USS Constellation Association News.
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New photos of the 2013 San Diego Reunion

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

Click Here to view the long awaited  "Farewell to Connie" from UT Sandiego.


April 24-27

Has been cancelled


APRIL 24-27, 2014

309 State Highway 114
Grapevine, TX 76051

Rate: $89.00 plus tax — includes breakfast
Deadline for this rate is March 23, 2014

These dates are for three nights Thursday thru Saturday with departure on Sunday. (More people have been arriving on Thursday and there is a lot to do in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.)
Grapevine is a cute town just north of the D-FW Airport. It has several blocks of nice shops plus a glass blowing studio and a vintage train that goes to the Ft. Worth Stockyards.

Things to do:
Dallas-Bush Library, 5th Floor Museum, Arboretum, Nasher Sculpture Garden
Ft. Worth-Stockyards Billy Bobs, Longhorn Round-up, Kimble Museum, Sundance Square
Click Here for our 2013 Memorial List Page

From the StarWake editor, Brian Moore

I did volunteer to do the Newsletter again and I knew it I would take some time to get it going! I changed the title back to "Starwake." That was the title In 2001 when I stopped being Editor. I did have the Master on my computer, and back then, the Connie CO., John Miller, asked me to change the title from The StarScope. This was done so readers would not be confused and think the newsletter came from the Ship.

This first newsletter is late, for which I apologize. Two unforeseen things happened, first my 13-year­old computer crashed and died. Then I purchased a new computer that has Windows 8 Operating System. A completely new system for me to learn. I have been stumbling through it, and with the help of Windows 8 for Dummies book, the progress has progressed smoothly but slowly. After my stroke just relearning the computer was very challenging because many brain cells were either destroyed or moved around without leaving a forwarding address. As I proofread this newsletter I see many formatting errors, but my attempt to correct them evades me at this time. Hopefully by the next issue I will be more professional at it.

Recent Navy News:

NNS140407-09. All Systems Go: Navy's Laser Weapon Ready for Summer Deployment

From Office of Naval Research

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- Navy engineers are making final adjustments to a laser weapon prototype that will be the first of its kind to deploy aboard a ship late this summer.

The prototype, an improved version of the Laser Weapon System (LaWS), will be installed on USS Ponce for at-sea testing in the Persian Gulf, fulfilling plans announced by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert at the 2013 Sea-Air-Space Expo.

"This is a revolutionary capability," said Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder. "It's absolutely critical that we get this out to sea with our Sailors for these trials, because this very affordable technology is going to change the way we fight and save lives."

Navy leaders have made directed-energy weapons a top priority to counter what they call asymmetric threats, including unmanned and light aircraft and small attack boats that could be used to deny U.S. forces access to certain areas. High-energy lasers offer an affordable and safe way to target these threats at the speed of light with extreme precision and an unlimited magazine, experts say.

"Our nation's adversaries are pursuing a variety of ways to try and restrict our freedom to operate," Klunder said. "Spending about $1 per shot of a directed-energy source that never runs out gives us an alternative to firing costly munitions at inexpensive threats."

Klunder leads the Office of Naval Research (ONR), which has worked with the Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Research Laboratory, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division and others to make powerful directed-energy weapons a reality.

The Navy already has demonstrated the effectiveness of lasers in a variety of maritime settings. In a 2011 demonstration, a laser was used to defeat multiple small boat threats from a destroyer. In 2012, LaWS downed several unmanned aircraft in tests.

Over the past several months, working under the ONR Quick Reaction Capability program, a team of Navy engineers and scientists have upgraded LaWS, and proved that targets tracked with a Phalanx Close-In Weapon can be easily handed over to the laser's targeting and tracking system. The result is a weapon system with a single laser weapon control console, manned by a surface warfare weapons officer aboard USS Ponce who can operate all functions of the laser-and if commanded, fire the laser weapon.

Using a video game-like controller, that sailor will be able to manage the laser's power to accomplish a range of effects against a threat, from disabling to complete destruction.

The deployment on Ponce will prove crucial as the Navy continues its push to provide laser weapons to the fleet at large.

Data regarding accuracy, lethality and other factors from the Ponce deployment will guide the development of even more capable weapons under ONR's Solid-State Laser - Technology Maturation program. Under this program, industry teams led by Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and Raytheon Corp. have been selected to develop cost-effective, combat-ready laser prototypes that could be installed on vessels such as guided-missile destroyers and the Littoral Combat Ship in 2016.

The Navy will decide next year which, if any, of the three industry prototypes are suitable to move forward and begin initial ship installation for further testing.

"We are in the midst of a pivotal transition with a technology that will keep our Sailors and Marines safe and well-defended for years to come," said Peter Morrison, ONR program manager for SSL-TM. "We believe the deployment on Ponce and SSL-TM will pave the way for a future acquisition program of record so we can provide this capability across the fleet."

For more news from Office of Naval Research, visit

NNS140407-04. Scale Model WWII Craft Takes Flight with Fuel From the Sea Concept

From Naval Research Laboratory Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Materials Science and Technology Division, demonstrated proof-of-concept of novel NRL technologies developed for the recovery of carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen (H2) from seawater and conversion to a liquid hydrocarbon fuel.

Fueled by a liquid hydrocarbon - a component of NRL's novel gas-to-liquid (GTL) process that uses CO2 and H2 as feedstock - the research team demonstrated sustained flight of a radio-controlled (RC) P-51 replica of the legendary Red Tail Squadron, powered by an off-the-shelf (OTS) and unmodified two-stroke internal combustion engine.

Using an innovative and proprietary NRL electrolytic cation exchange module (E-CEM), both dissolved and bound CO2 are removed from seawater at 92 percent efficiency by re-equilibrating carbonate and bicarbonate to CO2 and simultaneously producing H2. The gases are then converted to liquid hydrocarbons by a metal catalyst in a reactor system.

"In close collaboration with the Office of Naval Research P38 Naval Reserve program, NRL has developed a game-changing technology for extracting, simultaneously, CO2 and H2 from seawater," said Dr. Heather Willauer, NRL research chemist. "This is the first time technology of this nature has been demonstrated with the potential for transition, from the laboratory, to full-scale commercial implementation."

CO2 in the air and in seawater is an abundant carbon resource, but the concentration in the ocean (100 milligrams per liter [mg/L]) is about 140 times greater than that in air, and 1/3 the concentration of CO2 from a stack gas (296 mg/L). Two to three percent of the CO2 in seawater is dissolved CO2 gas in the form of carbonic acid, one percent is carbonate, and the remaining 96 to 97 percent is bound in bicarbonate.

NRL has made significant advances in the development of a gas-to-liquids (GTL) synthesis process to convert CO2 and H2 from seawater to a fuel-like fraction of C9-C16 molecules. In the first patented step, an iron-based catalyst has been developed that can achieve CO2 conversion levels up to 60 percent and decrease unwanted methane production in favor of longer-chain unsaturated hydrocarbons (olefins). These value-added hydrocarbons from this process serve as building blocks for the production of industrial chemicals and designer fuels.

In the second step these olefins can be converted to compounds of a higher molecular using controlled polymerization. The resulting liquid contains hydrocarbon molecules in the carbon range, C9-C16, suitable for use a possible renewable replacement for petroleum based jet fuel.

The predicted cost of jet fuel using these technologies is in the range of $3-$6 per gallon, and with sufficient funding and partnerships, this approach could be commercially viable within the next seven to ten years. Pursuing remote land-based options would be the first step towards a future sea-based solution.

The minimum modular carbon capture and fuel synthesis unit is envisioned to be scaled-up by the addition individual E-CEM modules and reactor tubes to meet fuel demands.

NRL operates a lab-scale fixed-bed catalytic reactor system and the outputs of this prototype unit have confirmed the presence of the required C9-C16 molecules in the liquid. This lab-scale system is the first step towards transitioning the NRL technology into commercial modular reactor units that may be scaled-up by increasing the length and number of reactors.

The process efficiencies and the capability to simultaneously produce large quantities of H2, and process the seawater without the need for additional chemicals or pollutants, has made these technologies far superior to previously developed and tested membrane and ion exchange technologies for recovery of CO2 from seawater or air.

The Naval Research Laboratory is the Navy's full-spectrum corporate laboratory, conducting a broadly based multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced technological development. The Laboratory, with a total complement of nearly 2,800 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to meet the complex technological challenges of today's world.

For more information, visit the NRL homepage or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

NNS140407-03. Navy to Deploy Electromagnetic Railgun Aboard JHSV

From Naval Sea Systems Command Office of Corporate Communication

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy plans to install and test a prototype electromagnetic railgun aboard a joint high speed vessel in fiscal year 2016, the service announced today.

This test will mark the first time an electromagnetic railgun (EM railgun) has been demonstrated at sea, symbolizing a significant advance in naval combat.

EM railgun technology uses an electromagnetic force - known as the Lorenz Force - to rapidly accelerate and launch a projectile between two conductive rails. This guided projectile is launched at such high velocities that it can achieve greater ranges than conventional guns. It maintains enough kinetic energy that it doesn't require any kind of high explosive payload when
it reaches its target.

High-energy EM railguns are expected to be lethal and effective against multiple threats, including enemy warships, small boats, aircraft, missiles and land-based targets.

"The electromagnetic railgun represents an incredible new offensive capability for the U.S. Navy," said Rear Adm. Bryant Fuller, the Navy's chief engineer. "This capability will allow us to effectively counter a wide-range of threats at a relatively low cost, while keeping our ships and sailors safer by removing the need to carry as many high-explosive weapons."

EM railgun technology will complement current kinetic weapons currently onboard surface combatants and offer a few specific advantages. Against specific threats, the cost per engagement is orders of magnitude less expensive than comparable missile engagements. The
projectile itself is being designed to be common with some current powder guns, enabling the conservation of expensive missiles for use against more complex threats.

"Energetic weapons, such as EM railguns, are the future of naval combat," said Rear Adm. Matt Klunder, the chief of naval research. "The U.S. Navy is at the forefront of this game-changing technology."

This demonstration is the latest in a series of technical maturation efforts designed to provide an
operational railgun to the fleet. Since 2005, the Navy and its partners in industry and academia have been testing railgun technology at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va., and the Naval Research Lab where the service has a number of prototype systems.

The final operational system will be capable of launching guided, multi-mission projectiles to a
range of 110 nautical miles against a wide range of threats. The series of tests are designed to
capture lessons for incorporation into a future tactical design and will allow the Navy to best
understand needed ship modifications before fully integrating the technology.

The Navy is using JHSV as a vessel of opportunity because of its available cargo and topside
space and schedule flexibility. Because JHSVs are non-combatants, there is no plan to
permanently install a railgun on any ship of the class. A final decision has not been made on
which ship classes will receive a fully operational railgun.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS140406-02. San Diego Family Safe Onboard Vandegrift

From Defense Media Activity - Navy

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- On April 6, 2014, Sailors from Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) assisted in the rescue of a family with a sick infant via the ship's small boat as part of a joint U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and California Air National Guard rescue effort. The Kaufman family and four Air National Guard pararescuemen were safely moved from the sailboat to Vandegrift, and the ship is now transiting to San Diego.

On behalf of the Kaufman family:
First, we would like to express how grateful we are to the men and women of
the Coast Guard, California Air National Guard and Navy who rescued our
family, especially the pararescuemen and crew of USS Vandegrift. We are very
thankful to be safe and well. We also appreciate all the concern, thoughts
and prayers of everyone back home for the health of our daughter Lyra. She
is doing well now, and her medical condition continues to improve.

We understand there are those who question our decision to sail with our
family, but please know that this is how our family has lived for seven
years, and when we departed on this journey more than a year ago, we were
then and remain today confident that we prepared as well as any sailing crew
could. The ocean is one of the greatest forces of nature, and it always has
the potential to overcome those who live on or near it. We are proud of our
choices and our preparation, and while we are disappointed that we lost our
sailboat and our home, we remain grateful for those who came to our aid and
those family and friends who continue to encourage and support us.

Thank you.

NNS140407-01. US 7th Fleet MH370 Update

From U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy team operating the towed pinger locator (TPL) onboard Australian defense vessel Ocean Shield detected pinging signals, April 6.

The detected signals are consistent with sounds that would come from a black box.

The TPL heard consecutive pings at one second intervals. At the time of detection the TPL was at a depth of 300 meters, which is well above the optimal search depth where a black box would typically be detected.

Upon detection, the Ocean Shield crew turned off as much noise-producing equipment as possible to reduce the chance of false alarms, and the signal was again held for over two hours at a TPL depth of 1,400 meters. The signal stregnth increased and then faded, as would be expected with the ship moving toward then away from the signal.

After the signal was lost the team reeled the TPL back in to prepare for a course change to a reciprocal course to get a better line of bearing in the contact location.

While traveling on the reciprocal course, the Ocean Shield team again detected a separate set of pings while with the TPL set to an optimal depth of 3,000 meters. On this course the detection time lasted for about 15 minutes. The TPL detected two signals at the same frequency but in different locations. This would be consistent with the MH370 black box because the plane had both a flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder.

Since the current data remains inconclusive, the team is moving foward to reacquire the signal and use the Bluefin-21 Sidescan Sonar to get a picture of any potential wreckage. This is a 24-hour operation and the Navy team is working around the clock with their Australian partners to reacquire the black box signal.

The search is currently taking place approximately 950 nautical miles northwest of Perth.

The U.S. Navy P-8s in Perth are still flying search missions. Overall patrol aircraft support to date includes 24 missions with 220 of flight time covering 336,000 square nautical miles.

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

NNS140406-01. USS Gettysburg Visits Longtime Ally, Honors Fallen

By Ensign Kiley Provenzano, USS Gettysburg Public Affairs

RHONE, France (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) participated in a community engagement project during it's scheduled port visit in Toulon, France, April 4.

Fifty Sailors traveled to a cemetery in Rhone and spent the morning working on the grounds and laying wreaths in honor of American soldiers who died in World War II.

"It is a reminder of the honor and courage that our predecessors portrayed," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class James Wallace, who spent the morning working at the cemetery. "It is a privilege to be able to honor their legacy by working here today."

Earlier in deployment, Gettysburg spent more than five weeks conducting operations with the French navy's Charles de Gaulle Strike Group, as part of Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group. The cruiser also visited Marseille, France, in early August. The current visit allowed Gettysburg Sailors to reflect on their previous interactions with the French.

"Our joint operations with the French were an incredible experience," said Lt. j.g. Collin Roof, who served as Gettysburg's liaison on board French frigate FS Forbin (D620). "Working so closely with the French has taught us so much about each other."

"On the first part of our deployment, we had the privilege of stopping in Marseille, France, and now we visit Toulon," said Lt. Justin Top, the ship's chaplain, who organized many of the community relations events for the cruiser. "We have been welcomed with absolute hospitality by both cities and it has been an incredible experience working with the French."

Gettysburg, as part of Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, is operating in the U.S. 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR) in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts as it completes a nine month deployment to the U.S. 6th and 5th Fleet AORs.

For more news from USS Gettysburg (CG 64), visit

NNS140405-05. USS Coronado Commissioned in Namesake City

By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Donnie W. Ryan, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

CORONADO, Calif (NNS) -- More than 4,000 guests watched as the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) joined the Navy's surface fleet during a commissioning ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, Calif., April 5.

Coronado is the fourth littoral combat ship, the second of the Independence variant, commissioned into service and will be be outfitted with reconfigurable mission packages and focus on a variety of mission areas including mine countermeasures, surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.

"On behalf of the Secretary of the Navy, it's my pleasure to welcome the return of the name USS Coronado to the fleet," said Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mark Ferguson, guest speaker for the ceremony. "There is no finer city for this celebration, and no more Navy pride than there is in Coronado."

Ferguson talked about the nation's expectations of today's Navy and the role littoral combats ships like Coronado will play in the overall defense strategy and the Navy's ability to operate forward.

"The Navy's enduring forward presence ensures the security of the seas," said Ferguson. "With her speed, shallow draft and mission packages, Coronado is perfectly suited for service around the globe."

Susan Ring Keith, the daughter and stepdaughter of Navy admirals and a long-time leader in the San Diego community, was named as the ship's sponsor and christened the ship Jan. 14, 2012 during a ceremony in Mobile, Ala.

"I want the crew to know that they will carry the hearts and thanks of all the residents of Coronado. We are so proud of what you do for us and so proud that you carry our name," said Keith. "Now, I want you to man this ship and bring her to life."

The 2,790-ton Coronado was built by Austal USA Shipbuilding in Mobile, Ala., at a cost of $400 million and is 417 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 100 feet, and a navigational draft of 15 feet. Coronado uses two gas turbine and two diesel engines to power four steerable water jets and can reach speeds in excess of 40 knots.

Cmdr. Shawn Johnston, a native of North Carolina, is the commanding officer of the ship's Gold Crew. Cmdr. John Kochendorfer, from Dan Point, Calif., is the commanding officer of the ship's Blue Crew. Both will lead core crews of approximately 40 officers and enlisted personnel.

Hundreds of residents of Coronado, Calif., along with many city leaders including the mayor, attended the ceremony.

"I am happy to tell you that Coronado has been a proud Navy town for well over 100 years," said Mayor Casey Tanaka, who presented both Johnston and Kochendorfer a key to the city. "Please place this key somewhere all your Sailors can see it so that they know whenever they drive over the bridge or up the strand, that when they see that number of 26,600 people who live here in Coronado, they know they are one of us now and forever."

Named for the city of Coronado, Calif., LCS 4 is the third Navy ship to bear the name of the "Crown City." The first USS Coronado (PF 38) was a patrol frigate and served as a convoy escort during World War II.

The second USS Coronado (AGF 11) was designed as an Austin-class amphibious transport dock (LPD) and was reconfigured to be an auxiliary command ship (AGF) in 1980 and subsequently served as the Commander, Middle East Force flagship, then the Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet flagship in the Mediterranean, and subsequently the Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet flagship in the Eastern Pacific Ocean prior to decommissioning in 2006.

LCS vessels were designed to be high-speed, shallow draft multimission ships capable of operating independently or with an associated strike group. They are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in coastal waters.

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

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

Providing warships ready for combat, developing Sailors, and training crews to fight and win are the subjects of Vice Adm. Thomas H. Copeman III, commander of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet's "Vision for the 2026 Surface Fleet." This vision consolidates a set of objectives and policies to maximize surface force readiness by concentrating on warfighting ability, sustainable excellence and wholeness over time.

For more news from Naval Surface Forces, visit

NNS140405-04. US, ROK Forces Wrap Up Exercise Ssang Yong 2014

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Carla Burdt, Amphibious Squadron 11 Public Affairs

USS BONHOMME RICHARD, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines from Expeditionary Strike Group Seven (ESG 7) and the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (3d MEB), along with their counterparts from the Republic of Korea (ROK), wrapped up exercise Ssang Yong 2014, April 5.

Ssang Yong, Korean for "twin dragons," is an annual, bilateral amphibious assault exercise conducted in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operation by Navy and Marine forces with the ROK in to strengthen interoperability and working relationships across the range of military operations from disaster relief to complex, expeditionary operations.

"What Ssang Yong 2014 is all about is demonstrating the capabilities of the Navy and Marine Corps amphibious team," said Rear Adm. Hugh Wetherald, commander, ESG 7. "There is more than just amphibious warfare, and that is working with our partners, working with our allies. This is one of those unique opportunities that we have to really integrate ourselves and work as an equal team as we project power."

The exercise was the first to include a joint, combined command and control headquarters which was led by Wetherald; ROK Rear Adm. Chun Jung-soo, commander, Flotilla 5; Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy, commanding general, 3d MEB; and ROK Brig. Gen. Cho Kang-jae, deputy commander Landing Force.

More than 20 ships and 14,000 Sailors and Marines participated in the exercise.

"I've always said that our navies, any of our partners' navies, are stronger when we work together than when we work apart," said Wetherald. "As we brought the two flagships together, 500 yards apart from each other, that was really emblematic of the capability we have out here and how strong we are when we work together."

During Ssang Yong 2014, 13 landing craft, including Landing Craft Air Cushion and Landing Craft Utility transported 263 pieces of equipment weighing a total of 3,328,494 pounds. The equipment transported included, six M1A1 tanks; High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles; Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacements; Internally Transportable Vehicles; and, other equipment between Marine Prepositioning Forces (MPF) and Navy assets.

"We moved more than three million pounds of equipment over five days via landing craft," said Capt. Michael Allen, commander, Amphibious Squadron 11 (PHIBRON 11) combat cargo officer. "During the rehearsal and 'D-Day,' the dynamic schedule came together and we executed perfectly. For two nations to come together and achieve what we did was phenomenal. We learned how to best communicate in order to identify priorities and get people and equipment to the beach."

ESG 7 and 3d MEB also flew more than 800 aerial missions in support of the exercise and 74 U.S. and Korean amphibious assault vehicles were used during the amphibious landing. For Ssang Yong 2014, ESG 7 included the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and Boxer ARG and 3d MEB included the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and the 13th MEU.

"This was a tremendously complex exercise with thousands of Marines and thousands of Navy Sailors, over 20 ships coming together and, then, immediately executing," said Wetherald. "It was a true and tried example of a mature relationship."

For more news from Commander, Amphibious Squadron 11, visit

NNS140407-06. Naval Base Guam Welcomes Former Residents, Descendants Back to Sumay

By Jesse Leon Guerrero, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- More than 100 family members and several surviving residents of the former Sumay village visited U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) to celebrate the fifth Back to Sumay Day April 5.

NBG leadership welcomed the families onto the base as a way to remember the history of the former village, which became a part of the installation after the U.S. liberated the island from Japanese occupation in 1944.

"All of you who have come back to this place to remember Sumay the way it was and recollect its rich history shows your devotion to your past and your heritage," said NBG Executive Officer Cmdr. David Ellis. "I think that's what makes Guam so special. It's the willingness of generations to preserve their past and share it not only with family and friends but with those who come to live, work and visit the island."

NBG and volunteers from several Navy commands partnered with the Santa Rita Mayor's Office to celebrate and remember the pre-World War II village and the Chamorros who once lived there.

"I am proud to be from Sumay," said Santa Rita Mayor Dale Alvarez. "I am even prouder that I can make this visit to Sumay possible with our military friends, who have honored and respected our ancestors by maintaining this little piece of Guam for us to enjoy and reconnect with our past."

Highlights of the event included a mass held in front of the cross of the Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe at the site of the former church, a fiesta-style lunch at the Clipper Landing Park, static historical displays and live dancing and singing by the Chamorro cultural group Inetnon Gef Pa'go.

Prior to World War II, Sumay played an important role in Guam's economic growth, evolving from a fishing community to a hub for shipping, agriculture and communications.

"I used to play here and go fishing out there because it's a nice place to go fishing, go boating and swim," said Juan Perez Cepeda, a former resident who visited the village for the first time since before the war. "I could not be happier to share this with my family because they need to know where their family is from. They need to know this place. I will always remember the times I spent here."

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

NNS140407-15. 2014 Navy Leadership Award Recipients Announced

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy selected four outstanding servicewomen as the Capt. Joy Bright Hancock and Master Chief Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Award winners as announced in NAVADMIN 077/14, April 7.

After a thorough review of more than 150 nominees, the awards board announced the 2014 recipients of the Capt. Joy Bright Hancock and Master Chief Petty Officer Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Award recipients:

Lt. Cmdr. Pamela Klepac-Tulensru, medical officer in charge of the Expeditionary Medical Facility, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, in the senior officer category;

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Vanderla Akaka, training standards officer and training liaison officer, Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in the junior officer category;

Command Master Chief Cynthia Patterson, senior enlisted leader for Strategic Communications Wing 1, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in the senior enlisted category; and

Yeoman 1st Class Shanika Jones, leading petty officer for Navigation and Administrative departments, on board USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), homeported San Diego, in the junior enlisted category.

"It was awe-inspiring to read about these great Sailors, who make the impossible possible, and turn challenges into opportunities," said Chief Quartermaster Daniel Duenas, awards board member. "The amount of dedication and motivation these Sailors have was massively impressive and humbling."

Each package was graded on the criteria of professional accomplishments, character, command climate/equal opportunity, leadership, and community involvement. As detailed in their nomination packages, the award winners went above and beyond in each of these categories, exhibiting extraordinary service.

"It was an honor to be a part of the selection process for the Capt. Joy Bright Hancock and Master Chief Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Awards," said Command Master Chief Rita Carman, awards board member. "As we reviewed the packages in each category, we were able to get a quick glance of what amazing things our Sailors are doing on every level. The dedication to the Navy and the community was very evident in all the hard work that they put in each and every day, as well as the extra mile they choose to give to constantly improve our Navy and help other Sailors to succeed. The selections were not easy to make with so many amazing candidates."

The Capt. Joy Bright Hancock Leadership Awards are presented annually to one senior and one junior officer and the Master Chief Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Awards are presented annually to one senior and one junior enlisted service member. The Capt. Joy Bright Hancock and Master Chief Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Awards honor the visionary leadership of Navy service members whose ideals and dedication foster a positive working environment while reinforcing and furthering the integration of women into the Navy.

Established in 1987, these awards are presented annually, to recognize the inspirational leadership of Navy officers and enlisted Sailors on active or Reserve duty.

"The servicewomen for whom the awards are named, played a significant role in our [women's] ability to serve in a wide range of occupations and leadership roles today," said Cmdr. Christine Caston, senior awards board member. "The awards were named after two incredibly resilient and unwavering women."

The two award namesakes were Navy trailblazers, both reaching new heights for women within their naval careers, laying the foundation for other women to follow. The officer awards are named in honor of Capt. Joy Bright-Hancock, who served as a yeoman during World War I and later became a commissioned officer during World War II. In 1946, Bright-Hancock became the director of Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and was instrumental in ensuring Navy women achieved the same standing as their active-duty male counterparts. The enlisted awards are named in honor of Master Chief Yeoman Anna Der-Vartanian, the first woman in any of the U.S. Armed Services to be promoted to the rank of E-9.

For more information about the Chief of Naval Personnel - Navy Office of Women's Policy, visit

For more information about the Chief of Naval Personnel - Office of Diversity and Inclusion, visit

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS140405-02. Sexual Assault Awareness Month Kicks Off at Submarine Force Pacific

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Swink, Commander, Submarine Force Pacific Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- "Live Our Values: Step Up to Stop Sexual Assault" was the message at the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) banner unveiling event at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, April 4.

A coordinated event between Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC) and Commander, Navy Region Hawaii (COMNAVREG), the banner unveiling officially recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), with the goal to raise public awareness about sexual assault and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.

"For the last two years, the Navy and the entire Department of Defense has been on a pretty significant journey in figuring out how we can rid ourselves of sexual assault," said Capt. John Russ, COMSUBPAC chief of staff. "Last year, we had lots of discussions about sexual assault - we are getting everyone educated, and most importantly, people are taking action against sexual assault."

Considerable time, effort and focus have been placed on sexual assault prevention and response. The goal is to empower each individual command to take ownership of this problem by focusing on the values we should embody day-in and day-out.

"Reporting has increased 46 percent from FY12 to FY13," said Lt. Crystal Campbell, COMSUBPAC's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response officer. "Though it may sound like a negative data point, it is truly a testament of progress.

"Sexual assault is a crime that is underreported and it's a significant obstacle to overcome," said Campbell. "An increase of reporting shows that Sailors are trusting leadership and trusting the process to come forward."

The Navy's goal is to reduce and eliminate sexual assault by fostering a culture of prevention through education and training, which includes encouraging Sailors to take action through bystander intervention. Bystander intervention training helps Sailors understand the value of intervening with other Sailors who may encounter risky situations that, if unchecked, may lead to sexual assault.

"It's when somebody steps up and intervenes; when a friend at a bar jumps in and intervenes when he sees a potential sexual assault developing, or when a Sailor walks a friend home so they get home safely," said Russ. "It's a testament to all the training that's been done and all the conversations we have had about this crime."

The Navy has adopted a comprehensive approach to tackling the problem of sexual assault and is continuing to change its culture surrounding the issue.

"There has been an array of efforts, such as roving patrols on base and barracks, decreased hours of alcohol sales, increasing emphasis on command climate, and all-hands events with distinguished experts," said Campbell.

April has been designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month for past 10 years. Events throughout the month are being held fleetwide to raise awareness and reinforce the efforts to eliminate sexual assault from the Navy. It also provides Sailors with opportunities for personal involvement in communicating key messages.

For more information about Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, visit the Navy's SAPR program website at, or the Department of Defense SAPR office website at Additional information can also be found through social media channels and the hashtag #StepUpStepIn.

For more information about the Pacific Submarine Force, visit

For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit

NNS140405-01. Robocopter: New Technology Brings New Capabilities to the Marine Corps

By David Smalley, Office of Naval Research

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- Autonomy options for the Marines have taken a major step forward, as officials at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced today two successful helicopter flight demonstrations with unmanned flight capability at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., part of the Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System (AACUS) program.

AACUS will enable the Marine Corps to rapidly resupply forces on the front lines using cutting-edge technology sponsored by ONR. The system consists of a sensor and software package that will be integrated into rotary wing aircraft to detect and avoid obstacles in unfavorable weather conditions, or to enable autonomous, unmanned flight. The capability will be a welcome alternative to dangerous convoys, manned aircraft or air drops in all weather conditions.

"This is a giant leap in autonomous capabilities for our Marines," said Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder. "Imagine a Marine unit needing more ammunition and water where a helicopter crew would be in peril trying to fly in, either from weather or enemy fire.

"With AACUS, an unmanned helicopter takes the supplies from the base, picks out the optimal route and best landing site closest to the warfighters, lands, and returns to base once the resupply is complete-all with the single touch of a handheld tablet."

The need for this capability surfaced during Marine Corps operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, experts say. Cargo helicopters and resupply convoys of trucks bringing fuel, food, water, ammunition and medical supplies to the front lines frequently found themselves under fire from adversaries, or the target of roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices.

The AACUS technology is designed to be simple to use; an operator with minimal training can call up the supplies needed and order the flights using only a handheld tablet. In the demonstration tests at Quantico, a Marine with no prior experience with the technology was given a handheld device and 15 minutes of training.

The Marine was able to quickly and easily program in the supplies needed and the destination, and the helicopters arrived quickly-even autonomously selecting an alternative landing site based on last-second no-fly-zone information added in from the Marine.

"This technology truly opens up new unmanned operations capabilities," said Max Snell, the AACUS program manager. "In the most immediate sense, AACUS will enable safer resupply for the warfighter and save pilots' lives. Down the road, as the technology develops, it could be used for casualty evacuation, bringing supplies to first responders in disaster areas, and more."

The technology enables the manned or unmanned rotary wing aircraft to detect and avoid obstacles like telephone wires, large objects on the ground and even a vehicle or other object that has appeared since the initial landing site was chosen by AACUS.

Officials say the five-year effort represents a leap-ahead technology for the Marine Corps and Navy, moving autonomous flights far beyond the current standard which requires a specialized operator to select a landing site and manually control an unmanned aircraft via remote.

"Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has discussed using drones to deliver a customer's book order in 30 minutes," said Klunder. "We're talking the same concept here-the difference is, we're bringing our customer, the Marine, 5,000 pounds of ammo and water instead."

For more information and periodic updates, follow #AACUS on Facebook and Twitter.

NNS140404-30. Navy Energy and Combat Capability Featured at Sea-Air-Space Expo

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

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Department of the Navy's energy programs will be featured during the 2014 Sea-Air-Space Exposition, April 7-9 in National Harbor, Md.

Subject matter experts from Navy and Marine Corps commands will be onsite at the Naval Energy Pavilion (booth #2747) to share information about DoN's energy programs, focusing on smart energy choices and technologies that can enhance combat capability for the warfighter. The booth will feature videos and a variety of technologies, including an electric car, a virtual reality system, and a 3D printer.

Rear Adm. Kevin Slates and technical experts will also discuss energy challenges and opportunities during a series of industry dialogue sessions. The schedule for the sessions is as follows:

Session 1: "Aviation Energy Challenges and Opportunities"
Monday April 7, National Harbor Room 14 (1:45pm - 2:45pm)

Session 2: "Maritime Energy Challenges and Opportunities"
Monday April 7, National Harbor Room 14 (3:30pm - 4:30pm)

Session 3: "Expeditionary Energy Challenges and Opportunities"
Tuesday April 8, National Harbor Room 14 (1:45pm - 2:45pm)

Session 4: "Shore Energy Challenges and Opportunities"
Monday April 7, National Harbor Room 14 (3:00pm - 4:00pm)

Sea-Air-Space is organized by the Navy League of the United States. The event focuses on the importance of a strong sea service and highlights the defense industry, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

Noteworthy speakers for this year's event include the honorable Dennis McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment; Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations; Vice Adm. Philip Cullom, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for fleet readiness and logistics (N4); and Vice Adm. William French, commander, Navy Installations Command.

For live updates from the Naval Energy Pavilion during the event, follow @NavalEnergy and #SAS14 on Twitter and on Facebook at To learn more about the DoN's energy programs, visit

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

NNS140407-11. NAVSUP's Quality-of-Life Support Highlighted at Sea Air Space Expo 2014

By Debbie Dortch, NAVSUP Corporate Communications

NATONAL HARBOR, Md. (NNS) -- Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) is highlighting its quality-of-life support at the Navy League's Sea Air Space Expo April 7-9.

NAVSUP's exhibit features five daily cooking demonstrations by Navy Culinary Specialists (CSs), and highlights the Navy Exchange, including a peek at new enlisted uniforms, including coveralls.

"The men and women of the Navy Exchange Service Command are NAVSUP's quality of life experts. Their mission is to provide authorized customers with quality goods and services at a savings and to support quality-of-life programs for active duty military, retirees, reservists and their families," said Rear Adm. Jonathan A. Yuen, commander, NAVSUP. "The Navy Exchange Service Command's uniform program ensures that our service members are outfitted with the proper uniform items for the best value,"

CSs are demonstrating their skills and talents cooking dishes such as pan seared salmon with root vegetables; crepes con queso; and Thai red curry shrimp. Recipe cards are available for dishes being prepared.

"Nothing impacts Sailors on a day-to-day basis more than the food they eat. Cutting edge training, along with mentoring by senior enlisted food service leadership, ensures that our culinary specialists have the tools they need to prepare nutritious meals that keep our Sailors healthy and happy," Yuen said.

The Sea-Air-Space Exposition is the largest maritime symposium in the world, attracting nearly 10,000 attendees. It features more than 150 defense industry exhibits and professional seminars with top civilian and military leaders from the U.S. Department of Defense, Homeland Security, Maritime Administration, and the defense industry who provide up-to-the-minute developments on policy and programs of the maritime services.

The NAVSUP and Navy Supply Corps team share one mission--to deliver sustained global logistics and quality-of-life support to the Navy and Joint warfighter. NAVSUP/Navy Supply Corps' diverse team of more than 25,000 civilian and military personnel oversee a diverse portfolio including supply chain management for material support to Navy, Marine Corps, Joint and coalition partners, supply operations, conventional ordnance, contracting, resale, fuel, transportation, security assistance, and quality of life issues for the naval forces, including food service, postal services, Navy Exchanges, and movement of household goods. The NAVSUP/Navy Supply Corps team forms a vast network of professionals who deliver unparalleled products and services to customers in the fleet and across the world.

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit

NNS140407-10. USS George H.W. Bush Hosts The Mulligan Brothers

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW/AW) Benjamin Kelly, USS George H.W. Bush Public Affairs

USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH, At Sea (NNS) -- The Mulligan Brothers band performed aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) April 5.

Members of the band said they were excited to finally have an idea of what Sailors' lives are like on a ship. "We can't even explain what it's like to see it in person," said Gram Rea, violinist. "It's incredible and we're so grateful for you guys."

The two-hour concert was hosted by the ship's Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) division, as part of a tour sponsored by Navy Entertainment.

Some in attendance showed off their line dancing skills, others sang along to songs they knew and some tapped their feet in place to the music.

"I love country music," said Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 2nd Class Anna Dearman. "I enjoyed the music, harmonics, violin, everything. They were great, a great choice for a band."

Some people even used the concert as background music while they set up games to make it feel more like home.

"We came to the show to see who these guys were," said Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Quinterris Ponder. "We wanted to check out the music and listen to them for a little bit. Everybody out there had a good time. You could see all the games being played; cornhole, kan-jam, jenga, everything. It was great for morale."

Having concerts like this helps break up the monotony of working day in and day out on the ship. It gave Sailors a chance to relax a little bit and it's also a realization of how much Sailors are appreciated at home.

"This crew was looking for something a little different," said Command Master Chief David Carter. "It gets to be groundhog day out here after a while. The fact that everyone came out and had a good time puts it in perspective. It's good to see the crew doing a little bit of dancing too."

The concert comes as GHWB continues to support combat operations in Afghanistan.

"A lot of people came out tonight," said Capt. Daniel Cheever, commander, Carrier Air Wing 8. "We're the busiest we've been since we left port, so I think the fact that there were this many people here says a lot about the crew. Events like this mean the world to everybody."

"This is a first for us and it's been a phenomenal experience," said Ross Newell, lead vocals. "Landing on the ship, staying the night on it and getting catapulted off in the morning - it's been something we've been looking forward to since we first found out we were going to be able to do this back in October."

"It's almost weird when you guys thank us," said Greg DeLuca, drummer. "We just came and did what we were going to do anyway back at home. But you're the guys that allow us to do this at home."

GHWB's current deployment is scheduled to be longer than most. Time between port visits seem to be longer as well. Big events hosted on the ship are a way to boost the morale of the crew and lighten up moods around the ship.

"I think it's very important on a deployment of this length to take the opportunity to take a little time off and enjoy ourselves," said Capt. Andrew Loiselle, commanding officer, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).
The Mulligan Brothers band showed sincere honor and appreciation for being welcomed with the enthusiasm the crew showed.

"We really do truly appreciate what everybody here does for our country," said Newell. "It's so rare to get an opportunity to do anything to show that appreciation, how on earth could we pass that up. We get a chance to say thank you. We acknowledge and appreciate what you guys are doing over here."

George H.W. Bush is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

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

NNS140407-05. Nationals Dedicate Plaque to Navy Yard

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Julianne Metzger, Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Washington's major league baseball team honored the victims and those affected by the Navy Yard shooting with a plaque dedication ceremony April 4.

The Nationals worked with Naval Sea Systems Command and Department of Defense to memorialize the tragic events of Sept. 16 with a gold plaque that is prominently displayed at the center of the opening gate area at Nationals Park.

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert thanked the Washington Nationals for their generosity of spirit and community on the day of the shooting.
"Since your arrival in the neighborhood we have had a growing affinity," said Greenert. "Especially on that day you were the good neighbor that was there to take care of us and our Navy family."

Nationals Park is less than a mile from the Washington Navy Yard. Nationals Park served as a center where families could reunite with their loved ones from the Navy Yard in the hours after the shooting. The organization also donated refreshments and hosted Red Cross mental health workers to provide comfort and counseling to those affected.

"A lot of times in the Navy we talk about humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, where it's about getting started on recovery," said Greenert. "But to do healing and have things come back together it takes a whole community."

In attendance of the plaque unveiling were families and friends of the 12 people who were killed at the shooting at the Naval Sea Systems Command.

"We have to remember the fallen and the heroes that day, and this plaque is clearly that remembrance that takes it outside of the Navy Yard and into our community," said Greenert.

For more news from Chief of Naval Operations, visit

NNS140407-08. Sexual Assault Reports: Week of March 24-30

From the Office of the Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- This week's overview of alleged sexual assaults is compiled based on six initial reports across the Navy from March 24 - 30.

This time frame reflects only the receipt of the initial reports; one of these reported incidents also occurred during this period.

Every one of these reports will be fully investigated. Looking at this snapshot in time, we see the following:

* Five reports come from events that occurred off-base and one from an event that occurred at an unknown location.

* Five of the alleged offenders were male and one was female. The vast majority were known to their alleged victims. Four were petty officers, one was a civilian, and one was unknown.

* Five of the reported incidents are alleged to be service member on service member.

* Among the alleged victims, two were a petty officers and four were E-3 or below. Of these reported, five were female and one was male.

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

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

NNS011216-07. This Day in Naval History - April 07

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1776 - The Continental brig Lexington, commanded by John Barry, captures the British tender Edward near the Virginia Capes.
1944 - USS Saufley (DD 465) sinks the Japanese submarine I 2, west-northwest of New Hanover.
1944 - USS Champlin (DD 601) is damaged when she intentionally rams German submarine U-856, 380 miles SE of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia, Canada.
1944 - USS Gustafson (DE 182) sinks the German submarine U 857 off Cape Cod, Mass.

NNS140407-17. CNO Talks Payloads, Platforms and Joint Operability at Sea-Air-Space Expo

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Julianne Metzger, Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy's top admiral joined his sea service counterparts to discuss the importance of the sea services at the Sea-Air-Space Service Chief Update Panel April 7.

Speaking to members of national and international defense industries, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert encouraged partnership and increased reliance on payload capacity rather than platform designs.

"We need lower cost approaches," said Greenert. "We need to tailor the ship more to the mission."

Citing recent anti-piracy operations that used larger platforms, Greenert insisted that the same mission could be accomplished successfully, and economically, with flexible platforms such as the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) or Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV).

"Adaptive force packages need a paradigm shift," said Greenert. "We've got to decouple our payloads from the platforms." As industry develops new payloads, the Navy can apply innovatively to different platforms, he said.

During Greenert's panel remarks, he went on to highlight such innovation with two videos. The first video was a railgun demonstration which will be tested on a JHSV in 2016. The other video was of a recent Griffin missile live-fire exercise from a patrol craft in the 5th Fleet region.

Greenert noted these two payloads as an example of the evolving technology and innovation that industry and the services must grow together.

The Navy's mandate is presence, and the key to accomplishing it is with flexible and innovative ship platforms being brought up now to the fleet, said Greenert. He also presented new ships entering the fleet such as Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) and the Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) as complements to the forcible entry platforms the Navy has today.

While talking about these innovative payloads and platforms, Greenert highlighted that partnerships are important to this innovation. He said between the sea services and among industry that it is essential to staying on budget, while innovating.

"I think we need to work much more jointly as requirements emerge, and we must ask: what are we going to build," said Greenert during a Sea-Air-Space interview with Federal News Radio, discussing joint interdependence. "We need to buy more jointly as we operate more jointly."

Partnering with overseas military defense industries is also essential in the future, looking for those who build most effectively and efficiently, said Greenert.

During his remarks, Greenert highlighted the importance of the conference and the military's relationship with industry. He also laid out what was at risk in today's budget environment and why the synergies with industry and the services must further develop.

Ongoing budget fluctuations pose the greatest threat to the industrial base that underpins the Navy's success, said Greenert.

The Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition brings the U.S. defense industrial base, private-sector U.S. companies and crucial military decision makers together for an annual innovative, educational, professional and maritime networking event.

For more news from Chief of Naval Operations, visit

For more information on the Sea Air Space Expo 2014, visit

For the entire Federal News Radio Interview, visit

NNS140407-18. Service Chiefs' Update Begins 2014 Sea-Air-Space Expo

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jules Stobaugh, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The 49th Annual 2014 Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition began at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. with an official opening ceremony, April 7.

The Sea-Air-Space Expo is an annual event that brings together key military decision makers, the U.S. defense industrial base and private-sector U.S. companies for an innovative and educational maritime based event.

"This is a landmark event, for maritime, really for our maritime enterprise," said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert. "To do the kind of things around the world that we need to do in and out, we've got to innovate."

During the opening ceremony, service chiefs from the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard each spoke about the importance of their respective services as well as the importance of working together as a team.

"We need to operate forward where it matters and we got to be there when it matters, because nothing else matters," said Greenert. "And that's, simply put, what we're about, day in, day out. And the 'we' is all of us up here. It's the Navy, it's the Marine Corps and it's the Coast Guard together, supported by the maritime administration."

The 2014 Sea-Air-Space features more than 175 industry exhibits, opportunities to learn about and test advanced military equipment, professional development sessions, and daily exhibit hall floor speaker sessions.

The Sea-Air-Space Expo is free and open to active duty, reserve and retired military, federal and state government employees, members of congress and their staff, and Navy League members.

NNS140408-01. US Military Officials Speak About Forward Presence

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jules Stobaugh, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Leading officials from the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard spoke about operating forward and being partners with global presence at the 2014 Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., April 7.

The Sea-Air-Space Expo is an annual event that brings together key military decision makers, the U.S. defense industrial base and private-sector U.S. companies for an innovative and educational maritime based event.

Vice Adm. Michelle Howard, deputy chief of naval operations for Operations, Plans, and Strategy, delivered opening remarks.

"It's my pleasure to sit with such a group of, not just distinguished panelists, but in many cases good friends," said Howard. "The Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are partners that share a responsibility to safeguard the nation, sustain global engagement, project U.S. influence, and deter future conflict."

Vice Adm. Tom Copeman, commander, Naval Surface Forces Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, spoke about surface ships and the importance of operating forward.

"Surface ships, which I'm the surface boss, we're about 73 percent of the commissioned ships in the Navy," said Copeman. "We make up the vast majority of the forward presence that we talk about and I think we're key in developing partnerships."

"If you're not out and about, if you're not deployed, you can't be where it matters, when it matters," said Copeman.

The 2014 Sea-Air-Space features more than 175 industry exhibits, opportunities to learn about and test advanced military equipment, professional development sessions, and daily exhibit hall floor speaker sessions.

The Sea-Air-Space Expo is free and open to active duty, Reserve and retired military, federal and state government employees, members of Congress and their staff, and Navy League members.

For more information, follow on Twitter: #SAS14

NNS140408-10. DONCEAP Continues to Roll Out to the Fleet

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Armando Gonzales

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Juan Garcia continued the implementation of the DON Civilian Employee Assistance Program (CEAP) by hosting a combination launch and training event at the Pentagon April 7. This event marked the transition of the DON commands within the Pentagon to this new program.

DONCEAP, available to DON civilian employees and their families, is a free program that provides a centralized way to access licensed counselors, work/life specialists, management coaching, consultation and various online resources.

"You all have responsibilities," said Garcia. "(DONCEAP) is designed to help you manage that balance between your critical jobs and those responsibilities, to help give you the peace of mind necessary to focus on your best, most innovative, most motivated work effort."

The DON and the Department of Health and Human Services Federal Occupational Health (FOH) began phasing in DONCEAP Oct. 29, 2013 to consolidate local level command employee assistance programs.

"Through the partnership with FOH, we have at our fingertips the proven experts in the field," said Garcia. "Now, those experts are available to our civilians and their families."

Out of 195,000 civilian employees in the DON, more than 160,000 have transitioned from their command plans to this program. The remaining 35,000 are scheduled to convert by September.

DONCEAP provides resources and referrals to services that support childcare, eldercare, legal and financial management, and overall daily life situations such as relocation and event planning.

At the event Patricia Adams, deputy assistant secretary for civilian human resources, commented on the importance of assistance programs like DONCEAP when she told the audience the story of an employee who died unexpectedly.

"It's not always how you handle things, or the people who are vocal, it may be the one or two quiet people who really need that extra support and help," Adams said. "They may be struggling and you may not know about it."

The sessions provided with DONCEAP are confidential and voluntary, and they may provide premade kits with information and resources involving college, parenting, child safety, adult caregiving and overall wellness.

The Pentagon training session was delivered by Linda Bianchi, an occupational health program manager for the Department of Health and Human Services, and was broadcasted live on Navy TV.

To view the event online visit:

For more information visit or call 1-844-DONCEAP (International 1-888-262-7848 ).

NNS140408-11. US Navy and Vietnam People's Navy Build Confidence during NEA 2014

From Commander, Task Force 73 Public Affairs

DA NANG, Vietnam (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy and Vietnam People's Navy began the annual Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) April 7 with a welcoming ceremony for USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) and USNS Safeguard (T-ARS-50) at the port of Da Nang.

During the welcoming ceremony, Vietnamese officials from the Ministry of Defense, Foreign Relations Department, Naval Zone 3, Military Region 5, Da Nang Defense Command, External Relations Office and Border Guard welcomed the crews of both ships.

2014 marks the fifth consecutive NEA Vietnam and the tenth year that U.S. Navy ships have called upon the port of Da Nang. USS John S. McCain last visited Da Nang in August 2010 as part of the inaugural NEA Vietnam, which coincided with the 15th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam.

Speaking to reporters on the pier, Capt. Paul Schlise, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 7, who is embarked on McCain, emphasized that NEA Vietnam and the many port visits by U.S. Navy ships over the past decade are key examples of growing navy-to-navy cooperation.

"Each year, NEA Vietnam builds mutual trust and understanding, provides a key venue to address shared maritime security priorities and concerns, and develops our ability to operate with confidence in the maritime domain," said Schlise.

NEA Vietnam is not a traditional military exercise - instead, it focuses on non-combatant professional exchanges in military medicine, search and rescue, diving and salvage and shipboard damage control. It is also an opportunity to develop relationships that will serve both navies for many years to come through ship tours, 7th Fleet band concerts, sporting events and community service projects.

Approximately 400 U.S. Navy Sailors and civilian mariners are participating in NEA Vietnam 2014. Participating units include USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50) with embarked Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5, staff from Destroyer Squadron 7 and Commander, Task Force 73, and the U.S. 7th Fleet Band, Orient Express.

NNS140408-06. Bulkeley Holds Reception in Italy

By Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Donald White Jr., USS Bulkeley Public Affairs

CIVITAVECCHIA, Italy (NNS) -- More than 40 military officials and distinguished guests attended a reception hosted by guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) during its scheduled port visit in Civitavecchia, Italy, April 4.

"While deployed, we have stood by the motto 'liberty is a mission', which means that even while in a foreign port, we are still representing the Navy and attempting to leave a positive impact wherever we go," said Cmdr. Matthew Phillips, Bulkeley's commanding officer. "I think tonight we can definitely say that we accomplished that mission."

The reception comes a few days after Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus met with Chief of the Italian navy Vice Adm. Giuseppe Di Giorgi in Venice, Italy, to sign a Statement of Cooperation on the research and use of alternative fuels.

"It is important to take time out to nurture the sense of camaraderie with our NATO allies as often as possible," said Phillips. "As a warship we are not only tasked with defending our country abroad, but also to be ambassadors to our partners."

For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit

NNS140407-21. USS Anchorage Departs Pearl Harbor

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Lindahl, USS Anchorage Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23), along with the embarked Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, ASEAN, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), departed Pearl Harbor, April 7.

Anchorage will begin transiting back to her homeport of San Diego and will continue a series of ongoing at-sea training evolutions.

While in port, the crew was able to conduct training, strengthen community relations, hold reenlistment ceremonies at multiple Pearl Harbor landmarks, enjoy some free time, and even host the Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and other defense ministers from the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations (ASEAN), during part of their defense forum.

As part of the first ASEAN Defense forum to be held on U.S. soil, the ship conducted tours showcasing the ship's well deck capabilities, multiple vehicle stowage areas, flight deck capabilities, medical facilities, and berthing spaces.

While there was an impressive show of force, the tour also showcased the capacity and capabilities for the Navy-Marine Corps team to assist in humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts.

"It's security, it's stability; it's assuring that all nations have commercial options. It is trade, it's exchanges; it's about free people," said Hagel during a media availability on the flight deck. "We intend to continue to be a Pacific power, to cooperate with our ASEAN partners of all nations in the Asia-Pacific."

Cmdr. Joel Stewart, Anchorage's commanding officer, expressed his pride in being the ship selected to host part of the forum.

"It was an honor to have ASEAN and U.S. leaders aboard to showcase our outstanding Navy-Marine Corps team with this new ship and the capabilities it brings as part of the strategic rebalance to the Pacific," said Stewart.

On the other side of the workday, Anchorage also arranged for a group of 20 volunteers to visit veterans in the Pearl Harbor area where they were able to gain some wisdom from times past.

"It was a great experience," said Religious Program Specialist 2nd Class Brian Jaggers, the community relations coordinator for the event. "Anytime we have the opportunity to go out there and brighten someone's day, it feels great; but I'd be lying if I said they didn't brighten our day just as much."

The volunteers visited Tripler Army Medical Center where they swapped stories with a variety of veterans, most from the Vietnam War.

"In a way, these guys paved the way for us and made the military what it is today. It was a bad situation for many of them, they had to worry about a jungle environment as well as people shooting at them," Jaggers said. "It was nice to go and hear their stories and let them share their experiences; to me, that's what community relations are all about. These guys are the real heroes."

USS Anchorage is the seventh San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship. She was built at the Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding site in Avondale, La. She was delivered to the U.S. Navy Sept. 17, 2012 and was commissioned in her namesake city of Anchorage, Alaska May 4, 2013. She is homeported in San Diego, Calif.

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

NNS140408-08. Philippine Sea Kicks Off United Through Reading

From USS Philippine Sea Public Affairs

PHILIPPINE SEA, At Sea (NNS) -- The crew of guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) kicked off the United Through Reading (UTR) program April 5.

UTR is a non-profit organization. Its mission is to unite military families facing physical separation by providing the bonding experience of reading aloud together.

"UTR will give our Sailors an opportunity to open up and have personal time with their families," said Chief Culinary Specialist Michael Vira, the ship's UTR coordinator. "It becomes a two-way interaction because Sailors can then get pictures and videos of their children enjoying the videos sent in return. The Sailors end up getting just as much out of it as their children"

To announce the program, Philippine Sea held a cake-cutting ceremony which gave the crew an opportunity to learn about the program and to begin signing up. The following evening, Sailors were reading to their children.

As one of the crew's newest fathers, Culinary Specialist Seaman Noland Wathen was chosen to cut the cake and given the first reading time slot.

"Being able to read to my daughter really lifted my spirits," said Wathen, who hopes the video will make it home before his daughter's birthday. "I feel like I've missed so much, it really makes me feel good to know that I'll be able to read her a bedtime story every night now."

The organization supplies children's books, video cameras and recordable DVDs at no charge to deployed military personnel all over the world. This allows servicemen and women the chance to record themselves reading and then be able to send the disk home to their families.

"It was really nice to do the program, knowing that my family would get to see my face and hear my voice for the first time in a long time," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Taylor Larson, a new father. "I'll definitely be making the UTR program a regular thing for me and my family."

Due to the daily changes in the ship's routine, recording times will vary to adapt to the schedule, said Vira. Shipping times will also vary depending ship activity.

Philippine Sea is currently 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 George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), visit

NNS140408-09. Navy Releases FY14 Aviation Career Continuation Pay Rates

From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Qualified Navy aviators can receive up to $125,000 in bonuses announced in a message released April 8.

According to NAVADMIN 078/14, the following Aviation Career Continuation Pay (ACCP) bonuses are offered to pilots and naval flight officers (NFO) to retain skilled personnel for critical naval aviation billets:

HM pilot: $75,000
HSC pilot: $75,000
HSL/HSM pilot: $75,000
VAQ pilot: $125,000, VAQ NFO: $100,000
VAW/VRC pilot: $125,000, VAW NFO: $75,000
VFA pilot: $125,000, VFA NFO: $75,000
VP pilot: $75,000, VP NFO: $75,000
VQ(P) pilot: $75,000, VQ(P) NFO: $50,000
VQ(T) pilot: $75,000, VQ(T) NFO: $100,000

Applications for ACCP must be received before Aug. 31.

For more information, visit the Aviation Officer Community Manager page at

For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit

NNS140407-19. Mobile Bay Sailor Named Recipient of Master Chief Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Award

By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Donnie W. Ryan, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A first class petty officer assigned to the San Diego-based guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) was named as a recipient of the Master Chief Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Award, April 7.

Yeoman 1st Class (SW) Shankia D. Jones, a native of Albany, Ga., and a 15-year Navy veteran, has been recognized as the winner of the junior enlisted category for the prestigious female leadership award.

The announcement of Jones' selection for the award came via official naval message as part of the Navy's efforts to recognize the contributions of female service members during Women's History Month last month. The theme of this year's observance was "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment."

"I joined the military because I didn't want to become a statistic," said Jones, who is a 1998 graduate of Monroe Comprehensive High School in Albany, Ga. "I became a single mother at the age of 17 and at that age you don't know what you are doing and I didn't want to become that person back home on welfare waiting on a check."

Having been a part of the Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) in high school and having two uncles who served in the Army, she said the Navy wasn't her first choice but was glad her JROTC instructor steered her in that direction.

"I initially joined the Navy to do four years and go back to school," said Jones. "I was going to join and get my GI Bill benefits and get out, but I finished my degree in 17 months while on active duty. They gave me orders to Diego Garcia and I thought I would try that out and before I knew it I had 10 years of service."

Jones, who joined the Navy in 1998 as a cryptologic technician (administrative) and later became a yeoman as a result of the Oct. 1, 2007 rating merger, served at several shore duty stations in Florida, Diego Garcia and Bahrain before becoming a Navy recruiter.

"When I got to recruiting duty, everyone asked me who my mentor was," said Jones. "I told them I didn't need one, but after a few hiccups and even an NJP [non-judicial punishment], I found one and made a round turn at that command."

Jones said it was during this time she met Senior Chief Navy Career Counselor Katrina Foster, Senior Chief Navy Career Counselor Dwayne Benjamin and now retired Chief Electrican's Mate Tim Curry.

"Those three chiefs helped mold me into the leader that I am today," said Jones. "There were some hard times because they would be tough on me, but I loved it, and they showed me the type of chief and leader I want to be."

Jones eventually excelled at being a Navy recruiter and was even advanced to the rank of petty officer first class through the command advancement program while assigned to Navy Recruiting District Miami.

"When the Sailors would come back from boot camp and thank me for helping get them in the Navy, it meant a lot and kept me motivated," said Jones. "I would even have parents call or come by to tell me I had somehow managed to get their son or daughter to do in eight weeks what they had been trying to do for years."

When she received orders to Mobile Bay, it was the first time she had the opportunity to serve on board a Navy ship. After checking on board, she quickly earned her enlisted surface warfare specialist pin and other shipboard qualifications.

"I didn't feel like a Sailor until I got to a ship," said Jones, who now has three children and a fiance who supports her naval career. "I regret not coming to sea duty earlier in my career. When the ship pulled out on that first deployment and there was nothing around, I thought 'I really am a Sailor' for the first time."

In addition to managing the ship's administrative department during the most recent deployment, she held numerous collateral duties on board Mobile Bay including career counselor, security manager and Morale Welfare and Recreation president, and is currently serving as the ship's mess decks master-at-arms.

When it comes to leading and managing junior Sailors, Jones said she has an aggressive approach but makes it her business to help them develop an individual plan for both long and short-term success.

"I'm constantly pushing them," said Jones. "I remind them that they told me they wanted to do something and ask them what they have done to get to that goal."

Mobile Bay's senior leadership describe Jones as a consummate professional, model Sailor and a highly-valued member of the community and command.

"Petty Officer Jones has continued to excel since reporting on board, most importantly taking advantage of the opportunities available on sea duty," said Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Ernest M. Belmares, Mobile Bay's senior enlisted leader. "She is respected command wide."

According to Belmares, Jones was nominated for the award based on her superior leadership during the past year not only in her rate, but also in a variety of other positions including damage control training, duty section management and serving as the ship's mess decks master-at-arms.

Belmares also said Jones demonstrates the values of character, courage and commitment on a daily basis. This was evident when her peers elected her as the president of the ship's 40-member first class petty officers mess earlier this year.

"She is approachable, honest and fair. Most importantly, she leads by example both on and off duty," said Belmares. "She always makes time for her shipmates."

Master Chief Yeoman Anna Der-Vartanian, the trail-blazer for whom the award is named, was the first female in the armed services to achieve the rank of E-9 when she was advanced to the rank of master chief petty officer in 1959.

A native of Detroit, Der-Vartanian served a brief period in the Women's Army Corps (WAC) to support World War II before joining the Navy as part of the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) program in December 1943.

After completing Navy basic training, Der-Vartanian served in a variety of administrative and clerical positions in Washington DC, Great Lakes, Ill., and San Francisco. In 1946, she was advanced to the rank of chief yeoman.

Der-Vartanian was serving as assistant to the Global Strategy Officer at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., in 1959 at the time of her advancement to master chief and received a personal letter from then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower congratulating her on her accomplishment.

After retiring from the Navy in 1963, she joined the Central Intelligence Agency as a junior analyst and worked her way up to counterintelligence specialist. In 1991, she retired from the CIA, but returned to work as a contract employee until 2007.

Der-Vartanian died Aug. 4, 2011 at the age of 90 and was laid to rest Nov. 28 with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery among a crowd of hundreds of Sailors, family and friends who came to honor one of the Navy's leaders who helped integrate women into the military at all levels.

Mobile Bay is currently undergoing a CNO's Selected Restricted Availability in the BAE Shipyard San Diego after returning from a deployment in April 2013 and completion of eight months of follow-on sustainment operations. The ship is assigned to Commander, Carrier Strike Group 3 as part of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group.

NNS140407-20. Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Participates in Healthy Base Initiative

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

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Events at Hawaii's largest Navy Exchange and commissary, the Mall at Pearl Harbor, kicked off the Healthy Base Initiative (HBI) April 4 to promote healthy behaviors and healthy environments for military members and their families.

The event included live hula dance exercises and live music by Sailors of the Pacific Fleet Band as well as representatives from Health and Wellness and local farmers.

Navy Capt. Jeffrey James, commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, together with Air Force Col. David Kirkendall, 647th Air Base Group commander and deputy commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, were on hand in a show of military support.

"The Healthy Base Initiative could also be called the common sense initiative," said James about HBI. "It aligns what we already know about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, good nutrition, regular exercise, no tobacco use with more formal resiliency programs, such as the 21st Century Sailor, to help inform sound decision-making across a broad spectrum of subjects ranging from design of streets, sidewalks and crosswalks, to food options on base, to fitness programs offered to service members and their families."

The events were designed to promote both healthy food choices and a healthy active lifestyle.

"Today we are trying to introduce our local farm products," said Eyvinne Umemooo, Pearl Harbor commissary store director. "There are over 115 vendors that we have on the island and we get to call and order fresh products. We also want to continue supporting the Healthy Base Initiative with the Naval Health Clinic."

A new display was featured that includes fresh locally grown foods available in the produce section of the commissary. Patrons were able to taste different samples from Sugarland Farms and ask questions to farmers firsthand.

"We were invited to do this program with the commissary on promoting Hawaii grown products," said Derwin Okinaka, representative for Sugarland Farms. "Sugarland is one of the larger farms in Hawaii. We have been in Hawaii for about 30 years now, starting in Molokai growing cucumbers and since then moving to Hawaii with several different vegetables. We now grow tomatoes, bell peppers, regular cabbage, Chinese cabbage, watermelons, cucumbers from Molokai and here we are doing bananas. We have been working with the commissaries since the early 80s through different distributors."

Zumba and Hula dance exercise demonstrations offered some fun ways for people to stay active.

"It's a health alliance through DeCA, MWR, the NEX, AFFES and Health Promotions both Air Force and Navy," said James Duff, Healthy Base Initiative program representative for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. "There are various health promotions classes, MWR health classes to help loose weight, healthy eating at DECA, promoting eating healthy fruits."

Linda Stolze, a participant in the hula dance exercise, spoke about her involvement in the program.

"I am part of a team within 'Choose to Loose'," said Stolze. "And we have done hikes together and we have met at parks with equipment like weights, medicine balls and we workout outside which is awesome because we are in Hawaii and its great to get out. That has really motivated me, I still have a long way to go but I am on my way and I am going to stick with it."

The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) is a Department of Defense agency that supports more than 245 commissaries worldwide providing groceries and household supplies to members of the armed services and their families since the early 1800s.

The Healthy Base Initiative began in August 2013 as a demonstration project that examines select military installations' efforts to support improved nutritional choices, increased physical activity, obesity reduction, and decreased tobacco use. HBI is also a part of Operation Live Well, which aims to make healthy living the easy choice and the social norm across the Department of Defense.

NNS140408-12. Nominations Sought for Research Achievements in Personnel

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy's Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP), Vice Adm. Bill Moran, is seeking nominations for the Adm. Jeremy M. Boorda Award for Outstanding Integration of Analysis and Policy-making, from now until May 30.

The award recognizes outstanding research contributions to the Navy's Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education (MPTE) domain - work that impacts MPTE resources, improves MPTE processes and increases overall personnel readiness.

"The Navy relies on accurate, timely, and high-quality research to fully assess, draft, and review MPTE policies and recommended changes prior to their implementation," said Ilia Christman, technical director, MPTE Research, Modeling, Analysis and Assessments. "The Adm. Jeremy M. Boorda award provides commands with the opportunity to acknowledge and recognize the contributions of their experts who perform and provide critical analysis that directly impacts manpower, personnel, training or education policy and decisions."

The award is named for Adm. Jeremy M. Boorda, whose career included service as both CNP and Chief of Naval Operations. Boorda was known for his determination and requirement to include research and analysis in the decision-making process. As CNP, he frequently turned to the research community for advice on personnel and policy issues.

There are two award categories, military and civilian, and nominations may be from individuals or groups. Award nominations should cover research performed in calendar year 2013 that resulted in significant contributions to the MPTE domain. Applications will be considered for their relevance to the domain, implementation, benefit to the enterprise, applicability and quality of research.

Information on how to prepare and submit a nomination can be found in NAVADMIN 076/14. The points of contact are Ilia Christman at (703) 604-5757 or, or Tony Cunningham at (703) 604-5859 or

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS140408-18. Naval Academy Mid Recognized by Hospice of the Chesapeake

From Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- A Naval Academy Midshipmen received the Hospice of the Chesapeake Veteran's Service Award April 6, at the Hospice of the Chesapeake annual awards luncheon.

Midshipmen 1/C Kimberly Bernardy, from Highland, Calif., was recognized for leading the "Final Salute" program where USNA Midshipmen travel to homes and hospice centers in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County to visit and assist veterans in hospice care, and deliver to them their final salute.

The Final Salute initiative began during Bernardy's freshman (plebe) year at USNA with the assistance of Hospice of the Chesapeake's former director of Volunteer Services. Bernardy became a project leader at the hospice program her sophomore year and rapidly increased the program's visibility and participation level.

Bernardy told the assembled crowd of approximately 200 Hospice of the Chesapeake volunteers and supporters that the final salute program only took place once during her plebe year, with four Midshipmen volunteers delivering final salutes to infirmed veterans on or around Veterans Day. This year, there are more than 140 Midshipmen signed up as volunteers, and it is a year-round project. At the conclusion of her remarks, Midshipman Bernardy received a standing ovation.

"I consider being recognized by Hospice of the Chesapeake with the Veteran's Service Award as my greatest accomplishment during my four years at the Naval Academy," said Bernardy. "My experience as project leader of Final Salute has made my life much more rich and meaningful, and it is forever a part of who I am...both as a human being and a future Marine Corps officer. I plan on starting similar programs wherever I am stationed in the Marine Corps."

Bernardy estimates that she has made between 30 and 40 Final Salute visits in her four years at the Naval Academy. In addition to her leadership in the Final Salute program, Midshipman Bernardy is active in the Midshipman Action Group (MAG). MAG was established in 1992 and currently offers a variety of educational, environmental, and social service volunteer projects coordinated with community partners from the Annapolis, Baltimore, and D.C. areas. Last year, MAG and associated community service entities at USNA volunteered more than 23,000 hours in the local area and around the country.

"I was, and am very close to Grandpa and Grandma," said Bernardy. "I am who I am today because of their love and guidance. I have an obligation to honor them, as well as their peers, before they leave this world forever. My paternal grandfather, who was a WWII veteran, died before I was born. It is my way of honoring him as well."

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

NNS140408-07. NBK Fleet and Family Support Center Spread 'Good News Bears' Across Pacific Northwest

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

SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- Twelve wooden 'Good News Bears' have been put on display throughout naval installations in Kitsap County, Wash., to raise awareness for April's National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Each April, people across the country join together during National Child Abuse Prevention Month to help raise awareness of child abuse and neglect by promoting ways people can prevent these occurrences in their communities.

Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) staff on Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) created the Good News Bears as a way to spread affirmative messages to military families and to raise awareness in the military community.

"We are deploying our 'Good News Bears' throughout Naval Base Kitsap to spread positive parenting messages to military families," said Denise Clark, new parent support supervisor. "Each bear holds a heart with a special message, and we will be changing the messages weekly."

The bears are painted blue to represent the blue ribbon campaign, which symbolizes child abuse awareness and is worn in remembrance of children who have died as a result of abuse or neglect.

The bears can be found at NBK and NBK Bangor's Navy Exchange, commissary, Fleet and Family Support Centers, base gym and at Naval Hospital Bremerton.

Along with the bears, FFSC says that counseling and classes are not only for families enduring child abuse.

"Parents who feel overwhelmed while caring for their children can benefit from parenting classes or schedule home visits to help prevent possible future child abuse," said Clark. "It only takes a minute to make a difference in a child's life, so we want to build strength, courage and resilience."

National Child Abuse Prevention Month has been observed annually since 1983, nine years after the first federal child protection legislation, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, according to the Children's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information on events and available services parents are encouraged to visit

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

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1823 - The barges USS Mosquito, USS Gallinipper, and sloop-of-war Peacock chase the pirate schooner, Pilot, which is driven ashore off Havana, Cuba.
1848 - The first U.S. flag is flown over the Sea of Galilee when Lt. William F. Lynch sails in an iron boat up the Jordan River. He later authors a book, Narrative of the United States' Expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea.
1925 - Lt. John D. Price, piloting a VF-1 plane, makes a night landing on USS Langley (CV 1), at sea off San Diego, Calif., making the first night landing made on board a U.S. Navy carrier.
1944 - USS Seahorse (SS 304) and USS Trigger (SS 237) successfully attack a Japanese convoy off Guam, damaging a Japanese destroyer and a tanker.
1961 - USS Laffey (DD 724) and USS Tanner (AGS-15) assist in rescue work and firefighting after the British passenger liner Dara catches fire in the Persian Gulf.

NNS140409-06. Reduce Stress When You PCS

From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Planning ahead can be one of the biggest stress relievers when it comes to a permanent change of station (PCS) move, Fleet and Family Service Center (FFSC) officials said April 9.

"Preparation, communication and family involvement are keys to a less stressful PCS move," said Diane Brown, Work and Family Life specialist, Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC).

Sailors can use the "Plan my Move" tool on the Military OneSource website at to organize their move. It provides a three-month calendar of steps a Sailor needs to take to ensure a smooth move.

Brown says sponsors can also help reduce a Sailor's stress by finding answers ahead of time to any questions they have about their new location. Sailors who have not been assigned a sponsor should contact their gaining unit, or they can request one on the Military OneSource website with the Electronic Sponsorship Application and Training tool.

Sailors should also visit their local FFSC and meet with a Relocation Assistance Program specialist, then attend a Smooth Move class or Moving Overseas workshop to learn the basics about a PCS move and how to start the process.

"It doesn't matter whether it's their first or fifth move," Brown said. "Things change and one should be aware of those changes."

Other helpful websites include:

Housing Early Application Tool (HEAT) -
Housing Service Center locator -
Schedule your PCS move -

For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit

NNS140409-04. CNO Speaks at Sea-Air-Space Dinner About Joint Force Interdependence

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Julianne Metzger, CNO Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Chief of Naval Operations addressed 1200 military, government civilians and defense industry members at a Sea-Air-Space Exposition April 8.

During his remarks, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert broached a new topic that he called "pursuing interdependence."

"In a complicated world and facing a period of relentless demand on naval forces," Greenert said, "it's time for our services to adapt and to come together to get the most out of this period."

Greenert believes the answer to emerging threats and a pressurized budget environment is a more unified approach to the military's procurement procedures.

"We need to look at learning how to depend on each other more," said Greenert. "In the Chairman of Joint Chief's guidance, he lays it out as Joint Force Interdependence. It just doesn't exist, like it needs to exist. It's taking jointness that we have talked about for decades to another level."

Greenert went on to explain that the services work seamlessly in a variety of operations. He said the services now routinely work together with common systems, common strategies, and have achieved a large degree of joint combat effectiveness throughout history. Greenert hopes to further that cooperation to interdependent research and development with the intention of creating and implementing capabilities that can be adapted for each of the services.

"For us in the Navy, interdependence in the near term means not overspending on programs that are similar in the other services," said Greenert. "We must be willing to commit to more capabilities that are born joint and a lot of those are in weapons. We must pursue better cross talk in our research and development centers of excellence, among service labs, in industry as well as in universities."

What does this mean for industry? Greenert asked industry to help the services by giving this some thought and to help the cross service dialogue among the services in this area.

"We are responsible to provide the joint force of today and tomorrow," said Greenert in his closing. "I think evaluating our interdependence is a strategic imperative that we need to check out and see what is there. Let's give this some thought."

The Navy League's annual Sea-Air-Space Expo brings the U.S. defense industrial base, private-sector companies and crucial military decision makers together for an annual innovative, educational, professional, and maritime networking event.

NNS140409-07. Partners in Global Presence

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jymyaka Braden, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition hosted a panel of maritime officers to discuss peace and prosperity in the maritime domain, April 8.

The panelists explained how today's maritime strategies will sustain and prepare the world for the future of the fleet.

In the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, the Department of Defense highlighted the importance of partnership in defending the homeland, building global security through power projection and remaining ready should deterrence fail.

Global maritime security spans beyond individual services and nations.

According to top Navy officials global maritime partnership, that is self-regulating and without treaties is catching on with international navies.

"Water covers more than 70 percent of the world. That's just too much for one Navy," Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans, and Strategy, N3/N5B, OPNAV Rear Adm. James G. Foggo said. "Global partnerships are not just about war, but humanitarian aid and disaster relief as well."

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Budget, Director, Fiscal Management Division, OPNAV (N82) Rear Adm. William K. Lescher reflected on advice from a former commanding officer who told him to get his division heads together to figure out solve a particular issue together.

"That same philosophy is just as effective internationally as it is on a ship," Lescher said. "This isn't like adding a friend on your Facebook. These partnerships have purpose. They enable us to be more effiecient and communicate globally that we are about maritime peace."

The Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition brings the U.S. defense industrial base, private-sector U.S. companies and crucial military decision makers together for an annual innovative, educational, professional and maritime networking event.

For more information on the Sea Air Space Expo 2014, visit

NNS140409-01. USS Donald Cook to Enter Black Sea

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

SEA OF CRETE (NNS) -- The forward deployed guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) will enter the Black Sea to promote peace and stability in the region, April 10.

The U.S. Navy routinely operates ships in the Black Sea consistent with the Montreux Convention and International Law. Donald Cook's mission is to reassure NATO allies of the U.S. Navy's commitment to strengthen and improve interoperability while working toward mutual goals in the region.

While in the Black Sea, Donald Cook will participate in exercises and operations to improve interoperability, increase readiness and enhance relationships. This deployment demonstrates our commitment to working closely with Black Sea allies and partners to enhance maritime security, readiness, and naval capability.

Donald Cook is deployed in a multi-mission role in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to contribute to regional maritime security, perform search and rescue activities, support humanitarian missions, conduct bi-lateral and multi-lateral training missions, and to support NATO operations and deployments, throughout the region.

Donald Cook is the first of four Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to be forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, in support of the President's European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) to ballistic missile defense in Europe.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts a full range of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation missions in concert with coalition, joint, interagency, and other parties in order to advance 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

NNS140409-12. Sailors, Marines Participate in Bataan Death March Remembrance

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mark Hays, USS Bataan Public Affairs

GULF OF ADEN (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines participated in a 63 lap hangar-to-flight deck run and a moment-of-silence April 9, commemorating the 72-year anniversary of those lost, and those who survived the Bataan Death March.

The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) is one of two U.S. naval vessels to have borne the name "Bataan" which memorializes the valiant resistance of American and Filipino troops on the Bataan Peninsula in the dawning days of World War II and the rigorous Bataan Death March that followed in April 1942.

"It's important to remember the bravery and sacrifices of the service members who came before us," said Capt. George J. Vassilakis, commanding officer aboard Bataan. "What an honor to remember the ship's namesake while we're deployed serving our nation."

U.S. Sailors, Marines and Soldiers fought alongside Philippine forces in defense of the Bataan peninsula before surrendering to the Japanese military in April 1942.

More than 7,000 of the 72,000 prisoners of war died from exhaustion, disease and malnourishment during the 63-mile forced march from Mariveles to San Fernando, which occurred during the hottest month of the year. Also, during the march if the prisoners could not keep up due to injuries, they were shot or bayoneted. The Bataan Death March was later known as one of the most brutal war crimes of World War II.

Bataan Sailors and Marines paid their respects by volunteering to run/walk relay style to equal 63 trips up the flight deck ramp. The crew split into teams of three and each member ran the ramp 21 times. Each team completed a lap for every mile of the death march. Afterward, Sailors and Marines gathered on the ship's flight deck for a ceremony and moment-of-silence paying tribute for the sacrifice the Americans and Filipinos made those brutal days in April.

"This is an important piece of Bataan's history, said Interior Communications 2nd Class Matthew Pawlus, of Pueblo, Colo. "Sometimes you have to take a time out and remember the sacrifices that were made to have the country we have today."

Each year Bataan Sailors and Marines remember her namesake by participating in various events to pay tribute not only to the ones lost but the ones still living today. With Bataan deployed, it was no different as Sailors and Marines gathered as one unit supporting the same cause while they perform their missions each day.

"It's an honor to participate in this commemoration of the Death March," Pawlus said. "I participated last year and plan on continuing to participate each year."

Bataan is the flagship for the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, is currently 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 Bataan (LHD 5), visit

NNS140409-03. Fleet Week Sets Sail for New York City; Ships Announced

From Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Three U.S. Navy ships and two U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) cutters will participate in the 2014 Fleet Week New York, May 21-27.

U.S. Navy participating ships will include Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) and Arleigh Burke-class Aegis-equipped guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) from Norfolk, Va., and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) from Mayport, Fla.

USCG participating ships will include cutter Katherine Walker (WLM 552), the "Keeper of New York Harbor" from Bayonne, N.J. and cutter Campbell (WMEC 909) from Portsmouth, N.H.

In addition to public visitation of participating ships and military band concerts, there will be numerous exhibits and military demonstrations throughout the week showcasing the latest technology of the maritime services and the skilled expertise of our service members.

Fleet Week New York, now in its 26th year, is the city's time-honored celebration of the sea services. It is an unparalleled opportunity for the citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today's maritime services. The weeklong celebration has
been held nearly every year since 1984. It is anticipated that nearly 1,500 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen will participate.

For up-to-date information on ship locations, hours and visitation information, visit the official Fleet Week New York website at or "Like"

NNS140408-19. Former President Clinton Delivers Forrestal Lecture at Naval Academy

By Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- Former President William J. Clinton delivered remarks to the Brigade of Midshipmen, staff, faculty and guests at the Naval Academy, April 8, as a part of the 54th Annual Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference (NAFAC).

Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, immediately endeared himself to the Midshipmen in attendance by granting them all a weekend of overnight liberty at the beginning of his Forrestal lecture.

The Forrestal Lecture Series was established at the Naval Academy in 1970 in honor of the late James V. Forrestal, a former Secretary of the Navy who was instrumental in the development of the modern Navy.

Clinton's remarks were focused on the leadership challenges facing the Navy, Marine Corps and the nation in the age of interdependence on information technology. The theme of NAFAC this year is "Human Security in the Information Age." President Clinton talked about the challenges of leadership in the information age and in an interdependent environment.

"You have to find a way to build the positives and reduce the negatives of our interdependence," said Clinton. "I predict for the next 40 years, the conflicts will involve an attempt to define the terms of our interdependence."

Clinton discussed the evolution of world events and how they have played out in the information age, noting that the 2004 Sumatra tsunami was the first "internet disaster," which resulted in millions of dollars in aid being pledged for relief. Further, Clinton noted that the 2010 Haiti earthquake marked a shift in the dynamic of relief donations because people could pledge donations from their smart phones.

Clinton warned the audience that the current information environment is also full of potential peril. Political, criminal, and violent threats made possible by the Information Age not only threaten individual security also undermine the ability of states to protect its citizens.

"This technology empowers the forces of destruction," said Clinton.

Clinton ended his lecture in the same way he started, by discussing the importance of leadership during these uncertain times in the information age.

Clinton discussed the importance of the leadership legacy left by Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, a former Chief of Naval Operations, to whom Clinton awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Clinton eulogized Adm. Zumwalt after his death in 2000, and referred to Zumwalt as the "Conscience of the Navy."

"There is only one word on his (Zumwalt's) gravestone - Reformer," said Clinton as he addressed the midshipmen about the topic of reforming leadership. "I ask you to remember the theme of reforming. The future of the U.S. rests in no small measure on our ability to reform our most cherished institutions."

"We can always do better. We can always reform," said Clinton.

In closing, Clinton urged the audience to understand and appreciate the similarities between people and leaders in the world, rather than the differences as we reform leadership and meet the challenges of the information age.

"If you are trying to think about how the Navy and Marine Corps can be adjusted to meet the demands of the 21st century, it is well to remember that we have to share that future," said Clinton. "We have to create a climate of sufficient trust and sufficient coordination so that we can pay sufficient attention to what we have in common."

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NNS140409-18. Navy R&D Leadership Sign World Health Day Proclamation

By Mikelle D. Smith, Naval Medical Research Center Public Affairs

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NNS) -- Leadership from Navy Medicine Research and Development and Naval Medical Research Center attended a World Healthy Day 2014 commemoration ceremony at the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM), April 7.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) web site, the theme for this year's World Health Day is vector borne-diseases: "Small Bite, Big Threat." Vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue, affect a variety of populations, predominantly in areas where there is a shortage of access to acceptable housing, safe drinking water and sanitation. In many cases individuals that are malnourished and those with weakened immunities can become quite susceptible.

During the ceremony Dr. Richard Robbins of the Armed Services Pest Management Board read the proclamation which recognized NMRC for work in the overseas labs in Egypt, Ghana, Peru, Singapore and Cambodia as it relates to continued dedication to identify and mitigate infectious disease threats. This included honoring NMRC's development of vaccines and diagnostics for malaria, dengue and rickettsial diseases.

"Today's event ties our past and out present mission together incredibly well," said Naval Medical Research Center Commanding Officer Capt. John Sanders, during his speech following the reading of the proclamation. "We talk about the need to decrease anti-microbial resistance; stop and detect emerging and re-emerging pathogens, and to deal with these vector-borne diseases, not only for the benefit of our troops, but for the benefit of global public health ... it is a shared global health security mission."

Along with honoring Navy Medicine and NMRC contributions in the progress of vector-borne disease research, other organizations were recognized to include the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command, Regional Office of the World Health Organization, the Armed Forces Pest Management Board, and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

"You [NMHM] have captured in 'small bite, big threat" a way to convey the message that, it may not be in our backyard all the time, but it is a worldwide threat and it deserves a worldwide effort to eradicate each of these significant threats that we face," said Deputy Chief, M2, Navy Medicine Research and Development Rear Adm. Bruce Doll. "I would like to congratulate you on convening this today ... thank you for the honor of representing Navy Medicine."

Following the commemoration ceremony, Doll and Sanders received a tour of NMHM from the director Adrianne Noe. The tour included viewing museum collections relating to topics such as the human body and military medicine.

"We recognize that our mission has extended from the era of Dr. Harry Hoogstrall, the NAMRU-3 Science Director and one of the most celebrated vector biologists of the twentieth century, to today's activities in global health security," said Sanders. "I really appreciate the museum bringing us together with other military and civilian partners to celebrate that history and to rededicated ourselves to this pressing mission."

NMRC will participate in an additional NMHM event celebrating World Health Day. NMHM will open for community tours and fun activities April 12, geared toward understanding military research and development.

For more information regarding NMHM, visit

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NNS140409-14. TR Sailors Pledge to 'Step Up, Stand Out' Against Sexual Assault

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman William Spears, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) kicked off Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) with a cake-cutting ceremony and pledge-signing in the ship's wardroom, April 7.

During the event, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) team victim advocate Machinist Mate 2nd Class Brittanye Boswell spoke about what it means to her to be a victim advocate.

"I chose to become a victim advocate to help people," said Boswell. "The most rewarding part of being a victim advocate is knowing that I am helping someone."

SAPR victim advocates respond to victims of sexual assault to provide information and explain reporting options. Victim advocates also support victims during medical, investigative and legal proceedings.

During the event, Sailors were asked to pledge their commitment to stop sexual assault.

"I decided to make up the pledge 'Step up and Stand out'," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 1st Class Harrison Moorer. "For far too long, people have sat down on the issue. It was time for me to step up and stand up for what is right. These pledges are important because one person can make a difference, but many people can make a change. The more people who are involved the louder a voice we will be against sexual assault."

Throughout the month of April, TR's SAPR team will hold events to bring awareness to sexual assault.

One of the planned events will be a photo booth on the mess decks, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., where SAPR representatives will ask Sailors to make a pledge to stop sexual assault. Sailors will write this pledge on a whiteboard and pose for a photo to show that they will not stand for sexual assault.

The SAPR team will also host a 5k run later in the month to bring awareness to the problem of sexual assault in the military.

"Our goal is to bring awareness to the issue of sexual assault throughout the month of April in an effort to eradicate the problem from the military," said Chief Personnel Specialist Tia Middlebrook. "We want Sailors to have constant situational awareness. They should know that someone is there for them and that we cannot look the other way any longer."

Join the conversation with TR online at and For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt, visit

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NNS140409-17. Navy Region Southwest Commences Sexual Assault Awareness Month

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Carla Ocampo, Navy Region Southwest Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Region Southwest (NRSW) is taking steps in combating sexual assault during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).

This year's theme for SAAM 2014 is "Live Our Values: Step Up to Stop Sexual Assault." The goal is to empower each individual command to take ownership of this problem by focusing on the values fellow service members should embody day in and day out.

Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) kicked off the month by presenting SAAM commencement event April 3. The kickoff helped Sailors show their support for victims and reaffirm their commitment to promoting the Navy's culture that celebrates healthy sexuality based on dignity and respect for all. Ted Bunch, a nationally known activist and educator spoke about the underlying causes of violence and discrimination against women, and provided Sailors with tools, practical methods and strategies to understand the connection and how to positively address those social issues.

During the event NBSD Commanding Officer Capt. Curt Jones shared the importance of the month and emphasized that sexual assault is something that Sailors must commit to remove.

"At Naval Base San Diego, we are stepping up to stomp out sexual assault," said Jones. "At all levels - from our most junior Sailors to our senior leadership, we must unite to do as we say: the Navy does not tolerate sexual assault. As a commanding officer, I take the responsibility for creating a command where Sailors treat each other with dignity and respect seriously."

But NBSD is not the only one joining in the action. Installations within the Southwest Region are responding by hosting leadership training, 5k walk/runs, setting up information booths and conducting training throughout commands.

Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake Commanding Officer Capt. Richard A. Wiley signed a proclamation outlying his support for SAAM.

It reads in part:

"With leadership, dedication, and encouragement, there is compelling evidence that we can be successful in reducing sexual violence within the Navy through prevention education, increased awareness and holding perpetrators of sexual assault responsible for their actions," said Wiley. "Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake strongly supports the dedicated efforts of national, state, and local partners, to include citizens actively engaged in the prevention, awareness and response efforts surrounding sexual violence whose goals are to eradicate sexual violence."

The Navy's goal is to reduce and eliminate sexual assault by fostering a culture of prevention through education and training, which includes encouraging Sailors to take action through bystander intervention. Bystander intervention training helps Sailors understand their critical role in prevention and how they must intervene to reduce risk, stop inappropriate behavior, and report crimes.

Tenant commands like Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach show their support of bystander intervention with partnership with local Naval Criminal Investigative Service offices. NCIS hosts sexual assault prevention classes so Sailors can have a better understanding in how they can help prevent the issue.

"Sexual assault has no place in my Navy," said Cmdr. Paul Werring, executive officer, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach. "We have made important strides in sexual assault prevention awareness, but this is the time for us to really focus on this vital issue. We must work together as a team and reinvigorate our commitment to avoid the 'summer surge' of sexual assaults we experienced last year. We need to educate our Sailors on 'bystander interference' and the need to always look out for themselves and their shipmates."

Aside from training, Naval Base Coronado and Naval Air Station Lemoore have reinforced efforts to prevent and eliminate sexual assault by increasing roving barracks and beach patrols, especially during weekend hours.

NRSW is not only helping Sailors by making their bases safer, but by keeping them informed in a way that is more convenient for them.

By implementing new rules and training, the Navy has made great progress in adopting a more proactive and comprehensive approach to tackling the problem of sexual assault. Through the support of local installations like NRSW the Navy can continue to change the culture surrounding this issue.

April has been designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month for the past 10 years. The goal of the month is for individual commands to pause and reflect on what the Navy has accomplished over the past year with regard to sexual assault prevention and response and to look into the future as to how Sailors can continue to eradicate this crime from their ranks. Commands are empowered to take ownership of this problem.

For listings of SAAM-related events and activities in NRSW, visit For help or support, call the Navy Region Southwest SAPR hotline at 619-692-5909 , or the DoD Safe helpline at 877-995-5247 .

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Southwest, visit

NNS140409-13. Teal Flag Campaign Held at NSF Arlington

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Service members aboard Naval Support Facility (NSF) Arlington in Arlington, Va. held a Teal Flag Campaign to commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), April 9.

One thousand fifty-seven teal flags, each representing one Navy report of sexual assault during fiscal year 2013, were planted on the grounds of NSF Arlington all around Building 12.

Rear Adm. Sean Buck, director, 21st Century Sailor Office, opened the event with a few words for the crowd gathered.

"We continually strive to foster an environment of dignity and respect, where sexual assault is not tolerated, condoned or ignored, and where there is clear and appropriate accountability placed on all leaders at every level," said Buck.

He then read a proclamation, in part saying, "I, Rear Adm. Sean S. Buck, do hereby proclaim April 2014 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month here at Naval Support Facility Arlington, and call upon Navy personnel and their families to increase their participation in our efforts to prevent sexual assault, thereby strengthening the Navy community."

With that, Buck took one of the teal flags and planted it in the ground.

"One flag is one too many," Buck said.

The service members and civilians present planted the remaining teal flags.

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NNS140409-05. New PACDIM Ship Repair Facility Ensures Navy, Fleet Mission on Guam

By By Jesse Leon Guerrero, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- TO maintain mission readiness of the Navy and fleet assets, a ceremony was held to launch the Pacific Dry-Dock and Integrated Maintenance (PACDIM) Ship Repair Facility on U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) April 8.

PACDIM's acquisition of the facility fulfills the Navy's principle objective to ensure fleet support through sustained, viable ship repair operations on island.

"The goal of the Navy is to always be ready," said Joint Region Marianas Chief of Staff Capt. Mark Scovill. "Our instruction from our chief of naval operations is to operate forward and you can't operate forward for very long if your ships aren't ready. Having a forward ship repair capability here in Guam allows the ships that are closest to the scene of action to be in a high state of readiness."

Scovill described Guam as a symbol of the Department of Defense's commitment to maintain a forward presence in the Pacific as he spoke in front of more than 200 Cabras Marine Corporation employees, Government of Guam representatives, military officials and other guests.

PACDIM is a subsidiary of Cabras Marine Corporation and was awarded the ship repair facility contract in October 2013. The contract valued at $77 million is a one-year base period with four additional one-year options. The ship repair facility can handle vessels as large as the T-AKE class that handles dry cargo and ammunition.

Cabras Marine Corporation President Joseph Cruz said the company is focused on providing reliable, affordable and quality services to its Military Sealift Command Ship Support Unit Guam and other Navy customers.

"This is truly important as our island is strategically located to expand this service in support of the U.S. and its mission to provide a safe and secure world that we all live in," Cruz said.

Lt. Governor of Guam Ray Tenorio emphasized that the ship repair facility is increasing Guam's workforce by providing good job opportunities for local residents. The company employs nearly 220 personnel and has partnered with Guam Community College and the Guam Contractors Association Trades Academy to train 50 apprentices.

"If these men and women do their job and get their education and hone their skills and place that talent into the work that protects our nation in the vessels that are here at the ship repair facility, then we will know that we will never have to be confronted by terrorism or any kind of oppression," he said.

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

NNS140408-22. Boxer Gets a Head Start on Motorcycle Safety

By By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Conor Minto, USS Boxer Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) are gearing up for the upcoming motorcycle-riding season in Southern California, by signing up for the appropriate safety courses and getting to know their fellow riders before returning home from deployment.

Boxer's goal is to ensure all current and prospective riders receive the information they need to sign up for safety courses, which are mandated by the Navy Traffic Safety Program OPNAVINST 5100.12J.

"The goal is 100 percent rider safety," said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Wayne Hanner, from San Diego, a motorcycle rider and Boxer's motorcycle safety representative. "We want to give everyone the tools and information they need now so we can get the Sailors in the appropriate courses."

According to the Navy Safety Center, motorcycle injuries and deaths have decreased in the last five years, but there is still room for improvement.

In 2013, there were 17 Sailor motorcycle fatalities, a dramatic decrease from the 33 fatalities in 2008. Nonetheless, one fatality is too many said Cmdr. Leo Murphy, commander, Pacific Fleet's safety officer.

Hanner said Boxer currently has 59 qualified riders and 66 prospective riders.

One of those prospective riders is Quartermaster 3rd Class Braxton Klett, from Fort Madison, Iowa.

"I'm really looking forward to riding in sunny San Diego this summer," said Klett. "I know motorcycle riding has its hazards and I want to know everything I can do to avoid them."

The courses offered in San Diego are the Basic Riders Course (BRC) for new riders and the Experienced Riders Course (ERC).

The BRC and ERC are required for street bikes or cruisers. An additional course, the military sport rider course (MSRC), is required for anyone who wants to ride sport bikes.

"A common misconception about the Basic Riders Course is that they will teach you how to ride, which is incorrect," said Hanner. "The courses are meant to teach Sailors who already know how to ride about safe riding techniques and let them know about the proper safety gear they need."

Boxer is the flagship for the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

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NNS140408-21. New Commander for Navy Medicine East, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth

By Deborah R. Kallgren, Navy Medicine East Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Terry J. Moulton assumed command of Navy Medicine East and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, April 8.

Moulton previously served as deputy chief, Medical Operations, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. He will continue to serve as chief, Navy Medical Service Corps.

Moulton is a native of Nashville, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Administration from Western Kentucky University and a master's in Business Administration from Chaminade University in Honolulu. He is also a graduate of the Naval War College nonresident program.

Moulton relieved Rear Adm. Elaine C. Wagner, who commanded the medical center since Sept. 2011. Wagner will be assigned to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Falls Church, Va., serving as deputy chief, Wounded, Ill and Injured.

Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, Surgeon General of the Navy, and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, was the guest speaker. Nathan had previously served as deputy commander and commander of the Portsmouth medical center.

Nathan said, "By many statistics, this medical center has established itself as busiest in the Navy in some regards, and the busiest in the military. When you look at the business acumen that Rear Adm. Wagner has installed in this facility, as well as trying to keep things with our fleet, this is why we exist. We exist to support the fleet.

"Portsmouth is here in the fleet epicenter and it's pivotal to making sure that the most junior Sailor to the most senior leader off the deckplate and off the pier can have the full confidence that they, or their family or their crew is in great hands. You cannot concentrate on the mission if you are worried about your health or especially that of your loved ones. This place has done that and that is why we exist, to support the warfighter.

"Terry understands NavMedEast; he's been heavily involved in TRICARE throughout the years and understanding the benefit. He has been integral at BUMED as being in charge of hospital operations. So the good news for you here at Portsmouth and the regions is that Rear Adm. Moulton understands hospital metrics. He understands productivity. He understands how to get the most out of the facility.

"We have been blessed here with the command of Elaine Wagner and we're going to be blessed with the command and capabilities of Rear Adm. Terry Moulton," Nathan said.

Wagner served as commander of the medical center and the region for two and a half years.

"We've accomplished amazing things over the past 30 months, and I hope that you are as proud as I am of how far we have come as a command, as a region and as an enhanced multi-service market," Wagner said. "Together, we have made positive changes in the lives of hundreds and thousands of patients throughout Navy Medicine East who trust us with their health needs. And we've been able to improve our patients' health, while becoming more efficient and more cost-effective than ever before.

"Here in Portsmouth, here in Tidewater, and all across Navy Medicine East, it was all of you who made things better for the most deserving patients in the world," said Wagner.

"Rear Adm. Moulton is the right person to accept the mantle of responsibility of Navy Medicine East, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and the Tidewater Multi-Service Market. He will help all of you build on your success. He is someone I trust, and someone you can trust," said Wagner, "and you know that's the highest compliment that I can pay."

In a separate ceremony the day before, Wagner was presented the honor of being an honorary master chief by the Chief's Mess.

Moulton addressed the audience after reading his orders. "I have spent a few days walking around the command confirming what I already knew. I am inheriting a highly professional and caring group of individuals who work very hard to earn the trust of those we serve.

"What we do here matters," Moulton said. "We will continue to focus on a culture of safety and provide high quality health care. We will ensure alignment with Navy Medicine's strategic plan and focus on readiness, value and jointness. We will continue to provide care with compassion; will understand our costs both in the direct care and purchased care environments. We will continue to make a difference."

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth has the distinction of being the United States' first naval hospital. It has proudly served the health care and medical needs of the nation's military continuously since 1830. Seven branch clinics and two TRICARE Prime Clinics support the 296-bed main hospital.

In 2013, Navy Medicine East and its commands totaled 19,504 active duty, reserve and civilian personnel; had 5,197,789 patient encounters and 407,247 enrolled beneficiaries; 306 Individual Augmentees deployed around the world.

The region comprises Naval Medical Center Portsmouth; Naval Hospital Pensacola, Fla.; Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Fla.; Naval Health Clinic Corpus Christi, Texas; Naval Hospital Beaufort, S.C.; Naval Health Clinic Charleston, S.C.; Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point, N.C.; Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, North Chicago, Ill.; Naval Health Clinic New England, Newport, R.I.; Naval Health Clinic Annapolis, Md.; Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River, Md., Naval Health Clinic, Quantico, Va.; Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Naval Hospital Sigonella, Italy; Naval Hospital Naples, Italy; Naval Hospital Rota, Spain; and Naval Dental Clinic Camp Lejeune/2nd Dental Battalion.

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NNS140408-20. Innovation and Supporting the Warfighter

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jymyaka Braden, Defense Media Activity Navy

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition hosted a panel of maritime officers to discuss innovations and supporting the warfighter, April 8.

Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder said the goal is for the U.S. service team to always have the advantage.

"I don't ever want our Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen in a fair fight. I want them to always have the technological advantage. We owe it to them," Klunder said.

Some of those advantages include modular designed communication devices, laser weapon technology, smart helicopters, robots and the electromagnetic railgun.

Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command, Chief of Supply Corps Rear Adm. Jonathan A. Yuen said one key to that is logistics.

"When people think innovation, you're probably thinking logistics. You're thinking about all these wicked cool systems that were just described," Yuen said.

"We're talking about innovations in the way we look at complex systems and adjusting them to work more efficiently and effectively," Yuen continued.

He explained that adjustments are in place to make the Navy's logistic system for shipping household work more similar to its commercial counterparts.

"What makes us different is we do really focus on quality of service. It underscores the importance of what the CNO [Chief of Naval Operations] calls quality of work, quality of life," Yuen said.

Navy leadership said changes are in place to improve the way Sailors ship and receive tools, training and supplies.

The Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition brings the U.S. defense industrial base, private-sector U.S. companies and crucial military decision makers together for an annual innovative, educational, professional and maritime networking event.

For more information on logistics and quality of life go to

For more information on the Sea-Air-Space Expo 2014,

For more stories on future warfighting technologies check out

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

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1848 - A party of men from the sloop-of-war USS Dale march 12 miles inland from Guaymas, Mexico, to capture and spike a 3-gun Mexican battery that was firing at other ships.
1959 - The first seven Mercury astronauts are selected: Lt. Cmdr. Walter M. Schirra, Lt. Malcom S. Carpenter, Marine Lt. Col. John Glenn Jr., and Lt. Cmdr. Alan B. Shepard.
1941 - USS North Carolina (BB-55) is commissioned. Some of the notable battles she participates in are the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, the Battle of Philippine Sea, and gunfire support during the Iwo Jima invasion.
1943 - Due to World War II, the rank of commodore is reestablished as a temporary rank.
1944 - TBMs and FM-2s (VC 58) from USS Guadalcanal (CVE 60), USS Pillsbury (DE 133), USS Pope (DE 134), USS Flahetry (DE 135), and USS Chatelain (DE 149) sink German submarine U 515.

NNS140411-02. USS Lake Erie Visits Osaka

By Ensign Austin Kim, USS Lake Erie Public Affairs

OSAKA, Japan (NNS) -- Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) arrived in Osaka, Japan for a scheduled port visit April 10.

The visit is designed to strengthen maritime partnerships with Japan and to enhance community relations with the city of Osaka.

"This isn't just a port visit for Lake Erie, it's a reflection of our commitment to a bilateral union between the U.S. and Japan," said Capt. John Banigan, Lake Erie's commanding officer.

While in Osaka Sailors will have an opportunity to participate in a variety of community service projects and tours.

"I've always wanted to travel to Osaka," said Sonar Technichian (Surface) 1st Class Ronald Winfrey. "I love Japan and I've heard that Osaka is a unique city with exceptional local dishes."

Lake Erie is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

NNS140411-09. Ghana, US Maritime Forces Complete Combined Maritime Law Enforcement Operation

By Meghan Patrick Henderson, USNS Spearhead Public Affairs

SEKONDI, Ghana (NNS) -- Ghanaian and U.S. maritime forces completed a three-week combined maritime law enforcement operation as part of African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP), April 11.

During the operation, the combined U.S.-Ghana boarding team was able to board three fishing vessels that were fishing illegally in Ghanaian waters. A fisheries agent from the Fisheries Commission of Ghana, embedded with the combined boarding team, recorded six infractions under Ghana fisheries regulations for these vessels, which could lead to potential fines of up to $2 million once the cases go through the Ghanaian judicial system.

"This joint exercise has improved the professional competence of the maritime security agencies and also interagency collaboration," said Commodore Godson Zowonoo, flag officer commanding of the Western Naval Command and 2 Garrison commander. "Ghana's joint boarding team will be at sea very often to ensure that the knowledge acquired is utilized."

U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard members involved in the operation felt privileged to serve alongside their Ghanaian counterparts and to work toward a more secure maritime environment.

"This operation was successful as a result of collaboration and professionalism of all involved," said Navy Capt. Marc Lederer, mission commander of Spearhead's Africa Partnership Station deployment. "Efforts such as these, which focus on active patrolling, interagency and maritime governance, go a long way in increasing the capabilities of our maritime forces to ensure economic security and sustain global trade in these waters."

Operations were conducted from the U.S. Navy's joint, high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1). Spearhead also assisted in escorting the violators to Ghana's Western Naval Command in Sekondi, Ghana, where Ghanaian naval forces took custody of the vessels to enforce follow-on judicial actions.

The combined boarding team consisted of Ghanaian navy and marine police personnel, a Ghana fisheries agent, and members of a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment.

Operations were conducted in close coordination with the Maritime Operations Center (MOC) at the Western Command Naval Base. Two U.S. Coast Guard operations specialists were embedded in the MOC to work alongside their Ghanaian counterparts to improve command and control of naval units and to enhance maritime domain awareness.

Ghana participants in AMLEP acknowledged the success of the operation and recognized the important skill sets that were gained as a result.

"The Americans and Ghanaians worked well together as one team," said Ghanaian navy Sub Lt. Evans Blay Enwunli. "This experience and exchange of practices helps us all identify more tools to more successfully protect fishing [and other maritime threats] in Ghana's waters in the future."

U.S. Coast Guard personnel enjoyed working with their Ghanaian counterparts and credited them with mission accomplishment.

"The Ghanaians were the first aboard the vessels," said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Jeff Deitell, the officer in charge of the U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment, who joined the team for several of the boardings. "They led everything and projected a strong, clear Ghanaian voice to conduct law enforcement."

Not only was the U.S.-Ghana AMLEP helpful for the military forces, but it also aided the interagency dynamics that are involved in fisheries management, said the fisheries representative. The fisheries representative worked directly in tandem with Ghana navy and marine police personnel.

"[This operation] gives us an opportunity to not just work alongside American forces, but to bring many Ghanaian forces together," said Josephine Laryea, a representative from the Fisheries Commission of Ghana embarked aboard the ship. "This was rewarding because the new team we've created brings more perspective to our collective Gulf of Guinea activity."

AMLEP, the operational phase of Africa Partnership Station (APS), brings together U.S. Navy, U.S. Coastguard, and respective Africa partner maritime forces to actively patrol that partner's territorial waters and economic exclusion zone with the goal of intercepting vessels that may be involved in illicit activity. The program aims to enforce partner nation maritime law, follow-on prosecution, so that African partners will benefit from revenue that comes from judicial processes.

AMLEP is a key operational milestone during Spearhead's maiden deployment. Spearhead is deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet area in support of the APS program and maritime security operations.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts a full range of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation missions in concert with coalition, joint, interagency, and other parties in order to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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NNS140411-12. Fleet Challenge 2014 Winners Announced

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason Kofonow, Defense Media Activity

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Fleet Challenge 2014 wrapped up its annual anti-submarine warfare competition April 10 at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

This year's winners were the allied P-8A Poseidon aircrew from the Pro's Nest of Patrol Squadron (VP) 30, followed closely in second place by VP-4 Skinny Dragons flying the P-3C, and third place taken by a VP-5 Mad Fox crew in a P-8A.

"Fleet Challenge was a great, challenging experience and a superb opportunity to fly together as a British crew on a real submarine target," said Royal Air Force Master Aircrewman Mark Utting from VP-30. "As with all anti-submarine warfare flights you have to remain flexible, and the submarine never does what you think it will. That being said, we had planned for all eventualities and the sortie went well."

Fleet Challenge 2014, also known as the "ASW rodeo," saw seven aircrews from the three maritime patrol and reconnaissance wings, a fleet replacement squadron and the allied aircrew attached to VP-30 compete against each other in the seven-day event. This year's competition marked the first time the P-8A Poseidon flew along with the P-3C Orion.

"Any time we have our foreign partners able to compete with us, we learn something. They do things maybe a little bit differently," said Cmdr. Mike Granger, the officer in charge of the Navy's Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Weapons School. "From maybe just the way that they coordinate a crew, to the way they mission plan or actual procedures for tracking the submarine - that is the biggest thing we learn with having them with us, and we throw in the camaraderie and the ability to talk across the water, if you will, with our partners. It builds those bonds that we can go and continue to learn from."

"Our allied crews often bring years of continuous ASW experience to the training equation, in the classroom and in the air," said Capt. Curt Phillips, the commanding officer of VP-30. "This is precisely why we have them embedded in our Fleet Replacement Squadron, training our newest operators in the art of ASW, which is a perishable skill without continuous honing in both simulators and on actual live targets."

Fleet Challenge 2014 tested aircrews on mission planning, optimized tactics, crew training as well as implementation of past lessons learned in determining the most effective maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircrew.

"We've had the individual wings compete, so they hold their own local ASW 'rodeo' against all their home squadrons and they take their best crew and they send them here," said Granger. "The wings in Hawaii, Whidbey Island and Jacksonville picked their best crew and they brought them here."

The competition tested crews in a simulator scenario and actual flight operations against USS Springfield (SSN 761), which acted as an opposing force.

"What we try to incorporate are things that we've seen, things that have challenged our actual crews deployed around the world and we incorporate those into the scenarios," said Granger. "We have the simulator scenarios built around recent world events. We have the submarine challenge them in ways that we've seen actual submarines on deployment behave, and we're able to put those together for these crews to experience, bring back to their home squadrons, their wings and spread that training out.

"Obviously, finding out we had won was just fantastic, but credit should be given to all the crews on all of the squadrons," said Utting. "I hope we get to take part in the challenge next year."

The Navy's ASW Fleet Challenge exercise has been held every year since 2007, with the exception of 2013, when it was cancelled due to budgetary restraints.

NNS140411-17. Sailors Man the Rails as Fiesta San Antonio Gets Underway

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist L.A. Shively

SAN ANTONIO (NNS) -- Fiesta San Antonio got underway April 10 with Sailors from area commands on board for the kickoff event "Fiesta Fiesta" in front of the Alamo.

Fiesta San Antonio is 18 days this year, April 10-27. Previously the festival was 11 days and is an annual celebration that honors the memories of Col. William Travis, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and 200 others who gave their lives, during the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, defending Texas against Mexican Gen. Antonio Lpez de Santa Anna and his army.

Pulsing electronic dance music accompanied by shouts of "viva fiesta" echoed through the crowd of several thousand, some decked out in five-foot tall Mexican hats festooned with neon plumes, sparkly flowers, ribbons and glitter.

As they walked through the enthusiastic crowd, Sailors from Navy Medicine Education and Training Command, Navy Recruiting District San Antonio and Navy Medicine Training Support Center (NMTSC) were met with cheerful handshakes and many "thankyous for your service."

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class David Cryan and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Caleb Van Zandt stood in the center of the attention of Escaramuza 'Rosas de Castilla,' a non-profit group that trains and educates women and girls about the Hispanic culture and competitive equestrian skills riding side-saddle. Escaramuza 'Rosas de Castilla' took first place in last year's Fiesta Battle of Flowers Parade.

Cryan, an instructor with the Basic Medical Technician and Corpsman Program, said he is absolutely enjoying Fiesta, especially since it is outside. Cryan said that it was important for him and Sailors to spend time in the community.

"We represent the Navy and hopefully they are proud of us and want to learn about us and about our history," Cryan said.

"We're here to support the community and do some good," agreed Van Zandt, currently a member of NMTSC's support staff. "They really didn't know what a Navy uniform was, but over the three years I've been here I've seen an immense change and they've really welcomed us in."

Though traditionally an Army and Air Force town, Navy presence has grown rapidly in San Antonio as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment Act and the recent addition of the Medical Education Training Campus at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston which consolidated enlisted medical training for the Navy, Army and Air Force.

It's important all of the time for our Sailors to be represented in the community that we serve," said Cmdr. Corry Juedeman, commanding officer for NRD.

Juedeman pointed out that the summer white Navy uniform and its traditions and history are very recognizable in large crowds and attracts lots of attention from the public.

"The crowd just goes crazy at an event like this and especially during the parades," she said.

"Having the military here helps out the community and it's great for the economy," said Nancy Kerr, who retired from the Air Force as a master sergeant.

"Anyone who puts on a uniform, whether its white, green or blue - they are military - we are proud of them and we want them here," said J. Sean Habina, who retired from both the Air Force as a major and from the Texas State Guard as a lieutenant colonel.

"San Antonio knows how to take care of our military."

Fiesta San Antonio is celebrating its 124th anniversary, making it the third longest running festival in the U.S. behind Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the Festival of Roses in Southern California. Fiesta is also the 10th largest annual event in the nation, now averaging more than 3.5 million participants per year.

For more news from Navy Medicine Education and Training Command, visit

NNS140411-08. Naval Forces Stand Ready Despite Threat of Sequestration

By Claudette Roulo, American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Forward presence is the Navy's mandate, the vice chief of naval operations told a House panel April 11.

Naval forces remain on watch around the globe as more than a decade of conflict and extended stability operations draw to a close, Navy Adm. Mark E. Ferguson III told members of the readiness subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.

"Our forward-deployed forces are where it matters, when it matters," he said.

In the past year, America's naval forces have helped shape events and provided immediate options to the president during times of crisis around the globe, Ferguson said.

"Our global presence reassures our allies and partners, deters aggression and provides a ready response to humanitarian crises," he said. "It confronts piracy and supports counterterrorism operations from the sea."

With the signing of the Bipartisan Budget Act, the Navy was able to improve its forward operations and readiness in fiscal year 2014, the admiral said.

"Through the remainder of this fiscal year, we are restoring fleet training, maintenance and operations, and we'll recover a substantial portion of our ship maintenance backlog," he noted.

If the Navy's fiscal year 2015 budget request is fulfilled - and if overseas contingency operations funds are approved - Ferguson said, the service will have the resources necessary to train, maintain and operate its planned fleet structure.

The combined funds will also sustain the required levels of readiness to support the adjudicated Global Force Management Allocation Plan for naval forces, the admiral added.

Even if the budget request is fully funded, he said, the Navy will make some cuts in light of reduced funding from its proposed budget request last year, including a reduction of nearly 80 aircraft and 3,500 weapons.

"To remain a balanced and ready force across the Future Year's Defense Plan, this budget proposes slowing cost growth and compensation of benefits, maintaining the option to refuel or inactivate one aircraft carrier and a carrier air wing," Ferguson said.

The proposed budget also puts 11 guided missile cruisers and three dock landing ships into a phased modernization period, the admiral told the committee.

"This phased modernization approach, while fiscally driven, will reduce force structure risk in the 2030s and beyond by extending the service life of these ships," he noted.

The Navy strove to reset while simultaneously conducting a decade of high-tempo operations, Ferguson said. It will take about five years beyond the end of Operation Enduring Freedom to complete the reset of the force, he said.

The length of this period reflects unique ship depot maintenance demands, which are limited by operational schedules and the capacity of the Navy's depot infrastructure, the admiral explained.

"Our budget request also proposes lower investment in our shore infrastructure," he said.

"We are mindful that this backlog will compound over time and must eventually be addressed. Accordingly, we will continue to aggressively pursue opportunities, such as reprogramming our realignment of funds in the year of execution to modernize and sustain our shore facilities," Ferguson said.

As the Navy looks to the future, the specter of sequestration looms large, he said.

A return to sequestration-level spending in fiscal year 2016 and beyond will lead to a Navy that would be insufficient in size and capability to meet the needs of the country, the admiral said.

"Under that scenario, additional force structure reductions would be required to fund adequate readiness of the remaining force. Under sequestration, further reductions in procurement, in maintenance training and operations would be required and damage to the industrial base would likely be severe," he said.

Despite these challenges, the nation is fortunate to have the highest quality force in its history, Ferguson said.

"These outstanding men and women who serve our nation at sea make us the finest Navy in the world," he said.

NNS140411-06. GW Hosts Ceremony to Remember Genocide, Holocaust

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

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The History and Heritage Committee aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) held a Holocaust remembrance ceremony on the ship's mess deck, April 10.

Cmdr. Ronnie Citro, the dental officer aboard George Washington, served as a guest speaker and urged Sailors to remember and reflect upon one of the most tragic events in world history.

"It's critical that we remember such tragic events," said Citro. "We must remind ourselves to never become indifferent to the suffering of others."

The ceremony also included a video titled, "Why We Remember the Holocaust." It showed the damage that the Holocaust left upon humanity and stressed the importance of acting quickly against genocides.

"This is also a moment to honor those who were brave enough to stand up and put an end to the [Holocaust]," said Seaman Apprentice Tyler Derreberry, from Asheville, N.C. "The ceremony really showed how blessed we are to live in a country were we have the strength to stand up and fight such horrific acts."

George Washington's History and Heritage Committee held the ceremony in accordance with the annual eight-day period designated by United States Congress for civic commemorations and special educational programs that help citizens remember and draw lessons from the Holocaust.

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

NNS140411-03. USS Tucson Holds Change of Command Ceremony

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Khor, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The commanding officer of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Tucson (SSN 770) passed forward his duties April 10, in a time-honored change of command ceremony at the submarine piers on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Cmdr. Michael Beckette relieved Cmdr. James "Ted" O'Harrah.

O'Harrah said he is proud of having had the opportunity to be in command of Tucson and working with a fantastic team of Sailors.

"Leading you all has been the most rewarding and humbling honor of my career," said O'Harrah of his crew. "You are all heroes in my book. You are the best there is. You kept us at sea for missions of unprecedented length and I cannot thank you enough. I want you to know that what you do everyday matters and has been of tremendous value to aiding in our national security. Thank you for what you do."

During his 37 months in command, O'Harrah took his submarine and crew on two Western Pacific tours, one Eastern Pacific tour, and numerous shorter underway periods, totaling nearly 600 days at sea, and steaming more than 150,000 miles.

The ceremony's guest speaker, retired Navy captain Kevin Peppe, praised O'Harrah for a job well done.

"I know you had a great deal of trust and confidence in my shipmate," said Peppe to the families and supporters on the pier. "On behalf of all of you sitting here and on behalf of the crew I am just going to say for you, thank you Ted."

During the ceremony, O'Harrah was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his command of Tucson from January 2011 to April 2014.

As Beckette assumed command of Tucson, he thanked O'Harrah for turning over a great ship, and an even greater crew.

"I could not be more honored to lead such a fine crew of submarine warriors whose professionalism and expertise have truly honored the legacy of our World War II Pacific submarine crews," said Beckette. "I am humbled to take over as your commanding officer and continue Tucson's history of excellence."

Tucson is the second ship of the U.S. Navy to bear the name of the Arizona city. It is the 59th Los Angeles-class attack submarine and the 20th of the improved Los Angeles-class attack submarine to be built. Twelve vertical-launch missile tubes for Tomahawk cruise missiles provide Tucson with great offensive capability. Retractable bow planes give the ship increased maneuverability and under ice surfacing potential.
For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit

NNS140411-15. NWC Announces: Stockton Center for the Study of International Law

From U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Walter E. "Ted" Carter Jr, president, U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, R.I., announced April 11, the approved renaming of NWC's International Law Department to NWC's Stockton Center for the Study of International Law.

The renaming serves as an opportunity to capture the NWC's rich history of international law and instill a sense of heritage to students, staff and faculty.

Rear Adm. Charles Herbert Stockton is recognized as the Navy's first uniformed expert in international law.

Since 1884, international law has been proudly taught on the deckplates of NWC. In 1891, Stockton was assigned to NWC and lectured on international law, authored a book on international law, wrote the first code of law of naval warfare and began a tradition of uniformed legal officers at NWC. In 1898, Stockton returned to Newport and served as President NWC until 1901.

In 1951, a Chair of Law was established at NWC and in 1967, the Secretary of the Navy designated it the Stockton Chair. Today, it is considered the most senior chair of international law and conflict studies in the world.

For more news from Naval War College, visit

NNS140411-16. Sexual Assault Reports: Week of March 31 - April 6

From the Office of the Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- This week's overview of alleged sexual assaults is compiled based on twelve initial reports across the Navy from March 31 - April 6.

This time frame reflects only the receipt of the initial reports; one of these reported incidents also occurred during this period. Every one of these reports will be fully investigated. Looking at this snapshot in time, we see the following:

* Four reports come from events that occurred on-base and eight from events that occurred off-base.

* Twelve of the alleged offenders were male and one was unknown. The vast majority were known to their alleged victims. Three were petty officers, four were E-3 and below, two were civilians, and four were unknown.

* Seven of the reported incidents are alleged to be service member on service member.

* Among the alleged victims, two were petty officers, four were E-3 and below, two were civilians, and four were unknown. Of these reported, eleven were female and one was male.

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

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

NNS011216-11. This Day in Naval History - April 11

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1783 - Congress declares the end of the American Revolution.

1900 - Navy accepts its first submarine, USS Holland (SS 1)

1945 - The kamikaze attacks continue during the Okinawa Campaign, damaging the following US Navy ships: USS Missouri(BB 63), USS Bullard(DD 660), USS Kidd(DD 661), USS Enterprise(CV 6), USS Essex(CV 9) and USS Hale(DD 642), USS Black(DD 666) and USS Hank(DD702).

1970 - Apollo 13 is launched, commanded by Navy Capt. James A. Lovell. The ship endures an explosion forcing an immediate return to Earth. Recovery is by helicopters from
USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2).

1991 - The U.N. Security Council declares a formal cease-fire ending the Persian Gulf War.

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