'Ultra' team with six runners with each participant doubling up on the legs), divided into two teams of six, each with their own vehicle. Once one runner completed their assigned leg, they passed on the baton to the next team runner until all 36 legs were completed. Each runner is assigned three legs, ranging anywhere from three to nine miles. The different legs of the run were arranged so that a novice, as well as a experienced distance runner, would be challenged and have fun.

Runner Seven had the longest legs, with runs of 3.6, 8.7 and 8.4 for 20.7 miles. Runner Two had legs of 6.8, 3.8 and 3.0 for the shortest total of 13.6 miles. The legs also varied in difficulty from easy to moderate to hard and very hard.

The event started at Blaine, Washington on the Canadian border, south through Bellingham and surrounding Skagit Valley, over Deception Pass at before dawn and ended in south Whidbey Island at the small town of Langley. The route took participants past bald eagles, deer, enthusiast volunteers and curious onlookers.

Lt. Larry Middleton, Medical Service Corps (MSC) officer assigned to Naval Hospital Bremerton, decided to do the relay because it was an opportunity to not only do something different, but also to find out a little bit about himself along the way.

"I jumped on it! I personally discovered my intrinsic motivators. It is easy to compete when there are many eyes on you, but the true competition is when you push yourself to a limit while you are all alone. I pushed myself during eight miles of darkness in Washington state farmland. The greatest joy on that run was not the number of kills (which in relay parlance denotes overtaking and surging ahead of another runner), although it is always fun to pass someone, but in the end knowing it was me pushing myself to the limit," explained Middleton, a Greenwood, South Carolina native, who ran legs of 5.8 miles, 8.1 miles and 4.5 for a total of 18.4 miles.

As was the case for most if not all of the team, the most difficult aspect of the relay wasn't the actual running, but the time off between the running stages. Muscles get tight. Sleep is hard to come by. The day gets long.

"The lay off period[s] were difficult. The body tended to stiff up in between runs," said Middleton, adding that it was a small price to pay. "The event was notable and fun due to camaraderie of the team and being able to cheer everyone on and having team members pulling for each other."

Although he was not able to actually take part in the Relay, Rutherford decided to do a 'simulation version' of the relay form his current locale in war zone of southern Afghanistan.

"Even if I couldn't run at the same time as Michele or even my assigned legs, I tried to put in the same distance in an effort to share the experience," stated Rutherford, adding that also due to the time difference (Afghanistan is 11:30 hours ahead), he was able to communicate with Michele at points during the race.

Besides being able to run the event with Michele, another reason why Rutherford wanted to take on the challenge was as part of a core of MSC runners who also signed on. Despite the obvious distance, he was with them, and Michele on each of their legs.

"The amount of pride and camaraderie of the Medical Service Corps Officers at NHB is amazing! Not only do we stand up to the daily challenges that the Navy presents us, we seek out additional challenges that demonstrate our commitment to team and mission accomplishment," Rutherford stated.

The team completed the course in 29 hours, 40 minutes and 24.1 seconds, with an average per mile pace of 9.06.

For more news from Naval Hospital Bremerton, visit

NNS140721-17. Fallen NSW Members Honored at 14th Annual Allen Stone Braveheart Run

By Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Public Affairs

VIRGINA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Service members and competitors gathered on the oceanfront boardwalk to participate in the "14th Annual Allen Stone Braveheart Run-Swim-Run," July 19.

The event is held at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk each year to honor the memory of fallen service members assigned to Naval Special Warfare.

Allen Stone, the event's namesake, was born and raised in Norfolk, Va. and enlisted in the Navy in January, 1992. He graduated Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in 1993. He served with teams on both coasts until his death in 1999.

The event raises money for the Navy SEAL Foundation and strengthens the bonds between Virginia Beach residents and military members who serve in the region. The event was renamed in honor of Allen Stone who competed during the inaugural race but, was later killed in a training accident.

Allen's brother Carl Stone said, "Allen died before my daughters were born but they feel like they know him and are close to him because of this race. They get to hear all of the stories about Allen all throughout the race and to me this is a great way to honor him, and it is priceless."

Prior to the start of the race the names of all of the fallen Naval Special Warfare Sailors who died while serving since 9-11 were read by a commanding officer of an East Coast-based SEAL team and by some of the family members of the fallen.

The national anthem was then played while a U.S. Navy SEAL, bearing the American Flag parachute jumped on to the beach which signaled the start of the races.

Hospitalman, Tyler Sweed, who is assigned to Logistics and Support Unit TWO (LOGSU TWO) said, "It was a great way to start the weekend and I'm trying to go to Basic Underwater Demolition School (BUD/S) and the Fleet Transition Program let me and other SEAL candidates participate. Besides it being challenging both mentally and physically, we all wanted to show support for the fallen."

Racers who competed had the choice of running a five kilometer race on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk or a run-swim-run event along the beach. The racing events were wrapped up by a one-mile run for children. Prizes were awarded for the top finishers in each age group and for overall top finishers.

"It was amazing," said Hospitalman Mark Skibicki, assigned to LOGSU TWO. "The run-swim-run was brutal and the waves were powerful. I got beat up and it was a challenge but that's what I was looking for."
Other participants agreed that the race proved to be challenging but also successful.

"I think it went great, a lot of people showed up and everyone finished with a smile on their face" said Sweed. "I believe that everyone pushed past a mental barrier and I would encourage everyone to come out and show their support next year."

For more news from Naval Special Warfare Group 2, visit

NNS140722-02. Performance troupe uniquely delivers sexual assault prevention message

By Sue Krawczyk, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- Through the creative efforts of the performance troupe interACT, the Navy has found a unique way to deliver sexual assault prevention training that has a stronger impact on students, Sailors and personnel.

The troupe kicked off its international Navy tour July 14-17, at Training Support Center, Great Lakes (TSC), in Ross Theatre to a resounding response from the audience who were able to participate in the performance.

"The students were very receptive to the training. It was in-your-face, on-hands training where they were allowed to go on stage and interact with the performers," said Chief Electrician's Mate (AW/SW) Latrina Lumpkin, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response command liaison for TSC. "The type of ongoing training we normally have for them throughout the year is lectured-based, whereas as this training had a greater impact on them."

InterACT is a nationally renowned social justice performance troupe based out of California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).

The troupe fosters a "proactive" audience where during their performances, audience members literally join the actor-educators on stage and attempt to prevent sexual assault and comfort survivors of domestic abuse. InterACT presents complicated, realistic scenes about domestic violence and sexual assault and allow audience members a safe space to rehearse assertive communication strategies and inspire social and political change.

Marc Rich, professor of communication studies at CSULB, founded the troupe in 2000 as a more effective method to teach people how to intervene safely and effectively in sexual assault prevention. Their interactive method fosters feedback back and forth between the audience and the speakers.

"We call our method proactive because it's the highest level of audience involvement. We have Sailors and Marines on stage with us for about 80 percent of the presentation," said Rich. "Instead of asking them what would they do in a situation to prevent a sexual assault or how would they speak to a survivor effectively, we actually bring them up on stage to do so. Instead of just telling us what they would do, we offer them the opportunity to show us how they can be more effective in prevention."

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

The troupe currently has 35 members consisting of recent graduates and active students, many of which have been with the group since 2000. Eight members participate in each performance to include six actor educators and two facilitators. On stage, the performers depict a scenario of friends who each have a different approach and reaction when one of them claims to have been sexually assaulted. Following their performance, the facilitators ask the audience suggestions of how they would have handled the same situation and then invite them onstage to actually demonstrate their replies.

"We like to ease the audience in for a moment and let them know it starts out as a conversation," said Kelly Anderson, co-facilitator and interACT member since 2005. "We want to prepare them for the power they are going to have after being on stage. After a while it becomes contagious as the hands start flying up from the Sailors wanting to participate, and we see when we challenge them a little bit more, they're not scared or turned off by it."

There is no violence or vulgar language used in the recreated performances which are improvised on the spot as the audience and performance co-create the show together, never knowing what's going to happen.

"We've seen some of the most creative interventions working with Sailors that we've never seen before in 14 years of doing this work," said Rich. "When that Sailor comes up on stage and has that intervention, it's an intervention for everyone in the room. Now, 1,200 Sailors who saw the show can put that intervention in their back pocket as well."

"The actors were performing their dialogue as in real life just as the students do when they're not around us," said Lumpkin. "So we have to make sure that the scenes are depicted exactly how they interact when the student are out in town or not around personnel."
Rich explains the troupe makes it comfortable for members of the audience to come up on stage as they put them in a position to be successful and to be rewarded for their participation.

"The more people that come up, the more they see that we're never going to embarrass anyone and never make anyone look bad as we really want them to look good and to feel positive about what they're doing," said Rich.

The troupe recently finished a three-month contract period with the Navy's southwest region which consisted of shows throughout San Diego. They are now embarking on their international tour with locations to include Italy, Japan, Guam, Guantanamo Bay among others. Having gained local recognition for their work, interACT has been invited to perform at numerous venues throughout the United States aside from the military.

"We know we're being effective because of our research. We've been able to measure well over 1,000 audience members to see what's happened during the performances," said Rich. "Men that came in to view the performance and then post tested months later felt more confident in their ability to intervene in a safe way as a by-stander to prevent sexual assault. The impact stays with the audience."

"What's really interesting is the Sailors get such positive feedback following the show from their peers from the participation," adds Kelly. "Their conversation consists of comments such as, 'Wow, did you see what you did up there?' Or, 'Oh, I would have done it another way,' and they start to think about it more. Six months later people are still considering those options and interventions and the conversation keeps brewing."

True to form, the students were already praising the hourlong performance following its conclusion.

"This was a lot better than what was expected. The verbiage used throughout the presentation was something that we could relate to - the talk that we use in regular day life," said Electronics Technician Seaman Joshua Morgan. "It was easier to envision ourselves being in that type of situation instead of merely being lectured to about it."

"I wasn't expecting it to be anything as entertaining as this and it will stay with me as we all have friends who behave in the same manner as the actors did," said Electronics Technician Seaman Deashajne McDaniel.

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NNS140721-14. Naval Chaplaincy School and Center Conducts Change of Command Ceremony

By Christianne M. Witten, Chief of Chaplains Public Affairs

FORT JACKSON, S.C. (NNS) -- Capt. Mark W. Smith relieved Capt. William K. Fauntleroy as the commanding officer of Naval Chaplaincy School and Center (NCSC), July 18.

NCSC, the only command in the Navy Chaplain Corps, is responsible for the education and professional development of chaplains and religious program specialists (RP) and is co-located with the Army and Air Force chaplaincy schools.

Chief of Chaplains Rear Adm. Mark L. Tidd was the guest speaker and reflected on Fauntleroy's leadership and service to those in attendance.

"Our chaplains and religious program specialists have been well served over the last three years by Capt. Fauntleroy's leadership and dedication as CO," Tidd said.

Tidd praised Fauntleroy and his staff for their work in addressing the challenges of Sailorization and acculturation for chaplains and RPs while also acknowledging the Army's hospitality and partnership on Fort Jackson over the past five years.

"I also appreciate the challenges he has faced in a fiscally constrained environment and the efforts he's made to establish funded training requirements for the training and professional development of our chaplains and RPs," he added.

During Fauntleroy's tenure as commanding officer, NCSC staff received six total awards for training excellence by Navy Education and Training Command (NETC) and also piloted 3 of the first-ever NETC courses utilizing hybrid distributive learning methods.

Capt. John R. Jones, chief of staff for NETC, presented Fauntleroy with the Legion of Merit award for equipping more than 3,541 chaplains and RPs to provide the highest standard of pastoral care to those in the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

During his remarks, Fauntleroy reflected on the importance of the mission at NCSC for fleet readiness and resiliency of Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.

"Chaplains and RPs are trained and educated to care for all those who come into military service, regardless of cultural or religious background; and in so doing we help to unify a diverse and pluralistic military that is made stronger by its multiplicity."

Fauntleroy also discussed the important advisory role of the chaplain to build moral and ethical foundations within Sailors and leaders which is addressed throughout the NCSC curriculum.

"Divorced from questions of value, moral behavior, meaning, and right conduct - knowledge, skills and abilities are merely information without wisdom, proficiency without understanding, and leadership without ethics. Training and education is important business," he added.

Fauntleroy and Smith took turns reading their orders to the audience, which represents the official command turnover.

After the exchange of command, Smith addressed the audience and the NCSC staff.

"Thank you for your confidence and trust in me to head this crucial institution for the provision of religious ministry in the sea services. I do not take that charge lightly, and will faithfully serve in that duty," Smith said.

"I intend to honor the call of God and Nation, and the dedication of Kyle and this staff, as we navigate on to equip religious ministry professionals and support personnel to care for our [people]," he said.

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NNS140721-12. NIOC Pensacola Holds Change of Command

By Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Pensacola held a change of command ceremony July 18 at the Mustin Club, Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Vice Adm. Jan E. Tighe, commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet (FCC/C10F), presided over the ceremony in which Cmdr. Joseph D. Sears relieved Cmdr. Patrick A. Count as commanding officer of NIOC Pensacola.

"Over the past two years, NIOC Pensacola has transformed itself in response to our urgent need to grow the U.S. Cyber Command Cyber Mission Force (CMF) capability and capacity," said Tighe. "You have adapted from a principally national foreign intelligence focused mission to creating foundational teams in the CMF supporting global cyber missions."

During the ceremony, Count thanked his Sailors for a rewarding tour and acknowledged the support his family has provided throughout the years.

"Command, no matter how big or small, how short or long, is the assignment of a career and a sign of trust. I'm honored to have served it with you-a dedicated team of the best professionals I've ever served with," said Count.

Count will attend Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama in pursuit of a Masters in Strategic Studies.

Sears just completed his tour at Navy Information Operations Command Maryland where he served as the N3/CTF 1060 operations officer directing cryptologic and cyber operations supporting fleet commanders worldwide.

"I thank you for your gracious hospitality, professionalism, and your time showing me around and explaining to me what it means to be a part of NIOC Pensacola. It is a privilege and honor to lead this team," said Sears.

Sears, a Lexington, Kentucky native, graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. Sears also attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California where he received a Master of Science in Computer Science in 2004.

Over the past two years, NIOC Pensacola's team has evolved from being focused solely on support to various National partner offices and their product lines to being positioned as a formidable member of U.S. Cyber Command's Cyber Mission Force (CMF).

Today, NIOC Pensacola is the Navy's Cyber Combat Support Team (CST) Center of Excellence with all five Navy CSTs located here, and sets the standard for all service CSTs.

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

NNS140722-03. TSC Great Lakes Holds Change of Command Ceremony

By Sue Krawczyk, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- Training Support Center (TSC), Great Lakes, Ill., said farewell to one commanding officer and welcomed a new one during a change of command ceremony held July 18 at Naval Station Great Lakes

Capt. John B. Vliet relieved Capt. Henry (Hank) Roux Jr. as commanding officer.

Vliet previously served in the enlisted ranks as a Gunner's Mate and was commissioned as a Limited Duty Officer in December 1991. His most recent assignment was serving as the officer-in-charge of Navy Munitions Command at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.

Other assignments include USS Arkansas (CGN 41); Gunner's Mate Missiles "A" School, Great Lakes; USS Yorktown (CG 48); USS Thomas S. Gates (CG 51); NSWC, Dahlgren, Va.; USS Mahan (DDG 72); and USS Nassau (LHA 4).

Vliet has served with the Board of Inspection and Survey, Joint Expeditionary Base, Little Cree, Virginia; Combined Joint Task Force in the Horn of Africa; Second Marine Division, Ramadi, Iraq; Second Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; commanding officer of the Mobile Mine Assembly Group, Corpus Christi, Texas; and aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) as Combat Systems officer.

Roux, a 35-year Navy veteran, served as the commanding officer for TSC Great Lakes since February 2012.

"We're always amazed at how much the students grow in their time here but we sometimes forget how much our staff grows just from the challenges of having to lead a group 400 18 to 24-year-olds. That's not easy and they've done a phenomenal job," said Roux. "I achieved way more out of this tour than I ever imagined when I first arrived here, and I hope I grew along with them. TSC has been a great place to be and very motivating."

During the ceremony, Roux was presented the Legion of Merit Medal. The citation read that, "Roux' flawless leadership of more than 350 military and civilian personnel was essential to the training of over 20,000 new accession Sailors at the Navy's largest training command."

Roux personally led the charge by developing strategies to combat the Navy's toughest issues, including significant reduction in staff manning and the navy's fight against sexual assault.

Additionally, after a government shutdown, Roux drove the capacity from 4,800 to 6,000, enabling Navy recruitment of sexual assault prevention initiatives, which benchmarked success for other commands to follow as TSC was the only command selected by the Department of the Navy to showcase in the first Navywide Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Training Webinar for Leaders.

Roux previously served in the enlisted ranks as a yeoman and was commissioned as a limited duty officer ensign in March 1988. Prior to coming to TSC, he served as the head, enlisted community manager (BUPERS 32) on the staff of the Naval Personnel Command, where he had served from November 2009 to January 2013.

Other assignments include USS Sam Rayburn (SSBN 635), Submarine Squadron 16, Submarine Group 2, USS Fulton (AS 11), Submarine Squadron 10, Submarine Group 9, and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

Roux has served with Bureau of Naval Personnel; OPNAV (N871) in the Pentagon; Personnel Support Activity Detachment; Personnel Support Activity, Great Lakes; served as executive officer, Naval Station, Great Lakes; Naval Air Forces in San Diego; and commanded Enlisted Allowance for the Chief of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. Michael S. White, commander, Naval Education and Training Command, told the audience that Roux was responsible for more than managing a budget of more than $10 million buildings spread across 152 acres.

"As the first stop for many of our newest Sailors, the staff at TSC Great Lakes is instrumental in the continued grounding of these young patriots in the military knowledge, skills and abilities that set our Navy apart from every other sea service in the world," said White. "During your tenure Hank, approximately 20,000 new Bluejackets have passed through these halls of learning. While these young Sailors are primarily learning the basic technical skills they will need in their many ratings, your team is also giving them other skillsets. For many young people today, they may have never been told or taught that living an ethical and honorable life includes having self-respect, respecting others, and stepping in to help someone else. For example, I believe the work you have done as champion for the Bystander Intervention and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) training has been instrumental in a fundamental change for the better in our Navy."

Outside the office, Roux took a genuine interest in his Sailors' extracurricular activities as he could always be seen at events such as events hosted by the Coalition of Students Against Destructive Decisions; judging the barbecue fare during the annual Grill Crawl that helped to promote SAPR; participating in No-Dough Dinners hosted by the USO; helping to tie SAPR ribbons around the base to help raise sexual assault awareness prevention; as well as participating in the numerous fundraisers on base that benefitted the Chiefs' Mess among others.

Roux praised his staff for making his time here successful.
"The staff made it more than I ever thought it would be because of the level of professionalism that we have and it's across the board. Most staff feel it inside when they leave here that they did make a difference and in this last year and half I've been here with staff, who knows if we haven't trained a future MCPON or future CNO who walked through these learning centers and our barracks.

Roux will now report to Rear Adm. David Steindl, Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tennessee. as assistant chief of naval personnel for career progression.

"I going to miss the staff and students, the work atmosphere and the sense of accomplishment at the end of every day," said Roux. "If you're given it your all every single day here how could you not be satisfied with the product that we're providing to the fleet? It's not hard to get motivated to want to come to work here. Sometimes there are jobs in the Navy and tours that we do that you try to work your way through them and they drain you. This one is the exact opposite - it actually energizes you every day."

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

NNS020718-14. This Day in Naval History - July 22

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1802 - During the First Barbary War, the frigate, USS Constellation, commanded by Capt. Alexander Murray, defeats nine Corsair gunboats off Tripoli, and sinks two.

1944 - During the Invasion of Guam, Marine Pfc. Leonard F. Mason serves as automatic rifleman with the Second Battalion when he and his men take fire by the Japanese enemy on the Asan-Adelup Beachhead. With his battalion held at this location, he bravely climbs out alone to the enemy's rear position. Critically wounded while pressing forward with his attack, he clears out the hostile position. Evacuated to a hospital ship, he later succumbs to his wounds. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" on this occasion, Mason is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

1951 - Adm. Forrest P. Sherman, the 12th Chief of Naval Operations, dies while at Naples, Italy.

1951 - During the Korean War, USS Valley Forge (CV 45) carrier air strikes hit a fuel or an ammunition train near Kumchon, North Korea.

1964 - Four Navy divers (Lt. Cmdr. Robert Thompson, Gunners Mate First Class Lester Anderson, Chief Quartermaster Robert A. Barth, and Chief Hospital Corpsman Sanders Manning) submerge in Sealab I at a depth of 192 feet, 39 miles off Hamilton, Bermuda for an intended three weeks. The crew surfaces early on July 31 due to an oncoming tropical storm.

1966 - USS Julius A. Furer (DEG 6) is launched at Bath Iron Works, Maine. The Brook-class frigate is named in honor of Rear Adm. Julius A. Furer, a naval constructor, inventor, administrator, and author who completed the study "Administration of the Navy Department in World War II."

NNS140723-01. CNO Visits Italian Counterpart

From Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

ROME (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert conducted a two-day visit to Italy to visit the chief of the Italian navy and attended the Naval Forces Europe change of command ceremony this week.

Chief of Staff of the Italian navy, Adm. Giuseppe De Giorgi hosted Greenert July 21 for a welcoming ceremony and a set of meetings at the Italian naval headquarters in Rome.

"The Italian navy is a very close partner in dealing with common maritime security challenges," said Greenert. "Our discussions focused on deepening our relationship and looking at ways to increase interoperability between our fleets."

The two leaders discussed evolving situations in the areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, which is crucial for the prosperity and development of Italy and Europe as a whole. They also raised opportunities for the two navies to conduct more exchanges, training and cooperatively operate together at sea. Both the Italian and U.S. navies have been among many NATO nations contributing to combating threats and ensuring the safety and stability of the region.

Greenert presided over the change of command and retirement ceremony July 22 for Commander Allied Joint Force Command (JFC)/U.S. Naval Forces Europe in Naples. Greenert praised outgoing NAVEUR Commander, Adm. Bruce Clingan for his leadership and performance while in command.

"Bruce has been the right leader, in the right place, at the right time. The Clingans have provided us an enduring contribution both to the Navy, to NATO and to Naval Forces Europe-Africa," remarked Greenert.
Greenert then presented Clingan, who retires this fall after 37 years of service, with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.

Adm. Mark Ferguson assumed command of NAVEUR as the 28th U.S. naval officer to serve as commander of JFC. Ferguson, who previously served as vice chief of naval operations in Washington, D.C., addressed his and NATO's continued commitment to the alliance.

"As history has demonstrated, the NATO alliance remains the bedrock of U.S. national security. It is an alliance founded on shared values, cemented in trust and built to endure," said Ferguson. "I am committed to strengthening the alliance and working with our allies and partners to ensure we remain a positive force for stability and peace throughout the region."

Ferguson's NATO operational responsibilities will include operations in the Balkans, Black Sea, Mediterranean and NATO training missions. And as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, Ferguson will be responsible for providing overall command, operational control, and coordination of U.S. Naval Forces in the Europe and Africa Command areas of operations.

Greenert returned to D.C. July 22. His next planned interaction with De Giorgi will take place in September at the International Seapower Symposium (ISS) at the U.S. Naval War College. During ISS, leaders from the world's maritime forces will come together to find solutions to areas of common interest and foster cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. The theme for this year's symposium will be "global solutions to common maritime challenges."

NNS140723-11. New Superintendent Takes Command of U.S. Naval Academy

By Jessica Clark, U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) held a change of command ceremony July 23 in Annapolis, Maryland.

Vice Adm. Walter E. "Ted" Carter Jr. relieved Vice Adm. Michael Miller, becoming the 62nd academy superintendent.

Carter, a native of Burrillville, Rhode Island, served as president of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, before he was nominated in June as the next superintendent. A career naval aviator, he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1981.

Miller, a native of Minot, North Dakota, and 1974 USNA graduate, retired at the ceremony, completing 40 years of active duty naval service.

"Every change of command is a bittersweet event, mixing the achievement of what has been with the promise of what is to come," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, the ceremony's keynote speaker. "Our Navy and our nation face some significant challenges in the coming years and decades, and our ability as a naval service to meet these challenges in a very real and a very central sense begins here at the academy."

Mabus spoke about the advancements the Naval Academy has experienced under Miller's leadership, including the increase in diversity within the Brigade of Midshipmen, improvements in admissions standards, and the development of the cyber security curriculum and founding of the Center for Cyber Security.

"During his four years as superintendent, Mike has put the academy on a 21st Century footing, with a firm sense of what the future needs of the naval services will be," said Mabus.

In his speech, Miller also emphasized the importance of the cyber security curriculum as well as the enhancement of the Naval Academy sports programs, the expansion of the Stockdale Center for ethical leadership, the creation of three new majors - operations research, nuclear engineering and cyber security - and the selflessness of the midshipmen who volunteered 25,000 community service hours in the last year.

"It's a winning brand, one that young people want to join and in turn be challenged to the limits of their endurance," said Miller. "None of this would have been possible without the finest faculty, staff and coaches this school has ever enjoyed.

"I take credit for none of it," he added. "But I'm oh so proud to say I was a witness to the history as it was being written."

Cyber will continue to be a focus, said Carter.

"Our nation is pivoting toward potential adversaries and perilous challenges. Technologies are advancing at a frightening, dramatic pace. Our training, our facilities and our curriculum must evolve rapidly."

Carter also stressed the importance of character development in the training of future leaders.

"Character matters. It is the most important element of ethical leadership. It is needed today more than ever before," said Carter. "Building a strong foundation of character will shape the midshipmen's individual decision making. It will prepare them to become the next great generation of Americans who will persevere where and when America needs them the most."

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

NNS140722-23. America visits Guantanamo Bay on Maiden Transit

By USS America (LHA 6) Public Affairs

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- The future amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) arrived to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for a scheduled port visit, July 21.

The port's strategic position is essential to maritime strategy and serves as a cornerstone of U.S. military operations in the U.S. Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility. Located on the southeast corner of Cuba, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay is about 400 air miles from Miami, Fla.

During the visit, America will take advantage of the port's location and capabilities by taking on fuel and stores to continue its transit around South America to the Western United States.

The America crew will have the opportunity to enjoy base amenities, such as its nine restaurants, Navy Exchange, recreation activities, and is also scheduled to compete in a friendly soccer game between America Sailors and personnel assigned to the base.

"Naval Station Guantanamo Bay is well-positioned to assist our Navy-Marine Corps team aboard America during our 'America Visits the Americas' transit," said Capt. Robert A. Hall Jr., America's commanding officer. "The ability to refuel and resupply prior to heading out on one of the longer legs of our journey is significant as we continue our mission around South America en route to our homeport and follow-on commissioning."

The ship completed a port visit to Cartagena, Colombia last week and is scheduled to visit Brazil, Chile and Peru while also conducting engagements with other valued partners in the area of responsibility. These nations are valued friends and partners, and visits to these ports will enhance these relationships.

America is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tawara-class of amphibious assault ships. As the next generation "big-deck" amphibious ship, America is optimized for aviation, capable of supporting current and future aircraft such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned Oct. 11 in San Francisco.

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

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

NNS140723-02. USS Halsey Makes Guam Port Call, Sailors Volunteer in Community

By JoAnna Delfin, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

INARAJAN, Guam (NNS) -- Sailors from Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) volunteered at Inarajan Elementary School in Inarajan, Guam July 18.

Halsey made a port call to the island after departing their homeport in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for a deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet's area of responsibility.

"Whenever the Sailors come, they're somewhat of a treat to the students," said summer school coordinator Jackysha Green. "They provide [students] insight as to their occupation and what they do to serve as military members and they're always gracious to help the kids in any manner."

Sailors discussed their careers with students, helped them with math problems and sat down to learn more about their hobbies and what they want to be when they get older.

"I think they'll take out of it that they can be whatever they want to be," said Seaman Operations Specialist Ashlyn Millsparker. "Seeing us come out and helping people they might want to help people too when they get older."

Millsparker added that volunteering for events allow Sailors to interact with the community and foster their relationships.

"Being hands-on with students, showing them what we do, seeing what they do, you can't explain it, it's unexplainable," she said. "That's why I try as much as I can to do COMRELs all the time."

Green shared Millsparker's sentiments and thanked the Navy for their support of the students.

"The community is aware that they're here for us, they're here to protect us and provide for us opportunities as far as helping us in various needs that we may have," she said. "I'd like to share my sincere appreciation for the Sailors coming down and sharing their experiences with our students.

Sailors also volunteered at a community cleanup with the non-profit organization Island Girl Power and helped care for misplaced pets at the local animal shelter Guam Animals in Need.

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

NNS140722-25. America Hospital Corpsmen Train with Colombian Marines

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

COVENAS, Colombia (NNS) -- COVENAS, Colombia - Sailors and Marines assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) South debarked the future USS America (LHA 6) to begin a three-day bilateral exercise with the Colombian marines at the International Center for Amphibious Training located in Covenas, Colombia July 16.

Unlike other ships making their maiden voyage, the amphibious assault ship America embarked Marine units to immediately begin amphibious operations.

After only five days at sea, over 40 Marines and Hospital Corpsmen, attached to SPMAGTF South, boarded two MV-22 Osprey, assigned to the "Spartans" of Marine Operational and Test Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 22, beginning their transit to Covenas, Colombia to participate in training evolutions with the Colombian marine corps, or Infanteria de Marina de Colombia.

The engagement provided an opportunity for information exchanges and training with the partner nation of Colombia, enhancing interoperability and building on a partnership that fosters regional security in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.

"The main purpose for the visit was to continue to develop the relationship between the Infanteria De Marina and the U.S. Marine Corps," said Marine Capt. Blaine Barby, SPMAGTF South ground combat element commander. "The Colombians have a significant marine corps, and Colombia is a significant partner in our counter-narcotic operations. It is absolutely critical that we maintain a good relationship between our [militaries]."

The U.S. Marine element split into four groups during the training, which encompassed information exchanges in medical combat casualties, improvised explosive devices (IED), hand-to-hand combat, and live-fire, small arms weapons shoots.

Simultaneously, training began in all four areas. At the medical training site, the groups exchanged lifesaving techniques, casualty evacuation and immobilization of wounds techniques. A PowerPoint presentation was used to inform Marines of Colombian medical battlefield capabilities and procedures.

According to 1st Sergeant Jose Cafiel, International Center for Amphibous Training senior medical instructor, Colombian marines have roughly one corpsman for every 1,000 marines. To help combat this shortage, every person within the Infanteria De Marina receives three weeks of combat medical training.

After the presentation was complete, Infanteria De Marina medical instructors and students began practical training and exchanging techniques. One area of training the Colombians were particularly interested in learning more about was casualty evacuation.

"We showed them several ways to evacuate a casualty," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF/CAC) Clarence Perry. "They picked up on our techniques very well, and were eager to learn everything we showed them."

The Colombian marines also showed the corpsmen a few tricks to add to their toolboxes as well. Using two tree branches and the shirts off their backs, they made a stretcher sturdy enough to carry a person to safety.

"I think their improvisation is outstanding," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (FMF/SW/AW) James Johnson. "They don't have all of the supplies and support that we have, but they utilize all of their available recourses."

America is currently traveling through the U.S. Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility on her maiden transit, "America Visits the Americas". America is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tarawa-class of amphibious assault ships. As the next generation "big-deck" amphibious assault ship, America is optimized for aviation, capable of supporting current and future aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey and F-35B Joint Strik Fighter. The ship is scheduled to be ceremoniously commissioned Oct. 11 in San Francisco.

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

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

NNS140722-26. America Marines Help Combat Colombia IED Threat

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

COVENAS, Colombia (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines assigned to the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) South debarked the future USS America (LHA 6) to begin a three-day bilateral exercise with Colombian Marines, at the International Center for Amphibious Training located in Covenas, Colombia July 16.

Unlike other ships making their maiden voyage, the amphibious assault ship America embarked Marine units to immediately begin amphibious operations.

After only five days at sea, America sent 39 Marines to the flight deck to embark two MV-22 Osprey, assigned to the "Spartans" of Marine Operational and Test Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 22, beginning their transit to Covenas, Colombia to participate in training evolutions with the Colombian marine corps, or Infanteria de Marina de Colombia.

The engagement provided an opportunity for information exchanges and training with the partner nation of Colombia, enhancing interoperability and building on a partnership that fosters regional security in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.

"The main purpose for the visit was to continue to develop the relationship between the Infanteria De Marina and the U.S. Marine Corps," said Marine Capt. Blaine Barby, SPMAGTF South ground combat element commander. "The Colombians have a significant marine corps, and Colombia is a significant partner in our counter-narcotic operations. It is absolutely critical that we maintain a good relationship between our [militaries]."

The U.S. Marine element split into four groups during the training, which encompassed information exchanges in medical combat casualties, improvised explosive devices (IED), hand-to-hand combat, and live-fire, small arms weapons shoots.

Simultaneously, training began in all four areas. According to Colombian Lt. Col. Juan Camilo Franco Palacios, commander of the International Center of Amphibious Training, the IED information exchange was one of the most important stations and said with the war in Afghanistan drawing down, Colombia has become the highest area of IED concentration in the world.

Colombia is currently at war with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), a terrorist organization funded by kidnapping for ransom, illegal mining, extortion, and the production and distribution of illegal drugs. The two have been at war for 50 years.

Palacios and his team began the information exchange by conveying their problems, showing the various types of IEDs they encountered and discussing the FARC's tactics.

"The Colombian IED problem is very significant," said Barby. "I think one of their biggest problems is the lack of IED personnel overall. All of their marines are cross-trained on counter-IED tactics, but the country is big. It's a thick jungle, and they can't always get IED technicians to the site of an IED. So, often times when they find one, they are forced to detonate it and are unable to gather any information on it."

After listening and evaluating the Colombian marines' experiences, the U.S. Marines discussed the tactics they encountered in Afghanistan and offered procedures to help counteract threats the Colombians' face.

"One of the things that we brought to the table is expressing to them the importance of rendering the IED safe and learning from it. They understand the importance of it, but sometimes the actual application of implementing those procedures is the most challenging part," said Barby.

America is currently traveling through the U.S. Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility on her maiden transit, "America Visits the Americas". America is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tarawa-class of amphibious assault ships. As the next generation "big-deck" amphibious assault ship, America is optimized for aviation, capable of supporting current and future aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey and F-35B Joint Strik Fighter. The ship is scheduled to be ceremoniously commissioned Oct. 11 in San Francisco.

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

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

NNS140722-24. Blue Angels Announce 2015 Team Members

From U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Florida (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, announced the officers selected for the 2015 team July 22.

The squadron selected an executive officer, three F/A-18 demonstration pilots, an events coordination officer, two C-130 demonstration pilots, a flight surgeon, and a supply officer to join the 2015 team.

Many highly qualified Navy and Marine Corps officers submit applications to join the Blue Angels each year.

"We remain committed to selecting the most talented and qualified individuals to join the Blue Angels," said Cmdr. Tom Frosch, flight leader and commanding officer for the team. "Once again, a significant number of extremely talented, experienced Sailors and Marines applied this year, and we are proud of those we have chosen to join the 2015 team. They are excellent representatives of the skilled service members defending our freedom around the world."

The Blue Angels select finalists to interview at the Blue Angels' home base at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, during the week of the Pensacola Beach Air Show. The team makes selections at the conclusion of the interview week.

"All of our finalists this year are incredible examples of some of the finest officers in the Navy and Marine Corps, from both the aviation community and the fleet," said Lt. Cmdr. John Hiltz, right wing pilot and the applications officer for the 2014 team. "What was most important for us - regardless of anything else - was to select the most qualified individuals for the team to represent the more than 540 thousand Sailors and Marines deployed around the world, around the clock. And I'm happy to say that we've done that."

The newly-selected 2015 team members include:

Executive Officer:

Navy Cmdr. Bob Flynn, 45, of Moorestown, New Jersey, is a S-3B Viking Naval Flight Officer and is currently assigned to the Naval War College. He is a 1992 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland.

F/A-18 Demonstration Pilots:

Navy Lt. Matt Suyderhoud, 31, of Honolulu, is currently assigned to Training Squadron 22 (VT-22) at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas. He is a 2005 graduate of Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri.

Navy Lt. Andrew Talbott, 31, of Sedan, Kansas, is currently assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is a 2005 graduate of Kansas State University, Salina, Kansas.

Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, 30, of Durango, Colo., is currently assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 (VMFA-312) Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. He is a 2006 graduate of Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado.

Events Coordination Officer:

Marine Capt. Corrie Mays, 34, of Marstons Mills, Massachusetts, is currently assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (All Weather) 225 (VMFA(AW)-225) at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego. She is a 2003 graduate of the University of Georgia, Athens,Georgia.

C-130 Demonstration Pilots:

Marine Maj. Mark Hamilton, 36, of Becker, Minnesota, is currently assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252) at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. He is a 2000 graduate of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

Marine Capt. Katie Higgins, 27, of Annapolis, Maryland, is currently assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252) at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. She is a 2008 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland.

Flight Surgeon:

Navy Lt. Joe Schwartz, 34, of Arlington, Virginia, is currently assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 132 (VAQ-132) at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Oak Harbor, Washington. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana.

Supply Officer:

Navy Lt. Gregory Bollinger, Jr., 31, of Carbondale, Illinois, is currently assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 9 (VX-9) at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California. He is a 2006 graduate of the University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, Maryland.

Expected to return for the 2015 season are:

F/A-18 Demonstration Pilots:

Navy Cmdr. Tom Frosch, 44, of Clinton Township, Michigan.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Barton, 33, of Hummelstown, Pennsylvania.

Navy Lt. Mark Tedrow, 31, of Charleroi, Penn.
Navy Lt. Ryan Chamberlain, 29, of Bloomington, Illinois.

C-130 Demonstration Pilots:

Marine Capt. Dusty Cook, 32, of East Bernard, Texas.

Maintenance Officer:

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Declan Hartney, 44, of Limerick, Ireland.

Administration Officer:

Navy Lt. j.g. Phillip Harper, 33, of Chicago.
Public Affairs Officer:

Navy Lt. j.g. Amber Lynn Daniel, 33, of Ramona, California.

The mission of the Blue Angels is to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach.

Since its inception in 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 484 million fans.

High-resolution photos of the expected returning members can be found on the Blue Angels official website,

For more news from Navy Blue Angels, visit

NNS140722-27. U.S. Marine Corps, BDF Give Soccer Balls to Children at Summer Camp during SPS 14

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Schneider, Southern Partnership Station Public Affairs Ashore

PUNTA GORDA, Belize (NNS) -- Belize Defense Force (BDF) servicemembers and U.S. Marine Corps Civil Affairs personnel supporting Southern Partnership Station 2014 (SPS-JHSV 14) visited the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) summer camp July 18 for a community outreach event.

The mission of TIDE, a nongovernmental organization (NGO), is to teach children about biodiversity, terrestrial, and marine ecosystems found within the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor (MMMC).

TIDE and BDF work closely together to promote security, prevent poaching, and encourage environmental awareness.

The purpose of this civil engagement was to bolster the relationship between the BDF and local populace. In addition to describing the mission of the BDF and their partnership with U.S. Forces, soccer balls were donated to the summer camp.

Once the soccer balls were presented by the BDF, the children cheered with delight and led the servicemembers to the summer camp's soccer field, where it was then game-on.

"It was great seeing how happy the children were when we gave them the soccer balls," said Belize Defense Force Capt. Edwin Oliva, Executive Officer of Echo Company 1st Battalion. "They need to know that we are here to help and support them with anything they need."

After teams were selected, comprised of children, BDF and U.S. Marines, cheers, laughter and encouragement could be heard from the sidelines.

"At first the kids seemed slightly hesitant, but once you guys started playing with them I cannot describe how excited they were," said Giselle Mahung, a volunteer camp coordinator.

After the game the camp thanked the U.S. Marines and BDF servicemembers.

"I had a great time today. Not only did we get to play with the children but we were also able to build a better bond between us, the BDF servicemembers and an influential NGO," said U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Alvin Soto. "It's amazing how something as little as a soccer ball can put such a smile on the faces of kids."

The soccer balls will be used for their upcoming annual Freshwater Cup soccer tournament. In order to participate in the tournament, the children must undertake an environmental project that is specific to protecting freshwater resources or reducing the effects of climate change on human populations.

SPS-JHSV 14 is a U.S. Navy deployment focused on subject matter expert exchanges with partner nation militaries and security forces. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet employ maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships that foster regional security in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.

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

NNS020718-11. This Day in Naval History - July 23

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1802 - During the First Barbary War, the frigate, USS Constellation, commanded by Capt. Alexander Murray, defeats nine Corsair gunboats off Tripoli, and sinks two.

1909 - Lt. John W. Finn is born in Los Angeles, Calif. Enlisting in the U.S. Navy in July 1926, he is promoted to Chief Aviation Ordnanceman and serves at Naval Air Station Kanoehe Bay, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941, during the Japanese air raid. Despite receiving several wounds, he successfully operates a machine gun and effectively fires on the enemy planes. Finn is awarded the Medal of Honor. In June 1942, he is temporarily commissioned as an ensign, rising in rank to lieutenant two years later and retiring in 1947. Lt. Finn dies May 27, 2010, at 100 years of age. An Arleigh Burke-class destroyer's keel was laid Nov. 5, 2013 and will be named USS John Finn (DDG 113) in his honor.

1943 - USS George E. Badger (DD 196) sinks German submarine (U 613), en route to mine waters off Jacksonville, Fla., south of the Azores.

1943 - TBFs (VC 9) from USS Bogue breaks up a rendezvous between German submarines (U 527) and (U 648) south of the Azores. (U 527) sinks at while (U 648) escapes.

1943 - PB4Y aircraft from (VB 107) sinks German submarine (U 598) off Brazil.

1950 - USS Boxer (CV 21) sets the record of crossing the Pacific, bringing aircraft, troops and supplies for the Korean War, arriving at Yokosuka, Japan. She carries a load of 145 (P 51) and six (L 5) Air Force aircraft, 19 Navy aircraft, 1,012 passengers and 2,000 tons of additional cargo, all urgently needed for operations in Korea. In making this delivery, Boxer breaks all existing records for a Pacific crossing, steaming from Alameda, Calif., to Yokosuka in 8 days and 16 hours. On her return trip to the U.S. on July 27, she cuts the time down to seven days, ten hours and 36 minutes.

1993 - 2nd Lt. Sarah Deal, USMC, becomes the first female Marine selected for naval aviation training.

NNS140724-04. Malabar 2014 Kicks Off

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Hammond, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Japan, Sasebo Det.

SASEBO, Japan (NNS) -- Naval forces from India, Japan and the United States will participate in exercise Malabar 2014, July 24 - 30.

Malabar is a complex, high-end warfighting exercise that has grown in scope and complexity over the years. Malabar 2014 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises conducted to advance multinational maritime relationships and mutual security issues.

The exercise will feature both ashore and at-sea training. While ashore in Sasebo, Japan, training will include subject matter expert and professional exchanges on carrier strike group operations; maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations; anti-piracy operations; and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations.

"The United States, India and Japan hold common values and seafaring traditions, making our navies natural partners," said Vice Admiral Robert Thomas, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. "We believe that building maritime partnerships through exercises like Malabar foster security and stability in the entire Indo-Asia Pacific region."

The at-sea portions will be conducted in the waters south of Japan. They are designed to advance participating nations mil-to-mil coordination and capacity to plan and execute tactical operations in a multi-national environment.

"This [Malabar 2014] will certainly advance professional interaction and understanding between our Sailors and help us to achieve better synergy to tackle common maritime challenges," said Indian Navy Rear Admiral A. K. Jain, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Fleet. "This will also help us to take naval cooperation between the U.S., Japan and India to a new level."

Events planned during the at-sea portions include liaison officer professional exchanges and embarks; communications exercises; search and rescue exercises; helicopter evolutions; underway replenishments; gunnery exercises; VBSS; and anti-submarine warfare exercises.

"Throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans the U.S. 7th Fleet and its allies, Japan and partner India, maintain a consistent presence; it's absolutely critical that we train together and build our maritime partnership and understanding," Captain Shan M. Byrne Commodore Destroyer Squadron 15. "Exercises like Malabar continue to help maintain and strengthen stability and security in the Asian Pacific and Indian Ocean region."

Malabar is a yearly exercise between the Indian and U.S. navy and has been going on since 1992 and has featured the Japanese Navy on three separate occasions.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS140724-07. NSA Naples Conducts Change of Command

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Travis Simmons

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Capt. Douglas Carpenter relieved Capt. Scott Gray to become the 33rd commanding officer of Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples during a change of command ceremony held in the base's Capodichino Piazza, July 24.

Rear Adm. John C. "Jack" Scorby Jr., commander of Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia, presided over the ceremony and offered his appreciation for Gray's leadership and highlighted his accomplishments while in command, including four prestigious awards for the installation.

"Capt. Gray has done an absolutely incredible job," said Scorby. "He's overseen millions of dollars' worth of renovations and construction projects all designed to improve mission readiness and support the quality of life on our installations."

Scorby presented Gray with the Legion of Merit during the ceremony for his achievements.

"When I arrived back in June of 2011, I quickly learned the phrase "see Naples and then die," and frankly I quoted it in my change of command speech then, but I have to admit to you that I didn't understand what it meant." said Gray. "I get it now. The very essence of life is here in Naples. The food, the beauty, the rich culture, the chaos, but most importantly the people; it has been more than enough."

During his three years, renovations took place in the bachelor enlisted quarters, the food court was overhauled, base playgrounds received a facelift, a liberty center was created at the Support Site and an unmanned fitness center was opened at Capodichino. Sailors in Gaeta also saw their Navy Exchange double in size.

"We have seen an improved quality of life for our families and single Sailors," said Gray.

Gray took time to thank those under his command and gave a special acknowledgement to the Italian employees who help maintain the stability in Naples.

"Thanks to our dedicated civil servants and our local national employees, who serve as our continuity, keeping the base running while the military folks come and go," said Gray.

Scorby mentioned that seniority does not get you a command, but sustained superior performance does.

"If you read Capt. Carpenter's bio, it's clear he's been given some of the toughest assignments and he's performed brilliantly in all of them," said Scorby. "That's why he has my full confidence and that's why I expect he will continue Naples' outstanding record of excellence."

Carpenter previously served as the commanding officer of Sea Control Squadron (VS) 32 and the operations officer for USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). His most recent tour was at the Defense POW/MIA Office in Washington D.C. as the deputy director for Policy and Plans and chief of Accounting Policy. His mission there was to help recover Sailors, soldiers and Marines who have not yet returned home from our nation's previous conflicts.

"I spent six of my teenage years growing up in Europe, specifically on base in Rota, Spain," said Carpenter. "I visited Naples many times during my stay in Rota and also a few times on deployments to the Mediterranean. Jen will confirm that a large part of my heart has always been tied to the culture, the people and the cuisine of southern Europe. I am very happy to be here, with my family, in Naples, Italy."

Carpenter said he was honored to lead the Naples team and told them he recognized that this is a team sport.

"You have my attention, my support and my commitment," said Carpenter.

NSA Naples provides support to visiting and homeported U.S. 6th Fleet units and U.S. and NATO personnel attached to commands throughout the Naples and Gaeta area.

Gray will next report as chief of staff at U.S. Navy Region Southeast in Jacksonville, Fla.

For more news from Naval Support Activity Naples, visit

NNS140724-01. Fitzgerald Fosters Friendship in Fukuoka

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin V. Cunningham, USS Fitzgerald Public Affairs

FUKUOKA, Japan (NNS) -- Sailors from Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) played basketball with students from The Fukuoka Institute of Technology, July 19, during a goodwill port visit to Fukuoka.

"No matter what language you speak, sports unite people," said Seaman Zachary Curato, from Redding, California. "I don't know Japanese, and a lot of the students don't know English, but we can still play good basketball."

The Sailors first played against the students then mixed the teams so that they could play alongside each other.

"It is an honor to be given this opportunity," said Ryo Imastasto, a student at the school. "I enjoyed playing against, but especially with the Sailors. I will always remember this experience."

After the games, the school held a reception for the Sailors in the cafeteria featuring Japanese cuisine. During the meal, Sailors presented their hosts with American style snacks and drinks they brought from the ship.

"This was more than I expected," said Seaman Apprentice Juan Santiago, from Holyoke, Massachusetts. "They really went out of their way to welcome us."

Fostering diplomatic relations with allies through friendly community interactions in port is part of America's maritime strategy to build a joint coalition force of allies capable of ensuring maritime security.

Fitzgerald is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15, a key element to 7th Fleet, the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with approximately 60 ships, 250 aircraft and 40,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any given time.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS140724-05. Gain an Edge - Prepare Now for Advancement Exam

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Marshall, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Sailors looking to make the most of their career should prepare now for the September advancement exams, according to detailers here.

Exams take place in March and September for Sailors aspiring to achieve the ranks of petty officer third class through petty officer first class. The chief petty officer exam occurs every year in January. The number of Sailors who advance to the next rank fluctuates every cycle; it also varies between the different rates.

"In preparation for your exam and after determining eligibility, you should print out the most current bibliography from your rate and read over it in its entirety," said Hospital Corpsman First Class (SW/AW/FMF) Jerry R. Horton, an HM detailer at Navy Personnel Command. "The bib tells you what you need to study."

Sailors should start preparing for the exam by navigating to the "Career Management" tab on Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) and clicking "Navy Advancement Center. "Each rating's bibliographies can be found there and provide the list of information required to study for the exam.

"Sailors need to ensure they have all required topics available to study, develop a plan and stick to the bib," said Horton. "Most importantly, designate time to study each day."

Once Sailors know what resources and study materials are available to them, they can begin using websites such as Navy Personnel Command (NPC) (, the Navy Advancement site (, the Navy-wide Advancement Exam Prep ( and Google to find the documents listed on the bibs. If all else fails, they can turn to lead or assistant lead petty officer for help.

For more information on the Navy Advancement Center, visit

For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit

NNS140724-10. NSWC Indian Head EOD Technology Division Exercise Provides Canine Explosive Detection Training

From NSWC Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division Public Affairs

WELCOME, Md. (NNS) -- Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD) and Charles County Maryland Sheriff's Office (CCSO) concluded their final canine homemade explosive detection training event, July 23.

The exercise was conducted as part of a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) between the two agencies to optimize resources.

NSWC IHEODTD works with the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization to provide and improve theater-relevant canine training aids for the services. Working with local law enforcement provided NSWC IHEODTD access to dogs that haven't been exposed to the same explosive materials as military canines, and provided the CCSO an opportunity to expand their current training.

"The primary purpose of our CRADA was to look at the materials in the training library for military explosive detection dogs, determine if they need to be augmented and identify ways to improve the safe handling of these materials for the trainers and the warfighters," said Kimberly Peranich, NSWC IHEODTD engineer and military working dog program project manager. "During these exercises, we're trying to determine if there is a difference in a canine's ability to identify materials that are sourced by different manufacturers; and to determine if a canine can reliably identify certain explosives if all components are presented in a non-explosive manner."

In addition to the DoD program's benefit received from the participating CCSO dogs, Charles County also gained valuable experience.

"Partnering with NSWC IHEODTD gave our canine handlers access to experts in the field of homemade explosive detection; and a greater understanding of canine exposure to explosive materials than we would typically get from our normal training scenarios," said Rex Coffey, Charles County sheriff.

Using a variety of search scenarios, CCSO handlers guided their canines through simulations where the components that might be used to make a homemade explosive device were placed in different areas. The teams completed vehicle, field and parcel searches as well as odor recognition tests.

"We set up the scenarios to ensure neither canines, nor the officers were in any sort of danger during the event," said Peranich. "Working with the CCSO in the planning stages and throughout the series of experiments has been invaluable and the results of these exercises will help us continue to improve our support to the warfighter."

NSWC IHEODTD, a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command and part of the Navy's Science and Engineering Enterprise - is the leader in ordnance, energetics and EOD solutions. The Division focuses on energetics research, development, testing, evaluation, in-service support and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS140724-11. Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station creates 3-D model of submarine for emergency responders

By Joseph Battista, NAVSSES Public Affairs

PHILADELPHIA (NNS) -- A team of engineers from Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station (NAVSSES), Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock recently completed a 3-D computer animation model of the interior of Virginia-class submarine USS Texas (SSN 775) to help emergency response personnel navigate the ship during a flood or fire.

Training exercises revealed the difficulty emergency personnel face combatting fires aboard submarines because of not knowing how to access particular spaces. The virtual walkthrough helps crews plan how to get to spaces efficiently during training and real emergency situations. The engineering team spent three weeks at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard scanning the submarine followed by a few months in post-production to create the virtual environment.

"The videos give the emergency personnel a true awareness as to where they are on the ship and the equipment around them," said Caitlin Swec, sail systems engineering branch. "We were able to create an immersive environment that should help train the emergency personnel to get to the proper space in the most efficient manner."

The final computer-generated model is an animated walk-through of multiple pre-planned paths from the submarine's main hatch to areas on all three platforms forward of the watertight door. The team created six virtual routes, one of which is the path to get to the engine room where the threat of fire is much higher.

The goal is for emergency responders to receive guidance from their counterparts using the computer model to get to the shipboard incident quickly, suppress the problem, and minimize damage to the submarine.

The Ship Systems Engineering Station, Philadelphia, is a major component of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division. It is the Navy's principal test and evaluation station and in-service engineering agent for all hull, mechanical and electrical ship systems and equipment and has the capability to test and engineer the full range of shipboard systems and equipment from full-scale propulsion systems to digital controls and electric power systems.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS140723-20. Southern Partnership Station 2014 Continues in Guatemala

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rafael Martie, Southern Partnership Station Public Affairs

PUERTO BARRIOS, Guatemala (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command Joint High-Speed Vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) moored to the pier in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala July 22 to commence the offload of gear and personnel in support of Southern Partnership Station 2014 (SPS-JHSV 14).

The Sailors, Marines, soldiers and airmen that make up the adaptive force packages (AFPs) supporting SPS-JHSV 14, disembarked here to start their subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE) with Guatemalan military, government, and health officials.

The AFPs are comprised of Coastal Riverine Squadron (CO RIVRON) 2, Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3, Mobile Diving Salvage Unit 2, Naval Criminal Investigation Service agents, Engineering engagement teams, medical and dental teams and various Marine components.

"After great engagements in Belize, I hope we continue to do the same in Guatemala," said Utilitiesman 1st Class Corey Mueller a native of Suffolk, Va. "We look forward to working on their library out in town and have great things planned here with our host nation partners."

For five weeks the AFPs will spend time working with host-nation partners to strengthen relationships and fortify joint interoperability in areas such as maritime security tactics, medical procedures, health prevention, dive operations, construction projects, weapons handling, safely handling explosive devices, and land navigation.

For some servicemembers supporting the Southern Partnership mission, this will be their first time visiting the country of Guatemala.

"I am really excited to experience their culture, customs, and meeting new people," said U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Charles Alford, a native of Bellevue, Washington.

After the offload, Spearhead is scheduled to depart Guatemala to conduct counter illicit trafficking operations.

SPS-JHSV 14 is a U.S. Navy deployment focused on subject matter expert exchanges with partner nation militaries and security forces. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet employ maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships that foster regional security in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.

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

NNS140724-06. NETC Commander Recognizes Aerographer's Mate and Seabee Graduates

By Lt. Cmdr. Kate Meadows, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs

GULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- The Commander of the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) recognized new "A" and "C" school graduates during visits to the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (CNATT) Unit, Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Miss. and the Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC), Gulfport, Miss., July 22.

While at CNATTU, Rear Adm. Mike White addressed the Navy and Marine Corps graduates of the Advanced Calibration Technician School and presented awards to four students.

During the ceremony White thanked both the students and staff, stressing the importance of training and the positive impact the newly trained Sailors bring to the fleet.

"I'm grateful that you have joined our Navy and Marine Corps team," said White. "I hope you recognize what an elite group you are. I couldn't be more proud to be here today and thank you for your service as you return to do great things in the fleet."

The Advanced Calibration Technician School (ACTS) course is a 10-week school providing college-level curriculum, in the management of advanced calibration measurement concepts, techniques and theories pertaining to Test and Monitoring Systems (TAMS) including calibration laboratory operation and technical management of meteorological facilities.

White's tour of CNATTU included the calibration classrooms, Meteorological Electrician Maintenance Training (METEM) classrooms, Weather Training Complex and the Weather Observation Tower.

During his visit to NCTC Gulfport, White addressed the new graduates of the Builder A School. He spoke about the pride he sees in the new Sailors joining the service and the great accomplishments yet to come.

"I've seen the Seabee mission first hand, the "can-do" attitude and what can be done," White said. "You are going to travel worldwide and see amazing things due to the training you have received here at NCTC."

On graduation day the seamen are able to wear their "Seabee" patch on their uniform, signifying their accomplishment. Upon congratulating the newest Seabees, their Commanding Officer Scott Anderson, challenged the new BUs to "look for opportunities where you can have an impact and leave your mark."

Additionally, he wanted them to be able to look back on their career and ensure that it was what they wanted to achieve.

After the ceremony, White, conducted a walking tour of the Builder and Steelworker schoolhouses, including the welding simulator, concrete finishing, carpenter and roofing classes.

NCTC is responsible for conducting Builder and Steelworker entry-level training and advanced training for all seven Seabee ratings. They provide training support for six of the seven Seabee "A" schools and the Center for Security Forces (CSF) Expeditionary Combat Skills Course.

Information on the Naval Education and Training Command can be found by visiting the NETC website:

For more information on the Naval Construction Training Center, visit the NCTC website:

For additional information on the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit, visit CNATTU website:

NNS140724-08. Fuel Department adds capability with Seabee help

By Sky M. Laron, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Director of Corporate Communications

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka personnel took part in a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony July 18 officially opening a new fuels terminal management office on board Defense Fuel Support Point (DFSP) Hakozaki on the island of Azuma located within Tokyo Bay.

The new 2,800 sq. ft. facility built by Naval Mobile Construction Battalion One (NMCB1), the Seabees, offers Fuel Department (Code 700) personnel a higher quality of life during their working hours.

Building features include office spaces, employee showers and a break room.

"The Seabees did a great job constructing and finishing the building and our team at Hakozaki is excited about this huge quality of life improvement," said Capt. Raymond Bichard, commanding officer, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka.

Seabees are the U.S. Navy's builders and they perform their daily operations with a "Can Do" attitude.

"We worked hot long hours but everything came together," said Utilitiesman 3rd Class Chris Brotski. "It feels good to see the finished product and know that we made the conditions here better."

For many of the Seabees who took part in the project it was nice to switch gears from runway repairs in Afghanistan to working on office style structures in Japan, which increased everyone's expertise and added to their tool kit, said Lt. Cody Keesee, NMCB1 Yokosuka Detachment officer-in-charge.

Some of the work completed by the Seabees during various stages of the building project included interior finishing, electrical, plumbing and installation of a septic tank.

All of the work conducted by the Seabees aids the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Fuels Department with an increased capability to support the fleet with all of their fuel needs.

DFSP Hakozaki holds 29 fuel tanks, each ranging from 3,000 barrels to 300,000 barrels in total capacity with the entire operation putting out an average annual throughput of 116 million gallons per year.

Primary fuel customers include jets and aircraft from Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi, Yokota Air Base and Misawa Air Base as well as all the 7th Fleet Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) vessels.

Thanks to the Seabees, the more than 100 fuel professionals spending their days on Azuma Island, doing a very large job for the U.S. Navy, can continue to support their forward deployed warfighting customer with the needed products that make their ships and aircraft move on target daily.

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit

NNS140723-19. BUMED Highlights Diversity

By Steve Van Der Werff, Navy Medicine Public Affairs

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) released a video highlighting diversity, July 23.

The video, which was produced by the BUMED Visual Information Directorate illustrates the importance of diversity and its inclusion in meeting the Navy Medicine mission.

"Navy Medicine's people are the reason we can continue providing world class health care anytime and anywhere," said Capt. Mae Pouget, Navy Medicine's diversity officer. "The men and women who make up the Navy Medicine enterprise come from all different walks of life and we are a microcosm of society. We believe that being diverse is imperative in achieving our mission."

Because of its scope and size BUMED produced the video to make sure its Sailors, Marines, civilians in the Navy, beneficiaries, and the public are conscious of Navy Medicine's commitment to diversity.

"The Navy Medicine enterprise has more than 60,000 Sailors and civilians serving across the globe," Pouget said. "Each is trained in their area of expertise, many are from diverse cultures, speak several languages; have higher education and have years of experience."

"Given the shifting demographics across the nation and growing competition among the services and corporate America for talented personnel, we strive to ensure that we attract, develop and retain individuals whose contributions are valued and respected," she said.

To view the video, visit

To download video, visit Navy Medicine's diversity page website @

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NNS140723-18. NDW Sees Steady Donations During Feds Feed Families Campaign

By Shawn Miller, Naval District Washington Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- As the Feds Feed Families campaign enters its ninth week, Department of the Navy (DON) organizers are seeing steady donations of food and monetary support, both in Naval District Washington (NDW) and around the world, July 23.

The food drive, led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with support from the Chief Human Capital Officers Council and other federal partners, collected nearly nine million pounds of food last year for distribution at local food banks and shelters.

Just last week a 184-pound load of food was taken from Washington Navy Yard to the Capital Area Food Bank, said Chaplain (Cmdr.) Phil King, supervisory chaplain for Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC), who oversees donations.

"It is certainly exciting to see the tremendous work of so many Sailors, Marines, civilians and family members who have made noble work out of the food drive," King said.

In the 2013 drive, NDW donated more than 85,000 pounds of the roughly one million pounds collected by Sailors, DON employees and family members around the world.
At the halfway point of this year's campaign in week six, King said NDW has amassed about 35,200 pounds of about 400,000 pounds from DON. According to the Feds Feed Families website, the overall federal campaign currently stands at 525,000 pounds donated.

Personnel wishing to donate can place non-perishable food items in the Feds Feed Families-labeled boxes in buildings located around their respective installations, or make monetary donations to their local Chapel Religious Offerings Fund.

"When money is donated, the contributions go to a Chapel ROF where it is then given directly to a local food pantry or food bank," said King. "For Feds Feed Families, $1.00 is calculated to buy approximately five pounds of food."

Rama Latin, DON charitable campaigns administrator, said the Navy has not set a hard number on a weight goal for the three-month summer donation schedule as to not make a competition with other service and agencies, but said the Navy is doing well at this point compared to last year.

"We're just going to continue to collect and continue to hope and pray that people find it in their hearts to give," said Latin, who praised the work of the CNIC chaplain's office for their efforts in organizing and tracking the donations.

A major goal of the campaign is to restock shelves of local food banks, which typically see a drop in donations during the summer-a time when seniors on fixed incomes or children not in school are in need of meals.

NDW donations to the Capital Area Food Bank help feed nearly 700,000 people at risk of hunger in the metro area, including around 150,000 children, according to the food bank's estimations.

With one month left in the drive, King said there might be a late surge in donations in NDW, as there was last year when a bulk of the food poured in during the final weeks.

For more information about Feds Feed Families, visit, or contact Chaplain Phil King at (202) 433-4057. For more news and information from around NDW, visit

For more news from Naval District Washington, visit

NNS020718-12. This Day in Naval History - July 24

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1843 - David Henshaw takes office as the 14th Secretary of the Navy, serving until Feb. 18, 1844. USS Henshaw (DD 278) was named in his honor.

1863 - During the Civil War, the steam sloop of war USS Iroquois captures the Confederate blockade-runner, Merrimac, off North Carolina. Purchased by the Navy in March 1864, she is converted into a gunboat and commissioned USS Merrimac.

1894 - A party of 50 Marines and Sailors under Marine Corps Capt. George Fielding Elliott, is sent from the cruiser, USS Baltimore (C 3), to guard the American delegation at Seoul, Korea, during the Sino-Japanese War.

1942 - USS Narwhal (SS 167) sinks Japanese guardboat No.83 Shinsei Maru, at Utsutsu Bay, Hokkaido. USS Narwhal also sinks freighters Nissho Maru off Etorofu Maru, Kuril Island, and Kofuji Maru off Oito.

1944 - Task Force 52, commanded by Rear Adm. Harry W. Hill, lands the Fourth Marine Division, commanded Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Harry Schmidt, on Tinian, following a month of naval gunfire and air bombardment. During the invasion, USS Colorado (BB 45) and USS Norman Scott (DD 690) are damaged by Japanese shore batteries. On Aug. 1, the island is declared secure.

1945 - Task Force 38, commanded by Vice Adm. John S. McCain, launches strikes against the Inland Sea area, Japan, bombing Kure Naval Base and airfields at Nagoya, Osaka, and Miho, while sinking five Japanese vessels.

NNS140725-17. USS Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Deploy

From Amphibious Squadron 5 Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Nearly 4,000 Sailors and Marines from the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed San Diego on July 25 for a deployment in support of the Navy's maritime strategy.

The Makin Island ARG is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), the command ship for Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5 and the 11th MEU, as well as amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45), and the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22) who is embarking upon its maiden deployment.

"These last couple of months the Makin Island ARG has taken on many challenges during this training cycle and have successfully passed every evolution with flying colors," said Capt. Vic Cooper, commander of PHIBRON 5. "The hard work, dedication, and unit cohesion shown by the Sailors and Marines have impressed me and I am confident that we will have a successful deployment and are well prepared for all missions."

While deployed, the ARG/MEU team serves as a sea-based, expeditionary crisis response force capable of conducting amphibious missions across the full range of military operations.

"We have a fantastic Navy and Marine Corps team, and we have just completed, very successfully, a challenging and comprehensive pre-deployment training period that has prepared us for the uncertainty of our upcoming deployment," said Col. Matthew Trollinger, commanding officer of the 11th MEU. "We are ready to get underway and successfully execute any mission assigned."

The mission of the Makin Island ARG is to help provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and provide humanitarian/disaster response as well as supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.

For more information on Makin Island ARG visit:

For more information on the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, visit:

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NNS140725-04. Donald Cook Returns to Rota after First FDNF Patrol

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

ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) returned to Naval Station Rota, Spain, July 25, after completing her first patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.

Donald Cook arrived on station in February, and departed Rota a month later to conduct naval operations with partners and allies in both the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea in order to advance security and stability in Europe.

"Our presence within the Mediterranean Sea emphatically demonstrates the U.S.'s resolve to further strengthen our trans-Atlantic bond with NATO and our European friends and partners," said Cmdr. Scott Jones, Donald Cook's commanding officer. "It demonstrates a clear commitment to furthering the interoperability between our sea faring forces and helping to ensure peace and stability in the region. We are fully committed to being present where it matters, so that we can be relevant when it matters."

While on patrol, Donald Cook performed numerous missions, including NATO missile defense and maritime security operations. The patrol also included engagements during port visits in Constanta, Romania, where the crew hosted Romanian President Traian Bsescu.

"Coming on the heels of their 10th anniversary in NATO, our presence in the Black Sea standing shoulder to shoulder with the Romanian Navy serves to assure the world that the United States is committed to standing by our allies and friends during times of heightened tensions," said Jones.

After departing Constanta, Donald Cook conducted a multilateral training exercise with the Romanian ships ROS Regina Maria (F 222) and ROS Marasesti (F 111), along with the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50).

"The exercise was well executed, and gave us a chance to learn the methods of how they operate, and strengthen our relationship with Romania," said Operations Specialist 1st Class Bobby Benavidez.

Before her return to Rota, Donald Cook also conducted a port visit to Durres, Albania, where the crew conducted a maritime interdiction operations exchange with their counterparts from the Albanian navy, Border Police, and Customs Service aimed at improving regional cooperation and efforts between the two nations.

"I think we all knew we were part of something special; that we were part of a really meaningful patrol," said Cryptographic Technician (Technical) 2nd Class Brandy Doggett. "But for me, this patrol was made great because of the teamwork. Whether it was working on qualifications, defending the ship, or looking out for a shipmate while on liberty, we all learned to work together. We all truly relied on one another. I attribute the huge success of our first patrol to teamwork."

Donald Cook is the first of four destroyers to be part of the Navy's Forward Deployed Naval Forces in Rota which are part of the Phased Adaptive Approach to protect European allies, partners, U.S. forces in the region, and the U.S. homeland against current and emerging ballistic missile threats.

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

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

NNS140725-01. SECNAV Announces Contract for Navy Photovoltaic Array Project

By the Navy Chief of Information Office

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today that Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific awarded a contract to Pacific Energy Solutions LLC, for the procurement of electricity produced from renewable energy generation systems.

Pacific Energy Solutions, based out of Boca Raton, Florida, will design, construct, own, operate and maintain various solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation systems that will provide renewable electricity to Navy and Marine Corps bases on Oahu, Hawaii. The total amount of power generated is anticipated to be about 17 megawatts of alternating current that will be shared between the Navy and Marine Corps.

"This is a large project with 10 roof top photovoltaic systems and four ground-based or elevated systems, built on three different bases," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "In the first year alone we expect that these systems will save the taxpayers $1.6 million. That's the equivalent of the electricity that can be generated from 54,000 barrels of oil here in Hawaii. It's the amount of electricity needed to power more than 5,000 average homes here. And that's just in the first year. This program will be generating those savings for decades. The work we are doing here will serve as a model for other projects around the world."

The sites under this task order include: three roof tops and one ground mount location on Waipio Peninsula at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (JBPHH); six roof tops and two elevated PV structures at Marine Corps Base Hawaii; and one roof top and one elevated PV structure at Camp Smith, Aiea.

"This project signals the Navy's largest photovoltaic array in the Pacific, and a significant step toward achieving our renewable energy goals," said NAVFAC Pacific Commander Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg. "Renewable energy initiatives are paramount to enabling the Navy and Marine Corps to improve energy security and efficiency ashore, and operational reach afloat. In addition, we are very proud to be partnering with Pacific Energy Solutions as we work to execute this substantial investment."

Once constructed, the PV systems will deliver renewable energy for a term of 25 years. The construction of the PV systems is expected to take 12 months.

NNS140725-09. George Washington Embarks FASTPAC Marines For ADIUTRIX SPEAR

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

EAST CHINA SEA (NNS) -- Twenty-two Marines assigned to Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team Pacific (FASTPAC) embarked the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) as part of ADIUTRIX SPEAR 14-2, July 23-25.

George Washington acted as a short-term sea platform for the exercise and provided ship to shore movement for Marines to develop scalable employment concepts from afloat platforms for use during contingency response operations.

"Using platforms such as George Washington gives us a myriad of capabilities," said Marine Capt. Brandon Wheeler, FASTPAC company commander. "The George Washington Carrier Strike Group (GWCSG) is able to support our combined mission through close air support as well as provide strike assets and naval gun fire from every platform if called upon to do so."

The ship provided helicopter assets from the "Golden Falcons" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12 to assess George Washington's capabilities for tactical insertion and logistical resupply for future employment concepts from non-standard Navy platforms.

"Aircraft carriers are not intended for the purpose of housing and transporting Marine units," said Wheeler. "George Washington had to accommodate us quite a bit to ensure we were taken care of and able to carry out our mission."

FAST companies maintain forward-deployed platoons at naval installations around the world in order to quickly respond to crises. They're frequently tasked to provide antiterrorism and weapons training to other security personnel, along with performing limited-duration security missions and augment existing installation security.

"Immediate response is our priority," said Marine Sgt. Gerald Adams, assigned to FASTPAC. "Our mission is to rapidly and expeditiously reinforce and secure national and naval assets."

During the two-day embark, the Marines were given an opportunity to participate in joint training with the ship's embarked explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) unit and given a first-hand look into life aboard an at-sea aircraft carrier.

"It was really fantastic being here," said Adams. "This is my first time aboard an aircraft carrier, and I would really like to thank everyone on board for their hospitality and making us feel welcome."

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

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

NNS140724-20. Mercy and NEPMU-6 offer Preventive Medicine Classes during RIMPAC Exercise 2014

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin W. Galvin, USNS Mercy Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit Six (NEPMU-6) conducted classes on environmental health, industrial hygiene and pest management throughout the week of July 21 to hospital corpsman aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.

Mercy, with the help of NEPMU-6, is provided these lectures and hands-on training to further the skillsets of Mercy's corpsmen.

"These classes offer a general overview of what we do with respect to preventive medicine," said Lt. Cmdr. Toby Palmer, an entomologist with NEPMU-6. "It will also help them become better corpsmen who will know how to prevent diseases and prevent injuries further down the road."

Many of the corpsmen in the class learned new and relevant information not typically received in a medical work environment.

"The most interesting aspect of the preventive medicine training thus far has been the food handling lesson," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Stephanie Cilo. "It really gave me perspective on the importance of healthy practices within the galley and on the mess decks."
Topics discussed throughout the week ranged from water quality and shipboard sanitation to infections and diseases transferred by insects.

"As a corpsman you are expected to know and do a lot of things," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Dylan Rich, a preventive medicine technician with NEPMU-6. "You never know when you may be called upon to be a preventive medicine authority where you'll have to draw on the information learned here."

With Mercy's missions largely consisting of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, Palmer feels this training is of even more importance to those involved.

"In the future they will be the ones going into Pacific Commands area of operation and looking at different disease," said Palmer. "They'll have the ability to recognize some of the signs and symptoms and be able to make determinations on how to control and handle the diseases when they get there."

This year's RIMPAC marks the first time in the exercise's history that hospital ships have participated. Twenty-two nations, 49 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the California coast and Hawaiian Islands.

For more news from USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), visit

NNS140725-02. Reserve Sailors Bring Support During RIMPAC

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Khor, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- Reservist Sailors from around the nation are at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to support Commander, Anti-Submarine Warfare Force, U.S. 3rd Fleet (CTF-34), participating in the world's largest international maritime exercise, the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), with activities situated in and around the Hawaiian islands.

RIMPAC brings together 22 nations, more than 50 ships and submarines, 200 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel from June 26 to Aug. 1.

Captain Rod Urbano, chief of staff for CTF-34, notes that reservists are a critical component to the success of exercises like RIMPAC.

"I view the Reserve Component as a powerful force multiplier for CTF-34 staff," said Urbano. "They are fully integrated into our Theater Anti-Submarine Warfare Watch Team, and without their support it would be impossible for us to execute all of our assigned missions. For RIMPAC specifically, our Reserve personnel have been involved in every phase, from planning to execution, and are a critical component to the successes we've been able to achieve."

Captain Timothy Wolters, commanding officer of Undersea Warfare Operations Detachment I and Submarine Force Reserve Component/RIMPAC coordinator, said reservists come from a multitude of backgrounds.

"There are a wide variety of military and civilian experiences that the reservists bring to the table," said Wolters. "More than half of the reservists supporting RIMPAC have performed an Individual Augmentee deployment, and civilian occupations range from stay-at-home parents, to university professors, to biomedical engineers, to independent business owners."

Reservist Electronics Technician 2nd Class Sarah Bostick and other enlisted reservists support CTF-34 by compiling and tracking units to provide the battle watch captains a picture of the battle space during RIMPAC and other exercises.

"I spent three years training and learning with my reserve unit," said Bostick, who drills at Navy Operational Support Center Fort Worth, Texas.

Enjoying the opportunity to put her training to practical use, Bostick added, "It's nice to be able put two and two together to understand the dynamics and relationships we have with the different component commands."

Despite many reservists leaving their fulltime jobs in the civilian world for sometimes undetermined amounts of time, and often faced with logistical challenges, they continue to support various assignments like RIMPAC and continue be an integral part of the Navy.

Wolters said reservists continue to help in the overall mission by providing critical skills at a moment's notice. "Since many reservists already have extensive active-duty experience, they already have the knowledge of how undersea warfare works and help save time and money for the Navy who would otherwise have to train new active duty personnel," he said.

"RIMPAC is a rewarding experience for both the reservists and the Navy," said Wolters. "It provides excellent training for the reservists and provides the Navy with quality, experienced individuals who fit the needs of the many positions required. The Reserve Force helps man the needed positions to complete any number of critical jobs to support a task force."

Reservist and RIMPAC participant, Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Hepola, commanding officer of Naval Reserve Expeditionary Unit, Detachment I in Louisville, Ky., has spent more than seven years on active duty including duty in Iraq, and currently works for Bell Helicopter.

"It's a good framework for organizing anything," said Hepola, referring to a military background as a strong foundation for civilian companies to hire prior military.

Hepola added that it is beneficial for reservists to participate in exercises like RIMPAC because it gives exposure to what is going on in today's Navy, allowing reservists the ability to keep their skills at optimal levels needed to be of support at a moment's notice.

In addition to helping reservists maintain proficiency with the active-duty Navy, being sent to many different places has other advantages.

Reservist and RIMPAC participant Electronics Technician 1st Class Long Han from Houston, Texas, said he enjoys the opportunity to bring family to the places he himself enjoys when not working. Han said he enjoys Hawaii very much, and would like to bring his family to Hawaii to enjoy the fun in the sun.

"Hawaii is always awesome," said Han. "When I'm not busy doing RIMPAC stuff, I can spend time at the beach, so that's kind of cool."

Han's involvement with RIMPAC as a database manager helps build the "digital picture," from which others can make decisions based on this picture.

For RIMPAC, Navy Reserve Sailors have filled or are filling billets in support of Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC), as well as CTF-34. The functions range from planning to watch-standing to naval liaisons at sea with our international counterparts. Reservists are an excellent, cost-effective way to augment the active-duty component for large exercises like RIMPAC, bringing extended expertise to the table and saving taxpayers money.

"With approximately 130 members serving during RIMPAC for at least 16 days each, reservists have been an integral part of this exercise," added Wolters.

To learn more about RIMPAC, go to Additional information about the Navy Reserve can be found online at For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, to include CTF-34, visit

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NNS140724-19. Navy Surgeon General Addresses Future of Navy Medicine at Navy Now Forum

By Chantel Furbert, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- Vice Adm. Matthew Nathan, Navy surgeon general and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, spoke at the Navy Now Forum in Arlington, Virginia, July 23.

The Navy Now Forum provides a unique opportunity for business leaders to network with the leading names in the naval industry and gain critical insight on the inner workings of the Navy.

During the forum, Nathan discussed the mission of Navy Medicine including its strategic priorities of readiness, value, and jointness.

Nathan covered a range of important topics, such as medical readiness, health information technology, medical research and development, and the Navy's enduring commitment to recovering warriors. He also addressed the importance of building partnerships with the private sector to deliver the best of patient care and leverage cutting-edge innovations.

"After more than a decade of war, we have continuously implemented medical lessons learned and increased life-saving capabilities unseen in previous wars" said Nathan. "We have made significant strides in areas such as the care provided to wounded warriors, including the diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and rehabilitative care."

Nathan noted that these advances in military medicine have been shared with the civilian medical community, and in turn have helped developed significant partnerships with academic and industry leaders at home and abroad. Many breakthroughs in combat casualty care have been adopted by civilian trauma centers and emergency rooms.

"Navy Medicine's many partnerships continue to create robust advancements in medicine such as infectious disease research, including malaria vaccine development currently underway at our research labs," said Nathan.

He went on to explain how such innovations and collaborations will help Navy Medicine be better prepared to meet the challenges of the next conflict, contingency, or natural disaster.

Nathan stressed the importance of harnessing virtual medicine as the next revolution in the health care industry. His forward-looking approach aims at innovations in technology and delivering care that will lead to an integrated system of telemedicine and care delivered outside of the hospital or clinic. He stressed that Navy Medicine is focused on improving the overall health of patients as opposed to simply delivering health care.

U.S. 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.

NNS140725-07. Constitution Sailors Complete Successful Omaha Navy Week

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Benson, USS Constitution Public Affairs

OMAHA, Neb. (NNS) -- USS Constitution Sailors concluded a successful trip to Omaha Navy Week on Sunday, July 20.

A team of five Sailors from Old Ironsides, led by Constitution's Executive Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Eric Coop, helped promote America's Navy and America's Ship of State throughout the Omaha area during the Navy Week, July 14 - July 20.

Omaha Navy Week was the fourth of five Navy Weeks Constitution Sailors will participate in throughout 2014. The primary purpose of Navy Weeks is to increase awareness by presenting the U.S. Navy to Americans who live in cities that normally do not have a significant naval presence. Omaha Navy Week showcased the mission, capabilities and achievements of the U.S. Navy and provided residents the opportunity to meet Sailors firsthand.

Constitution's week began with a visit to the Omaha Children's Hospital as part of the Caps for Kids campaign to visit with child patients and present them with their own USS Constitution command ball cap, followed by a visit to Omaha Children's Museum/Charlie Campbell Science and Technology Center Children's Hospital as part of the Caps for Kids campaign.

"Speaking with all the children about the Navy really made my week special," said Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Gilbert Caine, a member of Constitution's Omaha team. "It's incredible to see that something as simple as a ball cap could potentially inspire the next generation of sailors."

Constitution Sailors then sorted dry goods at the Food Bank for the Heartland to assist with the organization's goal of distributing food to the area. In a matter of hours, Constitution's Omaha crew was able to package approximately 349 lbs. of dry macaroni for distribution.

"Sorting dry goods doesn't sound like much fun, but we enjoyed it," said Ship's Serviceman 2nd Class Justin Howard. "It's not a glamorous job, but it goes to a very good cause - feeding families."

Following the Food Bank for the Heartland visit, the Constitution Crew stopped by the North Omaha Boys & Girls Club to give a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) presentation about Old Ironsides and her rich history to more than 100 students.

"It really struck home for me," said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Chris Haws, a Constitution Omaha participant. "I grew up near a Boys & Girls Club and it was rewarding knowing that I was able to reach out and teach these children about the history of the Navy."

Constitution Sailors also performed two color guards, dressed in their 1813-era uniforms, at the Jazz on the Green music festival on Thursday and Navy Day with the Omaha Stormchasers Minor League Baseball team on Friday. A combined total of more than 5,000 people were in attendance for the events.

"It's an honor to present the nation's flag," said Howard. "People are so grateful to see that there are still dedicated men and women protecting them."

The week concluded with another STEM presentation at the Omaha Riverfest on Saturday, where Lt. Cmdr. Coop and the rest of the Constitution Crew were dressed in their 1813-era uniforms to interact with and educate visitors of all ages.

"The crew and I really enjoyed Omaha," said Coop. "It's a nice town with very friendly people, and it's always a pleasure to interact with the public. I'm glad we were able to be part of a very successful Navy Week."

Constitution's Omaha crew is now back in Boston to prepare for the ship's Chief Petty Officer Heritage weeks to be held during the last two weeks of August, followed by participation in Baltimore Navy Week in September.

"Omaha left a great impression on me," said Caine. "I didn't know what to expect before I arrived, but I'm thankful to have been chosen to represent Constitution in Omaha."

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

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

For more news from USS Constitution, visit

NNS140725-13. Patients Very Likely to Find a Suitable Bone Marrow Donor on the National Marrow Donor Registry

By Doris Ryan, Naval Medical Research Center Public Affairs

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NNS) -- Seriously ill patients without a suitably matched family member should find an available bone marrow donor on the registry of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) according to a study published July 24, in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Bone marrow transplants are needed for patients with blood and marrow cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, as well as other diseases.

The study researchers created population based genetic models for 21 U.S. racial and ethnic groups to reflect the large diversity of the U.S. population represented in the NMDP. Donors are matched to patients based on human leukocyte antigen (HLA) markers, which are inherited. The cells needed for the transplants come from adult donors or banked umbilical cord-blood units. Depending on the patient's race or ethnic background, the study found that a high percentage of patients could have a suitably matched and available donor on the registry. The study can be found at

Since 1991, the Naval Medical Research Center's (NMRC) Bone Marrow Research Directorate has played a critical role in supporting DoD bone marrow drives and identifying potential bone marrow donors to add to the national registry.

"There are more than 700,000 individuals who have registered with the DoD bone marrow program. Any one of them could be genetically matched with a patient in need of a hematopoietic (blood forming cells) transplant," said Dr. Robert Hartzman, one of the author's on the paper and head of the NMRC Bone Marrow Research Directorate and manager for the C.W. Bill Young/DoD Marrow Donor Recruitment and Research Program. "The potential DoD donors who volunteer are added to the unified national donor file of NMDP and are extremely important as they are healthy and young and willing to give of themselves to reach out to someone they will probably never meet to give a stranger their best opportunity for full life."

Over the last twenty years, more than 5,000 individuals in the DoD have donated marrow for a transplant. Marrow donor drives are offered at every DoD facility across the world that would like to participate, added Hartzman.

NMRC's BMD provides military contingency support for casualties with marrow toxic injury due to radiation or chemical warfare agents. The directorate performs laboratory research that supports technology innovations to make highly reliable and cost-effective DNA-based typing for marrow transplants.

The study was funded by the Office of Naval Research and the Department of Health and Human Services.

For more news from Naval Medical Research Center, visit

NNS140725-08. Historic merchant vessel visits USS Constitution, Charlestown Navy Yard

By Seaman Matthew Fairchild, USS Constitution Public Affairs

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (NNS) -- The Charles W. Morgan, an 18th century commercial vessel, departed Charlestown Navy Yard July 23 after a week-long visit to Boston, one of the ship's port stops along her voyage up the eastern seaboard.

The Morgan sailed to Boston during her 38th voyage to not only share with the public the ship's rich history, but to also share her history with USS Constitution, as the two historic ships moored along the same pier in Charlestown Navy Yard for the week.

This visit marked the first time that Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat, and the Charles W. Morgan, America's oldest and last sailing wooden whaling ship, have ever 'met'.

When the Morgan was launched in 1841 to join a whaling fleet of nearly 2,700 ships, Constitution was already in her 44th year of active naval service - working to defend the global trading lanes utilized by vessels like the Morgan. Together, both Constitution and the Morgan have a combined 390 years of American naval heritage and history under their respective keels.

"It's quite an honor to have a ship that represented America's economic growth moored up next to the type of ship that protected it," said Kip Files, captain of the Charles W. Morgan.

The Morgan was originally constructed for a cost of $52,000 and embarked on 37 voyages during her 80-year whaling career, earning more than $1,400,000 and visiting more than 100 ports of call including the Azores, Madagascar and the Galapagos Islands. The Morgan was later named a National Historic Landmark in 1967.

During the Morgan's visit, Constitution Sailors had the privilege to climb the 173-year-old whaling ship's rigging and furl her sails alongside Morgan crew members.

"Furling aboard the Morgan was a pretty cool experience," said Yeoman Seaman Brianna Bays. "We got to use the climbing and furling experience we've gained aboard Constitution, but Morgan's sails were much lighter than ours and we were able to furl them pretty quickly. It was neat getting to see and experience the differences between modern day and original rigging."

"[Constitution and Morgan] are two pieces of history right there," said Jeff Koffman, a deck hand aboard the Charles W. Morgan. "To simply have these two ships moored beside each other is history itself."

After departing Boston Harbor, the Morgan will make her way south, back to her homeport in Mystic, Conn. to complete her 12-week, seven-port east coast voyage.

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

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

For more news from USS Constitution, visit

NNS140725-12. Navy, Air Force Air Traffic Controllers Cross-train for Emergencies

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian Morales, Naval Air Station Key West Public Affairs

July 25, 2014 (NNS) -- Air National Guardsmen with the 245th and 259th Air Traffic Control (ATC) Squadrons conducted air traffic control training at Naval Air Station Key West July 21-25.

Air Force maintainers and air traffic controllers were transported from South Carolina and Louisiana, respectively, by the 172nd Airlift Control Flight for cross-training with Navy air traffic controllers.

The ATC squadrons are two out of 10 squadrons that respond to Federal Aviation Administration requests to support the influx of air traffic during large-scale events such as the 2013 Super Bowl in Hammond, Louisiana, or natural disasters such as Hurricane Andrew, which caused an estimated damage of $25 billion in South Florida.

"I've been to Key West before and really love the area," said Tech. Sgt. Peter Knapp, from Ponchatoula, Louisiana, and assigned to the 259th ATCS. "I think we're going to get some very valuable training down here for all of us, especially for the younger guys that haven't had the opportunity to see this yet."

Part of the training included assembling and operation of the MSN-7 mobile air traffic control tower, which enables control of five nautical miles of air space, and the TRN-48 tactical air navigation system, which provides range and bearing to pilots within 100 nm from Boca Chica Field.

"This is my first one [training exercise]," said Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Dans, from West Monroe, Louisiana, and assigned to the 259th ATCS. "It's been an amazing experience to come out and learn how to do various tasks and learn how to do my particular tasks even better," said Dans.

Air National Guardsmen also trained with NAS Key West air traffic controllers for local air operations familiarization.

"I didn't imagine a lot of things when I joined the Air Force but if there's one thing I've learned, it's the necessity to cross-train. It's good to see how other branches do things," said Dans.

For more news from Naval Air Station Key West, visit

NNS140725-03. Naval Base Guam Water Tanker Shelter Protects Mission-Essential Resources

By Shaina Marie Santos, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

PITI, Guam (NNS) -- Sailors on Guam gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of a pure water tanker shelter project at Polaris Point in Piti July 24.

The project broke ground in December 2012 and was completed July 11. The total cost to Commander, Naval Installations Command to construct the facility was $530,000, which saved the Department of Defense a total of $730,000, based on an estimated $1.2 million cost for a private contractor. The shelter can hold up to four pure water tankers, which have an estimated cost of $700,000 each.

Capt. Andy Anderson, commanding officer, U.S. Naval Base Guam, said the project's completion could not have come at a better time, with Guam's rainy season taking hold of the island.

"The rainy season is here," he said. "You're looking at over a million dollars' worth of equipment that's currently located within this building. To be able to get it out of the environment is absolutely critical to providing the pure water needs for the submarines as well as SUBRON (Submarine Squadron) 15 and the units that operate out of Naval Base Guam."

The shelter, a reinforced concrete facility, features two electric, manual roll-up garage doors able to withstand winds up to 170 mph and will store demineralized water tankers and polishing trailers.

"If they were outside, they'd be getting rained on, which causes more corrosion and they'd also be in the baking, hot sun in the UV radiation which also deteriorates the steel and the components," said Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas Construction Management Engineer Lt.j.g. Andrei Negoita. "Just as importantly, if not more so, whenever we have a storm or typhoon, the shelter for these tanker trailers keeps them operational - saves them during a storm - otherwise you could have a rock or projectile that damages them."

Capt. Glenn Shephard, commanding officer, NAVFAC Marianas, thanked Naval Mobile Construction Battalions 1, 11 and 74, as well as the Army's 84th Engineering Battalion for their hard work and dedication that brought the project from design to completion.

"This is a great contributory support project, something that we haven't been able to do on the Seabee side for a long time," he said. "It's good to see Seabees and other engineers contribute to this. This is not an easy task, to construct a facility like this."

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

NNS020718-15. This Day in Naval History - July 25

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1898 - During the Spanish-American War, a landing party from the armed yacht, USS Gloucester, single-handedly captures Guanica, Puerto Rico. Gloucester is commanded by Lt. Cmdr. Richard Wainwright, who later attains the rank of rear admiral and retires in 1911.

1943 - The first Navy ship named for an African-American, USS Harmon (DE 678), is launched. USS Harmon is named in honor of Mess Attendant 1st Class Leonard Roy Harmon who posthumously receives the Navy Cross for heroic actions trying to save a shipmate on board USS San Francisco (CA 38) during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on Nov. 13, 1942.

1944 - While serving as Commanding Officer of a Rifle Company of the Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division, Marine Corps Capt. Louis H. Wilson leads his unit in a furious engagement with Japanese troops at Fonte Hill, Guam. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" on this occasion, he is awarded Medal of Honor. He later attains rank of general; becomes 26th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.

1953 - During the Korean War, Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Ambrosio Guillen is pinned down with his Marine battalion near, Songuch-on, Korea. Seriously wounded and refusing treatment, he continues to lead his men and fight but dies later from his wounds. Guillen is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

1956 - USS Edward H. Allen (DE 531) and USNS Private H. Thomas (AP 185) rescue more than 200 passengers from Andrea Doria and transport them to New York after the Italian liner collides with Swedish cruiser Stockholm off Nantucket on the New England coast. Forty-six people died from the collision, but 1,600 passengers and crew are saved.

1990 - USS Cimarron (AO 177) rescues 25 refugees adrift southeast of Subic Bay, Philippines.

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