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

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

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

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

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

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


Photos of the 2014 Branson Reunion

Texas Mini Reunion 2015

We had a great time in San Marcos April 23-26th. It is always wonderful to see shipmates and members of their families. Everyone congregated by the pool to catch up. When dinner time rolled around we headed for Grin's. That is a place but we all had grins. The food was great and we had a fun waitperson.

Friday dawned without any rain and we headed for Gruene a small German “town” a few miles away. Some of us went a few miles out of the way but we all managed to get there. We visited Gruene Hall the oldest operational dance hall in Texas. Most of the great country music stars have played there. We had a wonderful relaxed lunch at the Green River Grill. Shopping was mostly Texas related. We had an “extended” dinner at Las Cucos. It took forever but the food was good when we finally got it.

Saturday was also nice and we split up to see what San Marcos had to offer. At the square downtown some of us ran across a farmers market and an arts and craft market. Strolled the square and ate at Cafe on the Square. We also came across an old fashioned five and dime plus everything under the sun store. One of those you have to see to believe it places. That afternoon most of the guys went back to telling sea stories by the pool and the intrepid shoppers headed for three outlet malls. These places were huge. Really Texas sized. We did our darnedest and managed to buy 13 pairs of shoes during the weekend. For dinner we ordered pizza form a local pizza place and ate by the pool.

Sunday morning came too soon. It was time to say goodby until the national reunion in Washington D.C. in September. Many thanks to Melba Andersen for putting the reunion together. Also thanks to Leslie Stessel for taking lots of photos.

Those Attending were James and Doris Miller, Terry and Linda Holmes, Eric and Melba Andersen, Leslie and Mary Ann Stessel, Bob and Ola Smith, Brent Hammer, Jack and Kathy Kilcrease and daughter Kathy, Dennis Chapman, Jay Bowman and Vicky Dobbs, David Crain and his mom Betty, Joey and Geneva Palermo, George and Molly Maharias, Mark Juanez, Ross Leonard and Linda Purcell.

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

Important and Interesting USS Constellation Scrapping Links

USS Constellation Last Voyage Site

Voyage of the Carbon Foss

Brooklyn Navy Yard Tribute Wall

Click Here for our 2014 Memorial List Page


Recent Navy News:

NNS150518-12. Navy Lays Keel for PCU Indiana

From Team Submarine Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy held a keel laying ceremony for the Virginia-class submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Indiana (SSN 789) at Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News Shipbuilding, May 16.

The initials of the submarine's sponsor, Diane Donald, were welded onto a steel plate that will be permanently affixed to the submarine. Donald is the wife of retired Adm. Kirkland Donald and a long serving member of the Submarine Force spouse organization. She actively supported, organized and ran charity events and projects to raise funds for the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation and other worthy organizations.

"The Indiana keel laying is an important construction milestone for us and our shipbuilding partners," said Rear Adm. David Johnson, program executive officer for Submarines. "This ceremony continues to demonstrate the collaboration between the Navy and our partners to ensure we are building a capable and affordable ship to defend our country."

Indiana began construction in September 2012 and is on track to continue the Virginia class program's trend of delivering submarines early to their contract delivery dates, within budget and ready for tasking by the fleet.

Indiana is the 16th submarine of the Virginia class and the sixth of the eight ship Block III construction contract. Virginia-class submarines are built under a unique teaming agreement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding. So far, 28 Virginia-class submarines have either been delivered, are in construction, or are under contract.

Ships of the Virginia class embody the commitment by the Navy and industry to reduce costs without decreasing capabilities through a multi-year procurement strategy, continuous improvements in construction practices and cost-reduction design changes. These submarines excel in littoral and open-ocean environments and collect intelligence critical to irregular warfare efforts with advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS150518-21. Eager Lion 2015: A Demonstration of Navy-Marine Corps Integration

By Ensign Seth Koenig, United States Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs

AQABA FREE ZONE, Jordan (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are using this year's Eager Lion exercise to experiment with a new evolution of sea-to-land command.

Eager Lion is an annual multinational military simulation exercise hosted and led by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

For the first time, the exercise employs a single Coalition Forces Land and Maritime Component Command (CFLMCC), combining what have long been separate commands overseeing land and maritime components, respectively.

Traditionally, one component commander oversees U.S. forces up to a given shore and another one plots the course once boots touch earth. The CFLMCC concept combines the littoral waters with the coastal land to create a seamless battle space under one commander.

In Eager Lion, U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Burke Whitman -- working arm-in-arm with Brig. Gen. Khaled Al Sharah of Jordan's King Talal 3rd Mechanized Brigade -- is serving as CFLMCC.

Whitman said the CFLMCC approach personifies the U.S. Navy's and Marine Corps' commitment to working as an integrated sea-land force after several years in which the global political landscape forced the two historically close branches to often work apart.

The experimentation comes as a natural response to the call for greater interoperability included in the maritime services' recently published Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower and the Marine Corps Expeditionary Force 21, as well as the Marine Corps' 36th Commandant's Planning Guidance.

Less officially, the exercise continues the Marine Corps and Navy's long tradition of workshopping new approaches and concepts to best stay prepared for the next crisis.

"Over the last decade or more, we've been involved with the longest-ever land campaign for the Marine Corps, in Iraq and Afghanistan," Whitman said. "We have an opportunity now to get back to our naval roots and enhance integration initiatives.

"A great, great percentage of the world's population is in places that we can easily reach from the sea," he continued. "What we're doing with the CFLMCC is really just one great tangible implementation of a return to much more intense and regular Navy and Marine Corps naval integration."

During Eager Lion 2015, Whitman and Al Sharah have been able to see what that integration looks like across a range of simulated scenarios involving a fictitious enemy force. The exercise is taking place in multiple locations throughout Jordan, where the allied forces face challenges to border security, command and control, cyber defense and battle space management.

With CFLMCC orchestrating, multiple joint forces are acting in concert across wide expanses of varied terrains in response to simulated crises. While members of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) counter an armed incursion by fictitious invaders in one area, members of the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SP-MAGTF) embark on an embassy reinforcement and possible non-combatant evacuation in another. Meanwhile, Commander, Task Force 56, under U.S. Navy Capt. Jeffrey McCauley, works with the Royal Jordanian Navy to control the Port of Aqaba, countering piracy and maintaining lines of supply and communication for the CFLMCC operation by sea.

"This makes us a much more powerful leverage tool for the president and for the combatant commanders to use," Whitman said. "We need to be a fluid team at all levels: From Marines living aboard ships and Navy guns firing in response to Marine calls, all the way up to the component staff level."

U.S. Marine Corps Col. Stephen Lewallen, deputy commander of Marine Forces Central Command (FWD) and the CFLMCC chief of staff during Eager Lion, said the expansion of the component command battle space into the littorals "enhances flexibility" and allows a single commander to quickly maneuver forces as necessary on approach to shore.

"What we're doing is the next logical step toward improving naval integration between the Marine Corps and Navy," Lewallen said.

About 10,000 total military personnel are participating in the exercise.

In addition to Jordan and the U.S., other nations participating in Eager Lion include: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, France, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Additionally, NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps is scheduled to participate in the exercise.

NNS150518-20. 28 Years After the Stark Attack, Sun Sets on FFG

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson, USS Kauffman Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Twenty-eight years following the attack on the guided-missile frigate USS Stark (FFG 31), the last of her kind carries out the final mission for the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates.

Only commissioned for a few months prior to the Stark attack, the guided-missile frigate USS Kauffman (FFG 59) was one of the U.S. Navy's newest ships at the time of the attack.

"Even though the attack on Stark happened before most of our crew was born, we all serve in their memory," said Cmdr. Michael Concannon, commanding officer, Kauffman. "Our final deployment is serving as an ongoing legacy to everyone that has served on a Perry class frigate."

Kauffman's decommissioning marks the end of the legacy of Stark but not the memory. Every year since an Iraqi Exocet missile struck Stark during the Gulf War, Naval Station Mayport holds a memorial service on base, following the tradition that was established by President Ronald Reagan when he delivered the original eulogy in honor of the 37 Sailors killed and 21 wounded.

The way Kauffman carries on the memory of Stark's sacrifice isn't through vigils or wreaths. It's through service. In the final months of its life, Kauffman patrols South American and Caribbean waters every day to thwart the northern flow of illicit smuggling.

The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Kauffman is currently deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations in support of Operation Martillo.

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

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

NNS150518-19. Energize Your Day - Wake Up With a Shake

By Lt. Jason Valadao, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton Family Medicine Resident

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- Many people are averse to the idea of a totally liquid meal for breakfast, but I challenge you to try starting your day off with a nutrient-balanced shake. You don't need a pricey blender to make a nutritious shake that will keep your stomach full and your body energized throughout the day. A simple blender will do the trick.

The best part about liquid nutrition is that it is often easier to digest, you can pack more nutrients into a smaller area, and the things you can create are endless. Trust me, even people who say they dislike many foods might think twice once those foods are combined with others in a simple, nearly effortless creation.

There is so much you can do when it comes to creating a smoothie or protein/energy shake. The best advice I can offer is to try an assortment of ingredients that offer nutrients from multiple food groups. Stock up your refrigerator and freezer with some great food and fill the pantry with some dry goods that will help you invent some great meals in less than 5 minutes.

For the following shake ideas, you can substitute anything you wish, from the liquid to a spice, herb, protein powder, etc. Add just the amount of the various items that you deem appropriate. And, don't be surprised if you will need to make more to share with others at home and at work! These are just some of the things that I have tried, and continue to enjoy.

Here are a few ideas-and some of my personal favorites-to get you started.

The Teal Banana
- 16 oz. Almond Milk
-1/2 cup frozen blueberries
-1/2 frozen banana
-1 cup frozen spinach
-3 tablespoons Chia seeds
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1 serving protein powder
-2 tablespoons raw Cacao powder

Berry Tropical Surprise
-16 oz. Almond Milk
-1/2 cup frozen strawberries
-1/2 cup frozen mango
-1 cup frozen spinach
-1 cup frozen kale
-3 tablespoons Chia seeds
-1 serving protein powder
-1/4 cup Greek Yogurt

-16 oz. Almond Milk
-1 frozen banana
-1 cup frozen spinach
-1 cup frozen kale
-3 tablespoons Chia seeds
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1 serving protein powder
-1 tablespoon peanut butter
-2 tablespoons raw Cacao powder

Berry, Berry, Green
-16 oz. Almond Milk
-1/2 cup frozen strawberries
-1/2 cup frozen blueberries
-1 cup frozen spinach
-1 cup frozen kale
-3 tablespoons Chia seeds
-1 serving protein powder
-1 tablespoon of almond butter

SIDEBAR: Nutrition Fast Facts

Kale (per 1 cup): 1 grams of protein; 1 gram of fiber; vitamins A, C, K, and folate, a B vitamin important for brain development; minerals including potassium, calcium, and zinc.

Spinach (per 1 cup): 1 gram of protein; 1 gram of fiber; vitamins A, C, K, and folate; minerals including iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

Chia Seeds (per 2 tablespoons): 9 grams of protein; 19 grams of fiber; omega-3 fatty acids; vitamins C and niacin, a B vitamin; minerals including calcium, iron, phosphorous, and potassium.

For more news from Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, visit

NNS150518-18. Center for Service Support Launches Improved NKO Portal

From Center for Service Support Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Sailors in administration, logistics and media ratings now have a new and improved way to access training and advancement material. Center for Service Support (CSS) launched a new Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) portal on April 11.

According to the center, the new and improved CSS NKO portal is now "live". It is streamlined, easy to use, and updated with the latest administration, logistics, and media rating information. Though online search engines provide web search results, the information is not always current. The CSS NKO portal is updated frequently with the latest course information, Personnel Qualification Standards (PQS), rate training manuals (RTM), learning and development roadmaps (LaDR), and many other curricula updates.

"The old CSS NKO presence was antiquated, cumbersome to navigate, and had not been given a face lift for many years. An update was well overdue." said Cmdr. Jason Endress, CSS director of operations. "Now CSS can be proud to provide young Sailors, customers, and stakeholders a one-stop shopping experience where they can find a plethora of curricula information in a more user-friendly format. In the end, everyone benefits from the result."

The CSS NKO portal can be accessed by logging onto NKO, and then from the upper dropdown menus select Organizations & Communities > Learning Centers > Service Support. CSS HQ leadership hopes that all visitors will enjoy the look and feel of the new NKO webpage.

NKO is a website designed to provide the expertise, tools, and opportunities required to support professional and personal development through each phase of a Sailor's career.

Mark Litman, CSS information assurance manager, explained that the process of updating the portal required close work with the professionals at Naval Education and Training Program Management office.

"The NKO Portal management team there assisted us through each phase of the update. This ensured the transition from old to new was completed according to NKO site capabilities," Litman said. "With the incorporation of easy to read navigation buttons the finished website is easier to use."

CSS is comprised of active duty, civilian and contractor personnel who direct the training efforts of administration, logistics and media schools for active duty and commissioned officers. The CSS team ensures curriculum and professional development tools are current.

NNS150518-17. Americans, Jordanians Express Solidarity Through Exercise Eager Lion

By Ensign Seth Koenig, United States Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs

AQABA FREE ZONE, Jordan (NNS) -- During Exercise Eager Lion 2015, Jordanian and U.S. forces are training shoulder-to-shoulder to be prepared for whatever challenges await.

The exercise aims to create "muscle memory" for personnel from different cultures who may need to work together seamlessly as one team if a crisis calls for a joint response.

"There is fighting going on in some neighboring countries," said Brig. Gen. Khaled Al Sharah of Jordan's King Talal 3rd Mechanized Brigade. "These kinds of exercises emphasize our readiness for any kind of crisis."

This year's exercise is the fifth annual Eager Lion, taking place in various locations around the host Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, where Jordanian and U.S. military personnel are joined by representatives of 16 other countries and international participants.

Al Sharah said Jordanians and Americans are learning to work together at three levels: Strategic, operational and tactical.

The partnership not only multiplies the manpower and equipment resources available to both sides, but also creates interoperability and personal relationships that will be established and ready when called on to respond to a real-world crisis.

"This exercise is a visible demonstration of the United States' enduring commitment to the Kingdom and people of Jordan," said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Burke Whitman, Coalition Forces Land and Maritime Component Command (CFLMCC). "It also makes us more interoperable, so that together, Jordanian and U.S. forces comprise a more flexible, more powerful crisis-response force."

U.S. Marine Corps Col. Stephen Lewallen, deputy commander of Marine Forces Central Command (FWD) and the CFLMCC chief of staff for Eager Lion, called Al Sharah both "tactically proficient and extremely engaging."

"I have truly been impressed by our Jordanian counterparts," he said. "There has been a very good balance (between Jordan and the U.S.) in putting this exercise together and working as a combined staff. This has been one of the most exciting exercises I've been involved with in a very long time - the execution has been exceptional."

During Eager Lion 2015, the CFLMCC team is coordinating responses to a series of simulated scenarios involving a fictitious enemy force. The exercise is taking place in multiple locations throughout the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, where the allied forces will face staged challenges to border security, command and control, cyber defense and battle space management.

NNS150518-16. VCNO Speaks About Diversity at Military Institute in Singapore

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh, Commander, Task Force 73 Public Affairs

SINGAPORE (NNS) -- The U.S. Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) spoke to military officers at Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College at the Singapore Armed Forces Technical Military Institute (SAFTI), May 18, about the value of a diverse work force and the challenges in developing one.

Adm. Michelle Howard delivered her remarks at SAFTI's request for its distinguished speakers program. Like many militaries in the region, the SAF is exploring ways to enhance diversity among its ranks.

During Howard's presentation she highlighted changing demographics, emphasized strong diversity in the work force and gave leadership advice using examples from her own career and recent academic studies.

"Sometimes we can't see outside our framework," said Howard, "and that's why we get surprised. So you have to deal with slow change and then you have to be positioned for surprise and so the question is as a leader, and an officer, how do you manage to get ready for both?

More than 100 military officers across all branches and nine countries attended the program. The program has been part of the college's educational platform since 1997 and was created to broaden and enrich the learning experiences of all officers in attendance. Howard emphasized that the number one career developmental milestone for future military leaders is access to positive role models.

"Having positive role models is really important to each of us and our ability to grow up in an organization. ...So that when we as officers see positive role models, that is a leadership icon for us to look up to and to say I can do that."

The first female four-star admiral, Adm. Michelle Howard assumed office as VCNO last year. Howard has long been an advocate of diversity in the Navy.

"Dr. Linus Pauling says that in life you can't [just] get a good idea. The best way to get a good idea is to generate a lot of ideas and grab the best one. And if you don't have diversity in perspective it is very hard to generate a lot of different ideas in order to figure out what the best one is."

She highlighted how well the U.S. military is doing to narrow the gender gap and noted the Navy's integration of women serving on submarines and current studies on incorporating women into combat roles.

Following the joint session, Howard took questions and engaged in a dialogue with military personnel attending the conference. The discussion touched on leadership, recruiting a diverse work force, retention and family.

Howard is visiting Singapore as part of the Lion City's International Maritime Defense Exhibition (IMDEX) Asia. Later in the week, she will meet with counterparts from several international navies and speak at the International Maritimes Security Conference (IMSC) and Asia-Pacific Submarine Conference (APSC).

IMDEX is the Asia Pacific's premier international maritime defense show. In its 10th iteration, the biennial conference will host an exhibition, strategic conferences and warships display. U.S. units participating in the conference include the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) and the fast-attack submarine USS Pasadena (SSN 752).

NNS150518-15. NAVFAC Celebrates National Public Works Week

By Don Rochon, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) public works professionals began celebrating National Public Works Week May 17.

National Public Works Week, which runs through May 23 this year, started in 1960 as part of a public education campaign by the American Public Works Association (APWA). The week-long event seeks to raise the public's awareness about public works issues and employees who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for present and future generations. This year's theme is "Community Begins Here."

"Our public works teams represent our installation communities, and characterize the commitment and support that NAVFAC provides to all Navy and Marine Corps bases," said NAVFAC Commander Rear Adm. Kate Gregory. "These teams of Civil Engineer Corps officers, NAVFAC civilians, and contractor partners work tirelessly in support of the installations they serve."

NAVFAC has provided management and leadership of Navy public works for more than 170 years. As the Navy's public works officers, Civil Engineer Corps officers lead Navy and Marine Corps public works departments (PWD) around the globe in providing comprehensive shore installation facility engineering, acquisition, environmental, and transportation services.

A lot of this essential work goes unnoticed, but the behind-the-scenes effort performed in providing vital public works services such as electricity, water, and wastewater management is a central enabler for a lot of what happens on Navy and Marine Corps bases worldwide.

In fact, last year, NAVFAC PWDs helped keep naval facilities and infrastructure around the world well-maintained and managed, as more than 461,000 service calls and 54,000 emergency calls were recorded and completed in 2014.

NAVFAC's public works professionals are also at the forefront of executing cutting-edge energy projects for the Navy to help meet the Secretary of the Navy's energy goals. Advanced metering, renewable energy, and residential energy conservation projects are helping to reduce the demand for energy, on and off base.

"Every day our Sailors and Marines experience first-hand the delivery of our public works services," said David Curfman, NAVFAC Public Works director. "Whether we're inspecting a submarine pier, constructing a new runway, fixing a hangar roof leak, or cleaning up an oil spill, NAVFAC Public Works Departments are there. We're really blessed to have such a renowned team."

"However, many times we're behind the scenes planning for future missions," Curfman added. "We're making sure the buildings are heated in the winter, designing new Child Development Centers, providing preventive maintenance, protecting endangered species, and operating our solar arrays to provide long-term, environmentally friendly, renewable power."

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit

NNS150518-14. Navy Medicine R&D Participated in the first DoD Lab Day at the Pentagon

By Doris Ryan, NMRC public affairs

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NNS) -- The Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) joined more than 60 Department of Defense laboratories at the first DoD Lab Day at the Pentagon, May 14. The event showcased innovations from the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and medical research laboratories and engineering centers. More than 100 exhibits were visited by DoD personnel and congressional staff, high school STEM students and many others who saw some of the military's cutting edge science, medicine, and technology breakthroughs.

"What we see today is innovation,' said Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, during the opening ceremony. He added, "There are so many different areas that the Department of Defense depends on, that our warfighters depend on, where we need to be some of the best of the best or ahead of everyone else."

NMRC had the opportunity to highlight its effort in supporting Operation United Assistance in West Africa as team members who were in Liberia during the Ebola epidemic set up a display of one of the two deployed mobile labs. The team members spoke about their experience and expanded on their mission in advance research to develop products and methods to protect against biological attacks and infectious disease outbreaks of public health concerns.

NMRC researchers discussed novel therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of wound infections including phage therapy against Acinetobacter baumannii and Staphylococcus aureus. In addition researchers are working to identify targets for vaccines for the prevention of skin and soft tissue infection associated with multidrug-resistant organisms.

Infectious disease subject matter experts were on hand to talk about work in developing vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostic assays for viral and rickettsia diseases like dengue fever and scrub typhus. Information on the Navy Medicine's latest developments in malaria vaccine research was available. Malaria is a parasitic disease that U.S. military forces are at risk of developing while deployed in endemic areas and malaria was ranked No. 1 by the DoD Infectious Disease Prioritization Expert Panel in April 2010.

Also highlighted was a next generation R&D prototype in prosthetic development focused on osseointegration, a new technology designed to help the warfighter, which includes industry support and civilian partnerships.

A representative from the NMRC managed C.W. Bill Young DoD Marrow Donor Program talked to attendees about the marrow donor program as well as the Bone Marrow Research Directorate that provides military contingency support for casualties with marrow toxic injury.

The NMRC displays set up in the Pentagon Central Courtyard were representative of the work done by the research and development commands. NMRC is the headquarters for the Navy Medicine's research and development laboratories that are engaged in a broad spectrum of activity from basic science in the laboratory to field studies at sites in remote areas of the world to operational environments. In support of the Navy, Marine Corps, and joint U.S. warfighters, researchers study infectious diseases; biological warfare detection and defense; combat casualty care; environment health concerns; bone marrow research and registry; aerospace and undersea medicine; medical modeling, simulation and operational mission support; and epidemiology and behavioral sciences. The goal for all the labs is to deliver high-value, high-impact research products to improve readiness and to support and protect today's deployed warfighters.

For more news from Naval Medical Research Center, visit

NNS150518-11. COMRELS Bring Smiles to Jamaica

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kameren Guy Hodnett, Continuing Promise Public Affairs

KINGSTON, Jamaica (NNS) -- Service members and non-governmental organization (NGO) volunteers embarked aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) participated in four community relations (COMREL) events during the Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15) mission stop in Kingston, Jamaica, May 6-13.

The COMREL's held in Kingston included beautification projects, performances by the U.S. Fleet Forces Band "Uncharted Waters", as well as donations of stuffed animals, soccer balls, coloring books and school supplies to children.

Several NGOs, including Latter-day Saint Charities, Operation Blessing and Loving Hugs Inc., donated more than 3,000 items to the Religious Ministries department, to hand out at the COMRELS on behalf of their organizations.

"I would like to thank our U.S. friends for taking the time to come out here to participate with us in this social visit," said Noel Osbourne, Hope Valley Experimental School Chairman of the Board of Management. "The band played beautifully and I really enjoyed watching everyone interact with each other, integrating our culture and traditions with yours."

COMREL sites included Hope Valley Experimental School, Rennock Lodge All Ages School, Ozanam Senior Citizen Home and Mustard Seed Communities Jerusalem Orphanage.

At each location, the crew's goal was to put a smile on faces, work together to complete projects and create new friendships, said Religious Program Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Coreson, who helped coordinate the events.

"Everyone has been able to learn from each other," said Coreson. "COMREL's give us the chance to work alongside communities, schools and organizations, providing the opportunity to share our services, customs and the chance to embrace new cultures."

COMREL events allow crew members an opportunity to interact with the citizens and witness the impact the mission has on the host nation and on the CP-15 participants.

"I love getting involved with COMRELS, because I am able to make new friends and help the Navy build partnerships as well," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Apprentice Chantel Woods. "This is the second time I've participated in a COMREL, and I think they are great opportunities to make a real difference in the communities, whether it is coming together as a team to beautify a senior home or just taking the time to make someone smile."

Since deployed, CP-15 members have participated in more than a dozen COMREL events in Belize and Guatemala. Additional COMRELs are scheduled for each of the remaining mission stops in Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Dominica, Dominican Republic and Haiti, allowing for more partnerships and friendships to be formed.

"The CP-15 partnerships we have built, allow for us to work together to benefit the local children and the community as a whole during these engagements," said Capt. George Adams, a Navy chaplain embarked aboard Comfort. "It is always great to see how well we work alongside one another, continuing to build lasting relationships."

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

For more news from Continuing Promise, visit

NNS150518-06. George Washington CSG Begins Patrol, Increases Maritime Security

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

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) departed Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, for its patrol of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region as the flagship for the George Washington Carrier Strike Group (GWCSG), May 18.

George Washington served as the U.S. Navy's forward deployed aircraft carrier for seven years and is currently scheduled to conduct a hull swap with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) this summer.

"On behalf of my crew, we are grateful for the friendships we have shared while forward-deployed in Yokosuka," said Capt. Timothy Kuehhas, George Washington's commanding officer. "USS George Washington will now begin a journey, which will end in Virginia, but some of the crew of USS George Washington will transfer to Ronald Reagan during our voyage."

As George Washington departs, Ronald Reagan is scheduled to return as the U.S. Navy's next forward-deployed aircraft carrier.

"As George Washington departs today, rest assured, we will return with Ronald Reagan to maintain our commitment to security within the region," said Rear Adm. John Alexander, commander, GWCSG. "I look forward to continued teamwork with our Japanese allies across a broad range of regional and global issues."

GWCSG returned to sea with the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and USS Preble (DDG 88) and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, which consists of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27, VFA-102, VFA-115, VFA-195, Electronic Attack Squadron 141, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 115, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30, Detachment 5, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 77 and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12.

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

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

NNS150518-04. Submarine and Submarine Tender Moor Together in Phuket During Western Pacific Deployment

By Lt. j.g. David Oh, USS Key West Public Affairs and Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Michael Doan, USS Emory S. Land Public Affairs

PHUKET, Thailand (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Key West (SSN 722) arrived in Phuket, Thailand, and moored alongside the submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) for a visit as part of its Western Pacific deployment May 14.

"The crew enjoyed getting back to the mission of supporting submarines and surface ships that were pierside in Guam following a four-month docking availability," said Capt. Robert Clark, the commanding officer of Emory S. Land. "Our visit to Thailand gives us the opportunity to have a submarine alongside and take our service and support to another level."

During the visit USS Emory S. Land conducted a tended mooring with USS Key West.

Additionally, the tender will be proofing a new procedure for fender deployments which will provide more flexible future operational capabilities. Fenders provide a buffer between the tender and the tended unit to ensure the safety of both vessels.

Though forward deployed from Guam, this was the Key West's first stop in Phuket since shifting home ports and the anticipation amongst the 160 man crew was palpable.

"I'm extremely proud of the crew and what they've accomplished," said Cmdr. John Thompson, the commanding officer of Key West. "They've developed immensely over the past year and we are ready to proudly represent our nation and contribute to maintaining a U.S. presence in the region."

Master Chief Electronics Technician Eric Baker, Key West's chief of the boat expressed similar sentiments.

"These men have worked very hard in the past year to become a capable team of professional Sailor," said Baker. "They are ready for this well-deserved port visit and are eager to explore and take in the culture and sights that Thailand has to offer."

While in Phuket, Sailors from Emory S. Land and Key West, are scheduled to volunteer at a local orphanage, helping with basic maintenance and playing with the children.

For many of Key West and Emory S. Land's Sailors, this was their first visit to Thailand.

"Temples, elephant rides, snorkeling - I'm going to do as much as I can while I'm here," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Zachary Morris, USS Key West.

"I have never ridden an elephant before so I am doing that as part of a tour group," said Legalman 1st Class Demetric Hart, USS Emory S. Land.

Measuring more than 360 feet long and displacing more than 6,900 tons when submerged, Key West remains one of the stealthiest, most formidable submarines in the world. Key West is capable of conducting anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

With the growing importance of the Pacific theater, Key West's crew remain eager to distinguish themselves as an essential component of the U.S. 7th Fleet.

Emory S. Land is a forward deployed expeditionary submarine tender on an extended deployment conducting coordinated tended moorings and afloat maintenance in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 7, visit

NNS150518-02. Sexual Assault Reports: Week of May 4-10, 2015

From the Office of the Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- This week's overview of alleged sexual assaults was compiled based on 17 initial reports across the Navy from May 4-10. This timeframe reflects only the receipt of the initial reports; one occurred inside the report period, 15 occurred outside the report period and one was unknown. Each report will be fully investigated. Looking at this snapshot in time, we see the following:

* Twelve reports were from events that occurred on-base, four were from events that occurred off-base and one occurred at an unknown location.

* Among the 19 alleged offenders, one was an officer, four were chief petty officers, five were petty officers, three were E3 and below, one was a civilian, and five were unknown.

* Fifteen of the alleged offenders were male, two were female and two were unknown.

* Fourteen of the reported incidents were alleged to be service member on service member, one was non-service member on service member, one was service member on non-service member, and one was unknown.

* Among the 17 alleged victims, eight were petty officers, eight were E3 and below, and one was a civilian. Eleven of the alleged victims were female and six were 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

NNS150518-01. Fleet Cyber Command Sees Future Cyber Warfighting Workforce Developing at NPS

By U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/TENTH Fleet Public Affairs

MONTEREY, Calif. (NNS) -- Vice Adm. Jan E. Tighe, commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/ U.S. 10th Fleet, met with Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) leadership, faculty and students the week of May 11 to discuss evolving graduate education designed to prepare tomorrow's cyber leaders.

Tighe, with her subordinate task force commanders, CTFs 1020 and 1070, and representatives from the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army, conducted a biennial curricula review for the Computer Science, Cyber Systems and Operations, and Master's of Science in Applied Cyber Operations curricula to ensure the programs continue to deliver graduates that meet the evolving operational needs of the Department of Navy and other services.

"The new era and warfront of defense requires that the national security of our great nation is inherently tied to cyber security. The cyber threat is accelerating and through its world class faculty and dedicated student cohort, the Naval Postgraduate School plays a key part in advancing cyber knowledge and cyber operational excellence," said Dr. Douglas A. Hensler, Provost, NPS.

Tighe's visit comes the week after the release of the command's updated strategy, U.S Fleet Cyber Command/TENTH Fleet Strategic Plan 2015-2020.

The strategy served as a corner stone for discussions at NPS and with industry leaders in the Silicon Valley over the course of the week.

"Partnerships with both industry and NPS, which has proven its ability to deliver necessary deep and enduring technical knowledge to our warriors operating in the cyberspace domain, are key elements in reaching the strategic goals laid out in the plan and in assuring all domain access vital to our maritime operations and our nation's security," Tighe said.

Fleet Cyber Command's strategic plan includes five primary goals, which are to: operate the network as a warfighting platform, conduct tailored signals intelligence, deliver warfighting effects through cyberspace, create shared cyber situational awareness, and establish and mature the Navy's Cyber Mission Force.

NPS degree and research programs in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Cyber Systems and Operations, Mathematics, Operations Research, Space Systems, Network Operations and Technology, and Master's of Science in Applied Cyber Operations deliver tailored and relevant education to military officers, select enlisted personnel, and government civilians as well as laying a foundation for achieving the five strategic goals.

"NPS is tied to Silicon Valley in both proximity and in driving innovation," Tighe said. "We intend to work closely with DOD and U.S. Cyber Command to ensure that the ongoing NPS collaborative work with industry can be leveraged and built upon as DOD establishes a new level of partnership with Silicon Valley, which will benefit NPS students tremendously."

Hensler went on to say, "With our counterparts in the Silicon Valley, NPS is key to protecting the nation from the growing cyber threat to our defense, infrastructure, and financial systems. Vice Adm. Tighe has the complete commitment of NPS to advancing the mission of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, U.S. Tenth Fleet."

Fleet Cyber Command's vision is to conduct operations in and through cyberspace, the electromagnetic spectrum, and space to ensure Navy and Joint/Coalition freedom of action and decision superiority while denying the same to our adversaries. The Navy will win in these domains through our collective commitment to excellence and by strengthening our alliances with entities across the U.S. government, DoD, academia, industry, and foreign partners.

NPS delivers the education and facilities to help produce the outcomes that will make the vision a reality.

"NPS offers operating forces a facility to test new concepts for both offensive and defensive cyber warfare. NPS engages students, Navy labs, and other branches of the DoD (like NSA) to wed Navy requirements with state of the art research," said Dr. Clyde Scandrett, Dean, Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science. "As Cyber is such a quickly changing warfare area, the need to develop solutions to present problems are often of immediate concern while long term needs are addressed by NPS inculcating an atmosphere of problem solving in the future leaders of this vital warfare area."

Similarly, Cmdr. Zachary Staples, Military Associate Professor in the NPS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Director of the Center for Cyber Warfare, stated, "NPS graduates are studying at the nexus of cyber security and cyber warfare. This gives them unique perspective to incorporate ideas and fundamentals from civilian security practices and apply them in a military context to similar challenges we share in protecting our own networks, and to leverage those ideas in support of full spectrum cyber operations."

Dr. Peter Denning, Chair, NPS Department of Computer Science, summed it up, saying, "All warfighting operations rely on the network and its operating systems. Cyber attacks are launched in the low level bits and signals of this medium. Our technically proficient graduates will outperform their adversaries in defending the network and its connected systems."

The commissioning of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and reestablishment of U.S. 10th Fleet on Jan. 29, 2010 closely followed the Navy's 2009 acknowledgement of information's centrality to maritime warfighting, known as Information Dominance.

Information Dominance is defined as the operational advantage gained from fully integrating the Navy's information functions, capabilities, and resources to optimize decision making and maximize warfighting effects. The three pillars of Information Dominance are assured command and control (C2), battlespace awareness, and integrated fires.

Fleet Cyber Command is a key operational command in delivering on missions across those three pillars.

The FCC/C10F Strategic Plan 2015-2020 can be found at the following link:

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

NNS150517-02. Blue Ridge Concludes Patrol, Completes Key Damage Control Certification

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Liz Dunagan

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) arrived at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, May 17, wrapping up a 35-day patrol and the successful completion of the Mobility Damage Control Warfare (MOB-D) assessment.

The final leg of MOB-D began once Blue Ridge departed The Republic of Singapore, May 8, and continued throughout the transit back to CFAY. Afloat Training Group (ATG) Western Pacific assessed the Blue Ridge crew's proficiency in responding to casualties and keeping the ship afloat in a simulated combat situation.

"This is one of the few certifications that involve 100 percent of the crew," said Blue Ridge Executive Officer Cmdr. Nathan Fugate. "Everyone was enthusiastic and the crew performed excellently. Our crew worked hard, and you couldn't ask for much more."

According to Senior Chief Damage Controlman Christopher Langteu, an inspector from ATG, for a ship to receive a MOB-D warfare certification the crew needed to pass all drills with a score of 80 percent or higher.

"Blue Ridge was able to apply all the training they received as individuals and use it as an integrated team, working together to complete the mission," said Langteu. "I watched the crew grow leaps and bounds from where they were at the beginning of their training."

MOB-D is broken up into multiple stages spaced out over several months. The first two stages consist of an initial material readiness review of damage control equipment, then an assessment of basic damage control fundamentals such as fire hose handling, pipe patching and erecting shoring to defend against structural damage.

During the third training stage, ATG guides Blue Ridge's Damage Control Training Team (DCTT) and the crew through a series of drills covering fires, floods and toxic gas leaks along with chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) attacks.

"In the event of a casualty, DCTT and ATG need to know our Sailors can successfully overcome any situation," said Damage Controlman 1st Class Joni Abando, Blue Ridge's DCTT coordinator. "The crew earned the certification working hard as a team and paying close attention to detail."

Everything learned throughout MOB-D culminated in a final assessment where ATG observed members of DCTT facilitating 29 total drills for all the damage control repair lockers including a general quarters scenario.

"We got to apply all of the training that we worked so hard to learn," said Hull Maintenance Technician 3rd Class Bryan Slaton, a Blue Ridge crew member and repair party team leader. "Those drills have the potential to turn into real life situations. The training is hardwired into our brains now, and I feel like its second nature."

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

NNS150517-01. USS Farragut Sailor Dies from Hotel Balcony Fall

From U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- A U.S. Navy Sailor assigned to USS Farragut (DDG 99) died Saturday, May 16, after falling from a hotel balcony while on liberty in Manama, Bahrain. The death occurred at 8:00 p.m. (GMT).

Bahrain authorities and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service responded to the scene where the Sailor was pronounced dead.

The Navy is cooperating with Bahraini authorities and investigating the death.

USS Farragut is in Bahrain for a routine port visit. The ship is part of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group currently deployed to the U.S. Fifth Fleet in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

NNS150516-07. CP-15 Crew Completes Mission Stop in Jamaica

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amy Kirk, CP-15 Public Affairs

KINGSTON, Jamaica (NNS) -- The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) departed Kingston, Jamaica, May 15 after completing her third mission stop in support of Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15).

Comfort's embarked military and non-governmental organization volunteers worked side-by-side with Jamaican military and civilian professionals to provide medical, dental, optometry and veterinary care, conduct subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE) and complete engineering projects at three schools from May 6th through the 13th.

The Jamaica CP-15 mission stop was celebrated alongside Jamaican officials during a closing ceremony at the U.S. embassy May 13, marking the completion of the nine-day mission stop.

"On behalf of the over 1,000 members of the CP-15 team, thank you for your support, hospitality and generosity during our time in Jamaica in support of Continuing Promise," said Capt. Sam Hancock, CP-15 mission commander. "We are fortunate to have worked alongside our friends and partners, to further strengthen the enduring partnership between the United States and Jamaica. It is a partnership that enhances our shared values, interests and commitment to unity, security and stability within the region."

Guests attending the ceremony included: The U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica, The Honorable Luis Moreno; Rear Adm. Bruce Lindsey, commander, Carrier Strike Group 10; Capt. Sam Hancock, CP-15 mission commander; Capt. Christine Sears, commanding officer, medical treatment facility aboard Comfort; Capt. Robert Wiley, Comfort's ships master; the Jamaican Prime Minister, the Honorable Portia Simpson Miller; and the Jamaican Minister of Health, the Honorable Dr. Fenton Ferguson.

Partnering together, CP-15 members and Jamaican medical professionals conducted over 600 dental exams and procedures, more than 1,700 optometry exams and 110 surgeries. Overall, the CP-15 team provided primary medical care to more than 9,700 patients at medical sites set up at the National Indoor Sports Complex and the Maxfield Park Health Centre.

The CP-15 mission crew conducted SMEEs on more than 200 topics with their Jamaican counterparts. Collaboration efforts included basic life support certifications, an occupational health seminar, a veterinary presentation on livestock animal health and a preventative medicine health fair.

Seabees assigned to Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 202 worked with military engineers from the Jamaica Defence Force to complete renovations and improvements to Carberry Court Special School, Rennock Lodge All Ages School and Trench Town Primary School. The work included kitchen renovations, electrical upgrades and constructing a new library and chicken coop.

Comfort's chaplain's office coordinated community relation events at the Hope Valley Experimental School, Rennock Lodge All Ages School and the Mustard Seed Communities - Jerusalem Orphanage. The U.S. Fleet Forces band, "Unchartered Waters" performed at each school, while crew members visited with children and distributed donations of stuffed animals, coloring books, school supplies and soccer balls. Members of the ship's choir joined the band for a performance for residents at the Ozanam Senior Citizen's Home and other volunteers painted several rooms and the home's dining hall.

Comfort's next mission stop is Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. The CP-15 medical team will set up medical outreach sites at the Instituto Politechnico Heroes y Martires and the Colegio Moravo Juan Amos Comenius to provide no-cost medical and dental services to host-nation citizens.
CMBU 202 has planned civic-assistance projects at the Escuela Publica Rigoberto Cabezas and the Hospital Nuevo Amanecer Enfermera Nancy Bach.

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

For more news from Continuing Promise, visit

NNS150516-06. Ready for the Next Step - Sailors Graduate to Support Fleet Religious Needs

By Lt. Cmdr. Troy Todd, Naval Chaplaincy School and Center Public Affairs

COLUMBIA, S.C. (NNS) -- A class of 12 religious program specialists (RPs) graduated from the Naval Chaplaincy School and Center (NCSC) at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, May 15.

RPs graduate with a diverse skill set of administrative, technical and logistical capabilities. Joining with chaplains, they are part of each command's Religious Ministry Team (RMT).

"I have learned that patience is a virtue, always pay attention to detail, and be flexible," said Religious Program Specialist Seamen Apprentice Shamella Deacon.

Guest speaker Senior Chief Religious Program Specialist Scott Shields, NCSC's command senior chief, explained the importance of two words, vigilance and faith.

"Vigilance is an attribute of the service member. It is built upon continuous and stressful training cycles and therefore, vigilance is the result of learned and practiced behaviors," Shields said. "My view about faith here is not just about that trust and bond between man and God, but the trust forged between shipmates."

Religious Program Specialist Second Class Sheri Russell, spent seven years as a Damage Controlman serving tours aboard ship and on shore before attending RP "A" School.

"I have enjoyed the hands-on training at NCSC, especially the segment where RP students interacted with the Basic Leadership Course chaplains," Russell said. "This helps RPs learn and understand that chaplains are relatable and although an officer, very approachable."

Russell has orders to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Chapel where she says she is anxious to apply her newly acquired skills.

Honor graduate, Religious Program Specialist Seaman Jason Mills will join the RMT aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).

"I liked the hands on learning in labs of varying religious services and how they are supposed to be set up by an RP," Mills said. "The instructors are valuable in how they have prepared us for the sea service through classroom material and life experiences."

Capt. Mark Smith, a chaplain, and NCSC's commanding officer is proud of the training that the RP "A" School graduates receive.

"These Sailors have been launched on a journey of lifelong commitment to professional curiosity with a strong sense of honor in the special role they have pledged to have in the Navy, always remembering that it is to the sea that the Navy has been sent. Religious ministry has a long history of going over the horizon in support of the spiritual wholeness of Sailors. These Sailors are ready to join that long maritime heritage and share in the proud accomplishments of the United States Navy."

For more news from the Chaplain Corps, visit

For information about the Naval Chaplaincy School and Center, visit

For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit

NNS150516-05. USS Spruance Holds Change of Command Ceremony in San Diego

By Ensign Jim Vika, USS Spruance Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- During a rare rainy day in San Diego, the officers and crew of the guided missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) held a change of command ceremony while pierside at Naval Base San Diego, May 15.

With the traditional exchange of salutes, Cmdr. Daniel Cobian turned over command of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to Cmdr. Manuel Hernandez.

The ceremony marked the end of a very successful 18-month command tour for Cobian. He led Spruance through a six-month deployment as an independent deployer in support of operations in 7th Fleet.

During the deployment, the crew made 11 port calls, increasing vital ties between the U.S. Navy and partner nations in the Pacific. The Spruance crew also earned a meritorious unit citation for their performance while on deployment.

During this period, Spruance was vital to information gathering and freedom of navigation operations throughout the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. Upon returning to homeport, Spruance participated in the Portland Rose Festival in Portland, Oregon, and Los Angeles Navy Days, in San Pedro, California, effectively carrying out the Navy's recruiting and public relations mission.

During a busy 2014, she was involved in Rim of the Pacific 2014 exercise in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Spruance's participation included an in port period with multi-national events and extensive anti-submarine warfare exercises with more than 40 ships, bolstering the vital ties that the U.S. enjoys so much with Pacific partner nations.

"I will always remember my time as the commanding officer of Spruance as a challenging and rewarding experience," said Cobian. "The enthusiasm and efforts of the crew inspired me on a daily basis and I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead such a dedicated group of Sailors."

Cobian said that he considered the crew to be an extension of his family and that he would miss them all upon his transfer.

"I am leaving behind an incredible group of professionals and feel confident that Spruance rests in good hands," said Cobian.

Cobian's next tour will be at the Naval Surface Warfare Development center in Coronado, California.

Hernandez most recently completed a successful 18-month tour as the executive officer on board Spruance as part of the DDG fleet-up process.

"To the Spruance crew, it is an absolute honor, a great privilege and a humbling experience to have the opportunity to lead you during the next 18 months," said Hernandez. "Together we will continue the trajectory of success, that under the command of Cmdr. Cobain, we have achieved. Steady as she goes, full speed ahead and God bless."

Spruance is currently in the basic phase of training and is ramping up in support of an upcoming, independent deployment to U.S. 7th Fleet. Spruance is assigned as part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23 and expects to shift to DESRON 21 in late May.

For more news from Naval Surface Forces, visit

NNS150516-04. Continuing Promise Crew Celebrates Navy Nurse Corps' 107th Birthday

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amy Kirk, Continuing Promise 2015 Public Affairs

KINGSTON, Jamaica (NNS) -- Personnel aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), currently deployed in support of Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15), commemorated Navy Nurse Week and celebrated the Navy Nurse Corps' 107th birthday with a cake-cutting ceremony May 13.

Capt. Christine Sears, commanding officer of Comfort's Medical Treatment Facility, offered birthday wishes to the nurses embarked aboard.

"Thank you to all the Navy Nurse Corps officers for your dedication, service, and professionalism," said Sears. "For 107 years the Navy nurse has embodied all that nursing can and should be - caring for our beneficiaries in peace, our Sailors in war, and our fellow global citizens in humanitarian missions such as this."

Capt. Cindy Baggott, director of nursing services and senior nurse executive, read birthday greetings from Vice. Adm. Matthew Nathan, surgeon general of the Navy and chief of the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED). Nursing team representatives read additional birthday greetings from Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle, director, Navy Nurse Corps; Major Gen. Jimmie O'Keenan, chief, Army Nurse Corps; Rear Adm. Raquel Bono, director, Navy Medical Corps; Rear Adm. Terry Moulton, director, Navy Medical Service Corps; Rear Adm. Stephen Pachuta, director, Navy Dental Corps; and Force Master Chief (FORCM) Sherman Boss, director, Hospital Corps and FORCM for BUMED.

The most senior Nurse Corps officer, retired Capt. Colleen McLarnon, and the most junior Nurse Corps officer, Ensign Norving Gutierrez, were selected to cut this year's birthday cake. McLarnon, a 30-year Navy veteran, is serving as the head medical director for the embarked non-governmental organization Project Hope. Gutierrez, assigned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP), Virginia, works in Comfort's Casualty Receiving department.

After the cake cutting, Navy chaplains, Capt. George Adams and Lt. Cmdr. Jay Kersten, performed the blessing of the hands ceremony. As they blessed each person, Adams recited the prayer, "Nurses Hands."
The blessing of the hands tradition is open to all Nurses no matter their religion, explained Adams. The ceremony honors the role of nurses providing compassionate care to others as well as helps reaffirm their commitment to the nursing profession.

Nurses Week is an internationally celebrated recognition event that was first observed in 1954, marking the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's mission to Crimea. It begins each year May 6 and ends May 12, Nightingale's birthday.

The Navy Nurse Corps was established May 13, 1908, when President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Naval Appropriations Bill that authorized its creation as a unique Navy staff corps. The first 20 to graduate were known as the "Sacred Twenty," the first female members to ever formally serve in the Navy during World War I. They were assigned to hospitals in Annapolis, Maryland, Brooklyn, New York, Mare Island, California and Norfolk, Virginia.

The Sacred Twenty made broad contributions during wartime, including training field nurses, disease treatment, and providing educational programs for nurses. Baggott said the nurses embarked aboard Comfort for CP-15, composed of U.S. military, non-governmental organization, host nation, and partner nation members and representing diverse specialties, are doing their part to carry on the proud history of the Nurse Corps and make CP-15 a success.

"The nurses and hospital corpsmen embarked for Continuing Promise 2015 are providing direct care, patient education, and discharge planning for host nation patients undergoing procedures aboard the ship and at shore sites," said Baggott. "They are also collaborating with host nation colleagues for vital subject matter expert exchanges and community relations projects to foster enduring partnerships, build capacity, and strengthen interoperability."

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

For more news from Continuing Promise, visit

NNS150516-02. USS Columbia Changes Command

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Khor

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Columbia (SSN 771) held a change of command ceremony today, May 15, as Cmdr. Patrick Friedman was relieved by Cmdr. David Edgerton as commanding officer, at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park.

Friedman expressed his appreciation in working with outstanding Sailors while having command of the submarine.

"My hat is off to you; you are truly professionals and represent the very best in our force," said Friedman. "Being here today is a testament to your commitment to hard work and the ideological principles that form the basis of Columbia's success."

During his more than two years in command, Friedman successfully led a Western Pacific deployment during which the submarine's crew earned a 2014 Battle Efficiency "E" award. Friedman commanded his submarine through a technologically advanced tactical development exercise, subsequently earning Columbia the highest possible grade on an operational reactor safeguards exam.

The ceremony's guest speaker, Capt. Leonard Dollaga, commodore of Submarine Development Squadron 12, praised Friedman for a job well done.

"Patrick, on behalf of all your shipmates, thanks for everything you have done," said Dollaga. "Mission accomplished, Patrick!"

During the ceremony, Friedman was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, recognizing his success while in command of Columbia from October 2012 to May 2015.

As Edgerton assumed command of Columbia, he thanked Friedman for turning over an accomplished crew and boat.

"You have set a high bar for Columbia and I assure you that we will continue to maintain the high standards that you have established," said Edgerton. "To the crew of Columbia, you are the best and brightest in the Navy and I am honored to be your commanding officer. I look forward to serving with you as we continue Columbia's proud tradition as the defender of freedom on the seas."

USS Columbia, commissioned in 1995, was the last Los Angeles-class submarine to be built at Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut. One of the most versatile ships in the world, the submarine is capable of executing numerous dynamic mission functions including long-range Tomahawk strike capabilities, anti-submarine and surface ship tracking operations, surveillance and intelligence gathering, and special operations force insertions.

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

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

NNS020131-19. This Day in Naval History - May 18

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1775 - Col. Benedict Arnold captures a British sloop at St. Johns in Quebec, Canada and renames her Enterprise, the first of many famous ships with that name.

1898 - During the Spanish-American War, boat parties from USS St. Louis and USS Wompatuck, under Capt. Caspar F. Goodrich, cut communication cables at Santiago, Cuba.

1902 - Marines and Sailors from the iron-hulled screw steamer, Ranger go ashore at Panama City, Colombia, to protect US citizen lives and property during an insurrection that results in Panamas eventual independence from Colombia on Nov. 3, 1903.

1944 - USS Wilkes (DD 441) and USS Roe (DD 418), carrying the 1st Battalion 163rd Infantry, land on Wakde, off Dutch New Guinea, securing the island and setting up airstrip for the Southwest Pacific offensive.

1951 - USS Duncan (DDR 874), Brinkley Bass (DD 887), and Leonard F. Mason (DD 852) expend 1,100 rounds of 5-inch ammunition at Wonsan, Korea, on interdiction and counter-battery fire. The ships receive heavy fire from shore batteries on Kalma Gak but are not damaged.

1969 - Apollo 10 is launched with Cmdr. John W. Young as command module pilot and Cmdr. Eugene Cernan as the lunar module pilot. The mission is a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.

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NNS150519-01. Docked! USS Constitution Shifts Colors for Multi-Year Restoration

From USS Constitution Public Affairs

BOSTON (NNS) -- The world's oldest commissioned warship afloat is no longer afloat after entering dry dock May 19 for a planned multi-year restoration.

USS Constitution, eased into historic Dry Dock 1 at Charlestown Navy Yard Boston National Historical Park with the help and coordination of a large team of stakeholders including the ship's crew, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Naval History and Heritage Command's Maintenance Detachment Boston, USS Constitution Museum, and the National Park Service.

"We couldn't have asked for better weather or better support from the dedicated team of professionals who helped with the docking," said Cmdr. Sean Kearns, USS Constitution's 73rd commanding officer. "We're now positioned to carry out the restoration work which will return Constitution to the water preserving her for the next generation of Americans to enjoy and learn about our nation's great naval heritage."

Since entering service in the U.S. Navy on Oct. 21, 1797, Constitution, undefeated in combat, remains a commissioned U.S. Navy warship. However, since 1907, the ship has been on display opening her decks to the public. According to Naval History and Heritage Command Director Sam Cox, that mission is an important one.

"Her mission today is to preserve and promote U.S. Navy heritage by sharing the history of 'Old Ironsides' and the stories of the men and women who have faithfully served with distinction on the warship's decks for 217 years. When a visitor sets foot on the deck of USS Constitution, he or she is making contact with the beginnings of the U.S. Navy, a navy that has kept the sea lanes free for more than 200 years. Keeping her ready to do so is incredibly important," said Cox.

"Constitution was the product of unique American ingenuity," Cox continued. "At a time when the U.S. Navy was outnumbered by the great European navies, Constitution was designed to outgun anything she couldn't outrun, and outrun anything she couldn't out-gun. Coupled with great captains and well-trained and disciplined Sailors, that is why she was undefeated."

According to Vice Admiral William Hilarides, the commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), which oversees the development, delivery and maintenance of the Navy's ships, the 217-year-old Constitution is a stark reminder of the importance of sound ship design, construction and maintenance.

"The Navy's strength comes from its Sailors who must be equipped with ships and tools that make it possible for them to successfully sail into harm's way, and then return safely home to their families," said Hilarides. "When you look at what was cutting edge Naval technology in the late 18th century, you can see Constitution's crews were equipped with the best tools in the world which enabled them to achieve such a remarkable record of success in combat. It's a tradition of design, construction and maintenance excellence that continues in America's shipyards today."

Still, Hilarides said, like any of the Navy's other nearly 300 commissioned warships, Constitution must be maintained to carry out its vital mission.

This restoration will last more than two years and marks the first time Constitution will have been dry docked since 1992. The work of this restoration will include:
* replacing lower hull planking and caulking,
* removing the 1995 copper sheathing and replacing it with 3,400 sheets of new copper that will protect the ship's hull below the waterline,
* replacement of select deck beams,
* on-going preservation and repair of the ship's rigging, upper masts, and yards.

The estimated cost of the restoration is expected to be $12 million to $15 million and is part of the ongoing care and maintenance the ship receives. It will be a complex work package and among those completing it, is a cadre of craftsmen from the Naval History and Heritage Command's Maintenance Detachment Boston who have the delicate job of melding new tools and technology into an endeavor that often requires extensive, knowledge of 18th century shipbuilding techniques.

"We do work with modern tools but we still use some of the old methods; the hull planks are still pinned through the deck but we use hydraulics and pneumatics to pull them out," said Det. Boston's director, Richard Moore, who says the restoration will require specialized talents. "Back in the day if someone went down, they had someone to replace them. It's not so easy nowadays to replace a person with someone who is up to speed and knows what they're doing."

Still he believes his team is up to the challenge and he knows they're excited to be a part of the historic restoration.

"They realize the undertaking they're on. I emphasize it all the time, that this is, in my words, 'a big deal.' They all know how important it is, they're all proud to work on this vessel, they take such great care and their workmanship is great. I'm very proud to work here and so are they."

Beginning June 9, Constitution will reopen to the public and remain open throughout the restoration with tours scheduled:
* Tuesday through Friday from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.
* Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. (closed Mondays).
Visitors will see something remarkable - an active shipyard with craftspeople including, blacksmiths, wood workers and others, working to make sure USS Constitution remains ship shape for future generations.

NNS150518-23. Navy Announces Mrs. Sybil Stockdale Ombudsman of the Year Award 2015

By Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced the Mrs. Sybil Stockdale Ombudsman Award to formally recognize the dedication and contributions of ombudsman across the fleet May 18.

The award honors Mrs. Sybil Stockdale's support to families of other POWs during her husband's - Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale - seven-year internment in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. The award recognizes four of the Navy's top ombudsmen who have served their command and families with selfless dedication and commitment to family readiness in three areas - Afloat commands (Fleet Forces Command, both Atlantic and Pacific), Ashore commands under Navy Installations Command, and Navy Reserve Force commands. A Navy administrative message (NAVADMIN) informing the Navy about this new award was also released today.

The Ombudsman of the Year Award criteria include:
* Demonstrating the ability to effectively communicate between the Navy family and the command.
* Maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and confidentiality while providing a positive role model for command members and families.
* Facilitating and promoting a healthy sense of community among command families by assisting and supporting Navy families to include emergencies, mobilization or deployment.
* Demonstrating consistent compliance with training and required reports according to OPNAVINST 1750.1G (located at

To be eligible for the award, ombudsmen must be registered in the Ombudsman Registry, located at, and have distinguished themselves in supporting Navy families, served as an ombudsman in good standing for at least 1 year, and embody the core values of the Ombudsman Program.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to honor Mrs. Stockdale," said Matt Straughan, director for the Navy's family support programs for Navy Installations Command. "This award allows us to formally recognize the hard work and sacrifices made by our ombudsmen who support our sailors and their families world-wide."

The Navy Family Ombudsman Program was created in 1970 by Admiral E.R. Zumwalt, Jr., then Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), to improve communication between commands and the families of Sailors who served in them.

In 2006, CNO Admiral Michael G. Mullen re-emphasized the importance of the program and signed an updated instruction, highlighting the requirement that all Navy families have access to a Navy Family Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman is a volunteer, appointed by the commanding officer, to serve as an information link between command leadership and Navy families. Ombudsmen are trained to disseminate information both up and down the chain of command, including official Department of the Navy and command information, command climate issues, quality of life improvement opportunities and community resources. Ombudsmen provide resource referrals to families when needed and are instrumental in resolving family issues before the issues require extensive command attention.

Nomination packages must be submitted to the appropriate organization via the chain of command, NLT 30 June 2015. Winners will be announced at the Ombudsman Appreciation event to be held in San Diego in September 2015.

Additional information about the Mrs. Sybil Stockdale Ombudsman of the Year Award and the Navy's ombudsman program may be found by visiting:

NNS150519-20. Abraham Lincoln Sailors Lean Toward Learning

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Raney, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- As summer approaches, many people prepare for days at the beach, playing sports, grilling out in the back yard, vacations and many things that involve relaxing and enjoying time in the sun. Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), however, are preparing to receive an education.

Lincoln Sailors are currently preparing to register for Navy College Program for Afloat Education (NCPACE) courses set to begin late in June. This is the first time NCPACE has been available since Lincoln entered its refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) in 2013.

"NCPACE gives Sailors another option to receive an education while in the shipyards," said Ensign Sheena Hunt, Lincoln's education services officer (ESO). "I receive 10 to 15 emails a day asking about the program so I know the Sailors are excited to get involved and pursue their education and I'm even more excited that I can help them reach their educational goals."

NCPACE offers participating Sailors opportunities to receive education from institutions accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Department of Education. The objective of NCPACE is to provide shipboard personnel with educational opportunities comparable to those available to shore duty personnel. Tuition is funded 100 percent. Students are only responsible for the cost of textbooks and related materials.

"Part of the reason I joined the Navy was to get an education," said Airman Ryan Socha, an undesignated Sailor stationed on board Lincoln. "I wanted to be able to go to school and not rely on my parents to pay for it."

As Lincoln gets closer to the end of its RCOH, emphasis is being placed on ensuring Sailors are able to achieve personal as well as professional goals. Providing these courses is just one way Lincoln leadership is helping the Sailors achieve these goals.

"My chain of command is really supportive in allowing me to take time to register for this," Socha said. "After my duties as an undesignated airman, this takes priority."

There are two types of NCPACE courses available to Sailors, instructor led (IL) or distance learning (DL). IL courses are taught by resident instructors for ships with available berthing. DL courses are provided to commands through CD-ROM, PDA, or IPOD. All undergraduate courses are from institutions with Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges-Navy (SOCNAV) affiliation, ensuring Sailors the opportunity to transfer credits and complete degrees. Lincoln will utilize both formats to better accommodate each Sailor's individual learning style.

"Continue to step outside the box and never stop learning," Hunt said. "Pursue the next level, the more you learn the more you can better yourself as a person and a Sailor."

Lincoln is currently undergoing RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz-class to undergo an RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone.

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

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

NNS150519-19. Future USNS Brunswick (JHSV 6) Launched

From Team Ships Public Affairs

MOBILE, Ala. (NNS) -- The Navy's newest joint high speed vessel (JHSV 6), the future USNS Brunswick, was launched from the Austal USA Shipyard May 19.

"Launch marks a major milestone for this ship as this is the first time it's entered the water, signifying its readiness to prepare for tests and trials and eventual delivery," said Capt. Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift Program Manager, Program Executive Office, Ships. "This is a very busy time for the Navy and the shipbuilder as we continue to mark the major milestones that bring each ship closer to delivery and eventual in-service operations."

JHSV-6 is designed for the fast intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles and equipment. Capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots, the ship will provide U.S. forces with added mobility and flexibility. The JHSV design includes a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that allows for quick vehicular access to and from the ship as well as access to austere piers and quay walls. The vessel will operate in support of a wide range of operations including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations, flexible logistics support, or as the key enabler for rapid transport

Since the start of 2015, the Navy has marked major milestones for both USNS Trenton (JHSV 5) and Brunswick. Trenton was christened in January and delivered to the Navy in April. Brunswick had her keel authenticated less than six months ago, was christened less than a week ago and is preparing for delivery before the end of the calendar year.

Brunswick will be owned and operated by the Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) and will be manned by a crew of 22 civil service mariners.

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

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS150519-07. Midshipmen Collect Shoes For Those in Need

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

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- Midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy's Midshipman Action Group (MAG) collected more than 550 pairs of shoes from the Class of 2018 to donate to Planet Aid, May 18.

The shoes were collected as the plebes began the traditional Herndon monument climb that marks the end of their plebe year. Midshipmen from MAG gathered the shoes, tied the pairs together so they wouldn't get lost, and sorted them by size.

"This is just another great thing that MAG does to help out the community," Midshipman 3rd Class William Kruger, 12th company and volunteer. "I donated because I felt like the people of Annapolis needed them more than I did. I am fortunate enough to get those shoes issued to me and I felt someone else could use them more than I could."

The midshipmen bagged the shoes and transferred them to a van to take them to the local Planet Aid chapter where they will be distributed to families in need.

"This is changing people's lives," said Marine Col. Bobbi Shea, deputy commandant of midshipmen. "Can you imagine needing something like this? My family did not come from a lot of means and just to have resources like this, changed the way a family feels about themselves. It's really great, and I really appreciate it."

The Midshipman Action Group was established in 1992 and is supported by the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation. MAG organizes more than 50 educational, environmental and social service volunteer projects on the local and national level, employing more than 500 midshipmen throughout the academic year.

During the 2014-15 academic year, the midshipmen contributed 26,000 hours of community service.

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

NNS150519-05. Navy Band Northeast Kicks-Off Fleet Week New York Festivities

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre N. McIntyre, Fleet Week New York Public Affairs

NEW YORK (NNS) -- U.S. Navy Band Northeast's "Pops Ensemble" performed a free concert in front of the Brooklyn Central Public Library, May 18, kicking off 2015 Fleet Week New York (FWNY) festivities.

FWNY, now in its 27th year, runs May 20-26. The weeklong celebration is the city's time-honored celebration of the sea services, and 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.

Under the direction of Lt. Gregory Fritz, Navy Band Northeast is one of 11 official bands in the United States Navy worldwide. The band featured a wide variety of musical styles including traditional concert band literature, pop, classical Broadway and patriotic favorites.

"There is nowhere in America that has such a diverse population as New York," said Fritz. "Fleet Week gives us an opportunity to connect with people from around the world and the people can connect with us. They get to see a side of the sea services that many have never had a chance to experience."

The band is comprised of 35 professional Navy musicians - several who are from the New York metropolitan area.

"It is so much fun to come back to the city," said Musician 2nd Class Laura Carey, a native of Hewlett, Long Island. "I grew up here and this city is rich in musical culture. As a child I had the chance to experience music from all around the world and now I have the opportunity to share in that culture while representing the Navy during Fleet Week New York."

"It's great to be able to do what I do in the Navy and perform in my city," said Musician 3rd Class James Dissinger, a native of Mineola, Long Island. "This is one of the highlights of my Navy experience and I hope that we are a highlight for the citizens and visitors of New York."

Fritz said the band's concerts often instill pride and energize onlookers while they perform.

"The organization is our diversity and we are performing in the largest and most diverse city in the world," he said. "People often see the uniform and that catches people's attention. When they hear the music they end up sitting down. Music is a universal language and it breaks down barriers and makes people interested in what we do as Sailors."

For up-to-date information on all Fleet Week events, visit the official Fleet Week New York website at, "Like" FleetWeekNewYork on Facebook, or "Follow" @FleetWeekNYC on Twitter. Fleet Week New York photos can be viewed on Flickr at Join the conversation on social media by using #FleetWeekNYC.

NNS150519-03. USNA Midshipmen Triumph Over Herndon Climb

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Wilkes, U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen from the Class of 2018 conquered the final hurdle of their freshman year during the Herndon Climb event, May 18.

Every year, the roughly 1,000 members of the academy's plebe (freshman) class form a human pyramid around the 21-foot tall Herndon Monument to remove a plebe hat, or "dixie cup," that upperclassmen have placed on the top of the obelisk monument and replace it with the midshipmen cover.

"This is a great and iconic moment for each and every one of us at the Academy," said Vice Adm. Ted Carter, superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy. "It is an act of teamwork, strength, and perseverance that represents the transformation of being followers as plebes to future leaders of the Navy and Marine Corps."

This year, Midshipman 4th Class Javarri Beachum, from Port St. Joe, Florida, reached the top and replaced the cover in 1:38:36, the fastest time since 2013.

According to legend, the plebe who replaces the plebe cover with the midshipmen's cover will become the first member of the class to become an admiral. So far, the legend has not come true.

"It's an awesome experience working together with these guys and girls, said Beachum. "It took our whole class, just pushing together, to get the job done. It isn't a one man thing, everyone contributes."

The Herndon Climb is considered the capstone of the freshman year at the Naval Academy. Once the freshman class completes the obstacle, they are "plebes no more", a phrase that the class doesn't take lightly.

"It's so exciting to finally be able to say 'plebes no more'," said Midshipman 4th Class Meghan Brophy. "Climbing Herndon was an amazing experience and we are all feeling so good and looking forward to liberty!"

"I plan to stay active in the company and stay active for the new plebes that will be here soon," said Midshipman 4th Class Stephen Steckler. "It's so important for us to keep the motivation up from Herndon and be a positive force as we become upperclassmen."

The Herndon monument is dedicated to Cmdr. William Lewis Herndon, who died in an attempt to save the crew of his steamer ship Central America during a storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, in 1857.

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

NNS150518-25. 2nd Annual 'Aloha Moani 5K' Memorial Run Concludes NHB Navy Nurse Corps Week

By Douglas H Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- The Navy Nurse Corps Week recognizing their 107th anniversary wrapped up with the 2nd Annual 'Aloha Moani 5K' Memorial Run honoring one of their own.

The 'Aloha Moani' run on May 16, 2015, was dedicated to honor the memory Lt. Rebekah Moani Daniel, NHB staff member who passed away in March, 2014, due to a rare complication of childbirth.

More than 120 runners participated in the run which included many friends and family who traveled from California and Hawai'i to attend, which turned out to be more than just a 3.1 mile run and walk for many. It also provided local family, friends, co-workers, supporters, and community members the opportunity to keep the legacy of Lt. Daniel and her enthusiasm for fitness alive and going.

"Lt. Rebekah Moani Daniel was very tenacious. She would have embraced the hills and happiness this run brings. We have the ability to do just that," said Lt. Shawn Redmon, NHB Chaplain. "She also appreciates and loved herself, family, and friends in being part of a run like this. The spirit of Moani lives on."

Runners received upon completion a traditional Hawaiian lei and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in the three age-categories received commemorative Hawai'ian shell necklaces. There were also prizes - chew toys - for the top three canine finishers.

The overall top three finishers were Andy Peters with a time of 18:15 for a 5:53 pace per mile; followed by Dan Hollingsworth with 19:57 and a 6:26 pace; and John Spannuth at 20:04, with a 6:28 pace.

It was on May 13, 1908, that then-President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Naval Appropriations Bill that authorized the establishment of the Nurse Corps as a unique staff corps of the Navy.

"What differentiates us in the Navy from everyone else in health care is our Nurse Corps and their hard work and dedication," said Capt. Christopher Quarles, NHB Commanding Officer.

The Navy Nurse Corps birthday stretched throughout the entire week at NHB, as the NHB Nurse Corps members sponsored a speed mentoring course to explain the various nursing career specialties available to prospective Sailors, and held their official birthday celebration on May 13. The Navy Nurse Corps is also the exact same time as National Nurses Week that is annually recognized and celebrated May 6 to May 12, which is the birthday of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), the founder of modern nursing.

There are approximately 146 active duty and civilian nurses assigned to NHB - 68 active duty personnel - along with six American Red Cross nurse volunteers, out of the Navy's active and Reserve Nurse Corps approximately 4,300 members, a sizable increase from the Navy Nurse Corps initial group of 20 in 1908 - known as the "Sacred Twenty."

As was the case 107 years ago, NHB's Nurse Corps continues to provide care and support, especially in remembrance for those gone but never forgotten.

For more news from Naval Hospital Bremerton, visit

NNS150518-24. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Dedicates Fisher House

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Yasmine T. Muhammad, NHCP Public Affairs

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- Military leaders, community leaders, staff and friends attended the Fisher House dedication at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton May 15.

Guest speakers were Brig. Gen. Edward Banta, commanding general, Marine Corps Installation West Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Capt. Mark Kobelja, commanding officer, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Retired Navy Vice Admiral John Mateczun, president, UnitedHealthcare Military and Veterans and Kenneth Fisher, chairman, Fisher House Foundation.

Recipients were very grateful for the addition of the Fisher House for the use of families of the wounded.
"On behalf of the U.S. Marine Corps I want to thank the UnitedHealthcare foundation and the Fisher House for their gracious gift of this beautiful facility and, speaking for everybody here at Camp Pendleton, we're proud to be the home of the 65th Fisher House," said Banta.

The house, which is more than 8,000 sq. feet, is equipped with eight suites, each with a private handicap accessible bathroom and common area and is a no-cost comfort home designed for the families of patients receiving long term care at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton.

"Most of our patients have out-of-town families that arrive at their bedside out of love and worry; it is very fitting that the families of our volunteer heroes will have this lodge available to them now," said Kobelja. "This is one less concern as they navigate the confusion of the unexpected surgery, illness or the joy of arrival of the newest family member. Mr. Fisher, Dr. Mateczun please let your donors and staff know that we are profoundly grateful and that our patients are going to forever appreciate this."

This is the 65th Fisher House built for military families by the nonprofit Fisher House Foundation and the only one built with only one donor.

United Healthcare Military and Veterans provided a $2.65 million grant to fully fund the construction of the Fisher House.

Families staying at the house can also receive free childcare through the Fisher Children's Center, which is also located on base.

"We need to remember that behind every service member and veteran is a family that also serves. A family that bears burdens and makes sacrifices the average American has no concept of," said Fisher. "In the end that's why we're all here today, to ensure that our Marine families get the care and support they need while their loved ones heal."

For more information about the Fisher House Foundation, visit

For more information about Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, visit and

NNS020131-20. This Day in Naval History - May 19

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1813 - During the War of 1812, the frigate Congress, commanded by John Smith, captures and burns the British merchant brig, Jean, in the Atlantic.

1855 - The screw ship Powhatan lands her Marine guard at Shanghai, China, to protect the lives and property of Americans during a period of unrest.

1882 - Commodore Robert W. Shufeldt, onboard USS Swatara, arrives in Korea to negotiate the first commerce treaty between Korea and a Western power. The treaty is signed on May 22, opening Korea to United States trade.

1944 - USS England (DE 635) sinks Japanese submarine I 16, the first of five submarines the destroyer sinks in a weeks time.

1944 - USS Niblack (DD 424), USS Ludlow (DD 438), and British aircraft sink German submarine U 960 off Oran, Algeria.

NNS150520-16. Parade of Ships Signals Start of 2015 Fleet Week New York

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Paul E. Manukin III, Fleet Week New York Public Affairs

NEW YORK (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard officially kicked off 2015 Fleet Week New York (FWNY) with a Parade of Ships, May 20.

FWNY, now in its 27th 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. Nearly 1,800 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen are participating this year.

"I love Fleet Week, especially being retired Navy," said Jim Brandow, commander for Post 107 Veterans of Foreign Wars, who welcomed the ships into the city at Fort Hamilton. "Just being around the whole military family here and seeing the warships parade through New York harbor is very special to me."

Participating ships included the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17), the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Stout (DDG 55), U.S. Coast Guard cutters Sturgeon Bay (WTGB 109) and Spencer (WMEC 905), and FDNY Fireboat 343, named in honor of the 343 firefighters who lost their lives at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Ships will be moored at Pier 92 in Manhattan and USS The Sullivans Pier in Staten Island for the duration of FWNY. Free ship tours will be available daily, May 20-25, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The tours will give the public a firsthand view of life aboard a ship for service members. FWNY will also feature many demonstrations by the sea services.

"We come every year to show our support of the base," said Patricia McGivney, a 5th grade teacher at St. Patrick Academy. "We have a lot of kids that live on-base and attend the school. It's a nice opportunity for the kids to get out and recognize what a great country we have. The kids are super excited."

The Parade of Ships is only the beginning of the weeklong celebration. Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen get the chance to explore New York City and participate in special events and parades, including multiple Memorial Day events.

"This is not my first Fleet Week; this is my first time seeing the ships come in though," said Navy Master-at-Arms Seaman Richie Hernandez, a native of New York City. "It brings a lot of joy and pride in what I am doing and just seeing the ships and knowing these guys go out to sea and what they risk and do out there."

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

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Mid Atlantic, visit

NNS150520-05. The Department of the Navy Launches the "Hatch"

From Department of the Navy Innovation Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Department of the Navy (DON) launched its crowdsourced ideation platform, the "Hatch," May 20.

The launch of the Hatch is part of the initiative to build a DON Naval Innovation Network (NIN).

The Hatch is an accessible, virtual collaboration forum where innovators can submit their creative ideas for improving the DON. In the Hatch, ideas can be refined through crowdsourcing and further developed by local innovators and subject matter experts.

"The Hatch enables us to connect innovators locally," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "We have the opportunity to receive and share innovative ideas at the right level to get solutions to problems people encounter every day. I look forward to seeing how the Hatch will allow us to share these solutions across our workforce."

The Hatch is a continuation of the CNO's highly successful initiative to reduce administrative distractions (RAD). The RAD ideas and user profiles are fully integrated into the Hatch.

The DON workforce can establish an account using their .mil, .gov, and military .edu email addresses. Once an account is created, the innovator will be able to submit and monitor ideas through their work or personal desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

The NIN working group is currently developing an efficient, yet collaborative and transparent, process to ensure all ideas are evaluated fairly.

An incentive/rewards structure will be developed to recognize those who submit ideas, actively collaborate and advance ideas through development and implementation. One of the first "challenges" within the Hatch will be focused on the incentive/rewards program, and we need your input to ensure success.

Whether you have an innovative idea, a solution to reducing administrative distractions, or a creative proposal for how we can recognize top contributors, enter the Hatch and start participating.

Additional information about DoN Innovation and accessing the Hatch may be found by visiting:

NNS150520-15. MCPON Participates Alongside Athletes At Special Olympics Relay Race

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin J. Steinberg, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Volunteers from around Naval District Washington (NDW) joined in support of this year's Special Olympics Armed Forces Day at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., May 20. The event was part of the 2015 Special Olympics Summer Games.

The event included volunteers from every military branch and from a variety of military ranks, both enlisted and officer. Along with supporting the event by providing their efforts, such as athlete escorts, staging personnel and finish line personnel, military personnel also participated in the Special Olympics Armed Forces Day Joint Service 4x100 meter relay.

Each relay team consisted of two active duty military personnel and two Special Olympics athletes. Team Navy was comprised of NDW Commandant Rear Adm. Mark Rich, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens and Special Olyimpians Darryl Meadows and Douglas Medrono with team Navy finishing in 2nd place, earning silver medals.

"Since the very existence of the Navy, volunteer service has been something that we've cherished and we believe to be very important and it's no different today," said Stevens. "We're very, very pleased and happy to be here and be part of this Special Olympics event."

Stevens participated to not only show support but to be inspired as well.

"When I come to events like this and see the challenges that young men and women have overcome, it's inspiring," Stevens said. "So I come here to support the event but also to be inspired myself."

Other Sailors echoed the MCPON's sentiments.

"I've never done an event like this before," said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Angela Davis, from Orlando, Florida. "It feels great giving back to the community."

Special Olympics is an international organization that encourages and empowers people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. The movement has evolved from a few hundred athletes to having millions in more than 170 countries around the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs.

NNS150520-13. Early Application is Key for Tuition Assistance Approval

By Ed Barker, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Sailors applying for Tuition Assistance (TA) are reminded that their chances of success are increased substantially by submitting requests early; helping to avoid delays in their college plans.

According to Ernest D'Antonio, the Naval Education and Training Professional Development Technology Center's Voluntary Education (VOLED) program director, the number one reason for TA request disapproval is late applications.

"No one wants to deny a request, but service members must obtain approval for TA funding before the official start of a course," said D'Antonio. "It's a multi-step process, and if we find a problem, the request gets held up until we can fix it. It's crucial for commands to make sure that their Sailors know to start the process early - so that TA applications can be completed by the VEC in advance of the deadline."

D'Antonio suggests that 30 days prior to the course start date is not too soon for members to start their TA requests.

"Applications are funded on a first-come, first-served basis," he added. "There's no risk to applying early; we can modify or cancel the TA voucher after the fact with no harm to the Sailor, but if you submit the TA request after classes have started, there's nothing we can do."

Supervisor for the VEC, Susan Sutter, detailed the required steps that must be taken before a TA request can be approved. Sailors must: 1) Be counseled by their local Navy College Office (NCO) or the VEC, 2) WebTA training must be completed, 3) An education/degree plan must be on file (with the course that the Sailor is requesting TA for included in the plan), and 4) The Sailor's command must approve the TA request.

"Additionally, Sailors must have completed at least 12 months onboard their first permanent duty station, have no missing grades, not owe the Navy any funds for incomplete or failed courses, and have an end-of-obligated service date after the course ends," Sutter said.

Both D'Antonio and Sutter also stressed that Sailors should monitor their account through the MyEducation portal on the Navy College website to ensure their accounts are posted and accurate and that their degree plans are current.

If a Sailor or his/her command have any questions or experience any problems, they should contact their servicing NCO or the VEC for assistance. The VEC is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Monday - Friday and may be reached by calling: 1-(877) 838-1659.

For more information on the Navy College Program and the Virtual Education Center visit

Additional information about the Naval Education and Training Command can be found via

For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit

NNS150520-11. NHCP Simulation Center Promotes Hands-on Training

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Yasmine T. Muhammad, NHCP Public Affairs

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- Training is important in any job field and the field of medicine is no different.

The staff in Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton's Simulation Center offers hands-on, hi-tech training to help medical providers and hospital corpsmen deal with real life situations.

"The biggest reason why we have simulation is for relevancy of practice; instead of pretending you can actually put your hands on it," said Roger Lankheet Jr., NHCP simulation center specialist. "We provide equipment that mimics realistic situations. We want people to practice techniques and processes and avenues of good practice before they do it on real people. The mannequins can take it, that's why we do it."

Lankheet operates the hospital's "sim center" with the assistance of Mona Cruz, simulation operation specialist, and has helped build the center from a two-mannequin center in 2012 to a 14-mannequin lab with a variety of realistic mannequins to practice on.

"[Our mannequins] go from birth all the way to death," said Lankheet. "We have male, female, infants, children, adults, pregnant and non-pregnant so that we can do the whole gamut."

In addition to the many different mannequins, the sim center is also equipped with several task trainers that allow events such as the introduction of chest tubes, dealing with missing limbs and even arms to practice inserting an IV.

Providers agree that having realistic hands-on training helps the learning process.

"The use of simulation takes a lot of the artificiality out of the training that you do," said Lt. Cmdr. Virginia Damin, multi-service ward and intensive care unit department head. "Instead of having a notional discussion of how you would resuscitate a patient, students are able to actually put their hands on the "patient" and practice things they would normally do."

Lankheet mentioned that there has been an overwhelmingly positive response from those who have taken the class.

"I love hands on training, so being able to be trained and work with patients that simulate real situations is amazing," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Emily Yeager, who works in NHCP's maternal infant unit. "The sim center prepares you and gets you familiar with the equipment. When I'm really in it and I'm doing the training that's when I know I'm really soaking in the information."

According to Lankheet training has gone from an average of about 2,000 hours of training per year to an average exceeding 2,000 hours per month, and with more than 5,000 hours in the month of April alone.

"People are seeking us out, and that is the exciting part,' said Lankheet. "They're soliciting our assistance which tells me that they have taken it from 'oh this is drudgery' to 'hey how can we have some fun'."

For more information on the simulation center please contact Roger Lankheet at 760-719-3664.

For more news from Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, visit

NNS150520-10. CP-15 Crew Begins Mission in Nicaragua

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Deven Leigh Ellis, Continuing Promise Public Affairs

PUERTO CABEZAS, Nicaragua (NNS) -- Personnel embarked aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) commenced the fourth mission stop for Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15) in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, May 19.

During an opening ceremony held at Colegio Moravo Juan Amos Comenius May 18, CP-15 Mission Commander Capt. Sam Hancock spoke to Nicaraguan officials and residents of the local community about how the Comfort team is looking forward to reaching out and connecting with the people of Nicaragua through the planned engagements for the mission stop.

"We look forward to working with our friends and partners during this mission stop, which will enable us to strengthen our ties in support of the enduring partnership between the United States and Nicaragua," said Hancock.

The CP-15 participants arrived to see hundreds of citizens already lined up and waiting at the medical site set up at Instituto Politechnico Heroes y Martires, where military and non-governmental organization medical volunteers will work alongside partner nation medical personnel to provide no-cost medical and dental services to Nicaraguan citizens. CP-15 personnel are operating a second medical site at Colegio Moravo Juan Amos Comenius.

By mid-afternoon, the Comfort team had treated more than 450 patients, providing checkups, medication, and specialized care, including orthopedic, dermatologic, dental, and women's health.

"Today was a great start to our mission stop in Nicaragua," said Cmdr. Jason Daily, medical site officer in charge. "Working alongside our Nicaraguan medical and dental counterparts has been a wonderful experience, and we look forward to working as a team to provide care to the patients we will see at the site."

In addition to the medical services provided, embarked Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202, from Little Creek, Virginia, began work on several construction and renovation projects at Escuela Publica Rigoberto Cabezas and Hospital Nuevo Amanecer Enfermera Nancy Bach, including plumbing and piping repairs, electrical work, and replacing lighting fixtures.

Hancock also commented that the crew, host nation professionals and non-governmental organization volunteers are participating in dozens of information exchanges and seminars to include a preventative health fair at Instituto Politechnico Heroes y Martires, a women's health seminar, and veterinarian information exchanges on multiple livestock topics and animal health.

This will be the sixth time that the Continuing Promise mission has visited Nicaragua. Most recently, in June 2011, the Comfort visited San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, during CP-11.

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

For more news from Continuing Promise, visit

NNS150520-07. CNO Visits NIOC Georgia

By Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) James Gentry, Navy Information Operations Command Georgia

FORT GORDON, Ga. (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert visited Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Georgia May 19, and held an all-hands call to discuss the Navy's role in signals intelligence, information operations and cyber support.

In a full auditorium of NIOC members Greenert highlighted the importance of intelligence in today's world and the emergence of a new warfare domain. He expressed his high regard for the skills and abilities of NIOC Georgia Sailors and remarked on the highly adaptable nature of NIOC Georgia's team.

Further complimenting the intelligence and cyber roles of NIOC members Greenert added, "Cyber is growing fast and it will continue to grow. The demand of the world and the threats out there will have everyone turning to cyber."

Greenert also discussed the Secretary of the Navy's recent U.S. Naval Academy speech regarding new personnel initiatives that will modernize the fleet today, and in the coming years. Fitness, advancement, and roles for women were among topics Sailors desired to follow up on during the question and answer period.

Additionally, during the all-hands call, Greenert took the time to pin 14 newly qualified active duty and reserve information dominance warfare specialists and officers. Directly following the pinning, the CNO re-enlisted Petty Officers 2nd Class Jerrell McQuay and Gloria Escalante.

Surface Operations Officer LT. Nick Goddard said afterward, "This visit truly is a great honor. It's not every day you get to showcase the collective talents of our IDC Sailors to the Navy's top officer!"

NIOC Georgia was recently aligned under the newly created type command Navy Information Dominance Forces and is a subordinate of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command. NIOC Georgia is based on Ft. Gordon and comprises Task Force 1050 of the U.S. 10th Fleet. Its mission is to conduct SIGINT, cyber, and information operations for fleet, joint and national commanders that enhance the warfighting effectiveness of our Navy and the nation.

For more news from Navy Information Operations Command Georgia, visit

NNS150520-04. New Video for Every Sailor, Every Day Campaign

From the 21st Century Sailor Office

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- In 2014, the 21st Century Sailor Office's Suicide Prevention Branch (OPNAV N171) introduced the "Every Sailor, Every Day" message to the fleet. This call-to-action implores Sailors, leaders and families to strengthen their connections with one another and "break the code of silence" when it comes to discussions and actions that may prevent suicide. The campaign focuses on ongoing engagement, active communication, peer support and personal responsibility, underscoring the impact strong connections can have on facilitating early recognition and intervention when there are indications of distress.

As we approach the one year mark of the fleet-wide "Every Sailor, Every Day" campaign-which has spanned across social media, command outreach, multi-media products and more-the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) and the Navy Suicide Prevention Branch have launched a new video to strengthen educational efforts at the deckplate. Now available in the video gallery, the BUMED-produced "Every Sailor, Every Day" video is a 17-minute realistic scenario illustrating active command leadership and peer engagement when a few members of a command seem to be reacting negatively to stress. The command triad devises a plan for "100% accountability," checking in and connecting with every Sailor regardless of their location or duty status on a daily basis to build trust and dialogue, and facilitate intervention if needed. The video also illustrates how individual Sailors can reach out to and support a shipmate when they notice signs or behaviors out of the norm for the person.

"Often when we speak with those left behind in the aftermath of a suicide they reveal that they noticed small changes that the Sailor exhibited, but either didn't think they were cause for concern or didn't know how to respond appropriately," said Steve Holton, deputy director, Navy Suicide Prevention Branch. "This video does an excellent job at showing how Sailors and leaders can stay involved and 'connect the dots' when something doesn't seem right, ensuring the Sailor gets support before the situation escalates."

While the "Every Sailor, Every Day" message launched during 2014 Suicide Prevention Month and has since continued as Navy's core suicide prevention communications campaign, the concept originated as a Navy Medicine leadership initiative spearheaded by Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, Navy surgeon general and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.

The initiative aimed to encourage proactive leadership engagement by identifying and supporting Sailors who may be experiencing challenging times in their lives; including transitions, relationship difficulties, career setbacks and financial troubles. Case studies and research have consistently identified these as increased periods of risk-especially when Sailors are away from the support of their peers, leaders and families.

"Eliminating suicide within the ranks is an all hands effort. Because even one suicide is too many, it's very important that we be there for "every Sailor, every day" by going out of our way to engage with one another during calm and rough seas," said Nathan.

The "Every Sailor, Every Day" video can be used as part of command Suicide Prevention Program efforts, from supplementary trainings to education and awareness events, providing a current and relatable product to refresh command suicide prevention coordinators' (SPC) available video offerings. Outside of these settings, the video can strengthen individual knowledge and skills, providing tangible examples that can be applied at the deckplate.

To view a short trailer for the "Every Sailor, Every Day" video, click here. To view the full product, click here. SPCs can expect to receive a hardcopy DVD version delivered to their command free of charge within the coming months.

For more information and resources from the "Every Sailor, Every Day" campaign, visit

The BUMED produced "Every Sailor, Every Day" video received first place in the training category for the 2014 Thomas Jefferson Visual Information Awards. The awards honor the best among the Department of Defense in broadcast and visual information productions.

NNS150520-02. Department of the Navy Hosts 5th Annual Wounded Warrior Conference

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Kofonow, Defense Media Activity

SAN ANTONIO (NNS) -- Employers from across the country attended the 5th annual Wounded Warrior Hiring and Support Conference, May 19-20 in San Antonio.

The purpose of the two-day conference was to bring employers and wounded warriors together in one location to match their employment needs.

The first day was employer-focused, with sessions designed to share best practices and innovative ways to recruit, hire, train, and retain wounded warriors and veterans.

"We are now a decade and a half into the longest sustained combat operations in American history, and the great news is, the historic news is, that over that last decade and a half we have brought more Americans home alive than in previous conflicts that have come home in flag draped coffins," said Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Juan Garcia III. "The challenge that comes with that is to successfully reintegrate them into American society. Every year we have held a Wounded Warrior hiring conference around the country to help with that reintegration."

San Antonio, has one of the nation's premier medical facilities, offering highly sophisticated medical care for service members, family members, civilians, and veterans. The San Antonio Military Medical Center plays a critical role in taking care of Wounded Warriors in Transition from the Global War on Terrorism.

"With Brooks Army Medical Center, so many of our folks have recovered there and that's our burn injury specialist and that injury is one that will tie people to south Texas for a long time," said Garcia. "San Antonio is a lot of these Marines, Soldiers, and Navy SEAL, EOD's new homes and they love it. They want to build a family here, build a career here and this conference is going to help them do that."

The Department of the Navy and the USO joined forces to connect business and industry leaders with Wounded Warriors and veterans who are qualified, committed and ready to work.

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

Several panel discussions were held giving employers and wounded warriors an opportunity to share their perspectives.

The second day of the conference features the Hiring Heroes Career Fair with more than 90 federal agencies and private industry employers presenting job opportunities for wounded warriors, veterans and their spouses.

Workshops offered include connecting veterans and transitioning service members to available benefits, employment resources for military spouses and caregivers, and a tutorial on how to use the federal government's job application tool, USAJOBS.

The 2015 Wounded Warrior and Veteran Hiring and Support Conference is sponsored by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

To learn more about the free conference, visit

NNS150520-01. Navy Band Performs for New York Fans

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian McNeal, Fleet Week New York Public Affairs

NEW YORK (NNS) -- Visitors to Manhattan's Bryant Park were treated to a variety of patriotic, classical and Broadway musical selections during the U.S. Navy Band Northeast's "Pops Ensemble" concert as a part of Fleet Week New York, May 19.

Under the direction of Lt. Gregory Fritz, Navy Band Northeast is one of 13 official bands of the U.S. Navy worldwide, and is comprised of 35 professional musicians who support more than 500 musical engagements per year.

"It's great to be back here; New York City is the greatest city in the world," said Musician 3rd Class James Dissinger, a native of Williston Park, New York. "It's fun to perform in front of anyone, but performing in front of your hometown and especially during Fleet Week is a little more special."

Fleet Week New York, now in its 27th 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, and it is anticipated that nearly 1,800 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen will participate this year.

Musician 3rd Class Joseph Steiner, a native of Sandpoint, Idaho, who is participating in his first Fleet Week, has already had a chance to enjoy the city.

"I have seen some live jazz at a couple of clubs," said Steiner. "That's what is special and cool about music. Everyone can relate to music no matter who you are or where you are from."

The crowd of nearly 300 people enjoyed all the selections, but came to their feet during the band's rendition of "New York, New York."

Fleet Week New York begins in earnest May 20 with the parade of ships - a three-hour parade featuring nine military ships sailing down the Hudson River. Throughout the week, the public will have an opportunity to tour ships, and meet the men and women who serve aboard them.

For up-to-date information on all Fleet Week events, visit the official Fleet Week New York website at, "Like" FleetWeekNewYork on Facebook, or "Follow" @FleetWeekNYC on Twitter. Fleet Week New York photos can be viewed on Flickr at Join the conversation on social media by using #FleetWeekNYC.

NNS150519-22. USS New Orleans Completes Sustainment Training

By Mass Communication Specialist Third Class Brandon Cyr, USS New Orleans Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) completed a four-week underway May 15 as a part of the ship's basic training cycle to prepare for future deployments.

The time at sea was filled with inspections and evolutions, including firefighting, well deck operations, deck landing qualifications and towing exercises to test the readiness of the crew.

"This was a very busy time at sea," said Capt. Douglas Verissimo, the commanding officer of New Orleans. "We had a long list of certifications and expectations to meet and we exceeded them."

New Orleans completed her first towing exercise with a local San Diego tugboat. The exercise consisted of hooking a towing hawser to a tugboat for a 15-minute cruise that included a 90-degree turn.

"The exercise was a massive success," said Boatswains Mate 1st Class Christopher Beach. "I was impressed at how well deck department banded together and completed their first tow."

New Orleans also completed approximately 20 hours of deck landing qualifications with Navy SH-60 Sea Hawk and Air Force HH-60G Pavehawk helicopters during both day and night operations.

"New Orleans is a primary aviation platform in the amphibious readiness group (ARG), so attaining the aviation readiness qualification before deployment is crucial", said Lt. Aaron Johnson, the "Air Boss" aboard New Orleans. "The air department and air augmentees worked seamlessly in all phases of aviation operations."

The largest evolution during New Orleans' underway was executing four days of well deck amphibious operations. New Orleans performed multiple evolutions, launching and recovering two landing craft air cushions (LCAC), 12 amphibious assault vehicles (AAV), two light amphibious resupply cargo (LARC), two coastal riverine assault boats and one landing craft unit (LCU).

"Some of the days were very long", said Beach. "The departments worked tirelessly for hours to launch and recover all types of craft."

During one of the evolutions, the ship's deck department successfully recovered two coastal riverine assault boats. The crew also conducted numerous firefighting drills to improve readiness in case of an actual casualty.

"We were continually running damage control drills during the day and even some at night," said Personnel Specialist Seaman Alexandria Holt. "They were very demanding, but I feel much more prepared to respond now in the event of a real life casualty."

The evolutions and drills conducted during the four-week underway helped prepare New Orleans for their upcoming deployment.

"The crew of New Orleans is resilient, no matter what they are asked to do they meet the challenge head on," said Verissimo. "This training cycle takes Sailors away from their families for weeks at a time, but New Orleans is never phased and continues to work hard to complete the mission."

For more news from Naval Surface Forces, visit

NNS150519-21. NAVFAC Southwest Completes Fitness Center at Naval Base Coronado

By Mario T. Icari, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Public Affairs Office

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest, RQ Construction, Navy Region Southwest (NRSW), and members of Naval Base Coronado's (NBC) community witnessed a ceremonial ribbon cutting May 11 to formally open the newly constructed fitness center at NBC Naval Air Station North Island.

"At Naval Base Coronado, two old buildings; the warehouse gym and the main fitness center were built 1943 and 1948 respectively and had a few updates," said CAPT Chris Sund, NBC commanding officer and a speaker during the ceremony. "For the last 70 years the Navy hasn't added any fitness facility before this one. In fact our base swimming pool doubled as our combat tank for our air crewmen and survival swimmers, and our liberty center was designed originally as a laundromat. We've been doing what Sailors have been doing over the years and have been making it work. This facility represents 70 years of evolution and leap into a purpose and design built with our sailors' input."

The newly constructed fitness center provides Navy personnel with an 89,502 square foot fitness center, a 3,746 square foot Olympic size pool, and a 16,673 square foot single sailor center. The new facility provides basketball and volleyball courts with spectator seating, racquetball courts, artificial turf softball, football, and soccer fields. The fitness center also includes multiple specialized exercise classrooms and locker rooms. The new fitness center increases the number of programs available to sailors including artificial turf softball, football, and soccer fields, a handicap accessible 50-meter lap pool, and an increased amount of traditional exercise equipment.

Sailors in the Metro San Diego area have access to a state of the art facility consolidating multiple Morale Welfare Recreation (MWR) functions into a single, central facility in Coronado. The new liberty center provides sailors with multiple recreation opportunities including an electronic gaming room, movie theater, television lounges, computer lounge, and access to free Wi-Fi connectivity.

"This is the largest, newest, best fitness center in the Navy and it rivals anything outside of the gate," said Ron Vogel, Region Southwest Fleet and family readiness officer. "There is no doubt that the 500,000 customers that use North Island fitness facilities are going to benefit from this facility."

The facility incorporates many energy saving initiatives such as maximizing the use of daylight throughout the building, high insulated windows and wall systems, solar pool and domestic water heaters, and a 337 kW photovoltaic panel array.

NAVFAC Southwest awarded RQ Construction a $43.9 million contract to construct the fitness center on Aug. 7, 2012.

"The one word that comes to mind when I look at this facility is teamwork -- the teamwork of everyone that was a part of this and the people who made this dream come to life," said Cmdr. Michael Meno NAVFAC Southwest public works officer at Naval Base Coronado.

NAVFAC Southwest personnel who worked on this project were Project Manager Norman Sakara, Design Manager Billy Sandros, Construction Managers Lt. Russell Glass and Jacob Wittler, Engineering Technician Rory Van Nuis, and Contracting Officer Patricia Darienzo.

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit

NNS020131-21. This Day in Naval History - May 20

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1815 - Commodore Stephen Decatur sails with his flagship USS Guerriere and a squadron of nine ships for the Mediterranean to suppress piracy. Under strict negotiations, Decatur is able to secure a treaty with the Day of Algiers, His Highness Omar Bashaw, on July 3.

1844 - The frigate Constitution, commanded by John Percival, sails from New York to depart on her 32,279 mile round-the-world cruise. Heading eastward, she visits places such as Brazil, Zanzibar, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Hawaii before returning back to Boston, Mass., in Sept. 1846.

1909 - USS Mississippi (BB 23) arrives at Natchez, Miss., and becomes the first U.S. Navy battleship to visit an inland city.

1943 - The Tenth Fleet is established in Washington D.C., under the command of Adm. Ernest J. King, to coordinate U.S. anti-submarine operations in the Atlantic. Disbanded after WWII, the Tenth Fleet is reactivated in Jan. 2010 as U.S. Fleet Cyber Command.

1944 - USS Angler (SS 240) sinks Japanese transport Otori Maru and survives depth charging by its escort, while both USS Silversides (SS 236) and USS Bluegill (SS 242) sink enemy vessels.

1995 - USS Russell (DDG 59) is commissioned during a ceremony at Pascagoula, Miss. The 9th Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer is named for Rear Adm. John Henry Russell and his son, Commandant of the Marine Corps John Henry Russell Jr.

NNS150521-08. VCNO Hosts IMDEX Senior Leader Reception Aboard Fort Worth

From USS Fort Worth Public Affairs

CHANGI NAVAL BASE, Singapore (NNS) -- Adm. Michelle Howard, vice chief of naval operations, hosted a reception for senior naval leaders on board littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) May 20.

Howard is the senior U.S. Navy leader participating in the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX) 2015.

"It was great to welcome Rear. Adm. Lai (Chief of the Republic of Singapore Navy) on board USS Fort Worth as part of IMDEX and during the ship's first rotational deployment to Singapore," said Howard.

The biennial IMDEX Asia was first organized in 1997 and provides an international venue to showcase the latest developments in maritime defense technology and to foster dialogue on contemporary maritime security challenges and opportunities.

"There were many familiar faces among the flag officers, captains and senior enlisted from regional navies who visited Fort Worth tonight, and it was a pleasure to visit many of their ships on the waterfront for IMDEX as well," said Rear Adm. Charlie Williams, commander, Task Force 73.

In addition to Fort Worth, embarked with one MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter and one MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial system, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89), which is embarked with two MH-60R helicopters, and the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Pasadena (SSN 752) are also participating in static displays at Singapore's Changi Naval Base.

Senior leaders and representatives from maritime services in 40 countries are attending IMDEX 2015, along with several thousand trade show visitors. Joining the U.S. Navy ships at Changi Naval Base are 20 foreign warships from 12 navies.

"Rotational deployments of littoral combat ships speak to our longstanding partnership with the Republic of Singapore Navy and our shared commitment to regional cooperation and maritime security," said Howard.

Fort Worth is on a 16-month rotational deployment and is the second LCS to deploy to U.S. 7th Fleet as part of an initiative to simultaneously deploy up to four LCS in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region by later this decade. Mustin, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. Pasadena, homeported in San Diego, is currently on deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, U.S. 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict.

For more news from Destroyer Squadron 7, visit

NNS150521-15. USS Freedom (LCS 1) Completes Rough Water Trials

From Program Executive Office LCS

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) completed Seakeeping and Structural Loads Trials, commonly referred to as Rough Water Trials (RWT) in late March the Navy reported May 21.

The U.S. Navy must demonstrate the seaworthiness and structural integrity of each new ship class. One of the primary ways the Navy verifies these qualities is through a series of at-sea tests and inspections. These are designed to ensure the hull design is able to navigate through and withstand forces due to inclement weather and high sea state conditions.

During the RWT Freedom collected data while operating in sea states 5 and 6 (approximately 8-20 foot waves) off the coast of Oregon for a total of 11 days. The ship was steered in an octagonal route at speeds ranging from dead stop to flank speed to capture data on performance at all speeds and orientations.

The test team collected data to measure stress, torsion, and strain on the ship structure. Over the next few months the data will be further analyzed to compare the actual performance of the LCS class Freedom variant to its modeled performance.

Initial test results are positive, the machinery plant and auxiliaries all performed well, especially in the context of the sustained operations at sea. Once validated, the results will provide the Navy with the conditions (speed and heading variations) under which it should operate the Freedom variant ships in elevated sea states. The ship's crew members were also equipped with accelerometers and sensors to evaluate human factors such as sleep and potential sea sickness due to ship motions.

The ship's crew learned a number of important lessons about operating in elevated sea states, which they will share with other Freedom variant crews. Overall, this trial increased the crew's confidence in operating their ship in rough water.

The LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant, each designed and built by different industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g., LCS 1). The Independence variant team was led by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works (LCS 2 and LCS 4) and Austal USA (for the subsequent even-numbered hulls). Purchased under the innovative block-buy acquisition strategy, there are 12 ships currently under construction.

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of mission packages including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. The Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation's maritime strategy.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS150521-13. USS Michael Murphy Returns Home After Successful Seven-Month Deployment

By Ensign Kelly Lorentson, USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112)Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- After a successful seven-month deployment, the guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) returned May 21 to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH).

Friends, families and fellow service members lined the harbor and gathered on the pier to welcome the ship home as it finished the last leg of its maiden deployment.

While deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), Michael Murphy promoted security and stability throughout the western Pacific region. In total, the ship spent nearly 200 days underway and conducted more than 800 flight hours with the ship's attached helicopter squadron, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37, Detachment 4.

"Although time away from family and friends is hard, the most rewarding time in a Sailor's career is deployment when they have the opportunity to see the result of their hard work, from boot camp, to 'A' and 'C' schools, through the ship's training cycle," said Cmdr. Todd Hutchison, Michael Murphy's commanding officer.

"The crew performed magnificently and also had the opportunity to enjoy some liberty in places like Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong. We were proud to represent our nation and our Navy on deployment and are very thankful to be home," Hutchison said.

Michael Murphy began deployment by patroling the western Pacific Ocean for illegal fishing and other crimes during a joint operation with the U.S. Coast Guard known as the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI).

From there, the ship continued operations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, conducting security patrols and normalizing U.S. presence in the region.

Focusing on building relations and strengthening alliances with foreign navies, Michael Murphy conducted several military exchanges with ships from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), the Republic of Korea (ROK) navy and the French navy.

While operating in waters near the Korean Peninsula, Michael Murphy participated in Foal Eagle 2015, an annual defense-oriented training exercise with the ROK navy designed to increase readiness and maintain stability in the Korean Peninsula as well as promote ROK-U.S. interoperability.

One of the more memorable events of Michael Murphy's maiden deployment was the successful execution of Multi-Sail 2015, a multi-day training exercise near Guam involving several U.S. 7th Fleet assets and special operations forces (SOF) working alongside several JMSDF ships.

While embarked onboard Michael Murphy, SOF combined efforts with the crew to conduct advanced maritime interdiction operations and visit, board, search and seizure training to exercise the dynamic and far-reaching capabilities of U.S. 7th Fleet and SOF assets and operations.

In addition to underway operations, Michael Murphy made many port calls to foreign countries and cities, including Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong. While visiting these ports, Sailors enjoyed local attractions and activities through Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sponsored tours and events. Some of the more popular tours included white water rafting and elephant riding in Thailand, hiking Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia, trips to Disneyland and Macau while in Hong Kong, a ride on the Singapore flyer and visit to the night zoo in Singapore, and trips to Nagasaki while in Japan.

"Hitting a new port can be overwhelming because of all the places to see and activities to do. It's nice to know MWR already has tours filled with great places to visit, so I can get the most out of my liberty," said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Jonathan Carrillo. "Some of my best memories from deployment were from tours that provided an easy way to experience the local culture," he said.

Many Sailors also volunteered to participate in community relations (COMREL) projects coordinated prior to each port visit between the ship and the host country. Sailors cleaned a local beach in Malaysia, painted and landscaped for two local orphanages in Thailand, played sports with children at St. George's Girls home, and prepared meals at a soup kitchen in Singapore. They also visited with residents of the Korean Rehabilitation Center in South Korea and Po Leung Kuk Wong Chuk Hang home for the elderly in Hong Kong.

"For me, coordinating and participating in the COMRELs was a way to help project a positive image for our Navy and our country," said Chief Fire Controlman Ryan York, Michael Murphy's community relations coordinator. "The best part of it was seeing all the smiling faces and appreciation from those that we interacted with and helped throughout the deployment," York said.

Michael Murphy is named for Lt. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy, a New York native who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wing in Afghanistan in 2005. Murphy was the first person to be awarded the medal for actions in Afghanistan, and the first member of the U.S. Navy to receive the award since the Vietnam War.

Homeported at JBPHH, Hawaii, Michael Murphy is a multi-mission ship with anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare surface combatants capabilities; designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit

NNS150521-12. Air Boss Hosts Commanders' Training Symposium

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Lacordrick Wilson, Commander, Naval Air Forces Public Affairs

POINT LOMA, Calif. (NNS) -- More than 70 of the Navy's senior aviation commanders gathered at the Admiral Kidd Catering & Conference Center May 19-20 to participate in the O-6 Commanders' Training Symposium hosted by Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF).

The event featured discussions on a wide range of topics, including fleet-wide talent management initiatives and the current and future state of Naval Aviation.

Senior leaders from CNAF's carrier air wings, type wings, aircraft carriers, and naval air installations were in attendance.

The conference follows the recent Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) announcement May 13 regarding talent management initiatives, including changes to the Navy and Marine Corps culture of fitness, uniforms, adaptive workforce and performance based advancement.

Capt. Dan Dwyer, director, Aviation Officer Distribution, Navy Personnel Command (PERS-43), spoke about talent and community management changes for Naval Aviation.

"What we've always known is that the way we recruit, develop, retain, and promote Sailors is critical to our success," said Dwyer. "With the SECNAV's new initiative, the Navy is now allocating its personnel assets and modernizing a system to impact the training pipeline, manpower distribution and overall structure."

"We are now implementing the analyzed data and tailoring our programs to be more sufficient in the distribution of personnel in the naval aviation community," continued Dwyer.

Assistant Commander of Navy Personnel Command Rear Adm. Kenneth R. Whitesell offered his views on why the Navy has focused on strategic talent management and workforce planning.

"In 2013, the Navy was able to reverse the downward spiral of manning," said Whitesell. "With our retention at its highest, the opportunity has presented itself for us to review and update our strategic talent priorities. Many of these ideas have been around for years but lack the available technology of today to implement them."

The Navy is adopting methods, such as expanding the Career Intermission Program, providing for more fluid transition from the active duty force to the Reserves, revising the performance evaluation system, expanding education opportunities, and much more.

"This is an important revision to our current system that better supports talent identification and allows Sailors to maximize their talent and options through the use of a transparent, incentivized detailing and flexible personnel management policy," said Whitesell.

For more information on Commander, Naval Air Forces, visit

NNS150521-11. NMOTC Commanding Officer Throws First Pitch

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Kaitlyn C. Boland, Navy Medicine Operational Training Center Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The commanding officer of the U.S. Navy's premier training facility for operational medicine and aviation survival training threw the ceremonial first pitch during the Pensacola-based Blue Wahoos May 20 game against the Mississippi Braves in Pensacola, Florida.

Navy Medicine Operational Training Center(NMOTC) Commanding Officer Capt. Paul D. Kane, MC, threw out the first pitch in front of more than 2,000 fans at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, considered one of the premier facilities in Minor League Baseball.

"Pensacola and the Navy have such a unique bond," he said. "The military presence here and the reception to the men and women in uniform in the Pensacola area are really quite special. It was an honor for me to be invited by the Blue Wahoos and the Greater Pensacola Chamber to represent the Navy, Navy Medicine and the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center. On behalf of them, I would like to say thank you for the support the Blue Wahoos, the Pensacola Chamber and the city of Pensacola show Sailors."

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are the double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. Established in 2012, the Blue Wahoos - located in the Panhandle of northwestern Florida - play baseball at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium and are highlighting and recognizing area military commands in conjunction with the Greater Pensacola Chamber during Military Appreciation Month, observed annually in May.

The Greater Pensacola chamber procured nearly 2,000 ticket vouchers from various Pensacola-area businesses and organizations to Blue Wahoos home games during May 2015, with the Chamber's Military Affairs Committee disseminating tickets to Pensacola-area commands, service members and military family members.

The Greater Pensacola Chamber Military Affairs Committee is designed to develop strategic economic growth opportunities that promote and enhance Department of Defense investments in the Pensacola area. The Department of Defense is the largest economic engine in the Pensacola Region, with more than $5.1 billion in total economic impact produced annually by more than 22,000 active duty and military/federal employees.

NMOTC, the recognized global leader in operational medical and aviation survival training, reports to Navy Medicine Education and Training Command (NMETC). NMETC manages Navy Medicine's formal enlisted and officer education and training programs, medical operational training for medical and medical support personnel deploying worldwide, and training that prepares aviators and flight crews to survive in land and water mishaps.

NMOTC and NMETC are all part of the Navy Medicine team, a global health care network of Navy medical professionals around the world who provide high-quality health care to more than 1 million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ships, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

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

NNS150521-07. CNO Addresses Navy's Newest Chaplains

By Lt. Cmdr. Troy Todd, Naval Chaplaincy School and Center Public Affairs

COLUMBIA, S.C. (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert addressed 21 graduates of the Professional Naval Chaplaincy Basic Leadership Course during their graduation ceremony at the Naval Chaplaincy School and Center May 20.

"Our chaplains are a special group of people," said Greenert. "They are trusted by our Sailors, and they make sure our Navy is spiritually ready."

During Greenert's remarks he highlighted the key and critical roles the new chaplains will bring to the Navy and its leaders.

"What you do is incredibility important to our fleet," said Greenert. "As you go around the world and into harm's way, we will turn to you."

Chief of Navy Chaplains Rear Adm. Margaret Grun Kibben was also in attendance, offering the invocation and benediction. Kibben echoed the CNO's remarks reminding the newest chaplains that they should be "where it matters, when it matters, bringing what matters to care for the religious and spiritual needs of Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and their families."

Greenert also encouraged the graduates to remember their heritage and the significance of being role models. He used the example of Father Capodanno to get his point across. Capodanno was a Roman Catholic chaplain during Vietnam who served with the Marines and died in battle. He was awarded the Medal of Honor and had a ship named in his honor.

Capt. Mark Smith, a Navy chaplain and commanding officer for Naval Chaplaincy School and Center (NCSC), described the CNO's visit and participation in the graduation as a clear signal to these new chaplains of the importance the Navy places on the work of well-trained naval chaplains caring for Sailors.

"Adm. Greenert's presence imprinted upon our graduates that who they are and what they do is vital to all who serve in our great Navy," Smith said.

The class leader, Lt. j.g. Susan Maginn, was the recipient of the Stanley Beach Leadership Award for exhibiting exceptional potential for leadership in ministry. The award is named for retired Navy chaplain Capt. Stanley Beach who served with the Marine Corps during Vietnam. He sustained severe leg and stomach injuries while ministering to wounded Marines and carrying them to aid stations.

"Personally, I really value all of the training I have received. The ethics course taught by Capt. Rick Rubel was powerful," said Maginn, who is looking forward to her first duty station at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego.

Lt. Joseph Gilliam is new to the military, having served as a senior pastor of a church for 11 years.

"During my time at NCSC, the most valuable items to me were working with and learning from my peers and colleagues. We grew through the challenges of diversity, such as different theological viewpoints," Gilliam said.

Lt. j.g. Nathan Grooms also came to the Chaplain Corps without any prior military experience. The past 15 years he served as a minister with little experience in working with divergent faith groups.

"I have grown to value pluralism," Grooms said. "Dealing with diversity gave me an exceptional opportunity to grow through dialogue with my peers and instructors."

When he leaves NCSC, Grooms will join the 2nd Marine Division 2nd Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

For more information on the Naval Education and Training Command, including the Naval Chaplaincy School and Center, visit the NETC website:

For more news on the Navy Chaplain Corps, visit:

NNS150521-05. Navy Space-Based Orbital Debris Sensor Receives U.S. Patent

By Daniel Parry, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Small orbital debris objects can threaten vital space-based assets. The Navy's patented compact debris detection device can detect debris in near real-time and provide essential trajectory data for future use.

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Geospace Science and Technology Branch, received U.S. patent (#8976245), March 10, for the Optical Orbital Debris Spotter - a compact, low power, low cost, local space debris detection concept that can be integrated into larger satellite designs, or flown independently on-board nano-satellite platforms.

Man-made debris orbiting the Earth continues to increase at an alarming rate - with objects smaller than one centimeter (cm) exceeding 100 million. The effects of collisions occurring at orbital velocities approaching speeds of several kilometers per second can range from minor to catastrophic. In Low Earth Orbit (LEO), where many space-based assets reside, small debris objects are of concern not only due to their abundance, but because they are often difficult to track or even detect on a routine basis.

The fundamental concept for the orbital debris detection sensor is to create a continuous light sheet by using a collimated light source, such as a low power laser, and a conic mirror. The key idea of this concept is to form a permanently illuminated light sheet rather than a scanning beam. This way, all particles intersecting the 'sheet' will scatter the light from the source, independent of the time of intersection with the plane of the light sheet.

"When the flight path of an orbital debris object intersects the light sheet, the object will scatter the light, and a portion of that scattered light can be detected by a wide angle camera," said Dr. Christoph Englert, research physicist at NRL. "The knowledge of the light sheet geometry and the angles of the scattering event with respect to the camera, derived from the signal location on the sensor, allow the determination of the intersection point, and possibly even size, and shape information about the debris particle."

Many debris studies are performed using damaged satellite surfaces that are brought back to the Earth after months or years in orbit. This newly patented concept can provide, at a minimum, a similar or even improved data set in close to real-time without the necessity of returning satellites back to Earth. Small, stand-alone sensor systems, such as the Optical Orbital Debris Spotter, could also be deployed within a debris cloud to provide in-situ measurements of debris density, distribution and evolution.

"Using a dedicated nano-satellite, or CubeSat, the system could also be used for gathering of more comprehensive debris field data," Englert said. "Losing the satellite at some point during the mission by a fatal collision could be considered a justifiable risk in comparison to the odds of getting unprecedented data sets for debris field characterization and modeling."

The sensor concept, weighing approximately two kilograms and measuring approximately 10cm x 10cm x 20cm, depending on specific implementation, could gather valuable input for modeling and prediction software that is starved for information on small debris pieces. These data sets could then be incorporated into global space tracking tools such as the Space Surveillance Network (SSN), NASA's Orbital Debris Engineering Model (ORDEM), and the European Space Agency's Optical Ground Station.

For more news from Naval Research Laboratory, visit

NNS150521-03. USS Milius Provides Theater Security in 7th Fleet

By Ensign Grace Olechowski, USS Milius (DDG 69) Public Affairs

INDIAN OCEAN (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) entered the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operation (AOO), May 17 after approximately six months of maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operation in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

While deployed to U.S. 5th Fleet AOO, Milius played a crucial role in providing missile defense to the Carl Vinson and Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Groups, ensuring the success of multiple combat missions. Also, Milius played a central role in developing a comprehensive maritime picture while enhancing international cooperation between local Gulf countries by conducting numerous visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) missions.

"These destroyermen trained hard to be ready when we deployed last October and they have performed exceptionally well in theater," said Cmdr. Michael Rak, Milius' commanding officer. "They have faced each challenge with intensity and focus, and repeatedly accomplished each task with professionalism and proficiency."

While patrolling U.S. 7th Fleet AOO, Milius will conduct theater security operations while maintaining stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Milius is a multi-mission ship with anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare surface combatants capabilities, designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group. They began their independent deployment to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans, Oct. 31, 2014.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS150521-01. USS Shiloh Strengthens Relations with Japan during Shimoda's Black Ship Festival

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Raymond D. Diaz III, USS Shiloh Public Affairs

SHIMODA, Japan (NNS) -- The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) visited Shimoda, to participate in the city's 76th annual Black Ship Festival, May 14-17.

The festival commemorated the 161st anniversary of the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry to Japan in 1854, a historical event that marked the beginning of diplomacy and trade agreements between the U.S. and Japan.

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship JS Takawami (DD 110) also made a port visit here alongside Shiloh.

"Shiloh's visit to Shimoda illustrated the value we, as a nation, place in our relationships with Japan," said Capt. Kurush F. Morris, commanding officer of Shiloh. "We are very proud and grateful to have been here for this event."

During the visit, Shiloh Sailors and ceremonial units from the U.S. 7th Fleet marched through downtown Shimoda during a parade.

Sailors, of the more than 400 member Shiloh crew, participated in many goodwill events during their visit. These events included visits to several local elementary schools to interact with students, and sporting activities with local organizations.

"There is a unique friendship and closeness we share between our two nations and maritime forces," said Morris. "It is one we continue to maintain, forging one of the strongest bilateral relationship of any service."

Shiloh, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operation in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS150520-20. Navy Artifact Collection Management Facility Begins Operations

From Naval History and Heritage Command

RICHMOND, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy officially stood up its artifact Collection Management Facility (CMF) here May 20 in a small ceremony to thank those involved in making the facility a reality.

"This is not just some collection of old stuff. Every artifact here tells an amazing story about people, the Sailors of the United States Navy whose courage and dedication have served our nation so well for over 200 years, often at great cost. This fine facility helps the Navy keep our promise to our Sailors and their families that we will never forget their sacrifice," said director of the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) Sam Cox.

Naval artifacts had been previously housed in separate facilities in Washington D.C., Springfield, Va., Cheatham Annex, Va. and Memphis, Tenn. The refurbished building in Richmond provides improved environmental controls for high-risk artifacts, proper shelving and storage, and an area for conserving and preserving the artifacts. NHHC currently holds more than 300,000 artifacts in its collection dating back to the founding of the Republic.

"The consolidation of the collection at Richmond is a great first step in improving the environmental conditions in which we store our historical artifacts. The magnitude and pace of the move were unprecedented for us, and I am very grateful to all the NHHC, Navy and DLA professionals who did such an amazing job." said Dr. Jay Thomas, NHHC's assistant director for Collection Management.

The vastly improved arrangement and single facility was chiefly the result of the hard work of the NHHC staff, and a Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) eager to make more efficient and effective use of available storage space.

"We're glad to help safeguard these invaluable possessions by finding a single facility. It removes the inherent inefficiencies of having them scattered in various locations - and the best part is with the necessary storage modifications it'll mean significant improvements for the artifacts," said then-Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek, who at the time was director of the Defense Logistics Agency. Harnitchek has since retired, and attended the ceremony.

The consolidation now allows the Navy to centrally locate all of the artifacts, which will translate to improved care, management, accountability and oversight of the collection. The building in Richmond will ensure improved environmental controls for high risk artifacts, proper shelving and storage, an area for conserving and preserving the artifacts.

The consolidation, which included a partial refurbishment of the Richmond facility to adequately meet storage condition standards, has positioned the Navy to proceed more efficiently with its end-to-end artifact inventory. The last known complete inventory on record was in 1908.

In the near term, the Navy's Curator Branch will continue to service existing artifact loans, currently numbering in excess of 1,500. Once operations settle in the new facility, curators will again begin processing requests for new artifact loans. They will also soon begin again considering new donations.

The CMF resides on a controlled military installation with access restricted to those who work there. The facility is not suitable for public visitation as the artifacts in the collection are not displayed, but rather packed in containers designed to preserve and protect them. Moreover, the CMF is an industrial area with heavy machinery in use in the main storage areas while delicate, highly-specialized conservation and preservation work takes place in the curatorial spaces. Most importantly, like those of all historical and museum systems with large artifact collections, NHHC's CMF is intended to protect the security of the priceless collection of artifacts dating back to the founding of the republic.

The Naval History and Heritage Command, located at the Washington Navy Yard, is responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. naval history and heritage. It provides the knowledge foundation for the Navy by maintaining historically relevant resources and products that reflect the Navy's unique and enduring contributions through our nation's history, and supports the Fleet by assisting with and delivering professional research, analysis, and interpretive services.

NHHC is composed of many activities including the Navy Department Library, the Navy Operational Archives, the Navy art and artifact collections, underwater archeology, Navy histories, nine museums, USS Constitution repair facility and the historic ship Nautilus.

To view photos of some of the historic naval artifacts in the NHHC collection, check out the command's Flickr page at

For more information on Naval History and Heritage Command, visit or its Facebook page at

For more news from Naval History and Heritage Command, visit

For more news from Naval History and Heritage Command, visit

NNS150520-19. Pearl Harbor Survivor Returns to Hawaii for Final Resting Place

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

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- An ash-scattering ceremony was held for Pearl Harbor survivor Urban K. Mills on May 19 at the USS Utah Memorial on Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Born on Feb. 19, 1919 in Arkansas, Mills joined the Navy following high school and went to Recruit Training Command in San Diego, after which he was assigned to the miscellaneous auxiliary USS Argonne (AG 31). Mills went on to achieve the rank or Chief Petty Officer, serving on the gilliam-fast attack transport USS Brule (APA 66), the gearing-class destroyer USS McKean (DD 784) and the fuel oil barge USS Whipstock (YO 49).

Jim Taylor, Pearl Harbor survivor liaison, gave an overview of Mills' life and military service to Sailors, friends and family members at the ceremony.

According to Taylor, on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, Mills had just been relieved from watch so he could go to breakfast when he heard and noticed low-flying planes above him.

"He and most of the others figured it was just another training evolution so they didn't get very excited about it," said Taylor. "Then they saw huge columns of smoke coming from a couple battleships. It still didn't immediately dawn on anyone what was going on until they saw one of the planes drop a torpedo toward one of the battleships."

It was then, Taylor said, that the ship's bell began to ring, calling everyone to their battle stations. For Mills, this entailed manning an anti-aircraft gun on the main deck of Argonne.

It was at this time that Mills, and those around him, noticed all of the ammo was in storage.

"He and another shipmate finally broke open the lock on a storage bin and a line was formed to get the ammo to the guns," said Taylor. "The ship did quite well getting the shells into the air and the crew was quite proud of their success."

Following the attack, Mills became responsible for driving one of the ship's boats to rescue Sailors in the burning water.

"His life made a huge change that day," said Taylor. "Amazingly, the Argonne was able to make it through the attack without losing any of its crewmembers."

Later, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mills left Hawaii and headed to the Pacific, serving in the Korean War and later being deployed to Korea, Yokohama and Yokosuka Japan.

He served in the Navy until October 1960, when he was honorably discharged.

"I feel quite certain [Mills] would have said he wasn't a hero, that he was just doing his job, doing what he was trained to do," said Taylor. "I differ with that. I believe everyone who has worn the uniform of our military is, and were, heroes."

For Linda and Matthew John McCulloch, Mills' daughter and grandson, the ash-scattering ceremony at the USS Utah Memorial proved to be the perfect resting place for Mills.

"It's just amazing because it's what he really wanted," said Linda. "He had very fond memories of his time in it's only right that he should be back here."

"It's really surreal [being here] because all I ever really remember him talking about was how he wanted his ashes spread here and to be with the rest of his shipmates," said Matthew John. "I honestly couldn't have asked for a better service."

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

NNS150520-18. Elite Combat Pilots Honored with Congressional Gold Medal

By Holly Quick, Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division

WASHINTON (NNS) -- The American Fighter Aces were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for heroic military service throughout the history of aviation warfare at a ceremony at the Capitol's Emancipation Hall May 20.

The distinguished group of aviators is comprised of 1,447 combat pilots who shot down at least five enemy aircraft in air-to-air combat from World War I to Vietnam. Of the 75 remaining, 35 veteran pilots attended the ceremony, and 15 in attendance served in U.S. Navy.

"To me there's no greater achievement I could receive because I have a passion for flying," said retired Cmdr. Philip Kirkwood, who served during WWII. "I leave the legacy to my children."

Between February 1944 and December 1945, Kirkwood scored 12 confirmed kills, making him a certified "double ace." In one day alone, he is credited with six downed aircraft in a single mission while intercepting a massive Japanese strike group.

Another WWII Veteran, retired Cmdr. Clarence Borley, who shot down Japanese fighters before being downed and spending five days in a life raft, shared similar pride in service to his country.

"It's a great honor be associated with people who are fellow Fighter Aces and who support us," said Borley. "What the Navy Aces were able to accomplish was significant in winning the wars."

Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland and President of the American Fighter Aces Association accepted the award on behalf of the American Fighter Aces.

The Congressional Gold Medal, which was designed and struck by the United States Mint, will be given to the Smithsonian Institution where it will be displayed and made available for research. Each Fighter Ace received a bronze replica of the medal.

"This is a great historical moment and they've done a great job preserving some of the aircraft that we flew, but unfortunately we can't preserve the people who flew them," said retired Lt. Tilman "Tilly" Pool, a World War II Distinguished Flying Cross Recipient.

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

For more news from Naval History and Heritage Command, visit

NNS020131-22. This Day in Naval History - May 21

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1917 - During World War I, USS Ericsson (DD 56) becomes the first U.S. Navy warship to fire a torpedo in the war at a German U-boat.

1918 - During World War I, while serving as an officer on USS Christabel (SP-162), Ensign Daniel A.J. Sullivan, exhibits "extraordinary heroism" in securing live depth charges that came loose during combat with a German U-Boat. For his action, he receives the Medal of Honor.

1943 - USS Nields (DD 616) sinks Italian submarine Gorgo that is attacking a US convoy off Algeria.

1944 - During preparations for the invasion of Saipan, accidental ordnance blasts on LST 353 at West Loch, Pearl Harbor, kills 163 and injures 396. Six tank landing ships, three tank landing craft, and 17 track landing vehicles are destroyed in explosions and fires.

1983 - USS Albuquerque (SSN 706) is commissioned at Submarine Base New London, Groton, Conn. She is homeported in San Diego, Calif.

2005 - The first T-AKE ship, USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1), is launched at the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) in San Diego, Calif. The dry cargo ship replaces the aging T-AE ammunition ships and T-AFS combat stores ships that are nearing the end of their service lives.

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NNS150522-16. U.S. Naval Academy Graduates Class of 2015

From Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- An estimated 30,000 people filled the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, May 22 to witness the swearing in of the U.S. Navy's and Marine Corps' newest officers.

The Naval Academy Class of 2015 graduated 1,070 men and women, including 790 Navy ensigns and 264 Marine Corps second lieutenants.

Graduating first in the class is Ensign Michael K. Johnson, an electrical engineering major who will serve as a submarine officer after finishing a master's degree in computer science at Stanford University.

The class included 11 foreign exchange students from Bangladesh, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Maldives, Mexico, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Tunisia.

The ceremony recognized three honorary graduates, including Commandant of Midshipmen Capt. William D. Byrne Jr. The other honorary graduates were Dr. Jeffrey Fair, associate director of athletics for sports medicine and retired Capt. Douglas S. Borrebach, former supply officer for the Brigade of Midshipmen.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden delivered the commencement address, focusing on the global role of the U.S. Navy in establishing commerce, conducting humanitarian operations, and deterring conflict, particularly in the Asia-Pacific area of operations.

"Your presence matters," said Biden. "Pacific peace and prosperity has depended on and will continue to depend on U.S. naval power."

The continued "diplomatic and military supremacy" of the U.S. also depends on its naval forces, said Biden.

Biden called the graduating class "the real one percent who protect the other 99 percent" of the American people.

"We continue to count on you to protect world security," he said.

Biden encouraged the graduates to remember all they've learned during their four years at the Naval Academy.

"This place has given you bonds that will last your entire lifetime," said Biden. "There's no title you can more proudly bear than being an officer in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps."

This is the Naval Academy's 165th traditional graduation ceremony. Since it was established in 1845, the academy has graduated approximately 82,600 midshipmen including this year's graduates.

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

NNS150522-14. MCPON Memorial Day Weekend Message

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Stuart B. Phillips, Office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Shipmates,

Memorial Day is upon us, and I would like to take a moment with you to solemnly reflect on the significance of this occasion. We owe so much to the men and women who have paid the ultimate price as they served under our nation's flag.

Since 1776, our patriots have fought to defend those "certain unalienable rights" - Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Our way of life has been made possible by their resolute dedication, their tenacity, and ultimately, their sacrifice. We honor them for that sacrifice this Memorial Day. We honor them through remembrance as we take a knee and bow our heads in tribute. Just as importantly, we honor them by standing the watch.

Theresa and I are deeply grateful to you and your families for the sacrifices you make.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend and please stay safe out there.

Very Respectfully,


NNS150521-17. Service members welcome local community; conduct ship tours during Fleet Week New York

By MC1 Stephen M. Votaw, Fleet Week New York Public Affairs

NEW YORK (NNS) -- Citizens from New York City and the surrounding tri-state area flocked to the Hudson River piers to tour U.S. Navy ships and Coast Guard cutters participating in Fleet Week New York, May 21.

The tours are open to the general public and display the maritime capabilities of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard units assembled. Participating vessels include: USS San Antonio (LPD 17), Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Stout (DDG 55), Coast Guard cutters Spencer (WMEC 905) and Sturgeon Bay (WTGB 109).

"Getting to see the ships was incredible," said Mary Mosniak, a school teacher from Queens during a field trip with her 3rd grade class. "It helps to give the children a newfound respect for our service members, and all they go through. They are real heroes to them."
The tours are also rewarding to the participating service members, who stand watch and defend the country each day.

"The people of New York have treated us very warmly and welcomed us with open arms," said Operations Specialist 1st Class Alden Gornick, of the U.S. Coast Guard. "It's great to be able to get back into the public's eye and let them see what the service is all about."

"Fleet Week New York is an important event because it gives us the chance to show the people of the city who we really are," said Cryptographic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Bobby Fleetwood. "It's an amazing joining of our two cultures between the Navy and New York, and allows us to build on our longstanding relationship with the city."

The ships will be available for tours in Manhattan and Staten Island from May 21 to May 25. Service members will also participate in a wide range of events, including community relations and outreach projects, re-enlistment ceremonies, and more.

Fleet Week New York, now in its 27th 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.

For up-to-date information on all Fleet Week events, visit the official Fleet Week New York website at, "Like" FleetWeekNewYork on Facebook, or "Follow" @FleetWeekNYC on Twitter. Fleet Week New York photos can be viewed on Flickr at Join the conversation on social media by using #FleetWeekNYC.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Mid Atlantic, visit

NNS150522-29. Service Members Visit Today Show During Fleet Week New York

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael J. Lieberknecht, Fleet Week New York Public Affairs

NEW YORK (NNS) -- Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen attended a live broadcast of the "Today Show" outside NBC Studios as part of Fleet Week New York (FWNY), May 22.

While most of the filming of the show was done inside the studio, service members witnessed the concert portion just outside featuring pop singer Meghan Trainor.

"I came here today just to see Meghan Trainor," said Fireman Charles Boze, from Rolla, Missouri. "She has a great voice and I appreciate what she does for the kids."

Other service members attended simply because the event was live on television.

"If I'm going to be on TV, I'll probably tell my family," said Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Nicholas Watry, from Litchfield, Minnesota.

Service members waved at cameras on cranes shooting overhead, and tried to get the attention of Trainor and the hosts of the show. During a commercial break, Matt Lauer walked over to greet the group of military crowd members.

"I just want to say thank you," said Lauer. "Enjoy your week!"

FWNY, now in its 27th 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.

For up-to-date information on all Fleet Week events, visit the official Fleet Week New York website at, "Like" FleetWeekNewYork on Facebook, or "Follow" @FleetWeekNYC on Twitter. Fleet Week New York photos can be viewed on Flickr at Join the conversation on social media by using #FleetWeekNYC.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Mid Atlantic, visit

NNS150522-28. Hospital Corps Heroes' Wall of Honor Unveiled at Naval Hospital Bremerton

By Douglas H Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- There are 57 etched names, ranging from the three youngest at age 19 to the oldest of age 37.

They all share two distinctive traits.

One is that they are all United States Navy hospital corpsmen.

The other is that they all have been lost in serving their country during time of war.

From the battlefields of Iraq to the firefights in Afghanistan, the names of those killed are represented on Naval Hospital Bremerton's Hospital Corps Heroes' Wall of Honor solemnly unveiled May 22.

The wall is a culmination of a fledgling idea by Hospital Corpsmen 2nd Class (Fleet Marine Force) Michael Nakamura and Derrick Ward.

"We are honored to have the privilege of presenting the Hospital Corps Heroes' Wall of Honor to Naval Hospital Bremerton. This memorial is dedicated to the 57 hospital corpsmen that were killed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn from 2001-2015. This memorial is the second one of its kind in the Navy and it shows the sacrifices that all 57 corpsman and many before them have made for their country," said Nakamura.

According to Capt. Christopher Quarles, Naval Hospital Bremerton commanding officer, the 97 percent casualty survival rate of the two wars, although an unprecedented high mark, did come at the tragic cost of those corpsmen killed in the line of duty.

"Many died in helping others. This is an important dedication to honor those who gave their lives. It's only appropriate we recognize their sacrifice," Quarles said.

Nakamura acknowledged command leadership in helping with the process of organizing, creating, and finally unveiling the memorial, citing Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Gretchen Albrecht to Command Master Chief Randy Pruitt to his immediate chain of command.

"It's been a long process. It's great to see the memorial up. It's important for carrying on the memory of our fallen corpsmen. When I first got here, Master Chief (Tom) Countryman told us 'to leave the place better off than when you arrived,' and I think this is a fitting reminder of that," Nakamura said.

Each portion and piece of the memorial carries a significance. There's a gold star for each fallen corpsmen. The flag was flown on May 13, which has been designated as 'Children of Fallen Patriots' day.

"Although not all the corpsmen were FMF qualified, they all represented the last line between life and death for those they cared for," said Ward, adding that their project really started from how the loss of Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Anthony Carbullido, who was assigned to Naval Hospital Corps School, Great Lakes, Illinois, touched many Sailors learning to become corpsmen, as well as staff members.

Carbullido, a Guam native, was 25 years old when he volunteered to go as an Individual Augmentee on deployment. On Aug. 8, 2006, he died from injuries sustained when his convoy vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Sangatesh.

"I had just got to the schoolhouse and definitely knew of HM2 Carbullido. He was so well liked and respected. He volunteered to go IA, and when everyone there heard the news, they were devastated," shared Chief Hospital Corpsman Melyncholi Saxton, NHB Command Career Counselor office.

Nakamura and Ward accepted thanks for numerous co-workers for their work to make the memorial a reality.

"It's a great effort. We appreciate it," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Alexander Bransdorf, surgical technician.

After the memorial was unveiled, the event culminated with Nakamura taking the opportunity to reenlist.

"The energy and idea to make this happen is special. HM2 is also a special Sailor. Along with Ward, they have taken the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) training and made it regionally recognized. It is an honor to reenlist someone who has done so much for NHB and Navy Medicine," said Lt. Cmdr. Louise Nellums, NHB staff Education Training department head.

The Hospital Corps Heroes' Wall of Honor joins other notable remembrance walls at NHB for hospital corpsmen who have received the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, and those listed prisoner of war/missing in action (POW/MIA).

For more news from Naval Hospital Bremerton, visit

NNS150522-27. Sailors Visit Staten Island Residents for Meals on Wheels

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kiona Miller, Fleet Week New York Public Affairs

NEW YORK (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) volunteered their time to deliver food to elderly residents of Staten Island as part of a Meals on Wheels community relations project during Fleet Week New York, May 21.

Meals on Wheels of Staten Island, Inc. delivers two meals, five days a week to approximately 1,200 elderly residents who are 60 years of age and older with restricted mobility as part of an overall mission of providing fresh nutritional meals to those in need.

Although meal delivery is a primary service, volunteers also cultivate a social environment and assist with immediate household needs.

"We have 20 percent paid staff and 80 percent who are volunteers," said Jean R. Ringhoff, board member for Meals on Wheels. "Most of the volunteers are older than the recipients, and most of the recipients are homebound. When (the volunteer) goes to someone's house, they may be the only person that the resident will see during the day, so they take the time to talk to them and ask them if they need anything."

During the event, Sailors paired with delivery drivers to assist with the packaging and delivery to the homes. The Sailors also took the time to speak with each recipient in an effort to show appreciation for their support to the military.

"I always look for community relations events to do," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class Anthony Sonola. "It was blast for me. I was able to shake people's hands, and it was great to see the way they smiled when they saw me. They get this meal every day, but something is different about today."

The event also provided an opportunity for Sailors to connect with residents who are military veterans. Many residents shared their experiences during their time in the military with the Sailors following the meal delivery.

Sonola expressed the importance of military service members participating in volunteer opportunities as way to better connect with local communities.

"People see us on the street as military and they thank us for our service," she said. "Giving back to them is awesome because you are able to relate to them. You can tell them you are from this community and you can relate to them."

Fleet Week New York, now in its 27th year, is the city's time-honored celebration of the sea services, and 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. Fleet Week New York has been held nearly every year since 1984.

For up-to-date information on all Fleet Week events, visit the official Fleet Week New York website at, "Like" FleetWeekNewYork on Facebook, or "Follow" @FleetWeekNYC on Twitter. Fleet Week New York photos can be viewed on Flickr at Join the conversation on social media by using #FleetWeekNYC.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Mid Atlantic, visit

NNS150522-25. Midshipmen Discover Historical Link

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Wilkes, U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- During a recent visit to the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) laundry facility, Midshipmen 1st Class Jeremy Duruji, Dane Oshiro, and Jesus Arrambide found something more than the uniform items they were originally looking for.

Amongst a pile of assorted uniforms and midshipman clothing, the three midshipmen found a full dress blue jacket that originally belonged to retired Rear Adm. Edward K. Kristensen when he was a midshipman at USNA.

"We knew that there was something different about the jacket as soon as we picked it up," said Arrambide. "It's heavier than the normal full dress blue jackets that we wear today and the material has a different feel."

Kristensen is a 1965 Naval Academy graduate and shares the 50-year Link in the Chain connection with the midshipmen who found his jacket. The Another Link in the Chain program is a USNA tradition that forms bonds and relationships between current midshipmen and members of the 50-year class counterpart throughout the four years on the USNA yard and beyond.

"Rear Adm. Kristensen is our link in the chain and the Class of 1965 has done so much for us," said Arrambide. "We felt that it was now up to us to do something for them and we wanted to return this amazing memorabilia to his family, so that they can continue to look up to such an inspirational man."

In honor of the 50-year connection that his class shares with the Class of 1965, Duruji thought it would be a poignant tribute to wear the jacket during this year's Color Parade, May 21, and present it to Kristensen.

"It feels great to wear a piece of history and I truly appreciate the chance to pay tribute to the Class of 1965," said Duruji. "When we found it in the laundry we immediately knew it was different but I could have never imaged that it would have been so special."

After the parade, the three midshipmen had the opportunity to meet with Rear Adm. Kristensen and discuss the discovery and future of the jacket.

"It's amazing to see it in such great condition after so many years," said Kristensen. "My hope is for the Class of 2015 to keep it, preserve it, and one day present it, to the next link in our chain, the Class of 2065."

"I'm extremely proud of these guys for recognizing the significance of the jacket and coming forward with it," said Capt. Bill Byrne, commandant of midshipmen. "It is a piece of the Naval Academy history and tradition, two things that make this place so great."

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

NNS150522-24. Service Members Meet Cast, Attend Concert at Fox and Friends Morning Show

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Stephen M. Votaw, Fleet Week New York Public Affairs

NEW YORK (NNS) -- Service members from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard attended a live broadcast at the Fox and Friends morning show, during Fleet Week New York (FWNY), May 22.

The service members met the cast along with special guest, reality TV host, Ty Pennington, and attended a free concert by country music star Jerrod Niemann.

"It was an amazing opportunity to be on Fox and Friends," said Cryptographic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Justin Connell. "Not only because it gave us the chance to be on TV, but because it allowed us to represent and show support for the rest of the military."

In addition to attending shows, service members are participating in community relations projects, military ceremonies, tours, and other media events as part of FWNY.

"With everything going on in today's world, it's very important to get out and uphold the image of the military at events like Fleet Week," said Connell. "This is a highly visible, highly motivating event that can help us show the people of New York, and the world who we are."

Fleet Week New York runs through May 26 and gives service members the opportunity to interact with the people of New York and surrounding tri-state area.

"The people of New York have been very welcoming," said Connell. "They have treated us like family and welcomed us with open arms. It has been an amazing experience so far."

Fleet Week New York, now in its 27th 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.

For up-to-date information on all Fleet Week events, visit the official Fleet Week New York website at, "Like" FleetWeekNewYork on Facebook, or "Follow" @FleetWeekNYC on Twitter. Fleet Week New York photos can be viewed on Flickr at Join the conversation on social media by using #FleetWeekNYC.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Mid Atlantic, visit

NNS150522-23. Navy Completes USS Harry S. Truman Availability at NNSY

By Michael Brayshaw, NNSY Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) departed Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) May 22 following the successful completion of its carrier incremental availability.

Harry S. Truman marked the first carrier incremental availability performed at NNSY. These shorter carrier availabilities are usually performed at Naval Station Norfolk. The 15-week availability began in November, but Truman's time at NNSY was extended to allow for additional work to be performed.

"There were many advantages to performing the availability here at Norfolk Naval Shipyard," said Project Superintendent Nick Gianacakos. "NNSY is logistically better prepared to perform and support maintenance utilizing job readiness cells, shop resources and readily available engineering support. NNSY and Ship's Force maximized the team approach and executed this shortened availability above expectations."

Major tasks completed on Truman included modernization of the propulsion plant, main engine and attached lube oil pump repairs as well as major inspections of the catapult launch system. NNSY work was comprised of approximately 135,000 man-days, with support also provided by Ship's Force, Multi-Ship/Multi-Option (MSMO) contractor, Newport News Shipbuilding and Alteration Installation Teams (AITs).

Twenty percent of the U.S. Navy's carrier force has been under the care of NNSY over the last several months. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) is now in the final stages of its docking planned incremental availability, a more comprehensive modernization event. To support continual production on this concentrated availability, job readiness cells (JRCs) were placed for the Truman project team in both the carrier hangar bay and on the pier. JRCs provide mechanics tooling and consumables in an area conveniently co-located next to a project, supporting nonstop execution of work.

As part of the One Shipyard concept, project team leaders traveled to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility to examine JRCs in execution on a carrier availability. "The JRC was utilized by the mechanics and zone managers and real-time feedback contributed to an ongoing improvement throughout the availability," said Gianacakos. JRCs on the pier will remain in place for the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) project team performing NNSY's next carrier availability.

Project team leadership also credited strong communication and cooperation with Ship's Force. Working together, project team and ship leaders provided beneficial resources such as mentor coaching, additional advanced planning team training, and facility enhancement.

Truman is the Navy's ninth nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the eighth in the Nimitz class. The ship was launched in 1996 and delivered to the United States Navy in 1998.

Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia, is one of the largest shipyards in the world specializing in repairing, overhauling and modernizing ships and submarines. It's the oldest and largest industrial facility that belongs to the U.S. Navy. Under NAVSEA's "One Shipyard" concept, the naval shipyards level the workload and mobilize the work force across the yards to best ready the fleet and stabilize a vital industrial base for our nation's defense.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS150522-18. Submarine Group 7 Intelligence Officer Receives Leadership Award

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

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- A naval intelligence officer attached to Commander Submarine Group 7 (COMSUBGRU 7), was named as one of the recipients of the Rear Adm. Edwin T. Layton Leadership Award as part of the 2015 Spring Intelligence Awards.

Cmdr. David Overcash, deputy chief of staff (DCOS) for Intelligence (N2) at COMSUBGRU 7, a Chambersburg, Pennsylvania native, was among the list of recipients.

Established by the Director of Naval Intelligence in 2001, the Rear Adm. Edwin T. Layton Leadership Award recognizes mid to senior active or reserve component intelligence officers, chief warrant officers and enlisted personnel for outstanding leadership and mentorship in the furtherance on naval intelligence performance.

"The award means a lot to me because it is a reflection of the hard work this command and this department completed over the past two years," said Overcash. "I especially want to thank the leadership in our department. This award is a reflection of all of their great ideas and all of their hard work. That's what makes me proud."

Rear Adm. Edwin T. Layton, the award's namesake, was primarily known for his code-breaking techniques in support of Adm. Chester Nimitz during World War II. His techniques ultimately contributed to providing information that was vital to winning the Battle of Midway.

"[Adm. Layton] had tremendous impact as an intelligence officer," said Overcash. "To receive an award named after him is humbling, his team's efforts during World War II accurately predicted the Japanese action at Midway after the attack on Pearl Harbor, enabling the U.S. Fleet to turn the tide of the Pacific war there and maintain that advantage through the Japanese surrender at Tokyo Bay."

COMSUBGRU-7 coordinates and controls submarine activities over a vast expanse ranging from the Western Pacific to the Indian Ocean. COMSUBGRU-7 is also designated as Commander Task Force 54 and 74 which conducts anti-submarine warfare in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleets.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 7, visit

NNS150522-17. 'The Last Ship', 'Epic Meal Time' Actors Cook During Fleet Week New York

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Patrick A. Gordon, Fleet Week New York Public Affairs

NEW YORK (NNS) -- Crew members of the guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) were treated to a special meal served by actors Adam Baldwin and Jocko Sims, of Turner Network Television's (TNT) "The Last Ship," aboard the ship in Staten Island during Fleet Week New York (FWNY), May 21.

The actors joined "Epic Meal Time" cooking show host Harley Morenstein to ensure the meal was one the Sailors would not soon forget.

"This is my first time working aboard a U.S. Navy ship," said Morenstein. "[The ship] has a really epic feel, then you get into the kitchen and it's really tiny, and all the hallways are tiny, but it's really cool."

The actors joked their way through cooking segments in the ship's wardroom galley. The meal - which included heavy doses of cheese, bacon, hotdogs, and butter - provided a backdrop while the actors worked for the crew.

"It's humbling to be a part of this," said Baldwin, who portrays Cmdr. Mike Slattery on the show. "My father served in the Naval Air Corps back in the tail-end of World War II for a brief stint, so he imparted to me 'Honor, Courage, and Commitment' as a youth. I took a different track in life, but I try to honor the men and women of armed forces as best I can. Without you, we couldn't do what we're doing, so thank you for keeping us free."

After finishing up in the galley, the actors moved to the mess decks to serve the crew.

"This has been really nice," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class (SW) Charles Berend Jr., a crew member aboard the Stout. "I've been in the Navy for 10 years now, and I've met some celebrities in the past, but this is my first Fleet Week. To have them not only come here, but also cook us something really creative like this, it's something else."

In addition to the meal, the actors worked their way through the ship to meet crew members and promote the "#SelfieWithASailor" initiative to raise funds for the United Service Organizations (USO).

For every photo posted with a Sailor to social media with the hash tag #SelfieWithASailor, Turner Network Television will donate one dollar to the USO. The program also aims to educate the public about the Navy by encouraging them to meet service members around FWNY and ask them questions about their service.

"Being a part of Fleet Week has been incredible because I got to see the Parade of Ships in the greatest city in the country, New York, ... and also just supporting the 'SelfieWithASailor' initiative," said Sims, who portrays Lt. Carlton Burk on the show. "It's been incredible to be here on the USS Stout."

Fleet Week New York, now in its 27th year, is the city's time-honored celebration of the sea services, and 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. Fleet Week New York has been held nearly every year since 1984.

For up-to-date information on all Fleet Week events, visit the official Fleet Week New York website at, "Like" FleetWeekNewYork on Facebook, or "Follow" @FleetWeekNYC on Twitter. Fleet Week New York photos can be viewed on Flickr at Join the conversation on social media by using #FleetWeekNYC.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Mid Atlantic, visit

NNS150522-15. USS Antietam Practices Safety During Ammo On-Load

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ricardo R. Guzman, USS Antietam Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) completed an ammunition on-load May 20, while at anchorage off of Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka.

Sailors assigned to Antietam's weapons department took charge of the shipboard evolution and were responsible for the planning of safely receiving and moving the ordnance within the ship.

"Safety is our number one priority," said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Jacob Kimble, a safety observer from Antietam's weapons department. "We have many safety observers on station ensuring the proper handling of tools, gear, rigging and line handling. Many of them provide hands-on training to the less experienced Sailors."

Prior to each shipboard evolution, a brief is held in the ship's wardroom where a variety of topics are discussed in preparation for the on-load.

"We've been planning this evolution for over a month" said Chief Sonar Technician (Surface) Michael Deleon, Antietam's ammo on-load safety officer. "We receive our briefs and training by personnel who are safety qualified, mainly officers and chiefs with experience."

The ship receives multiple types of ammunition at different locations, such as the forecastle, the flight deck, aft missile deck and fantail.

"We conduct multiple safety briefs at every location receiving ammo on the ship," said Kimble. "We train and qualify personnel in the specific armament the location is receiving. We do this by providing simulations, going through lessons learned and providing reading material."

The location of anchorage, sea state, weather and winds also play a major role in the successful and safe completion of the on-load.

"Sea states and winds can stop the evolution," said Deleon. "It can cause the armament to swing around in the crane which makes it difficult to maintain positive control."

Lack of communication and not paying attention is the biggest issue added Kimble.

"Everybody works hard during this evolution and makes sure we do everything by the book," said Deleon. "We don't want to mess up because that can make the evolution last longer. Cutting corners can omit steps that are paramount to safety. Our safety observers are there to guide personnel and make them aware of their surroundings."

With cranes moving ordnance overhead, it is imperative that Sailors receiving ammo on any ship should always keep their head on a swivel and pay attention to any discrepancy they may find.

"Every safe evolution is a good evolution," said Kimble. "If we have any issue, we'll try to fix it then and there. It doesn't matter how long it takes as long as we do it carefully and safely."

Antietam is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS150522-13. CNO Releases Shore Investment Guidance

From Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The chief of naval operations (CNO) released his Shore Investment Guidance May 22, setting forth his vision for the Navy to ensure its shore infrastructure is mission-ready, resilient, sustainable and in sync with the fleet. The document outlines 11 shore infrastructure initiatives that support the CNO's three tenants of warfighting first, operate forward, and be ready.

"Despite constrained resources and increasing demands, the Navy must deliver an innovative, resilient and sustainable shore infrastructure that enables Navy operations around the globe," said Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics Vice Adm. Phil Cullom. "I look forward to working with Navy Installations Command and Naval Facilities Engineering Command to keep Navy's shore infrastructure ready and able to support the global demands on our naval forces."

Although Navy has deferred shore infrastructure
investments for several years to meet current and future operational needs, installations continue to offer direct support for ongoing missions and ensure Sailors, civilians and families are prepared, confident and proficient.

"Budget priorities have compelled us to make some tough choices in facility investments," said Cullom. "We must continue to carefully manage the risk we are taking in our shore infrastructure."

The specific efforts outlined in the shore investment guidance will guide decisions and drive the shore triad to be even more judicious in its use of limited resources.

To view and download the CNO's shore investment guidance, visit

For more news from Chief of Naval Operations, visit

NNS150522-11. Navy Civilians Gather in Hawaii for Leadership Development

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian M. Wilbur, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- More than 250 Department of the Navy civilian employees attended a professional workshop May 19-20 designed to enhance their leadership capabilities and help with career development strategies.

Hosted by the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy (civilian human resources) and commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT), in partnership with the Executive Diversity Advisory Council, the training, "Cultivating Leadership for the Next Generation," included members of the Senior Executive Service, flag officers and other Navy experts who presented content and information to attendees focused on leadership.

"I believe leaders are born but I also believe there are tools to make leaders better," said Mark Honecker, executive director and chief of staff, U.S. Fleet Forces. "So by listening to a bunch of different leaders' perspectives, the participants can find something in each of those leaders that they can take on to better themselves."

The training event also gave the civil service workers from various commands an opportunity to get to know one another and the senior presenters.

"The greatest benefit I am going to take away from this training will be networking and meeting some of the senior folks and them explaining to us how they got where they are today, what it took to get there and how we can get there," said Reginald Patterson, PACFLT's Fleet Personal and Family Readiness program manager. "That in itself is invaluable."

Lynn Simpson, U.S. Pacific Fleet's director of total fleet force manpower and personnel, shared that studies have revealed networking is one of the most effective ways to get hired for a job and that it is essential for accomplishing missions and creating success at every level in an organization.

"Networking and relationships are key to learning about developmental assignments, career broadening, potential mentors and learning about what is required to become advanced in a particular field of study," said Simpson.

During the two-day event, many breakout sessions were conducted with smaller groups of people to touch on topics like conflict resolution, workforce planning, building relationships, executive interviewing techniques and leading millennials. The sessions provided a more intimate setting for learning and an opportunity for one-on-one discussions.

"I found the greatest value in the breakout sessions and getting the opportunity to speak directly with the SES's," said Lisa Hill, an investigator for Navy Region Hawaii's Inspector General. "The open-forum sessions provided great person-to-person dialogue."

Todd Schafer, PACFLT's executive director and chief of staff, explained the importance of informing the participants on what the demand signal for senior civilian leaders will look like in the future and to help them develop a plan to have the knowledge, skills and abilities to seamlessly step into increasingly demanding leadership positions.

Schafer also expressed his gratitude for everyone involved in the training.

"I would like to thank all the participants who attended this event. It shows their aptitude for learning and ability to take action,' said Schafer. "I also want to thank all the Senior Executive Service members and flag and general officers who took time to be a part of the event. They truly made it a success."

Senior officers who spoke during the event include Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet; Gen. Lori Robinson, commander of Pacific Air Forces; Vice Adm. Scott Swift, PACFLT's incoming commander; and Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander of Navy Region Hawaii.

"As a civilian work force it is important to see how supportive the uniformed leadership is and how they believe our increased knowledge is just as important to the mission as anything else," said Ronald Kendrick Jr., director for Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Pacific.

For more news from U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit

NNS150522-09. NECC Divers Make Big Splash During Fleet Week New York

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Sharay Bennett, Fleet Week New York Public Affairs

NEW YORK (NNS) -- Navy divers showcased their diving skills in a Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) dive tank at USS The Sullivans Pier in Staten Island as part of Fleet Week New York (FWNY), May 21.

The diving team excited more than 200 students and visiting guests as divers, fully suited, submerged themselves in the dive tank. The NECC dive tank holds approximately 6,800 gallons of water and is large enough to accommodate two divers at a time.

Participating divers were Sailors assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2.

Students from more than 10 schools in Staten Island came out to tour the guided-missile destroyers USS Stout (DDG 55), USS Barry (DDG 52), U.S. Coast Guard cutter Sturgeon Bay (WTGB 109), and see the various displays providing information on the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the Navy's efforts in environmental and energy initiatives and Navy divers.

The divers display was set up with diving equipment, comic books and posters for visitors to enjoy, however, safety for the divers was most important for Chief Navy Diver Andy Strause, leading chief petty officer for MDSU-2.

Strause held a briefing with his crew prior to the dive that covered safety precautions while under water, evacuation plans for unexpected emergencies, and the importance of working together among themselves and the members of the New York fire and police departments.

While in the tank, divers played the age old game of tic-tac-toe with students in attendance. The divers also talked to visitors about their experiences in the Navy, explained the usage of the different equipment that was on display and provided information about their jobs.

"We don't usually receive a lot of attention, so events like this give us the opportunity to share what we do," Strause explained.

The NECC dive tank will be at USS The Sullivans Pier until May 24.

During FWNY, free ship tours are available daily through May 25, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and demonstrations by the sea services will take place.

For up-to-date information on all Fleet Week events, visit the official Fleet Week New York website at, "Like" FleetWeekNewYork on Facebook, or "Follow" @FleetWeekNYC on Twitter. Fleet Week New York photos can be viewed on Flickr at Join the conversation on social media by using #FleetWeekNYC.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Mid Atlantic, visit

NNS150522-08. USS Chafee Deploys to 7th Fleet in Support of Maritime Security

From USS Chafee Public Affairs

WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) entered the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), May 22, after departing from her homeport of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, May 18.

Commanded by Cmdr. Shea Thompson, the ship and crew of more than 300 Sailors, is scheduled to conduct theater security cooperation engagements and maritime security operations while maintaining stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

"Chafee's fundamental mission is to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations at sea," said Thompson. "A disciplined and fearless crew, Chafee provides an agile, flexible, responsive and robust set of capabilities to the 7th Fleet AOR. We have spent a year preparing for this deployment and are ready for whatever tasking comes our way."

Chaffee's will initially participate in the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI), a joint Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Commerce program, which supports maritime law enforcement operations to administer U.S. and Pacific Island Nations fisheries laws and the suppression of illicit activities.

Chafee is a multi-mission ship with strike warfare, anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare capabilities designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS150522-07. Normandy Sailors Learn the Elements of Leadership

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin R. DiNiro, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs

ARABIAN GULF (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) completed a three-day petty officer leadership and advancement course, May 20, in preparation for their upcoming advancement.

Each cycle of advancement-eligible Sailors are required to participate in a petty officer leadership course to learn leadership skills and management techniques.

"The course is really fulfilling. Many people come into the Navy and have never had the opportunity to lead other colleagues, so this is a great place to start", said Operations Specialist 3rd Class Dylan Kinsley. "The class is broken down into sections and is taught by the chief petty officers who lead us every day."

Each lesson plan focuses on topics such as diversity, personnel management, situational awareness, and stress management.

"It truly teaches you the dynamics of what it means to be in charge of people you work with and how to handle yourself as a supervisor and how to handle the responsibilities of being a petty officer," said Damage Controlman 3rd Class Jackson Barringer. "We all deal with different leadership styles everyday, but this allows you to learn and develop your own."

The leadership course is designed to improve mission readiness and overall leadership throughout the Navy.

"We all start out from the bottom, and as we grow through the ranks many people have to take on responsibilities they've never handled before, and that is what this class is all about," said Chief Cryptologic Technician (technical) Ramon Morin. "We are training our replacements, and we need to ensure they are prepared for the task ahead. That is our job as the leaders of our junior Sailors.

Normandy is part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG), which consists of the staff of Carrier Strike Group 12, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2, and her ships the guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) and USS Farragut (DDG 99).

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

Join the conversation with Normandy online at and For more news from Normandy, visit

For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), visit

NNS150522-05. Seal Beach Sees Last Frigate Visit

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Eli Medellin, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Public Affairs

SEAL BEACH, Calif. (NNS) -- The guided-missile frigate USS Gary (FFG 51) departed Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach for the last time May 21 after conducting her final ammunition offload.

She is the last of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet frigates and is due to decommission later this year.

"It is surreal, offloading our ammunition for the last time, as I look up the coastline towards the Port of Long Beach, the place where USS Gary was constructed and brought into naval service over thirty years ago," said Cmdr. Steven McDowell, the ship's commanding officer.

The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates were designed originally as a cost efficient surface combatant used to protect warships and merchant marine ships, especially as anti-submarine escorts for amphibious expeditionary forces, underway replenishment groups, and merchant convoys.

However, they lack the multi-mission capability necessary for modern surface combatants faced with multiple, high-technology threats and have little capacity for growth.

The latest U.S. deactivation plans will retire all Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates by October 2015, which will be the first time that the U.S. Navy has been without a frigate class of ships since 1943.

After more than 30 years of distinguished service, USS Gary is tentatively scheduled to decommission on July 23, 2015 at Naval Station San Diego.

Hugo Portillo, a base material handler inspector with Naval Munitions Command CONUS West Division Unit Seal Beach, recalls the frigates as always having a tight crew. "Larger ships have plenty of people in each department, but with the frigates, everybody on the ship pulls together to help out," said Portillo.

"Of all the ships, the frigate is more of a family unit," said Lt. Edward Cruzmattos, the ship's combat systems officer. "Yes, it's sad to see it go, but the thing about the Navy over other branches, is that we are always fast tracking new technology and it's good to be learning new systems."

Upon the Gary's decommissioning, Cruzmattos will be reassigned to Destroyer Squadron 7 in Singapore, where he will be working with the new littoral combat ships.

"Visiting Seal Beach and working side by side with our Sailors as we offload our ammunition, I cannot help but to think about how far along we have come as a frigate, and as a Navy," said Senior Chief Mineman Reuben Diaz, Gary's command senior chief.

"One thing that remains constant, is that the crew is the pulse of the ship," added Diaz. "I will forever be proud to have served and earned the title of a 'Frigate Sailor."

For more news from Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, visit

NNS150522-04. George Washington Celebrates Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Paolo Bayas, USS George Washington Public Affairs

WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) celebrated Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month during a ceremony on the ship's aft mess decks, May 21.

George Washington's crew celebrated the cultural traditions, ancestry, and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States, which includes immigrants from all countries in the Asian continent, Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, and native Hawaiians.

According to the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute and the Library of Congress, the official designation of May as the Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month in 1992 "was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869 [where a] majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants."

"It's wonderful that we're here to celebrate Asian-Pacific Islander month," said Capt. Timothy Kuehhas, George Washington's commanding officer. "It's particularly substantial because we're forward deployed to this part of the world, so we can really appreciate the contributions because we've met and have become friends with so many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders just during our patrol."

Lt. Cmdr. Michael Tagaloa, event keynote speaker, encouraged all Sailors to reach out and learn about Sailors around the ship because everyone, no matter where they are from, has a story that contributes to the culture in our nation and the U.S. Navy.

"The Asian-Pacific Islander heritage itself encompasses so many islands and cultures," said Senior Chief Information Systems Technician Charmain Mokiao, heritage event hula dance choreographer. "This event shows that even though we are separated by water, distance or land, we can come together as a strong unified front and as one people who have something in common."

Aviation Boatswain's Mate 1st Class (Handling) Jessica Santos, heritage event master of ceremonies, introduced the phrase "many cultures, one voice", which promotes equality and inclusion and celebrates the aspirations of the American spirit captured by Asian-Pacific Islanders.

"As a grandson of immigrants myself, I often spend time reflecting on these events and recognize aspects of our society," said Kuehhas. "I think about why America, more than any other country, aids other countries in crisis. I think it is because America has a piece of every country as American citizens living in the United States. When other countries are hurting, we hurt too. That's why we send people, our forces and our great Navy to help countries in distress."

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, are on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. George Washington will conduct a hull-swap with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) later this year after serving seven years as the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Japan.

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

NNS150522-02. Sexual Assault Reports: Week of May 11-17, 2015

From the Office of the Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- This week's overview of alleged sexual assaults was compiled based on 18 initial reports across the Navy from May 11-17. This timeframe reflects only the receipt of the initial reports; six occurred inside the report period, nine occurred outside the report period and three were unknown. Each report will be fully investigated. Looking at this snapshot in time, we see the following:

* Eight reports were from events that occurred on-base, seven were from events that occurred off-base and three occurred at unknown locations.

* Among the 18 alleged offenders, one was an officer, four were petty officers, four were E3 and below, three were civilians, and six were unknown.

* Sixteen of the alleged offenders were male and two were unknown.

* Eight of the reported incidents were alleged to be service member on service member, three were non-service member on service member, two were service member on non-service member, and five were unknown.

* Among the 18 alleged victims, one was an officer, seven were petty officers, seven were E3 and below, and three were civilians. Sixteen of the alleged victims were female and two were 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

NNS150521-20. The Navy Blue View: Understanding Your Profile Sheet

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Paolo Bayas, USS George Washington Public Affairs

WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy provides an opportunity for Sailors to be exposed to unique experiences in foreign countries all over the world and on the ships they live in while transiting the seven seas.

For enlisted Sailors, part of the Navy experience involves taking advancement examinations, feeling the excitement for advancement quotas to be released and awaiting advancement results play a very large and important role in every Sailor's life.

Advancement exams are available every March and September to give qualified Sailors a chance to increase their rank and pay. After taking an exam, Sailors wait a few months for a Navy-wide message of job requirements at each rate and pay grade shortly followed by individual profile sheets with a message of "SELECTEE", "PASS NOT ADVANCE", or "FAIL".
Whichever message each Sailor receives, it is important to have a full understanding of the information contained in a profile sheet.

"A profile sheet is a comprehensive record of a Sailor's results after they've taken an advancement examination," said Chief Personnel Specialist Charles Tindle, educational service office (ESO) leading chief petty officer aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington's (CVN 73). "It identifies your score, how well you performed in certain subjects of your rating, how you ranked against your peers and, more importantly, if you've been advanced."

Profile sheets also use results from previous examinations to show Sailors their weaknesses and strengths in comparison to their peers. Sailors can use their profile sheets to build a tailored study program.

"It's important for any Sailor to review and understand their profile sheet to know what their strengths and weaknesses were on previous examinations," said Tindle. "It can tell them what areas of their rate they need to focus on and study, which will help them perform better during the next exam."

In addition, Sailors can review their final multiple score (FMS) to ensure their performance mark average, award and pass-not-advance points are accurate. If any part of a Sailor's FMS is incorrect, the ESO section Personnel department can help.

"If a Sailor thinks there's a discrepancy on their profile sheet, they need to bring it to the ESO section of the personnel office and have a subject matter expert clarify the issue or rectify the error," added Tindle.

The most recent advancement quotas were released, May 19, and the advancement results were announced, May 21, which will result in 260 enlisted Sailors aboard George Washington advancing to the next pay grade and adding a chevron to their uniforms.

To access profile sheets via Navy Knowledge Online (NKO), log on to, navigate to the career management tab and select 'Navy Advancement Center' from the drop down menu. Then select the Advancement Profile Sheet link.

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, are on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. George Washington will conduct a hull-swap with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) later this year after serving seven years as the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Japan.

Editor's note: The Navy Blue View is a series that give its readers an opportunity to have a first-person view of what Sailors experience throughout the fleet. This first chapter covers a topic that is very important to every Sailor and explains what each Sailor needs to know in the momentous occasions when advancement results are released.

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

NNS150521-19. Hard Rock Cafe hosts kick-off party for Fleet Week New York 2015

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan L. Wampler, Fleet Week New York Public Affairs

NEW YORK (NNS) -- The United Service Organizations (USO) hosted the "Rock The Fleet" Fleet Week New York 2015 kick-off party at the Hard Rock Cafe near Times Square, May 20.

The event featured celebrity guests such as Miss USA Nia Sanchez and Gotham actor J. W. Cortes, a veteran Marine; a performance by the USO Show Troupe; and a welcome from Rear Adm. DeWolfe Miller, III, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 2.

The Hard Rock Cafe event was an exciting experience for everyone, including a few Fleet Week newcomers.

"I went to New York when I was little, but I don't remember much," said Master at Arms 3rd Class Sarah Sandoz, assigned to USS San Antonio (LPD 17). "Seeing it with my crew has been an awesome experience, and the people of New York have been so welcoming."

Sandoz hopes to visit the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center during Fleet Week.

The USO Show Troupe, a traveling song and dance troupe, based out of Times Square, performed songs dating from the 40s to present day. The troupe performs hundreds of shows each year for tens of thousands of veterans, current service members and their families.

For some service members, New York was a place they called home before joining the military, but coming back for Fleet Week they are welcomed with a new sense of fame.

"I didn't expect so many people to support the military like this," said Musician 2nd Class Laura Carey, a Long Island native. "Everyone wants to take our picture ... it's like we're celebrities too."

These newfound celebrities mingled amongst the crowd with cast members from TNT's hit show "The Last Ship," Broadway singers, NFL players, and more.

"It's our job to go above and beyond to make sure the service members are comfortable," said Rachael Murray, Director of Entertainment with the USO New York, a longtime supporter of Fleet Week and all of the branches of the Armed Forces. "Fleet Week is the biggest event we host and we have to meet the service member's expectations."

Fleet Week New York, now in its 27th year, is the city's time-honored celebration of the sea services. The weeklong celebration is an unparallel 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.

For up-to-date information on all Fleet Week events, visit the official Fleet Week New York website at, "Like" FleetWeekNewYork on Facebook, or "Follow" @FleetWeekNYC on Twitter. Fleet Week New York photos can be viewed on Flickr at Join the conversation on social media by using #FleetWeekNYC.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Mid Atlantic, visit

NNS150521-18. Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation Presents "A Walk of Heroes" During Fleet Week

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael J. Lieberknecht, Fleet Week New York Public Affairs

NEW YORK (NNS) -- The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation held "A Walk of Heroes" at Clinton Cove Park in New York City during Fleet Week, May 21.

The event displayed the story of 37 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame members who served during World War II. In particular, Bob Feller, a well-established baseball player during the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, left his career to enlist in the Navy two days after the attack.

"These 37 Hall of Famers really understood what it means to be a patriotic American," said Peter Fertig, president of the Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation.

Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda also made a public appearance in support of the event.

"Feller had a tremendous fastball, an outstanding curve ball to go along with it, and a lot of heart," said Lasorda, former manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Sailors and Marines looked on as war-era re-enactors played catch with antique baseball gloves and listened to singers revive famous songs from the time period.

Locals and tourists alike walked the path of banners that had information about each of the 37 "heroes," including Yogi Berra and Ted Williams.

Anne Feller, widow of Bob Feller, was also present at the event, remembering her husband.

"He would be so proud of this and so happy to see everyone here," she said. "It's a wonderful time to remember him."

Each November, the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award, through the unique connection of baseball and the Navy, honors a current Major League Baseball Player, a Navy Chief Petty Officer, and a baseball Hall of Fame member who embody the same principled and high achievement of Bob Feller.

For up-to-date information on all Fleet Week events, visit the official Fleet Week New York website at, "Like" FleetWeekNewYork on Facebook, or "Follow" @FleetWeekNYC on Twitter. Fleet Week New York photos can be viewed on Flickr at Join the conversation on social media by using #FleetWeekNYC.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Mid Atlantic, visit

NNS020131-23. This Day in Naval History - May 22

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1912 - Marine Corps 1st Lt. Alfred A. Cunningham reports to the Naval Academy, where he receives flight instruction, later becoming the first Marine Corps pilot. This date is considered the Birthday of Marine Corps Aviation.

1943 - During the battle to protect British Royal Convoy (ON 184) in the North Atlantic, TBFs from (VC 9) based on board USS Bogue (ACV 9) sink German submarine (U 569) and damage (U 305).

1958 - Marine Corps Maj. Edward N. LeFaivre, pilots an F4D-1 Skyray at NAMTC Point Mugu, Calif., scoring five world records in speed climbs up to 3,000, 6,000, 9,000, 12,000, and 15,000 meters with marks of 44.392, 66.095, 90.025, 111.224, and 156.233 seconds.

1967 - New York City reaches an agreement to purchase the New York Naval Shipyard, also known as the Brooklyn Navy Yard, after it was closed in 1966.

1968 - USS Scorpion (SSN-589) is lost with her crew south-west of the Azores. In late Oct. 1968, her remains are found on the sea floor more than 10,000 feet below the surface by a deep-submergence vehicle towed from USNS Mizar (T-AGOR-11).

1986 - Military Sealift Commands USNS Sgt. William R. Button (T-AK 3012) is christened and launched. The ship serves as one of 17 Container and Roll-on/Roll-off vessels for the Navy and is part of the 36 ships in the Prepositioning Program.

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