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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


Parts of Connie on Ebay

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:

NNS150622-17. Female Enlisted Sailors Selected for Submarine Service

From Enlisted Women in Submarines Task Force Public Affairs

KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- With the release of NAVADMIN 142/15 "FY16 Enlisted Women in Submarines Selections", the first group of enlisted female Sailors from across the Navy has been chosen to serve in the U.S. Navy's submarine force.

Rear Adm. Charles "Chas" Richard, commander, Submarine Group 10 and Enlisted Women in Submarines Task Force Commander, said the interest to apply was impressive.

"We couldn't be more pleased with the amount of interest shown by enlisted women in wanting the opportunity to serve in the undersea warfare domain. It's an exciting time in the submarine force, as we continue to move forward in shaping the future of our force, drawing from the best pool of talent possible."

A strong response fleetwide was received in the call for enlisted female Sailors applying for conversion into submarine force ratings. Applications from women representing 31 different ratings from shore and sea commands worldwide were received for the initial application period to fill four chief petty officer (E7 paygrade) and 34 rating conversion positions in the paygrades of E6 and below across the two crews of the USS Michigan (SSGN 727). Michigan is one of the Navy's Ohio-class guided-submarines homeported in Bangor, Washington.

Sailors from nearly every community throughout the Navy applied and the selections represented this diverse group of applicants, including junior Sailors who enlisted under the Professional Apprenticeship Career Tracks (PACT) program. The skills and experience they are bringing with them into the submarine force will set the foundation for excelling in their new ratings.

Based on the number of applications, the selection process was competitive and used an objective review and scoring of each application. Selections were made based on the Sailor's performance in their current rating, the Sailor's desired submarine rating assignment, the needs of the ship to fill billets of planned rotations where appropriate, and lastly the needs of the Navy for rating community health, both in the old and new ratings. Applications were scored on performance evaluations, warfare qualifications, commanding officer endorsements, sea service time, physical readiness testing, and similarity of current rating to desired submarine rating.

"There were many exceptional candidates who we were unable to select in this rotation simply because we did not have enough positions open on the first two crews." said Capt. Rod Hutton, deputy commander for the Enlisted Women in Submarines Task Force, "These fully qualified Sailors have been placed on the alternate list and will automatically be considered when we select the next group in continuing to grow opportunities for women to serve in the submarine force. We look forward to reviewing their records again, as well as those of Sailors who want to add their names to the mix this summer and fall."

Each Sailor will be contacted and provided the opportunity to update their application as they continue to excel in their careers today. For example, a Sailor selected as an alternate may have received her best evaluation of her career after submitting her initial application for the first cohort. She will now have the opportunity to add that stellar evaluation to her existing application.

With the Sailors having been identified, they will now undergo the standard submarine medical screening process. After they have cleared medical screening, they will begin the training pipeline with Basic Enlisted Submarine School (BESS) in Groton, Connecticut. Sailors who applied to change ratings will also be provided the technical training through "A" schools and possibly "C" schools to prepare them for their new assignment.

These selections are only the first step in a long-term plan approved by the CNO to integrate the submarine force and provide opportunities for women in the Navy to serve in all types of submarines in support of all missions in the undersea warfare domain. The next window for applications will open in July 2015, and will be announced via a separate NAVADMIN. The second group of enlisted female submarine conversions will be assigned to another Ohio-class guided-missile submarine, USS Florida (SSGN 729), homeported in Kings Bay, Georgia.

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

NNS150622-02. Team Navy Kicks Off 2015 Warrior Games at Marine Corps Base Quantico

By Ensign Marissa A. Cruz, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

QUANTICO, Va. (NNS) -- Warrior-athletes competing from the total military force - active, guard and reserve - of the U.S. and U.K came together at Marine Corps Base Quantico to commence the 2015 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games June 19.

In previous years, the games were held in Colorado Springs, but the change in location to Quantico is a welcome one.

Capt. Brent Breining - director of Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) - Safe Harbor, which sponsors Team Navy - explained the benefit of the new location.

"The support from our senior leaders in Washington, D.C. is very important. This year we're getting a lot more representation from senior leaders because of the proximity to D.C.," Breining said. "It's exciting for us to have SECDEF opening it up and showing his support for wounded warriors."

Spectators also were excited to see this demonstration of support. As Josh Mason of Washington, D.C., explained, "It was outstanding to see all levels of DoD represented today, supporting our nation's heroes."

In addition to the high-ranking DoD speakers at the ceremony, Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) and Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Adm. Michelle Howard were among the spectators who came out to encourage athletes.

The goal of the DoD Warrior Games is not necessarily to identify the most skilled athletes, but rather to demonstrate the incredible potential of wounded warriors through competitive sports. Team Navy's athletes embody this potential in their positive attitudes and athletic abilities.

Lt. Cmdr. Maria Gomez-Mannix of Hamden, Connecticut, described her anticipation for the games.

"I'm so excited to be here. Being selected for Team Navy has been a real privilege and honor," said Gomez-Mannix. She competed in last year's Invictus Games in London, winning a bronze medal in women's shotput, but this is her first DoD Warrior Games. She will be competing in the shooting, standing shotput, standing discus throwing and seated volleyball events.

Beyond athletic accomplishments, the games represent a significant part of the recovery process for participating service members.

The 2015 DoD Warrior Games symbolize to all wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans across the nation and around the world that individuals can recover from serious injury or illness and lead fulfilling, productive and inspiring lives.

Lt. Steven Simmons (Ret.) of Perry, Ohio, is one such example. In addition to preparing at wounded warrior training camps, Simmons recently competed in the Salt Lake City Marathon in hand cycle. He will be competing in the archery, cycling, track and field, and wheelchair basketball events at the games.

Simmons declared his excitement for the unique balance between competition and camaraderie that exists at the games.

"I'm looking forward to seeing all the branches come together, including our U.K. brothers and sisters who are here, and seeing everyone prepared to represent their service and their country, and put forth their best effort," said Simmons.

Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Ashton Carter provided inspiring opening remarks to the athletes, caregivers, family, friends and spectators assembled at the opening ceremony for the games. He highlighted the important link that adaptive sports programs provide to recovering service members.

"You are the pinnacle of DoD adaptive sports programs...activities that have helped our men and women heal together in mind, body and soul," Carter affirmed.

Adaptive sports and reconditioning activities help enable healing through a holistic approach throughout the recovery and reintegration process: mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically and, most importantly, socially - as service members and veterans share and learn through their common experiences.

"As you run, shoot and swim in competition for the prized Chairman's Cup, each of you is a testament to the healing power of sport. Sports provide a place to come together, to learn, to grow, to rehabilitate," Carter said. "Sports keep us going. They can fuel a sense of purpose, and they can remind us that we can get back up, dust off our uniforms and push ourselves to our limits once again."

Forty wounded warrior athletes are competing on behalf of Team Navy this year. The Warrior Games take place June 19-28, and approximately 250 service members with upper-body, lower-body, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairments, serious illnesses and post-traumatic stress will compete in archery, wheelchair basketball, cycling, shooting, swimming, track and field, and sitting volleyball.

In addition to winners in each event, there will be an Ultimate Champion competition in a pentathlon format, as well as a Chairman's Cup award for the top-performing service branch.

To learn more about NWW and the support it provides wounded warriors, as well as the DoD Warrior Games and adaptive sports, visit; call 855-NAVY WWP (628-9997) or email

Follow NWW and Team Navy's progress on Facebook ( and Twitter (@navysafeharbor) for the latest news from the games.

For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit

NNS150621-01. CARAT 2015 Exercise Series Begins in the Philippines

From Commander, Task Force 73 Public Affairs

PUERTO PRINCESA, Philippines (NNS) -- Members of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps along with their Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) counterparts kicked off the 2015 Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series during an opening ceremony in Puerto Princesa, Philippines, June 22.

The AFP have participated in CARAT since the exercise series began in 1995 and this year's training reflects more than two decades of increasingly sophisticated training ashore, at sea, and in the air.

"CARAT remains a practical way to address shared maritime security priorities, enhance our capabilities, and improve interoperability between our forces," said Rear Adm. William Merz, commander, Task Force 74. "We look forward to operating alongside our Philippine partners as we celebrate the 21st anniversary of the CARAT exercise series."

CARAT Philippines will take place from June 22-26 on the ground in Puerto Princesa and in the waters and airspace of the Sulu Sea. The exercise will focus on combined operations at sea, mobile dive and salvage training, coastal riverine operations, and maritime patrol and reconnaissance and will feature the inaugural participation of littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) along with rescue and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS-50) and forward-deployed P-3 Orion aircraft.

Additionally, personnel from both nations will also exchange best practices on naval tactics during a series of military seminars ashore. Numerous civil action projects, community service events, and joint military band engagements are also planned in the local Puerto Princesa community.

"We are pleased to host our U.S. Navy partners in Puerto Princesa City this year for CARAT Philippines 2015," said Rear Adm. Leopoldo Alano, commander of the Philippine Fleet. "This is a great training opportunity for both nations to gain valuable experience and increase our interoperability."

Now in its 21st year, CARAT is the premier naval engagement in South and Southeast Asia. The bilateral and multilateral exercises provide a regional venue to develop strong maritime partnerships that contribute to the greater peace and stability of the region.

"CARAT is a terrific venue to strengthen our relationship with the AFP and to enhance at-sea readiness through a two-day underway phase," said Capt. H.B. Le, deputy commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7. "Not only is this the first CARAT of 2015, but it's also the first time an LCS has participated in CARAT Philippines. We're looking forward to getting Fort Worth out to sea and operating hull-to-hull with BRP Ramon Alcaraz, BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Apolinario Mabini."

Following CARAT Philippines, additional bilateral phases of CARAT will occur from July through November 2015 with Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Each CARAT exercise features several days of shore-based exchanges, professional symposia and tactical scenarios culminating in combined training at sea. Phases vary based on exercise locations, mutual training goals and participating assets.

For more news from Commander, Task Force 73, visit

NNS150622-27. Vice Adm. Tidd Receives Surface Navy Association's "Old Salt" Award

By Mass Communication Specialist Tyrell K. Morris, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Vice Adm. Kurt Tidd, assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, became the 19th recipient of the "Old Salt" award in a ceremony at the Pentagon, June 22.

The "Old Salt" award is presented to the surface warfare officer serving on continuous active duty with the earliest surface warfare officer qualification, which is the first milestone qualification an eligible commissioned officer may receive in surface warfare.

The award is sponsored by the Surface Navy Association and was passed from Adm. Samuel Locklear to Tidd.

"It's a tremendous honor to have been on active duty as a surface warfare officer for all these years," said Locklear. "So to pass it on is a little bit bitter sweet but it's good to have this opportunity and I'm proud of it.

Tidd said he never expected to serve this long and is humbled by this experience.

"It's a mixed blessing," said Tidd. "On the one hand it is a testimony to being the last person standing in line behind an awful lot of superbly qualified people who have gone before you. On the other hand it's a real pleasure because it's recognition of the fact that I've been able to be a part of this organization and be a member of this professional community for over 35 years now."

The names of past "Old Salts" have their names engraved on brass plates added to the base of the Old Salt statue. The statue is then held in the custody of the current "Old Salt" for the remainder of his active duty tenure. Upon Tidd's retirement, the Old Salt statue will be passed on to the next officer, who will determined by a search of records, a recommendation by director of surface warfare, and approval by the Board of the Surface Navy Association.

The prestigious award has been held by numerous great leaders such as former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen and former Commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Adm. John Harvey.

Tidd is a 1978 U.S. Naval Academy graduate with 37 years of naval service. He earned his surface warfare officer qualification in June 1980 aboard USS Semmes (DDG 18).

Tidd wanted to give Sailors advice on how to have a successful naval career.

"Enjoy every single assignment that comes down," said Tidd. "Find the joy, passion and pleasure in each job that you get every time you go to sea. Learn from those who have gone before you and take the lessons to apply to your own personal toolkit."

NNS150622-26. Sailors Need to Know What is in Their E-Cig Before They Inhale

By Lt. j.g. Daniel Mongiove, Naval Submarine Base New London Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- With their sleek advertising and streamlined appearance, electronic cigarettes have garnered quite a user base.

A 2011 study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that about one in five U.S. adult cigarette smokers have tried an electronic cigarette.

Of course with such high usage numbers, there exists a great opportunity for misuse or even illegal use note legal, health and law enforcement professionals at Naval Submarine Base New London (SUBASE).

"E-cigs," as they are commonly called as well as personal vaporizers (PVs) are essentially electronic nicotine delivery systems providing battery-powered doses of nicotine and other additives to the user in an aerosol.

Some of those other additives can be THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the mind-altering chemical from the cannabis plant that gets one "high") according to Lt. j.g. Ashley Belyea, a command services attorney stationed at SUBASE's Region Legal Service Office.

Products containing THC are now marketed for e-cigs as "hash oil," "cannabis oil," and "marijuana oil." Use of such products by Navy personnel is illegal and can raise a host of problems.

"Limited regulations and online ordering of such oils make it easier for Sailors to gain access to THC," said Belyea. "So this technological innovation that's the e-cig can impact drug use, good order and discipline, and the health and safety of our Sailors."

The tell-tale smell of burning cannabis is almost impossible to detect when it's transformed into THC oil for e-cigs, and it's also often masked by the smell of flavors such as "strawberry" and "chocolate," notes Belyea. Moreover, she points out that THC is often more concentrated in its oil form.

"Because the concentration levels can be significantly higher with THC oil in an e-cig, a Sailor can receive dangerously high levels of THC very quickly," said Belyea. "And if using a laced e-cig at a party or bar, a Sailor may have no idea how concentrated the dose is."

Ingesting high doses of THC can pose severe health risks cautions Lt. Cmdr. Michael Sracic, a medical doctor and the Public Health Department Head at Naval Branch Health Clinic Groton.

"THC use results in a wide range of effects, both physical and mental," said Sracic. "High dosage can lead to issues beyond breathing problems and illnesses. Hallucinations paranoia, increased heart rate, and the chance of heart attack could all result."

Lt. Cmdr. James Hegarty, department head for Behavioral Health at NBHC, expressed his deep concerns as well, especially for synthetic versions of THC that are marketed as "safe" or "legal" alternatives to cannabis or marijuana.

"The really scary part here is that both the civilian and military communities alike are seeing devastating effects from Spice and synthetic THC usage," said Hegarty. "Many users begin to experience severe paranoia, hallucinations, agitation, seizures and various cardiovascular effects. It can be the first time you try it, or the 20th, either way people who chose to experiment with these synthetic drugs are playing a game of Russian roulette. Every time someone tries it, there is simply no way to know exactly what it's laced with or how it is going to interact with your genetics. Sadly, in some cases these effects can be permanent. Some users have fundamentally changed their lives forever."

Laced e-gigs are a problem that Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), special agent, Nate O'Connor, often sees as he works on the front lines of drug abuse and trafficking.

"It's crucial that Sailors know exactly what is in an e-cig before they inhale," said O'Connor. "Whether the e-cig belongs to you or not, it is your responsibility to know what is in the e-cig. Lack of knowledge is not an excuse, and you will be investigated."

That Sailor will also be accountable, highlights Belyea.

"The Navy has 'Zero Tolerance' for drug abuse," said Belyea. "THC is an illegal drug as far as the Navy is concerned. It's screened for during urinalysis, and users are essentially ending their Navy careers."

Belyea, Sracic, and O'Connor all warn that, despite their popularity, e-cigs offer a great opportunity for misuse or even illegal use.

"Sailors defend the Constitution so choosing to use an e-cigarette is their right and a freedom of choice," said O'Connor. "However, no matter the intent or situation, THC e-cig ingestion has legal, health and law enforcement consequences."

For more information on e-cigarettes visit:

For more news from Naval Submarine Base New London, visit

NNS150622-25. Catharsis Productions Brings Quarterly Training to TSC Sailors, Civilians

By Zach Mott, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- The "Great Lakes Model" for teaching service members about sexual assault prevention is gaining steam across the services. The model is a collaboration between the U.S. Navy and Catharsis Productions. The group recently hosted a training session for Sailors and civilians of Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes, June 22.

"You are the vanguard in this," said Ben Murrie, director of program management with Catharsis Productions, about the program that began here. "You walk what we talk."

During the morning-long session, Sailors and civilians listened as Dr. Christopher Kilmartin, a psychology professor from the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, shared his experiences from more than 30 years working in this field. Additionally, Kilmartin discussed strategies victims can employ to combat an attacker, how the buildup of several microaggressions - small incidents of adverse behavior, actions or words - that can lead to an overall hostile working environment and the organizational responsibilities in preventing sexual assault.

The training is not brand new to those in attendance, but the mode with which it is presented is varied to help the Sailors and civilians think about other ways to combat the issue.

"It makes you think about it a different way. It helps you apply it to other situations because you've seen it in a different manner," said Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW) Michael Strickland, a Navy military training instructor with TSC Great Lakes.

Following the instructional period, the group was divided into three for breakout sessions where they discussed specific, evidence-based scenarios and how they could respond if they were in those situations.

"We all care about each other and we all want what's best for the Navy," said Heather Imrie, director of program development with Catharsis Productions, who led one of the breakout sessions. "As long as we keep in mind the end goal is a safe and better Navy for everyone, it's all good."

The goal of this training, Imrie said, is to not have to do them anymore because the instances of sexual assault are non-existent. But, until that time comes, Kilmartin said, he hopes these sessions give everyone a chance to think about the possible scenarios and to be better prepared with how to handle an instance of sexual harassment or abuse in their personal lives. He wants each person to have a "toolkit of responses" that is honed through these trainings.

"You can think about the problematic situations and how you would respond," he said. "Similar to how an EMT (emergency medical technician) responds."

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

NNS150622-24. ESG-2/USS Wasp Test Procure-to-Pay Process

From U.S. Fleet Forces Command Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- When USS Wasp (LHD 1), USS Cole (DDG 67), USS James E. Williams (DDG 95), USS New Hampshire (SSN 778), members of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, and Expeditionary Strike Group 2 (ESG 2) completed Fleet Week Port Everglades last month, more than 8,805 guests had toured America's ships and 2,351 Sailors and Marines had experienced the city's southern hospitality.

Fleet Week Port Everglades concluded for most on May 10, but for supply corps personnel there was still work to be done. The process of setting up a port visit is complex, with thousands of items procured or leased through husbanding agents, ranging from pilot services to supplies; barriers to manage tour routes; cell phones, vehicles, and more.

Procurement and payment processes for Logistics Request (LOGREQs) have historically been done at the local ship level, but soon there will be a new way to pay for these and other items and port services using Procure-to-Pay (P2P), an off-ship payment process. In fact, the entire end-to-end husbanding process is being revamped, of which P2P is the final step.

With the old process, the Navy contracted with a regional husbanding service provider (HSP). The ship sent a LOGREQ directly to the HSP vendor and upon pulling into port, the HSP provided the goods and services requested. The HSP gave the ship an invoice, the supply department reviewed and processed it, and the disbursing officer paid the husbanding agent directly. Often times it's a rushed process that can put undue pressure on the supply department to get the goods and services paid for before pulling out of port. Additionally, the invoices received from the vendor were often estimates and not final bills.

Under the new system, there is still a regional HSP contract; however, now ships send a standardized-by-ship class LOGREQ to their respective numbered fleet to review and approve the items and services requested. Any deviation from the standardized list must be justified and approved. A Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) warranted contracting officer gets a quote for the requested goods and services from the husbanding agent and places the order for the ship after determining that the prices are fair and reasonable.

When the ship pulls into port, the supply department can now focus on ensuring they have received all the items and services they've requested. Accuracy is key, particularly for services that are based on volume, like water or waste removal. Designated receipt inspectors ensure that the quantity being received matches the quantity on the vendor receipts.

Before the husbanding agent is paid, a "three-way match" must take place. The supply department provides the ship's receipt information, with quantities circled, signed by the supply officer and dated, to the numbered fleet contracting officer representative (COR) who then compares it against the original contract. The third piece is the invoice submitted by the husbanding agent into the online Invoicing, Receipt, Acceptance, and Property Transfer (iRAPT) system used for validating invoices and certifying for payment. After verifying that the contract, receipt, and invoice all match, Defense Financing and Accounting Service (DFAS) One-Pay pays the service provider via electronic funds transfer (EFT) straight to the vendor's bank account.

The new system will prevent ships from being overcharged for services they receive or charged for items or services they did not accept. HSPs will no longer be paid directly by the ship, which will allow supply departments to focus their efforts on ensuring accurate receipts and allow them to execute a successful port visit.

So far, a patrol craft, destroyer, amphibious assault ship and a submarine have tested the new P2P process. USS Wasp used P2P during their visit to Port Everglades for Fleet Week in May.

"P2P was very effective on our recent port visit to New Orleans," said Cmdr. Jose Feliz, USS Wasp supply officer. "The process helped ease some of the administrative steps my supply department had to take associated with the port visits."

Over the next few months, a carrier, cruiser, mine countermeasure ship, littoral combat ship, dock landing ship, and amphibious transport dock will continue to test the process in U.S. 5th Fleet, U.S. 7th Fleet and throughout the United States.

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

NNS150622-22. Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton Run FROT Drill for Certification

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

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- Sailors from Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton's (NHCP) Decontamination Incident Response Team participated in semi-annual first receiver operations training, June 17-18.

The first day consisted of eight hours of classroom time, where they learned about military-grade agents, hazardous materials, personal protective equipment, decontamination equipment functions and how to process patients through a decontamination station.

The second day was a real-world scenario exercise to test the team's knowledge and capability to react sufficiently in case of chemical, biological or radiological exposure (CBNRE).

"The job of the decon team is two-fold," said Charlie Jansen, CBRNE instructor conducting the training. "First is to take care of the patients, to get any contamination off of them and to possibly save their lives and second is to make sure that you don't let contamination in the hospital."

Decon team participants were timed in two areas, mission capable time where at least four personnel were to be dressed out in 10 minutes and full team dress out and set up time, which has to be completed in less than 20 minutes.

After the timed portion of the test the team received ambulatory and non-ambulatory "casualties" where they were medically assessed to determine the extent of their injuries.

The casualties were then routed through a high-pressured heated water shower system and washed down with sponges and a soap solution to ensure decontamination.

"If there was a CBR spill Marine Corps Base Fed Fire would perform primary decon at the incident site," said Lee Kiolbasa, NHCP emergency manager. "Our team would perform secondary decon to ensure complete decontamination before patients enter the hospital."

During this drill the team completed both sections before the allotted time, accomplishing full team dress out and set up in 13 minutes and 34 seconds.

"I think they did a really great job today," said Jansen. "They definitely beat the standard. This is a great team."

NHCP's 60-member team was established in 2001. The team holds monthly training in preparation for semi-annual recertification.

For more inforation, visit the command website at

NNS150622-18. USS George HW Bush Enters Norfolk Naval Shipyard

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Shaun Griffin, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) (GHWB) entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) to begin a scheduled planned incremental availability (PIA), June 16.

GHWB transited the Elizabeth River en route to NNSY. During the "dead-stick" transit, Sailors on the bridge steered the ship while tugboats guided it into place upon its entrance into the shipyard.

The ship is scheduled to spend eight months at NNSY receiving upgrades and repairs necessary to successfully accomplish future missions. GHWB will go through both ship's-force maintenance and contractor work during its shipyard period.

Capt. Andrew J. Loiselle, commanding officer of GHWB, said the scheduled maintenance period will be a great opportunity for the contractors and crew to address the wear and tear that resulted from the 2014 deployment.

"Our ship has accomplished some great things these past two years, and this crew has done some truly impressive work", said Loiselle. "This shipyard period will be critical to the future readiness of our ship and will be essential to accomplishing the Navy's mission."

GHWB crew has been preparing for its shipyard period since returning from a nine-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility in November.

NNS150622-16. NASCC Fire & Emergency Services Best in DoD

By Fifi Kieschnick, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi Public Affairs

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- Naval Air Station Corpus Christi Fire and Emergency Services was selected as the Department of Defense Fire Department of the Year (Medium Category) for 2014.

The awards program recognizes individuals, teams and departments that make significant contributions to fire and emergency services.

They were one of three Navy winners selected as best in the Department of Defense. Also selected was Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, for fire prevention program of the year and fire services instructor of the year.

"To be identified by your peers as the 'Best in DoD' is a remarkable distinction," stated Vice Adm. Dixon R. Smith, commander, Navy Installations Command, in a message to regional commanders. "Bravo zulu and congratulations to all of your Navy F&ES DoD award winners."

The department and its 68 personnel provide all hazards emergency response, and fire prevention and public education services. The 60 assigned firefighters responded to 1,255 incidents last year, including 18 fires, 211 emergencies services, 12 rescues, 24 hazardous materials incidents, 654 airfield incidents and more. The fire prevention division completed comprehensive fire inspections on every facility on the installation, issued 595 hazardous operations permits, and provided public fire safety education on and off of the installation reaching 86,000 contacts.

Among other achievements throughout the year, they earned Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) accreditation through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, ensuring organizational excellence. Personnel also completed 33,000 hours of all-hazards and leadership development training, enhancing readiness, which is the core of everything they do.

"It's a pleasure to pass on congratulations to all of your team," said Capt. Steve Banta, NASCC commanding officer. "It's one thing to know that all of the department's hard work is resulting in a continued efficient and effective team, but it sure is great when an outside inspecting agency verifies this and declares you the DoD F&ES Department of the Year!"

Fire Chief John Morris said, "On a daily basis, we strive for excellence in all that we do. That is only possible due to hard work and dedication, individually and as a team. The awards/recognition only serves to validate the great work every member of the department does each and every day.

"This has been an amazing year: we were designated as a CFAI Accredited Agency; we have had a number of personnel complete or start on a degree; and we have had a number of our guys recognized at the installation, region and Navy levels in various awards programs. What we have done as a team has been recognized DoD-wide for these cumulative achievements that includes each division, shift and individual in the department."

For more news from Naval Air Station Corpus Christi , visit

NNS150622-15. It's Hurricane Season. Are You Ready?

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class A. A. Cruz, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The National Hurricane Center predicts five hurricanes for the Atlantic region this year; however, even just one can be devastating. In 2011, Hurricane Irene hit Hampton Roads causing major flooding and leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power, according to an Aug. 28, 2011, article.

When there is a real threat of a hurricane, ships moored at Naval Station Norfolk typically get underway, or sortie, consequently requiring all Sailors to be aboard. This also means Sailors' families may have to evacuate the area without them in the face of a hurricane. When it comes to planning for this natural disaster, Sailors should ensure their families are familiar with shelter locations, evacuation routes and how to prepare homes in advance of the storm.

"Preparation and having a plan is always important," said Lt. Cmdr. C. Thornton, Truman's meteorology and oceanography officer. "It's better to be proactive rather than reactive. That way, no one is scrambling when a storm is right above them."

A critical part of planning for a hurricane is having an evacuation route, should there be a need for family members to flee a storm.

"It's always important to have more than one route planned in case a hurricane does happen," said Thornton. "You never know if your usual route will be blocked off, flooded or full of traffic."

If possible, personnel should try to get out of the area as soon as possible when a hurricane warning is issued.

Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class D. Osborne, a Sailor attached to a ship that experienced a hurricane, said he highly recommends trying to get out of the area before the storm hits.

"When I was living in Webster, Texas, we had a storm coming in. I went south to Austin to get away as much as possible," said Osborne. "It's better to get out ahead of the storm rather than try to wait it out in your home. You never know when something like trees or debris might come crashing into it."

Elizabeth Manning, disaster program manager for the Virginia region Red Cross, said public schools are usually used for shelter during a disaster. To find out which areas are being used during a storm, you can watch the news, listen to the radio or speak with local officials.

"If your family isn't able to make it to a designated area, they can take shelter in the most inward room in the house without windows," said Manning. "They should also keep supplies in the same room or in the closest room available. If possible, cover all windows with tape or board them up. When taking shelter at home, notify family members or neighbors as soon as possible."

Another step in making preparations is gathering supplies and keeping them readily accessible.

Thornton said when it comes to food, it would be a good idea to buy canned food or food that doesn't require refrigeration or cooking in case of a power outage.

Other items that that may be useful in an emergency include flashlights, batteries, candles, matches, first aid supplies and copies of personal documents (birth certificates, deeds/leases, passports, etc.). Thornton also recommends a three-day supply of water, allowing one gallon per person and supplies for pets and babies.

For more information on hurricane preparation, visit, .

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

NNS150622-13. Pacific Partnership 2015 Veterinary Personnel Treat Fijian Pets at Animal Clinic

By Senior Airman Peter Reft, Pacific Partnership 2015 Public Affairs

SAVUSAVU, Fiji (NNS) -- Animal Fiji volunteers and the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) medical personnel performed surgeries and other treatments for local pets and stray animals at the Ministry of Health and Animal Fiji clinic in Savusavu, Fiji, June 16, during Pacific Partnership 2015.

Pet owners gathered at the treatment facilities to nurse sick dogs and cats back to health and have them spayed or neutered. Mercy crew members and clinic volunteers offered medical services free of charge to local residents who expressed their gratitude for the veterinary teams.

"This is great for my dog Aero," said Cathy, a Fijian resident. "And it is fortunate for us and the people of Savusavu, since this type of service is hard to get."

Fijian and U.S. personnel treated and performed surgeries on 23 family pets and stray animals. By providing medical treatment to the animals, both the Fiji and U.S. veterinary teams gained knowledge and experience from working together.

"I loved meeting the local people and teaching them about tool sterilization, intubation, and other preparation steps for animal surgery," said U.S. Army Sgt. Charina Hocag, a veterinary technician from the Philippines.

Hocag added she was pleased to teach animal treatment not only to Fijian veterinary students, but also U.S. Navy hospital corpsmen who had no experience in animal handling.

Army Capt. Melissa North, a veterinarian from Carson, California, performed surgeries with the aid of Fijian veterinarians.

"My favorite thing about this project was the appreciation everyone has shown and being able to work with host nation vets who have so much experience," said North. "And they are helping me learn how to improve my surgical techniques and how to be more efficient."

The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) is currently in Savusavu, Fiji, for its first mission port of PP15. Pacific Partnership is in its tenth iteration and is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. While training for crisis conditions, Pacific Partnership missions to date have provided medical care to approximately 270,000 patients and veterinary services to more than 38,000 animals. Additionally, PP15 has provided critical infrastructure development to host nations through the completion of more than 180 engineering projects.

Additional information on the mission is available on the U.S. Pacific fleet Pacific Partnership website at

NNS150622-11. Millinocket Arrives in Micronesia for Pacific Partnership

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Carla Burdt, Pacific Partnership Public Affairs

KOLONIA, Pohnpei (NNS) -- The Military Sealift Command joint high speed vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) arrived in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, June 21 for the ship's second stop of Pacific Partnership 2015.

Millinocket and embarked Task Force Forager, led by an expeditionary command element from the Navy's 30th Naval Construction Regiment (30 NCR) from Port Hueneme, California, are currently serving as the secondary platform for Pacific Partnership 2015. The primary platform for the mission is the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19).

"My crew and I are incredibly excited for our visit to the Federated States of Micronesia," said Capt. James Meyer, commodore, Task Force Forager. "We look forward to meeting with the national and local leaders and all the people of the community. Military and civilian leaders all agree it is necessary for us to work together to respond quickly and effectively to natural disasters. This mission helps build that ability while simultaneously providing medical, dental, veterinarian, engineering and civic assistance."

Meyer added, "This mission is also about the exchange of ideas. Unlike previous missions that focused solely on direct care, PP15 is primarily focusing on knowledge exchange and all direct care is shoulder-to-shoulder with the host nation, in addition to some direct care. The intent is to impart knowledge and skills that will last well after the mission is over."

Now in its tenth iteration, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region. While training for crisis conditions, Pacific Partnership missions have provided medical care to approximately 270,000 patients and veterinary services to more than 38,000 animals. Additionally, the mission has provided critical infrastructure developments to host nations through the completion of more than 180 engineering projects.

Additional information on the Pacific Partnership mission is available on the U.S. Pacific Fleet Pacific Partnership website at

NNS150622-09. Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group Departs U.S. 5th Fleet

By Lt. Lily Hinz, Commander, Amphibious Squadron 8 Public Affairs

MEDITERRANEAN SEA (NNS) -- The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (IWOARG), with embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), departed U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO), June 21.

The ARG entered U.S. 6th Fleet AOO upon completion of a Suez Canal transit and the 4,000 U.S. Sailors and Marines assigned to the ARG and 24th MEU will serve in the U.S. 6th Fleet AOO before completing their scheduled seven-month deployment.

While on station in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOO, the ARG and 24th MEU supported theater security cooperation and provided a forward naval presence by providing crisis response, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and combat capabilities.

The ARG played a crucial role in Yemen evacuation and contingency operations, participated in multiple bilateral and multi-lateral training exercises and conducted strategic transits of the Strait of Bab-Al-Mandeb.

"The Sailors and Marines of the IWOARG and the 24th MEU have done an outstanding job during this deployment to 5th Fleet," said Navy Capt. Michael McMillan, commodore, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 8. "This ARG/MEU team has been ready to plan and execute any and all tasking since our arrival here, and the hard work of each Sailor and Marine contributed to an extremely successful deployment."

The IWOARG is commanded by McMillan, which include the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) and the embarked Marines of the 24th MEU, as well as various supporting elements from Assault Craft Unit 4, Beachmaster Unit 2, Fleet Surgical Team 8, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22 and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28.

The 24th MEU is commanded by Col. Scott F. Benedict and is comprised of the Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 (Reinforced); the Ground Combat Element, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines; the Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 24 and its command element.

The ARG ships left their homeport in Mayport, Florida, Dec. 11, and Dec. 12, 2014 on a regularly scheduled deployment and will continue to support operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet AOO.

For more news from Commander, Amphibious Squadron 8 , visit

NNS150622-08. NEPMU-7 Supports Annual Baltic Operations Exercise

By Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Jay Cherluck, Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine 7 Public Affairs

USTKA, Poland (NNS) -- Two preventive medicine technicians (PMTs) from Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit (NEPMU) 7 deployed to provide public health support in preparation for the annual Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2015, June 5-20.

BALTOPS is an annual, multinational exercise to enhance maritime capabilities and interoperability with partner nations to promote maritime safety and security in the Baltic Sea.

This was NEPMU-7's first boots on the ground mission since being re-commissioned last June after a seven-year hiatus, as well as its first embedded operation with Commander, Naval Expeditionary Task Force Europe and Africa (CTF) 68.

"NEPMU-7 demonstrated full operational capability on their first deployment," said Capt. Joseph Polanin, commodore of CTF-68, "[the support was] a huge force multiplier for our task group and adjacent commands".

The two-man PMT team arrived a week prior to the start of the exercise to conduct an initial assessment at Camp Gorsko. The purpose of the camp assessment and public health support for the exercise proactively ensures personnel will have safe and adequate drinking water, food, living spaces, hygiene facilities, and information on public health risks. Within a week of the camp assessment, NATO forces made Camp Gorsko their temporary home for the duration of the operation.

"Keeping troops safe during any training exercise or combat mission is important and NEPMU-7 provides the commander another layer of safety. They find the hidden dangers by conducting field surveys and presenting solutions to leadership to keep troops safe from the unseen enemy "disease"!" said Lt. Cmdr. Bob Morrison, assistant officer in charge, Naval Forces Europe, Detachment Maritime Ashore Support Team.

The PMTs rigorous inspection and monitoring of the camp aims to mitigate risk and prevent disease that can threaten the health of forces participating in the exercise and ultimately hinder the success of military operations.

"This is a milestone for our unit, it is fantastic to see our personnel out there supporting the operating forces," said Capt. Juliann Althoff, officer in charge, NEPMU-7. "This is what we are trained to do."

NEMPU-7, located in Rota, Spain, provides theatre-wide preventive medicine support to Navy and Marine Corps forces and joint and combined military operations throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East, whether it's a request for information or a request for forces, the team's highly skilled and trained professionals are always ready.

For more information about NEMPU-7 please visit: .

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

NNS150622-07. SECNAV Completes Visit to Estonia

From Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs

TALLINN, Estonia (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus met with Commander of the Estonian Navy Capt. Sten Sepper aboard the Estonian Navy's flagship minesweeper, the ENS Admiral Cowan, June 19.

While aboard, Mabus was briefed on regional security issues and the Estonian Navy's minesweeping capabilities.

Estonian participation in multinational exercises such as BALTOPS, OPEN SPIRIT and SABER STRIKE was another topic of discussion during Mabus' meeting with Sepper and other Estonian officials.

Mabus also met with Estonia's Minister of Defense Sven Mikser and Commander of Estonian Defense Forces Lt. Gen. Riho Terras.

"The cooperation between the Estonian Defense Forces and our Navy and Marine Corps is critical to the continuing development of our partnership with Estonia," Mabus told those he met with, "and we look forward to continuing to strengthen this relationship in the future."

Mabus' stop in Estonia was part of a multi-nation visit to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility to meet with Sailors and Marines and civilian and military officials.

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

NNS150622-06. SECNAV Meets with Bosnia and Herzegovina's Minister of Defense

From Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus met with Bosnia and Herzegovina's Minister of Defense Zekerijah Osmic during an official visit to the Balkan nation June 22.

During the meeting, Mabus discussed regional security issues and underscored the importance of the Navy and Marine Corps' partnership with the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"We are committed to ensuring security and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Balkan region," said Mabus. "I am hopeful that we will be able to continue the engagements between our militaries that, through partnership, enhance this security."

While in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mabus also met with U.S. explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) Sailors conducting training with members of the partner nation's armed forces.

Mabus' stop in Bosnia and Herzegovina is part of a multi-nation visit to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility to meet with Sailors and Marines and civilian and military officials.

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

NNS150622-01. 5th Fleet Commander Visits USS Iwo Jima

From USS Iwo Jima Public Affairs

AQABA, Jordan (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Vice Adm. John Miller paid a visit to the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), June 18.

Miller met with Iwo Jima Commanding Officer, Capt. Dana Gordon, Commander, Amphibious Squadron 8, Capt. Michael McMillan and the Commanding Officer of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Col. Scott Benedict. He also toured the ship, met with Sailors and Marines for lunch on the mess decks and held three all-hands calls.

During his all-hands call with the E-6 and below Marines and Sailors, Miller highlighted Iwo Jima's support to Yemen evacuation and contingency operations.

"In the 36 months I have had command, we have not asked more from another ship than we have from Iwo Jima," he explained. "This deployment has been extremely important to the strategic goals of this area of operations."

Iwo Jima left its homeport of Mayport, Florida, Dec. 11, and began a regularly scheduled seven-month deployment to the U.S. 6th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.

While deployed, Iwo Jima spent 164 days in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, 149 of which were underway days. The ship conducted more than 70 well deck operations, participated in multiple bilateral and multilateral training exercises and conducted several strategic transits of the Strait of Bab Al Mandeb.

Iwo Jima is currently serving as the flagship for the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group, which includes USS New York (LPD 21) and USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) and the embarked Marines of the 24th MEU, as well as various supporting elements from Assault Craft Unit 4, Beachmaster Unit 2, Fleet Surgical Team 8, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22 and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28.

For more news from Commander, Amphibious Squadron 8 , visit

NNS150620-05. Truman Sailors Further Education Underway

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Justin R. Pacheco

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) began accepting registrations for the Navy College Program for Afloat College Education Distance Learning (NCPACE-DL) placement tests, June 16, offering Sailors an opportunity to take college courses while underway.

NCPACE-DL provides both officers and enlisted Sailors with the opportunity to complete undergraduate and graduate courses while at sea. The program also offers options for Sailors to earn an associate, bachelor's and master's degrees.

"It's a terrific opportunity for our Sailors," said Ensign M. A. Martin, Truman's educational services officer. "The Navy works with 10 different nationally accredited colleges and universities to provide tuition-free courses. The only costs to Sailors are the textbooks."

NCPACE-DL briefs aboard Truman are scheduled monthly and registration is offered at those times.

The Navy has been allowing civilian instructors to teach aboard ships through the Program for Afloat College Education (PACE) for more than 40 years.

Civilian instructors teach NCPACE courses in a traditional classroom environment during deployments. Distance learning NCPACE offers an alternative for Sailors who cannot commit to a schedule or who desire the convenience of a self-paced study environment and is available both on deployments and during regular work-up cycles. Sailors are also able to transfer credits from other schools to complete degrees.

"We encourage any Sailor looking to further their education to come find out more about the program and the courses we offer," said Martin. "To qualify, a Sailor has to have been aboard Truman for one year if it's their first permanent duty station, passed their last physical readiness test and advancement exam, and have no non-judicial punishments six months prior to the first day of class. If they meet all requirements, they can submit a special request chit to their chain of command."

Copies of the request must also be provided to the educational services office (ESO) on the day of the brief, and payments for textbooks or additional study materials will also be collected at that time.

Sailors with no previous college math or English courses must register for a placement test administered by the educational services officer.

Interior Communications Specialist 2nd Class J. K. Cardenas said in addition to furthering education, college courses are an excellent way to improve morale while on deployment.

"It's a really productive and fun way to pass your free time when you're out to sea," said Cardenas, who attended classes during the last deployment. "Some people enjoy working out, some people watch movies, and some people really like to learn. For people with that mindset, this is a great program and it's really beneficial for you in the long run as well, whether or not you intend on making the Navy a career."

Sailors can register for up to two classes per 90-day term, or one class if they are a first-time student. A complete course listing is located on Truman's intranet page.

Perspective students can also make their voice heard by voting for future classes to be offered aboard Truman. Voting is open through tomorrow in ESO during normal business hours.

For more information about the Navy College Program, visit

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

NNS150620-02. NSWC Dahlgren Laser Weapon System Team Wins 2014 Top Navy Scientists and Engineers Award

By John Joyce

DAHLGREN, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy's Laser Weapon System (LaWS) engineering team received the 2014 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Award for groundbreaking research, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) announced June 19.

Sean Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, presented the award to the NSWCDD team that researched, developed and installed the Laser Weapon System on board USS Ponce (AFSB[I] 15).

"These awards are a tribute to the exemplary scientists and engineers who dedicate their energy and talent to making sure our warfighters have the scientific and technological edge they need at sea, in the air and on the battlefield," said Office of Naval Research (ONR) Executive Director Dr. Walter Jones, after the Pentagon ceremony last week.

The Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award recognizes Navy and Marine Corps civilian and military personnel for exceptional science and engineering achievements. Etter, formerly an assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, now presides over the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education at Southern Methodist University.

The NSWCDD LaWS Team award recipients were Joseph Barrasse, Ronald Flatley, Theresa Gennaro, David McCormick, David Newton, Melissa Olson, Dr. Robert Pawlak, Gunendran Sivapragasam, and David Sullins. In addition, Lt. Cmdr. Michael Putnam from the Naval Sea System Command (NAVSEA) Ship Design & Engineering directorate received the award.

"We're very proud of our Laser Weapon System Team," said Capt. Brian Durant, NSWCDD commanding officer. "This outstanding team worked long hours - many deployed away from home and family - to advance technology and enable the Navy's first deployment of a high energy laser weapon. Their achievements are the perfect example of NSWC Dahlgren Division's ability to design, develop, and install innovative and integrated solutions aboard warships."

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

ONR officials announced in a Dec. 10, 2014 news release that LaWS - a cutting-edge weapon that brings significant new capabilities to America's Sailors and Marines - was for the first time successfully deployed and operated aboard a naval vessel in the Arabian Gulf.

The LaWS team worked with Sailors aboard Ponce to demonstrate a laser weapon working aboard a deployed U.S. Navy ship while operating seamlessly with existing ship defense systems.

During the tests, LaWS - a collaborative effort between ONR, NAVSEA, Naval Research Laboratory, NSWCDD, and industry partners - hit targets mounted aboard a speeding oncoming small boat, shot down a Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and destroyed other moving targets at sea. Navy video of the testing:

Ponce Sailors - trained by the NSWCDD team on LaWS operation - reported the weapon performed flawlessly, including in adverse weather conditions of high winds, heat and humidity. They noted the system exceeded expectations for both reliability and maintainability.

The system is operated by a video-game like controller, and can address multiple threats using a range of escalating options, from non-lethal measures such as optical "dazzling" and disabling, to lethal destruction if necessary. It could prove to be a pivotal asset against "asymmetric threats," which include small attack boats and UAVs.

NSWCDD, a NAVSEA warfare center division, is a premier research and development center that serves as a specialty site for weapon system integration. The command's unique ability to rapidly introduce new technology into complex warfighting systems is based on its longstanding competencies in science and technology, research and development, and test and evaluation.

For more news from NSWC Dahlgren , visit

NNS150620-01. GW Arrives in Brisbane, Australia

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Shayla D. Hamilton,
USS George Washington Public Affairs

BRISBANE, Australia (NNS) -- USS George Washington (CVN 73) arrived in Brisbane, Australia for a six-day goodwill port visit, June 19.

Crewmembers will have a chance to tour the area, shop, enjoy liberty, and interact with Australian natives while conducting community relations (COMREL) projects and participating in sporting events.

"My crew and I are excited to be here," said Capt. Timothy Kuehhas, George Washington's commanding officer. "We look forward to seeing and learning about the culture in Brisbane and Gold Coast. I am looking forward to our crew being actively engaged in a series of COMRELs, and getting some well-deserved rest and relaxation."

COMREL projects include performing yard maintenance, interacting with children, accompanying hospital staff on patient visits and performing maintenance on the hull of a World War II frigate housed in a dry-dock.

George Washington's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) program has also organized a variety of tours and activities in local attractions for Sailors to enjoy during the visit. The scheduled events include a bridge climb, Sunshine Gold Coast tour and a visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. In addition, George Washington is scheduled to play soccer, rugby and basketball games with Queensland police and emergency services members and provide a special aircraft carrier tour for the Starlight Foundation children and their parents.

"I'm happy to be able to get off my feet, even if only for a few days," said Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Janae M. Colclough, from San Diego. "This port visit is well-earned and much anticipated. I can't wait to get out and explore Australia and get exposed to new things. This is my first patrol and I'm grateful for the opportunity to see Australia and all the other places we'll be visiting on the way to our new home in Virginia."

George Washington will host a welcoming reception in its hangar bay and on the flight deck for 350 local guests.

"We are very thankful to our hosts for the support of the community in Brisbane," said Kuehhas. "I look forward to welcoming our Australian friends on board and I'm certain that our time here will create memories that will last a lifetime."

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.

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

NNS020418-30. This Day in Naval History - June 22

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1807 - Frigate USS Chesapeake, commanded by James Barron, is stopped by British frigate HMS Leopard after killing several of her crew and take Royal Navy deserters. Barron is court-martialed for not having his ship prepared to fight.

1884 - USS Thetis, USS Alert, and USS Bear, under Cmdr. Winfield S. Schley, rescue Lt. Adolphus W. Greely and six of his exploring party from Cape Sabine, where they are marooned for three years.

1898 - During the Spanish-American War, the Spanish destroyer Terror joins Isabel II in an attempt to torpedo USS Saint Paul, which fires at Terror, damaging the ship.

1943 - USS Monaghan (DD 354) attacks the Japanese submarine (I 7) 10 miles south of Cape Hita and runs aground, becoming irreparably damaged, 12 miles south-southeast of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.

1963 - The nuclear-powered submarines USS Tecumseh (SSBN 628), USS Daniel Boone (SSBN 629), USS Flasher (SSN 613), and USS John Calhoun (SSBN 630) are all launched in one day, emphasizing the Navys accelerated nuclear-submarine construction program.

NNS150623-06. USS Essex Celebrates LGBT Pride Month

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Veloicaza, USS Essex Public Affairs

INDIAN OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) held a command-wide observance ceremony in honor and support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, June 22.

The observance covered the history of LGBT rights and related civil rights movements. The event was hosted by Essex's multicultural committee and featured several speakers, including Essex's commanding officer.

"We recognize gay, lesbian and bisexual service members for their dedicated service to our country," said Capt. Pete Mantz, Essex's commanding officer. "The LGBT community has written a proud chapter in this fundamentally American story by reminding us that integrity and respect remains a cornerstone to our military."

The history of LGBT community and culture dates back to the first recorded instances of same-sex love and sexuality of ancient civilizations. In 1994, the annual observance of LGBT History Month began in the United States, with the exclusion of military involvement.

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Scott Musolf, master of ceremonies for the celebration, said he never imagined that he would be able to see past the segregation between gay and straight service members in his seven years in the Navy.

"I'm proud and furthermore excited to have been a part of this celebration," said Musolf. "I never thought that I would talk about pride month and the LGBT community on a Navy ship that is currently forward deployed."

Military policy and legislation had previously prohibited gay individuals from serving, and subsequently from serving openly. In turn, a legislative policy was enacted in a 1993 bill that continued the ban under which LGBT individuals were prohibited from serving, but also prohibited investigation into a member's sexual orientation without suspicion. The new policy was known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and was seen as a compromise between the two political efforts.

The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010" created a future pathway to allow the LGBT community to serve in the military. This repeal would only take affect with sufficient certification that it would not harm military readiness, followed by a 60 days waiting period. In early 2011, military leaders began issuing training plans for the expected repeal of the ban. A court order on July 6, 2011, required the Pentagon to immediately suspend the ban, which the government complied with. Prohibitions were entirely ended in September 2011 after Congress voted to repeal the policy.

"The changes didn't surface right away when the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' took effect," Musolf said. "I still felt the same, but when it became law in September of 2011 it was a little more exciting. Marriage acts started taking place and individuals had the ability to get married if they so desired. That's when I saw the drastic changes start to take place."

Musolf is currently involved in the beginning of a new group formed onboard Essex: Gay, Lesbian and Supporting Sailors (GLASS).

"GLASS is for people who need a place where they can be themselves," he said. "We all have similar stories. It's all about having a support group when you have nowhere else to go."

Essex is currently deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

For more news from USS Essex (LHD 2), visit

NNS150623-05. Navy Divers Test New Equipment

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Benjamin Wooddy, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Navy Diving is celebrating the Year of the Military Diver in 2015, with 100 years since the Mark V diving helmet was first developed, later becoming the cornerstone piece of equipment for the community for more than 65 years.

Though current divers no longer wear the iconic helmet, many other facets of diving have remained the same.

With the recent acquisition of the Diver 6 telemetry system, Navy diving is poised to plunge into its next century, beginning with a practice dive at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, June 17.

"We are testing the first generation of diver telemetry," said Chief Warrant Officer Coy Everage, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Group 2 Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2. "It tells us a diver's location, diver's depth, diver's air pressure, breathing rate and how long they have left to breathe based on the depth."

The Diver 6 is one of a few new systems that has been approved for use by the Navy and is now in the next phase of implementation and evaluation for use by diving commands.

The Diver 6 system will allow dive supervisors to keep better track of divers once they are submerged, thus allowing the supervisor to better monitor the diver.

Before Diver 6, dive supervisors had little knowledge of what was happening under water during a SCUBA dive.

With the new system, supervisors will now have real-time information on a submerged diver, essentially getting eyes under the water.

Previously, this information was provided only by the diver themselves.

"If a diver were to get trapped, I can now know exactly where he is," said Everage. "I can point another diver to him. I know how much air he has left just while he is doing his regular day to day job and I know how much air he has left for decompression in the event of an emergency."

Commands from around the Virginia Beach area will be some of the first to test the new system and practice putting it into use before it can be used for mission essential dives.

Everage went on to explain that although the current system procedures that divers and dive supervisors use to communicate with each other does work and has worked for many years, it is beneficial for them to have the opportunity to step into a new technological area of diving.

This will enable a move forward for the safety and capabilities of Navy divers.

"When our divers go under, the dive supervisors have to rely on that diver to know what is going on," said Everage. "It works, and we've done it for years, but any way we can advance into a new era is a great benefit to our community."

For more news from Navy Expeditionary Combat Command , visit

NNS150623-04. Rear Adm Horan Presents Purple Heart to Korean War Veteran

By Cmdr. Daryl Borgquist, Defense Media Activity

PHOENIX (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Dale E. Horan, deputy director for Operations, Joint Staff, presented the Purple Heart Medal to former U.S. Army Corporal Charles B. Elder for wounds he received during the Korean War as a POW, at the Jacksonville Senior Center in Baltimore County, Maryland, June 22.

Elder was wounded by shrapnel from friendly fire during an engagement while serving with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.

He was taken into captivity by North Korean Forces and turned over to the Chinese at Camp 3 where he was held from 1951 to August 1953.

"Mr. Elder's wife approached me about the missing Purple Heart Medal when I made a Veteran's Day Speech at the Jacksonville Senior Center on Veteran's Day in 2014," Horan said. "I contacted the Army about the medal. After Army officials reviewed his records, they said there was no question that his repatriation documents showed he was eligible for the medal.

"When the Army asked me if I would present the medal to Corporal Elder, I was more than happy to do so for this very deserving veteran who served his country and suffered greatly as a prisoner of war," said Horan.

"This is a very special day that I have been waiting for," Elder said to the three hundred friends, family, and state and local officials who attended the ceremony.

Elder recently recounted his story for other Korean War prisoners of war after receiving word that he would be receiving the Purple Heart Medal.

He said that he was captured by North Koreans on Heartbreak Ridge, North of the 38th Parallel.

"I was wounded the day that I was captured. I walked for a while until [I was] unable to walk any further. I was put on an ox cart as we zig zag (sic) back and forth across Korea to the prison camp. We marched for 25-30 days before reaching the prison camp," said Elder.

He said he was "operated on by North Koreans on the march in [a] hut using kitchen utensils and holding down my arms and legs with no anesthetic. There were 8 to 10 on [a] single ox cart during [the] march. I was the only one to survive the march to the prison camp... my platoon leader said I smelled horrible, my hip was full of infection and maggots.

"To pass the time I was forced to attend propaganda classes. Able ones were sent on wood detail, carrying wood for the Chinese to keep warm. We were turned over to the Chinese when we got to prison camp," he said.

Elder said the camp was on the Yalu River near the Chinese border. The winter temperatures plummeted to 50 below zero during his internment. The POWs were given cotton padded clothing and lived in thatched roof huts. He did prepare an escape along with others, but their preparations were discovered. As a result, he was placed in solitary confinement for some of his internment.

The armistice ending the Korean War was signed on his birthday in 1953. He was repatriated through Freedom Village on the 38th Parallel and discharged at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, later that year.

He said at the time of his discharge, the office processing his discharge "ran out of medals" and attempts to receive the Purple Heart were unsuccessful over the years until now.

His long-time friend and fellow prisoner of war, Ray Unger, who had been determined to get the missing medal for him, died earlier this year.

After his discharge, he worked on the family farm and attended Baltimore Engineering Institute for three years. He worked for Westinghouse from 1955-1957 and was a payroll accountant for AAI from 1957 until he retired in 1991.

Elder previously received the Prisoner of War Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star, Combat Infantry Badge, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea - Korean War Service Medal, Republic of Korea - Presidential Unit Citation, and Cold War Recognition Certificate.

NNS150623-02. USS Michigan Visits Busan During Western Pacific Deployment

By Lt. Shanna Gainer, USS Michigan Public Affairs

BUSAN, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arrived at Busan for a visit as a part of its deployment to the Western Pacific, June 23.

With a crew of approximately 165, Michigan will conduct a multitude of missions and showcase the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.

"I feel very fortunate, along with Michigan's prospective commanding officer, Capt. Joe Turk, to have this opportunity to bring our ship into Busan," said Capt. Erik Burian, Michigan's commanding officer. "Our ability to complete our important mission is directly supported by the combined efforts of our regional partners, and now we'll be able to extend that thanks in person."

USS Michigan is one of four Ohio-class guided-missile submarines. The Navy's guided-missile submarines provide the Navy with unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform. Armed with up to 154 tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, guided-missile submarines are capable of launching missile strikes and supporting Special Operation Forces (SOF) missions.

Measuring more than 560 feet long and weighing more than 18,000 tons when submerged, Michigan is one of the largest submarines in the world.

"After almost two years on deployment in the Western Pacific, shared by both the Blue and Gold Crews, Michigan is looking forward to a chance meet up with our ROKN [Republic of Korea Navy] partners and learn about the culture of Korea, for the first time for many of us, myself included," said Burian.

"Our crew worked tirelessly these last months and we are excited for the opportunity to enjoy some time off," said Michigan's Chief of the Boat, Master Chief Machinist's Mate Jason Puckett. "I'm positive that our Sailors will have a great time experiencing the culture in beautiful South Korea!"

For many of the crew members, this is their first time visiting Busan.

"I am very excited to visit my first far eastern port," said Lt. j.g. Katie Castro. "South Korea is a beautiful and fascinating country and I am looking forward to some hiking and visiting the local shrines in the Busan area. I hope to partake in some camaraderie with fellow submariners in the South Korean Navy, and am very excited to meet our host ship."

"For our younger Sailors, Busan provides a unique experience to visit another country and enjoy some time off from our steady training and operational routine at sea. We're quite grateful for the generosity of our hosts from the Busan Navy community, and especially onboard ROKS Jung-Ji, and are eager to have this port visit on our way back to homeport in Seattle," said Burian.

Michigan is homeported in Bremerton, Washington and is forward deployed from Guam.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 7, visit

NNS150623-01. Navy Scores First Medals at DoD Warrior Games

By Ensign Marissa A. Cruz, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East, and Shannon Leonard, Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor

QUANTICO, Va. (NNS) -- Team Navy captured four cycling medals to kick off competition at the DoD Warrior Games at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, June 21.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Ryan "Austin" Reese of Virginia Beach, Virginia, won the silver medal in the men's handcycle MH5 competition. His teammate, Chief Petty Officer Javier Rodriguez Santiago (Ret.) of Saint Cloud, Florida, took home the bronze medal.

This is Rodriquez Santiago's third DoD Warrior Games, and his experience was especially helpful during the competition.

"I know a lot of the guys; I know how they race," he said. "I wanted to stay ahead of those who I knew are faster than me. Once I saw that I passed a couple of them, I thought, 'Yes! I can keep going!'"

Rodriquez Santiago is also competing in sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball.

Reese, who has served in the Navy as an explosive ordnance disposal technician (EOD) for 13 years, said, "Adaptive sports have given me a sense of purpose and also a feeling of competition again. It makes me feel very proud that I'm able to represent my service and also the other team members who are not able to compete."

Reese will also participate in swimming and track and field events.

Chief Petty Officer Leticia Baugher (Ret.) of Independence, Missouri, won the bronze medal in women's recumbent cycling.

She is a newcomer to the DoD Warrior Games, and had a rather modest objective for her first year participating.

"When I started the race, my goal was to finish," said Baugher. "I never really thought I would get a medal. I exceeded my own expectations!"

Baugher will also participate in track and field competitions.

Rounding out Team Navy's medal winners was Chief Petty Officer Hector Varela (Ret.) of Temecula, California, who won silver in the men's kneeling race, and proclaimed after the race: "I feel good!"

He also is participating in sitting volleyball, field and wheelchair basketball competitions.

While the spectators helped motivate the athletes throughout the day, Team Navy's Lt. Cmdr. Scott Radetski (Ret.) of Poulsbo, Washington, shared another inspiration.

Radetski wrote the names of two two fallen service members on his legs. "I'd like to ride for two guys: Ray Mendoza and Doug Zembiec, who were both Echo Company commanders with 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment," he said.

At the conclusion of the cycling races, the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Para-Commandos parachuted in to begin the medals ceremony with an exciting display.

Following the cycling completion, Team Navy faced off against SOCOM in wheelchair basketball. All teams took part in a round-robin tournament on June 20, and Team Navy won two of the five games.

"I know Team Navy is very excited to be in this bracket. They now have the opportunity to go for gold. I am anxious to see how they do; they are all extremely tired from the back-to-back wheelchair basketball games yesterday. Despite their exhaustion they are going to give it their best and that's why we're here, to support them and cheer them on," said Summer Simmons, wife of Team Navy member retired Navy Lt. Steve Simmons.

SOCOM scored first, but it did not take long for Navy's retired Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Brian Canich to swish the ball, placing the first points on the board for Team Navy.

Ultimately, the Team Navy topped SOCOM 40 to 18, and it will advance in the bracket to play the Air Force, June 22.

Thirty-nine seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors are competing on behalf of Team Navy this year. The Warrior Games are being held June 19-28. Approximately 250 wounded warrior athletes are participating in the competition.

Team Navy is sponsored by Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) - Safe Harbor, the Navy and Coast Guard's wounded warrior support program. Team members have upper-body and/or lower-body injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairments, serious illnesses and post-traumatic stress.

To learn more about NWW, the DoD Warrior Games and adaptive sports, visit; call 855-NAVY WWP (628-9997) or email

Follow NWW on Facebook ( and Twitter (@navysafeharbor) for the latest news from Marine Corps Base Quantico.

For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit

NNS020418-31. This Day in Naval History - June 23

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1812 - During the War of 1812, Commodore John Rodgers leads a squadron onboard USS President off New York until she battles HMS Belvidera. The first shot of the War of 1812 is fired by USS President during this engagement.

1861 - During the Civil War, the Confederate Navy begins reconstruction of ex-USS Merrimack as the ironclad CSS Virginia at Gosport (Norfolk) Navy Yard, Va.

1898 - During the Spanish-American War, USS Dixie fires on two Spanish gunboats at Maria Aguilar Point, Cuba.

1933 - USS Macon (ZRS 5) is commissioned. Less than two years later, Macon crashes during a storm off Point Sur, Calif., ending the Navy's program of rigid airship operations.

1942 - While on a routine search, a PBY rescues most of the crew of S 27 (SS 132) at Constantine Harbor, Amchitka, Aleutian Islands. The rest are brought out the next day.

1945 - PB4Y 2s (VPB 118), flying from Okinawa, continue aerial mining of waters of Korean Archipelago, sowing mines in waters in channel north of Lion Do and Gantai Do, and off Ninshi Do and Chi Do.

NNS150624-03. CNO Recognizes Achievements of FY 2014 CNO Environmental Award Winners

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

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert hosted a video teleconference (VTC) ceremony June 23 at the Pentagon in recognition of the 27 winners of fiscal year 2014 CNO Environmental Awards.

The 27 winners comprised ten categories in Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, Sustainability, Environmental Restoration, Cultural Resources Management, Environmental Planning and Afloat. This year's ceremony represented the third consecutive year awardees were acknowledged via VTC. Winners participated in regions across the country and internationally, ranging from Japan to Bahrain.

Navy leadership and senior officials from the Department of Defense along with Donna Wieting, director of the Office of Protected Resources of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Paul Cough, director of Oceans and Coastal Protection Division (Wetlands, Oceans, Watersheds) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were in attendance. Representatives from environmental organizations, including Coastal States Organization and Ocean Conservancy, joined to commend each of the winners for their noteworthy accomplishments.

"Stewardship . . . means the trust of citizens - the voters - and the people that we're supposed to be providing security for . . . to be sure that they know that their Department of Defense, and in this case the Navy, is supporting the environment," said Greenert during keynote remarks at the ceremony. "Don't underestimate the significance of what you do for us."

Vice Adm. Philip H. Cullom, deputy CNO for Fleet Readiness and Logistics (N4) and Rear Adm. Kevin Slates, director of the CNO Energy and Environmental Readiness Division (OPNAV N45), joined the CNO in congratulating the honorees and presenting the awards during yesterday's ceremony.

"These efforts illustrate that teamwork and dedication can not only enable execution of the Navy's mission but also help maintain the vitality of the planet for future generations," said Cullom during the ceremony.

Since 1994, the CNO Environmental Awards Program has annually recognized Navy installations, individuals, and teams for their significant achievements and contributions to environmental stewardship. A complete list of winners, along with their submission packages, can be located at

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

NNS150624-18. NAVIDFOR Ensures Shipboard Systems Interoperate

By George Lammons, NAVIDFOR Public Affairs

SUFFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- When multi-unit groups deploy, Sailors and Marines can be confident in the interoperability of their computer and communications systems because a Navy Information Dominance Forces (NAVIDFOR) team ensures those systems work and are ready to go to sea.

Deploying Group System Integration Testing (DGSIT) process is a fleet-directed program to test interoperability of all computer and communications systems and networks on all amphibious readiness groups (ARG), carrier strike groups (CSG) and Marine expeditionary units (MEU). NAVIDFOR does the testing to support the fleet.

"All of these units have to talk to each other across numerous complex systems and system-of-systems," said Mike Caldwell, the DGSIT Atlantic program manager. "Through deckplate testing and mentoring, we make sure that all those systems integrate. We also coordinate rigorous follow-on actions, teamed with system commands and regional maintenance centers, to resolve as many interoperability issues as possible prior to deployment."

The DGSIT charge is to test, in a stressed operational environment, all the command, control, computer, communications, combat, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems - all of the Information Dominance systems - and to validate the C5ISR modernization efforts for the numbered fleet, Marine expeditionary force, deploying group commander and technical program office.

Consequently, testing teams examine the systems and software during pre-deployment work-ups.

"The best way to validate performance of C5I systems is to test interoperability and integration in a stressed operational environment," Caldwell said. "The systems and Sailors are under pressure because of the tactical exercise demands. It is probably the first time that collection [of Sailors] has worked together, and it may be the first time those ships have worked together. But the team is there to make sure everything works for both advanced training and deployment."

The stressed operational environment can mimic a deployment operations tempo, ensuring crews and systems can do their work no matter their operational demands and conditions. The test teams check the systems typically in a pre-deployment group sail at-sea environment. The team also tests MEU systems in a field training exercise as a precursor to at-sea testing of the ARG/MEU team.

Caldwell said the final integration test (FIT) teams are always customized by the core NAVIDFOR DGSIT team coordinators of five or six because each ARG, MEU and CSG is a unique composition of units and associated C5ISR configuration. Planning starts about six months before the test teams embark on units, and the entire process takes about eight months from pre-test planning to the final report submission. Caldwell said a FIT team consists of up to 70 system experts. Their underway testing period lasts about a week as they check key data and voice system paths on all the ships and units in the group.

"The whole process involves extensive coordination with units, staffs and C5I system program offices," he said.

Teams identify all of the hardware and software issues and build a hot wash report that identifies all interoperability issues and reports it to the appropriate program office. A Pacific team, based in San Diego, tests all the Pacific-based CSGs, ARGs and MEUs - including those homeported in Japan.

Caldwell said that on average the DGSIT groups find 60 to 80 C5I systems issues. The team members also make recommendations on-scene and mentor Sailors operating the systems who may be unfamiliar with a system's nuances. During the test period, team members are able to fix about half the problems they discover. They resolve nearly all of the remaining issues before the deployment.

The 8- to 10 percent of the issues that cannot be fixed, usually software-related, is reported to the program office, who may offer a work-around or a way to mitigate the issue.

The process is also valuable to the program offices because it provides feedback on how the systems work in "pressurized" operational conditions. Program offices can use these lessons-learned to improve hardware and software, training and system maintenance.

Caldwell has plenty of data to back up his statistics. He said the process is fleet-directed, so it has been followed for 20 years or more. Before the establishment of NAVIDFOR in October 2014, the DGSIT process was executed by a series of commands - Navy Cyber Forces, NETWARCOM, and before that by the Atlantic Fleet and Pacific Fleet commanders.

NAVIDFOR was established to improve the generation and sustainment of ID force readiness across the Navy under a single TYCOM. Since Oct. 1, NAVIDFOR has been consolidating and aligning missions, functions, and tasks previously managed by separate ID commands (specifically, Navy Cyber Forces Command, Fleet Cyber Command, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, and the Office of Naval Intelligence).

For more news from Navy Information Dominance Forces, visit

NNS150624-17. Naval War College Hosts Irregular Warfare Symposium

By Lt. Cmdr. Katie Cerezo, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- The Center for Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups (CIWAG) at U.S. Naval War College (NWC) hosted its seventh annual symposium, "Retrospect and Prospect," June 23-24.

CIWAG was established in 2008 to promote interdisciplinary study of the challenges presented by irregular warfare and armed groups in the 21st century.

"This is a premiere forum for identifying trends in irregular warfare," said Rear Adm. P. Gardner Howe III, president, NWC, during the opening address. "We have a responsibility to ensure that the study of irregular warfare does not get lost in the broad, macro-level fiscal and operational environment, as well as a professional obligation to add new knowledge to the topic at hand."

CIWAG focuses on fostering interaction, collaboration and interagency coordination across professional military and civilian educational institutions in the U.S. and allied countries, linking theory to reality.

"Our 2015 symposium brings together more than 100 U.S. and international academics, military and civilian operators, and private sector representatives to discuss strategic and operational challenges associated with irregular warfare and armed groups," said Andrea Dew, CIWAG co-director.

The symposium's two keynote addresses were delivered by T. Boone Pickens, founder, BP Capital, and Vice Adm. Charles Michel, U.S. Coast Guard deputy commandant for operations. Pickens spoke on the U.S. energy sector as an instrument of national power and Michel spoke on all domain operations to combat maritime nodes of illicit networks.

Lectures and discussion panels during the two-day event included the use of Trojan software as a means of intimidation during conflict, lessons learned from counterterrorism operators, biological warfare and terrorism, the role of private-public collaboration in stability operations, maritime threats to homeland security, and the use of special operations forces in unconventional warfare.

"This symposium differs from previous years in that there is much greater emphasis on the impact of global economics and how fiscal policies create an environment and opportunity for armed groups to gain influence," said Marc Genest, CIWAG co-director. "We're looking at how all elements of power are used."

For more news from Naval War College, visit

NNS150624-16. Seabees Visit USS Ronald Reagan for Bees-to-Badges Tour

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cody Hendrix, USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Seabees stationed at Port Hueneme visited the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) June 16 to get a better feel for how being a master-at-arms (MA) on an aircraft carrier actually works.

Vice Adm. William Moran, Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP), announced a new program Jan. 20 that will improve Seabee advancement and retention opportunity while also meeting new requirements for the master-at-arms community.

This program, called Bees to Badges, provides Seabees the opportunity for conversion to MA prior to their Career Waypoints Re-enlistment (C-WAY) window. The tour aboard Ronald Reagan provided these Seabees an up close and personal opportunity to experience what ship life for an MA is all about.

The Seabees who toured the ship included Seabees whose packages had already been accepted, packages were awaiting approval, or Seabees who were just interested in the program at all.

Builder 2nd Class John Montecalvo, attached to Navy Construction Group (NCG) 1, reports to MA "A" school in October of this year and the tour of the ship was the first time he ever stepped foot on an aircraft carrier.

"I think a tour aboard this ship was absolutely beneficial for us Seabees," said Montecalvo. "A requirement for this program is to be stationed on an aircraft carrier, so seeing how these MA's do what they do gave us a better understanding of how things will go once we get out there."

Equipment Operator 2nd Class Stacy Williams, attached to Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 303, plans on putting in her package as soon as she gets her recommendation letter and is hoping it gets accepted.

"I think the program is an amazing opportunity," said Williams. "It gives good Sailors the chance to stay in the Navy and keep honing our skills. I also think the tour was a phenomenal experience for us all."

Because Seabees have experience in security patrols and small arms they are more closely aligned with the MA mission than other communities.

"It's a seamless transition," said Master Chief Arcolia Raines, leading chief petty officer of Security Department aboard Ronald Reagan. "With their combat skillsets, Seabees are perfect candidates for this program."

Enlisted community managers intend to open this opportunity to all Seabee rates, targeting year groups 2012 and 2003-2008. As the program matures and the community health strengthens, the targets will start to narrow. The target number for fiscal year (FY) 2015 is 30-35 Seabees and for FY 2016 it increases to 90-110.

Any changes to the year groups or other information will be posted on the NPC website at .

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NNS150624-15. U.S. Marines KC-130J Hercules Provide the Power for Northern Edge 2015

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Larry Foos, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska (NNS) -- High above the Gulf of Alaska and Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC), dozens of fighter jets engage in lengthy and complex joint combat missions for Northern Edge 2015.

At one precise moment, two Navy F/A-18F Super Hornets break engagement toward the welcoming sight of a KC-130J Hercules, operated by Marine Air Fueling Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152, based in Iwakuni, Japan. In a simultaneous motion, the Hercules reels out hoses to both Super Hornets for air-to-air refueling, delivering 10,000-plus pounds of aviation fuel to extend the fighter jets' tactical operation.

The operation is one of more than 20 sorties VMGR-152 is expected to complete for Northern Edge, providing as much as 1.5 million pounds of aviation fuel delivered by its two KC-130Js participating in the two-week, biannual exercise.

"We're flying air refueling tactical missions at Northern Edge," said U.S. Marine Capt. Todd Kirkman, Hercules pilot for VMGR-152. "The (battlefield commanders) are doing a good job of simulating an operational environment out here. You can be thinking you're heading in one track and all of a sudden they say, 'Hey there's jets up North that need gas. You're going up there now.'"

Northern Edge afforded the Marine squadron to do something rarely done before - conduct aerial delivered ground refueling to a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion of Patrol Squadron (VP) 46 on King Salmon, a remote island in the Gulf of Alaska. The KC-130Js commonly deliver fuel on the ground for Marine helicopters and tactical ground vehicles as an expeditionary maneuver, but not for Navy aircraft.

"It's a new mission for the Navy. The P-3 crew [members]were definitely excited about doing it," said Kirkman. "We were able to re-arm the P-3 with fuel and sonar buoys to enhance its range capability."

The KC-130Js completed air-to-air refueling for three F/A-18 squadrons participating in Northern Edge 2015, including Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 147 and 154 of Lemoore, California, and Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 9 of China Lake, California. The joint exercise proved a valuable training experience for the VMGR-152 Marines as well.

"We're a support unit. Here they're running aerial battles. It's not something we get to experience very often within our small unit training. You have to keep your head on a swivel and your mind running for what's coming next," said Kirkman.

Alaska's premier joint training exercise, Northern Edge combined approximately 200 military aircraft from all services to practice operations, techniques and procedures while simultaneously enhancing interoperability within the JPARC and the Navy's Temporary Maritime Activities Area located in the Gulf of Alaska. Some 6,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen from active duty, Reserve and National Guard units participated.

Learn more at or

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NNS150624-12. Lincoln Celebrates Acceptance During LGBT Pride Month Ceremony

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brandon Davis, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The crew aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) recognized Pride Month June 22, during a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) celebration on the mess decks of the Floating Accommodation Facility.

Along with a formal cake cutting ceremony, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Telly Myles, Lincoln's personnel officer, gave a presentation to the crew, and several Sailors addressed the crowd with their own personal remarks.

According to, President Clinton issued Proclamation No. 7316 for the first Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, June 2, 2000. The proclamation stated, "this June, recognizing the joys and sorrows that the gay and lesbian movement has witnessed and the work that remains to be done, we observe Gay and Lesbian Pride Month and celebrate the progress we have made in creating a society more inclusive and accepting of gays and lesbians."

Abraham Lincoln Sailors used this event as an opportunity to recognize the importance of being accepted.

"When I first came out [as gay] my family was very accepting," said Hospital Corpsman Corey Lee. "But there were some people who didn't have that acceptance, so for them, this month is the support system that they didn't grow up with."

The support system for the LGBT community extends beyond the celebration and into the workplace.

"The workplace is starting to become more open, and everyone's becoming more comfortable with each other," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Amber Streety. "This month is very close to me, because I have many friends in the LGBT community."

During his speech, Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan Wampler stated that celebrating the contributions of the LGBT community is not only a step forward within the Navy, but also sets an example for civilians to follow.

"Policies like the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' propel this Navy to be the finest in the world," Wampler said. "I take pride in knowing that I am part of an organization that not only values every single person in it, but is also at the forefront of key issues by setting examples for the rest of the country to follow. It is because of this train of thought so many Americans look to military personnel as role models."

Capt. Ron Ravelo, Lincoln's commanding officer, is well known for his mantra, "Respect the ship, respect your shipmates, and respect yourselves," and reiterated it as he closed out the celebration.

"My mantra is simple, and applies to any and every Sailor on board Lincoln," Ravelo said. "You can respect the ship by taking pride in, and showing respect for, the LGBT community. You show respect to your shipmates by taking pride in the fact that we have shipmates that serve openly and proudly. Finally, you respect yourself by challenging outsiders' assumptions and stereotypes on what it takes to be a member of the United States Navy."

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

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

NNS150624-09. Navy Installs C4I Aboard Mobile Landing Platform Ships

By Dan Broadstreet, NSWC PCD Public Affairs

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) installed the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) suite aboard the afloat forward staging base variant of the mobile landing platform USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP 3/AFSB) following recently completed acceptance trials.

Project Engineer Richard Childress said the C4I installation efforts were successfully completed to support this first-purpose built afloat forward staging base (AFSB) on the mobile landing platform (MLP). It is the third of five total MLPs planned to augment amphibious assault ships.

"We integrated expeditionary C4I on this variant to provide the U.S. Navy with a mobile sea base with added command and control (C2) capability," said Childress.

The AFSB variant of the MLP, managed by the Strategic Sealift Program Office in Program Executive Office, Ships, is based on the design of the Alaska-class oil tanker and includes a flight deck for maritime air operations. It is slated to replace the USS Ponce (AFSB 1), the U.S. Navy's interim AFSB in the Arabian Gulf.

"The versatile MLP ships support military sea-basing and transport missions," said Brad Babinski, NSWC PCD tactical systems branch head. "Now, with robust C2 networks on the AFSB variant, the warfighter has effective decision making tools to support mine countermeasures and special operations force missions."

Babinski said NSWC PCD works hard to remain America's technical center of excellence for littoral warfare and coastal defense, and that this expertise was meticulously applied to Lewis B. Puller.

"We implemented many innovative solutions to successfully install C4I networks aboard [the] ship," he stated. "With them, the U.S. Navy has just extended its reach across the world."

For more news from Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, visit .

NNS150624-08. Navy Nominee Named for Fisher Award

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Chief of Naval Personnel announced June 24 that Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the Navy's nominee for the Calendar Year 2014 Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Distinguished Civilian Humanitarian Award.

TAPS, a non-profit organization, was selected for their services of providing comfort, hope, compassionate care, support and assistance, at no cost, to surviving families, friends, and loved ones of fallen American service members.

"TAPS clearly exemplifies the values held so important by Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher through their acts of patriotism, generosity and selfless dedication," said Vice Adm. Bill Moran, Chief of Naval Personnel. "They provide help, hope and healing to all family members, loved ones and friends grieving the death of a loved one who died while serving in our Armed Forces."

Founded in 1994 by Bonnie Carroll after her husband and seven others were killed in an Army plane crash, TAPS was established to provide peer-based, emotional and financial support to anyone affected by the loss of a loved one in the Armed Forces. To date, TAPS has provided grief and bereavement assistance to more than 50,000 surviving family members, casualty officers and caregivers and other supporters of bereaved military families.

TAPS services include providing a 24/7 resource and informational helpline answered 365 days a year to offer support and assistance to resolve difficult issues and help families in general. The organization also offers tailored support for young survivors - "Good Grief" Camps to assist children through the grieving process, pairing them with a trained, volunteer military member to create a lasting relationship of mentorship.

The TAPS organization is competing with nominees from the other branches of service for the Fisher Award. The final awardee will be recognized during a ceremony this fall at the Pentagon.

Established in 1996 by the Department of Defense in honor of Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher, the Fisher Award is a service-wide recognition of a private sector individual or organization that demonstrates exceptional patriotism and humanitarian concerns for service members and their families.

The winner will be announced later this year.
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NNS150624-07. SURFLANT Hosts 2015 PROTRAMID Surface Week

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Melissa D. Redinger, SURFLANT Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Commander Naval Surface Forces Atlantic (SURFLANT) hosted midshipmen as part of the U.S. Naval Academy's 2015 Professional Training for Midshipmen (PROTRAMID) Surface week.

PROTRAMID is an eight-week program during the summer months that provides in-depth training to midshipmen on the various communities within the Navy and Marine Corps.

"PROTRAMID starts when midshipmen are in their sophomore year of college," said Lt. Cmdr. Shawn Hansen, SURFLANT engineering damage control training and readiness officer. "Our goal is to help show the midshipmen the various areas of military service and let them see if a particular area is something they would be interested in pursuing as a career."

The program gives students who have completed their first year of college a glimpse of the different naval communities available to them upon commissioning. Participants spend a week learning and training in surface warfare, aviation, submarines and the Marine Corps.

"I am who I am from my experiences that I have gained from the waterfront. You choose what you take from the different communities; Marine Corps, submarine, aviation or surface warfare," said Rear Adm. Pete A. Gumataotao, SURFLANT commander. "It is your passion and how you apply it. You are going to find out what each community has to offer and what their strong points are."

PROTRAMID is an important time for midshipmen because it provides increased understanding and first-hand experience in the Navy, and can help them improve leadership skills and choose specific officer career paths.

"Specialized cruises are offered to the midshipmen in every warfare community, to include aviation, surface, submarine, special warfare and special operations," said Hansen. "Marine Corps students attend 'Bulldog' prior to their senior year of college. During this time, they are assigned to Marine units for their summer training, either at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, or Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina."

The program helps develop the midshipmen mentally, morally and physically, and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, loyalty and Navy core values. The goal is to commission naval officers who possess basic professional backgrounds and are motivated toward careers in the Navy and Marine Corps.

Alison Keenan, a third-year midshipman, said she found the PROTRAMID program to be an eye-opener that helped her see available options, and which communities she might want to look more in-depth to.

"I found PROTRAMID to be helpful in giving me the chance to see the different communities the Navy has to offer," she remarked. "I found the [submarine] communities to be the most interesting to me, because at school we are only there for academics. The only training or actual interaction we have with the fleet is during the summer months. So actually getting to go on a sub for the first time and seeing how everything looks and works has helped me out a lot and was an eye opening experience."

The midshipmen summer program has proven to play a vital role in giving the future leaders of the Navy an opportunity to experience the broad range and multiple facets that encompass the Navy's mission; a mission to maintain, train and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.

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

NNS150624-06. GW Sailors Lend a Hand in Brisbane COMREL

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Loni Lopez, USS George Washington Public Affairs

BRISBANE, Australia (NNS) -- Sailors from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) participated in a community relations (COMREL) project at Mater's Hospital in Brisbane, Australia, June 22.

The COMREL project, spearheaded by the ship's Command Religious Ministries Department (CRMD), allowed Sailors to interact with patients from the hospital's childrens' ward and adult rehabilitation center, and try a host of traditional Aussie breakfast items including Vegemite and toast, meat pies, scones and cakes.

Deirdre Cooke, the rehabilitation coordinator for Mater Hospital, said that this visit played an important role in boosting the patients' spirits.

"The U.S. and Australia have a longstanding history of working together," said Cooke. "The spirit that Sailors bring to events like these only builds upon the camaraderie and friendship we've established, and heightens the morale of the patients on their road to recovery."

Eighteen Sailors had the opportunity to share stories with the patients and learn a little bit about the local culture.

"This was a chance for me to learn about Australian culture, their way of thinking, and all the aspects that encompass their nation," said Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Alondra Mendoza, from Whittier, California. "Being able to share all of this knowledge with them as an ambassador for the Navy has been an unbelievable experience."

According to CRMD, community relations programs work to better the relationships between the host nation and the U.S. Navy by earning public support and understanding of operations and missions.

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

NNS150624-04. Team Navy's Arrows Hit Their Targets at the Warrior Games

By Robin Hillyer-Miles, Fleet and Family Readiness Public Affairs

QUANTICO, Va. (NNS) -- The second day of the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games competition kicked off early for Team Navy's archers on June 22, and concluded with two bronze medals.

The metal bleachers rang with cheers while seriously wounded, ill, and injured service members battled through several elimination rounds. Teams and individual archers were grouped according to the bows they used -- recurve or compound.

One of Team Navy's compound teams -- which included Navy Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class John Dusseau, Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Roel Espino, and retired Navy Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Adrian Mohammed -- brought home the bronze medal after a nail-biting finish and an emotional wait for the final results.

Coast Guard Maritime Enforcement Specialist 1st Class Jamie Byrd, one of three Coast Guard athletes on Team Navy, shined in the individual recurve competition. After hours of tough contention, Byrd advanced to the finals and won the bronze medal.

Later, as third seed in the wheelchair basketball bracket, Team Navy faced off against a worthy adversary in Team Air Force. The winner was slated to advance to the gold-medal match against the Marines.

Parents, spouses, children, friends, volunteers, and fellow athletes filled Barber Gym with screams of excitement. The teams showed their appreciation by zipping back and forth, trading baskets, and revving up the score. Team Navy won decisively with a final score of 44 to 27.

"Team Navy played an excellent game," said retired Navy Chief Gunner's Mate Hector Varela. "We showed heart and were aggressive. Now we just need to continue that momentum in the game for the gold." Varela joined the Navy in 1988 and said he enjoyed his naval career until he lost his left leg above the knee due to a motorcycle accident in 2012.

The game's highest-scoring player was retired Navy Chief Yeoman Javier Rodriguez Santiago, who put up 14 points throughout the game. His teammates turned in outstanding performances as well, making critical passes, rebounds and steals.

"We played great defense!" said retired Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sonny Lemerande. "Wounded warrior wheelchair basketball is a beneficial sport to me, as it allows me to compete on a professional level." After serving for more than nine years, Lemerande's Humvee was struck by a pressure plate anti-tank mine during his second combat deployment.

Thirty-nine seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors are competing on behalf of Team Navy this year. The Warrior Games are being held June 19-28 at Marine Corps Base Quantico. Approximately 250 wounded warrior athletes are participating in the competition.

Team Navy is sponsored by Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW)-Safe Harbor, the Navy and Coast Guard's wounded warrior support program. Team members have upper-body injuries, lower-body injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairments, serious illnesses and/or post-traumatic stress.

To learn more about NWW, the DoD Warrior Games and adaptive athletics, visit; call 855-NAVY WWP (628-9997); or email

For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit

NNS020418-32. This Day in Naval History - June 24

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1833 - USS Constitution is the first vessel to enter the new dry dock at the Charlestown Navy Yard. President Andrew Jackson, in Boston for the dry docking, is too unwell to attend the 5.30am event; Vice President Martin Van Buren observes the docking in lieu of the president. Three years earlier Harvard student Oliver Wendell Holmes had penned his poem "Old Ironsides" as an answer to the rumors (false, as they turned out to be) circulating that the U.S. Navy was intending to scrap the ship; the poem is widely published and rallies popular support for the ship .

1944 - Torpedo bomber TBM aircraft (VC 69) from USS Bogue (CVE 9) sink Japanese submarine (I 52), 800 miles southwest of Fayal, Azores.

1944 - Navy submarines USS Grouper (SS 214), USS Redfin (SS 272) and USS Tang (SS 306) attack Japanese convoys off the coast of Japan, sinking seven enemy vessels.

1948 - The Berlin airlift Operation Vittles is initiated to offset the Soviet Union's blockade access of the U.S., France, and Great Britain to their sectors of Berlin.

1952 - During the Korean War, aircraft from USS Philppine Sea (CV 47), USS Bon Homme Richard (CV 31), USS Princeton (CV 37), and USS Boxer (CV 21) continue attacks on hydroelectric plants in North Korea from the previous day.

NNS150625-26. PCU John Warner (SSN 785) Delivered to the Navy

From Team Submarine Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of PCU John Warner (SSN 785) June 25, the 12th submarine of the Virginia Class.

John Warner is the second of eight Virginia-class Block III ships and the sixth to be delivered to the U.S. Navy by Newport News Shipbuilding.

The submarine is named after John Warner, the five-term U.S. Senator from Virginia who served in both the Navy and Marine Corps, and was Secretary of the Navy from 1972 to 1974. His wife, Jeanne Warner, is the ship's sponsor.

"Like the ship before her, USS North Dakota, John Warner delivered ahead of schedule and within budget," said Rear Adm. David C. Johnson, program executive officer for Submarines. "The crew of John Warner has upheld the standard of excellence in the Virginia Class program."

John Warner successfully completed the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) trials, which evaluate the submarine's seaworthiness and operational capabilities, June 12. During the trials, the crew took the submarine to test depth, tested the submarine's propulsion plant and material readiness resulting in the highest INSURV score of the Virginia-class submarines. John Warner will spend the upcoming weeks preparing for its Aug. 1 commissioning in Norfolk, Virginia.

Block III submarines feature a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles, among other design changes that reduced the submarines' acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.

Virginia-class submarines are built to dominate the world's littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine; anti-surface ship; strike; special operation forces; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, firepower, and sensor suite directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities - sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

Team Submarine oversees the submarine force's research, development, acquisition, maintenance and life cycle support.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS150625-21. USS Milius Returns from Deployment

From Commander, U.S. Third Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) returned June 25 from a 250-day independent deployment to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.

While deployed to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleets, the ship and crew of more than 300 Sailors, assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21, conducted presence operations and goodwill activities with partner nations.

During the deployment, Milius transited nearly 71,000 nautical miles, conducted numerous visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) missions and participated in four international maritime security exercises.

"I am extremely proud of this ship and this crew," said Cmdr. Michael J. Rak, commanding officer of Milius. "These destroyermen performed exceptionally well in theater, and their superior performance during this eight-and-a-half month deployment is a testament to them and the families who support us."

The Navy announced in October 2014 that the ballistic missile defense (BMD)-capable guided-missile destroyers USS Benfold (DDG 65) and USS Milius (DDG 69) will become part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) based at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, in the summers of 2015 and 2017, respectively.

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.

The ship is homeported in San Diego and is part of Naval Surface Forces and U.S. 3rd Fleet.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.

For more information please visit the ship's website:

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

NNS150625-32. Navy Engineer Patents Innovative Data Transfer System

By Tom Frazee, NSWC Port Hueneme Division

PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- An invention that uses light to transmit data may allow the Navy to increase the security of classified systems.

Matthew Sheehan, a Research and Development system engineer at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division's (NSWC PHD) Office of Engineering and Technology, is the recipient of a rare first action allowance and patent award by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for his method and system of one-way data transmission from an open network to a closed network.

"My invention, which is called a Light Information Transmitting Optical System, or LITOS, utilizes the transmission of data by way of visible light communication via free space optics," said Sheehan. "In other words, it's like communicating over fiber optics without the fiber. This invention ensures the ability to get message traffic from point A to point B in a safe and reliable manner. More specifically, the system allows communicating from the low or unclassified side, such as from NMCI, to the high or classified side, like the SIPR network, or basically the ability for less secure systems to talk to more secure systems."

This new invention ensures data can be sent correctly in a fast, efficient and reliable manner.

"While difficult to visualize, this invention supports something the Navy calls an air gap or an actual gap around a network that allows it to stand alone with a gap or free space separating it from other systems," Sheehan said. "My invention preserves that gap with something called free space optics, which is another term for light that's propagated through the air. Think of a lighthouse as propagating light through the air. My invention is the same principle utilizing free space optics or light to transmit data from one location to another."

LITOS lays the groundwork for longer distance, higher speed communications without the constraints of wires to transmit information or data.

"This new capability can be put into place quickly and will result in significant cost savings compared to more traditional systems," Sheehan said. "And the capability provided by LITOS will be faster, cheaper and more secure than current systems."

According to Chris Monsey, the intellectual property and government acquisition attorney who assisted Sheehan in the patent process, "This first action allowance as well as the subject matter on cybersecurity is an indication that this patent is worthy of particular attention both for tech transfer but, more importantly, for the Navy as it shows that the capability this system can provide represents state-of-the-art for this cybersecurity capability."

Monsey said the fact that the patent application was able to survive an increasingly stringent process with the Patent Office underlines the quality of both the invention and quality of the patent-drafting effort to which Sheehan contributed.

"Based on my experience both in the government and in private practice, I find that the Navy has some of the very best innovators anywhere. As shown by this first action allowance, Matt is certainly in that league," said Monsey.

NSWC Port Hueneme is a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command and provides the U.S. Navy with weapon system in-service engineering, logistics and test and evaluation. NSWC Port Hueneme is located at Naval Base Ventura County, California, where it employs more than 1,900 personnel.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS150625-31. Submarine Learning Center Executive Director Receives Navy League Leadership Award

From Submarine Learning Center Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Jonathon P. Houser, executive director of the Submarine Learning Center (SLC) in Groton, was presented the Navy League of the United States 2015 Robert M. Thompson Outstanding Civilian Leadership Award during the league's national convention in Tampa, Florida. June 16-21.

The award, named for the father of the Navy League, honors an outstanding civilian leader who has made a personal contribution to furthering the importance of sea power.

Houser was cited in the award as responsible for creating, coordinating, and executing the future training and education vision for the submarine force. He was also praised for guiding the development of a 'virtual world' prototype project, a virtual 3-D classroom and laboratory environment which represents the future of Navy training delivery.

The award also praised Houser's authoring of studies that addressed expanded submarine training needs on Guam and additional Virginia-class submarine loading in Norfolk, Virginia, and noted that he possessed an innate ability to foresee problems and develop answers ahead of time.

The recognition came as a surprise to Houser, who was quick to redirect the praise to those he felt were instrumental in making the award possible -- the SLC staff across the domain.

"The award is a lot bigger than just one person," Houser said. "It's an organizational achievement and a terrific reflection on the excellence of the SLC staff.

Houser also noted that the SLC team is focused on the future of the submarine force.

"Their engagement, energy and expertise are all critical to our success both in maintaining a consistent level of excellence on a daily basis and also in the continuing development of training solutions for real-world situations that have not yet developed," he added.

In nominating his executive director, Capt. David Roberts, commanding officer of SLC, said that Houser's team responded quickly to fleet needs.

"The Submarine Learning Center is an agile organization, ready to respond to the warfighter, such as when Commander, Submarine Forces identified a critical need for electronic surveillance (ES) and contact management (CM) performance improvement," said Roberts. "He (Houser) oversaw development of new courses of instruction to improve readiness."

Roberts added that Houser's vast experience and leadership ensures that the U.S. Navy will retain undersea dominance throughout the world's oceans for years to come.

The Submarine Learning Center, with training sites located at fleet concentration areas world-wide, is accountable for all undersea curriculums, training delivery methodologies, and for developing and maintaining professional development continuums for all undersea warfare officers and ratings to include Electronics Technician (communications and navigation), fire control technician, sonar technician, machinist's mate (auxiliary and weapons), missile technician, and all nuclear training ratings.

For more news from the Submarine Learning Center, visit .

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NNS150625-29. Royal Australian Navy Fellow Visits Center for Information Dominance

By Thom Seith, Center for Information Dominance Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The recipient of the 2015 Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Chief of the Navy Fellowship toured the Center for Information Dominance (CID) June 22 as part of his navy's research into best practices for information warfare (IW).

RAN Cmdr. Paul Kirk is conducting research focusing specifically on developing an information warfare strategy to support contemporary maritime operations in the Asia-Pacific region.

The RAN Chief of Navy Fellowship is a research scholarship promoting development of professional mastery while conducting research on current and emergent naval issues, culminating with a research degree - a master's in philosophy.

During his tour, Kirk saw and discussed the training systems and methodologies employed by the CID team. The visit included information warfare officer training, information professional and information systems technician overview, shipboard cryptologic technician technical training including the new version of the shipboard electronic warfare suite, information about the Joint Cyber Analysis Course (JCAC), Ship's Signal Exploitation Equipment (SSEE) system capabilities and fleet concentration area training.

"I am extremely impressed with the training delivered at CID Pensacola, and in particular the higher-level management of a very complex training regime," said Kirk. "Not only is CID responsible for a very broad remit for courses and training objectives, it is also responsible for the delivery of those courses across a global customer base. The professionalism in which this is managed and achieved is simply outstanding."

According to Kirk, sharing training methodology helps when the navies work together.

"As the Royal Australian Navy continues to investigate its own training requirements for information warfare, this visit to CID Pensacola is a critical step in providing the opportunity to see what best practice looks like," Kirk added. "As long-time allied partners, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, the sharing of experiences in training is invaluable to ensuring that our two navies can continue to achieve high-levels of interoperability into the future."

Commanding Officer of CID, Capt. Maureen Fox, noted this was an opportunity for Kirk to observe information warfare training systems that replicate what junior enlisted Sailors and officers employ in an operational environment.

"Today's visit illustrates that realistic training is essential in preparing our Sailors for their Navy mission and I'm pleased to have the opportunity to showcase the processes," said Fox. "This visit allowed for a dynamic exchange of information on warfare training ideas and methodologies between the navies - always a welcome event."

Kirk concluded his visit by touring the CID command cryptologic display where artifacts and equipment containing the heritage, history and beginnings of the United States Navy's information warfare craft resides.

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

With nearly 1,300 military, civilian and contracted staff members, CID provides training for approximately 24,000 members of the U.S. armed services and allied forces each year. CID oversees the development and administration of 226 courses at four commands, two detachments, and 14 learning sites throughout the United States and Japan.

For more news and information from Center for Information Dominance, visit or or

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NNS150625-24. NSTC and Naval Station Great Lakes Welcomes Area 3 NJROTC Cadets for Annual Leadership Academy

By Scott A. Thornbloom, Naval Service Training Command Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill., (NNS) -- Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) welcomed more than 175 Area 3 Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) cadets to their annual NJROTC Leadership Academy at Naval Station Great Lakes, June 14-20.

Top cadet sophomores and juniors from more than 50 high schools in nine states throughout the Midwest who are scheduled to be the leaders of their NJROTC units in the upcoming school year, attended the week-long course.

Included were units from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, West Virginia and Nebraska. Cadets also came from Kentucky and Georgia to participate in the academy.

This year's academy was run by more than 20 NJROTC Area 3 Navy Science Instructors (NSI). The academy has been held on Naval Station Great Lakes for the past 14 years.

"We hope the cadets were able to process the additional leadership training and get some exposure to fleet training here at Great Lakes and entry level educational programs to be able to make a better decision on what kind of career they want to choose," said retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Timothy Crawford, senior Navy Science instructor (NSI) from East Aurora (Ill.) High School and the officer in charge of this year's academy.

"These cadets will be in leadership positions with their units and in their schools and we want them to take what they learned here and be able to get the ball rolling with their units and lead their units in the upcoming school year."

This year the cadets were presented with leadership traits that they discussed in classes with the other cadets in eight assigned platoons. They also had the opportunity to tour a number of Navy Training Support Center (TSC) schools on the Naval Station and use many of the base facilities. There were also several team building exercises during the week.

"I really liked this week and took away a lot from the leadership skills we learned that I didn't have previously," said Cadet Lt. j.g. Mercedes Wilcox, 16, from Bloomfield (Ind.) High School.

Cadet Cmdr. Miya Patrick, 16, from Zion-Benton (Ill.) High School said the week was very challenging but productive.

"The leadership skills we learned were amazing. The instructors taught us so much and I'm anxious to start the new school year and share those skills with my unit," said Patrick.

The curriculum for the week included classes in plotting contacts or navigating a course on computers at the Operations Specialist/Quartermaster (OS/QM) "A" School. They learned about maneuvering on board a ship and line handling at the Boatswain's Mate "A" School on board USS White Hat, an indoor mockup of a Navy vessel.

The cadets also learned about combat systems and engines on board a ship at the Center for Surface Combat Systems School and Engineering Systems School buildings. They were also given tours and observed how future damage controlmen (DC) and hull maintenance technicians (HT) learn how to "fight the ship", or put out fires and stop flooding, at the DC and HT school building and damage control trainer.

"Our goal is twofold. We want the cadets to gain a small insight on what junior enlisted Sailors experience during their initial accessions level skills training here," said Lt. Cmdr. Preston Marshall, the executive officer of Surface Warfare Officers School Command Unit (SWOSU) Great Lakes. "Just as important, we hope to expose them to fleet Sailors and afford them the opportunity to ask my instructors about their service in the U.S. Navy."

Marshall, a former Army JROTC cadet and Naval ROTC midshipman, said he takes tremendous pride in his JROTC and NROTC experience.

"I credit those experiences with starting me towards a successful Naval career. The principles I learned about leadership and professionalism in these programs have been carried with me to this day. I consider it a great honor to be presented the opportunity to give back to those programs and share my experiences with these young men and women."

NJROTC Area 3 Manager retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Joe Hankins said it is experiences like the cadets receive meeting officers like Marshall and the enlisted instructors at Great Lakes that makes the leadership academy a better experience.

"Here at Great Lakes we have gotten great support up and down the chain of command. The cadets come here and they get to experience what it's like on a Navy instillation," said Hankins.

Hankins said being able to use facilities on Naval Stations like Great Lakes are vital and important for the cadets.

"I really believe it's priceless to be able to conduct the leadership academy on a Navy base," said Hankins. "The base really came through by providing us with access to so many facilities here (at Naval Station Great Lakes) and we were also able to stay and berth on the base which really made life a lot easier for both the cadets and instructors. The Navy schools, the facilitators and instructors were fantastic."

Of those facilities the cadets used, one was the Naval Station Great Lakes Marina where they were taught proper handling of rubber rafts and given sailing lessons. They also received more hands-on seamanship training and line handling while sailing on Lake Michigan. Each of the eight platoons of cadets also visited Sailors from the Naval Operational Support Center (NOSC) and they were able to take a mini-cruise of Lake Michigan in a U.S. Coast Guard vessel.

"It has been a really a challenging but fun experience," said Cadet Petty Officer 1st Class Cher Vang, 15, an incoming junior from Harding High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the top honor cadet. "I hope to take what I've learned here back to my school to expand my unit and get more cadets involved in special units."

The goal of the leadership academy is to produce better leaders through training in platoon inspections, room inspections and drill throughout the week. The cadets also received drill training this year from Competitive Outcomes, based out of San Antonio, Texas.

"I loved the drill training and hope to share some of the styles we learned with my unit," said Wilcox.

The cadets ended the week with a graduation ceremony during which they received a certificate from Crawford, Hankins and Command Master Chief Leon Walker from Naval Service Training Command (NSTC). The cadets will also receive a silver shoulder cord to wear on their uniforms, signifying the completion of this year's leadership academy.

"For you all to join the (NJROTC) program and stick with it, even if it's just for a year, you can still get a lot out of it," said Walker at the academy graduation ceremony in the Bluejacket Chapel on the base. "You get a lot of training, a lot of mentorship and a lot of guidance. You learn how to be leader. This program can last you for a lifetime and congratulations on graduating from this academy and use what you learned here with your unit and make it a part of your everyday life."

NJROTC is a citizenship development program that instills in high school students, in U.S. secondary educational institutions, the value of citizenship and service to the United States.

The program is currently overseen by Rear Adm. Rich A. Brown and his NSTC staff, headquartered at Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill. NSTC oversees 98 percent initial officer and enlisted accessions training fo

NNS150625-20. Navy Parachute Team Jumps at Naval Academy's Summer Seminar

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Pyoung K. Yi, U.S. Navy Parachute Team Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy parachute demonstration team, the Leap Frogs, performed a skydiving demonstration as part of the U.S. Naval Academy's annual Summer Seminar held for high school students from across the nation on June 16.

"We wanted our students to see the Navy in action," said Capt. Ann Kubera, director of admissions at the Naval Academy. "What better way than to have the Leap Frogs drop into their midst."

For many audience members, it was the first time they had seen a Navy event, let alone the parachute team.

"Many of our attendees have never had opportunities to attend Navy football games or other events where the Leap Frogs are showcased," said Kubera. "I know for some of them, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

More than 900 people, including students, midshipmen, and retired military, attended the Navy parachute team demonstration jump.

"It was an excellent opportunity for the students to get some exposure to Naval Special Warfare," said Lt. Duncan Hamilton, Navy parachute team's officer in charge.

After the Leap Frogs landed onto Worden Field, they took time to speak to high school students attending the Summer Seminar.

"The Navy parachute team spent lots of one-on-one time with the Summer Seminar students and inspired them to be better students and leaders," said Kubera. "There is nothing like meeting a Navy SEAL in person for these students to walk away with renewed motivation and determination."

For potential Naval Academy students, the rare opportunity to interact with a Navy SEAL face-to-face couldn't be more underscored.

"The Naval Academy Summer Seminar students spoke individually with each of the special warfare operators about what it takes to be a SEAL," said Hamilton. "Since Naval Special Warfare is such a small community, I don't think these students get much exposure to it throughout the week at Summer Seminar. This Navy parachute team event shows these Naval Academy candidates some of the more unique opportunities available to midshipmen upon graduation."

Being a Naval Academy graduate in 2009, the event was a special homecoming for Hamilton.

"It's always great getting to travel back to the Naval Academy, and even more amazing being able to see it from 5,000 feet in freefall," said Hamilton. "The Naval Academy was a launching point to where I'm at in my career now, so it was awesome being able to share my experiences with potential candidates."

More than 2,550 high school seniors attended Naval Academy Summer Seminar 2015 from all 50 states and overseas locations. Designed for high-achieving high school seniors, Summer Seminar is a fast-paced, six-day experience which gives students an idea of what life as a Naval Academy midshipman may be like.

The Leap Frogs are based in San Diego and perform aerial parachute demonstrations in support of Naval Special Warfare and Navy recruiting. The team is celebrating their 41st anniversary this year, having been commissioned by the Chief of Naval Operations in 1974 and tasked with demonstrating Naval excellence throughout the United States.

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NNS150625-19. Navy Installations Going Green With Vehicle Fleets

By Lt. j.g. Clyde Shavers, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced in 2009 that the Navy's goal to reduce petroleum consumption by the non-tactical vehicle fleet is 50% by 2020, and Navy installations are doing their part by working on its fleet of government vehicles.

Partnering with Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), Navy Installations Command (NIC) is implementing several initiatives to meet this goal to include: investments in alternate fuel infrastructure, implementation of a vehicle monitoring system, replacement of vehicles with hybrid electric vehicles, recoding gas keys for E85 - an ethanol fuel blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline - and increasing awareness among government vehicle drivers.

"The biggest reduction in petroleum consumption will come from using E85 in flex fuel vehicles and taking underutilized vehicles off the road," said Lt. Cmdr. Grant Watanabe, facility support branch head for NIC. "For now, hybrids are too expensive and too few."

Watanabe explained that flex fuel vehicles are designed to run on more than one fuel, in this case, gasoline or an ethanol blend. In addition to flex fuel vehicles, other alternate fuel vehicles have been designed to operate on electricity and hydrogen. He also added that ethanol is less efficient and can be more expensive than gasoline on an energy-equivalent basis.

"As ethanol continues to attract attention, and become more widely available," Watanabe said, "E85 has become a more viable option as an alternate fuel."

With multiple stations serving E85, Watanabe is optimistic about the future of this biofuel.

"Almost every U.S. Marine Corps base has an E85 station. The Navy has a few in fleet concentration areas, such as Norfolk and Naval Base Kitsap, with additional ones under construction. With plans to build even more, the Navy can achieve similar reductions," Watanabe added.

Navy drivers are required to use alternative fuel in alternative fuel vehicles when available within a fifteen minute or five-mile radius. Drivers can use a handy reference provided by the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) alternative fueling station locator website to find nearby stations anywhere in the United States.

In addition, NREL maintains a fleet sustainability dashboard (FleetDASH) website which tracks all fuel transactions. It also identifies missed opportunities to use alternative fuel, which unit commanders may use to hold drivers accountable. Visit the FleetDASH website at .

Navy Installations Command is comprised of 70 installations under 11 regions with more than 52,000 military and civilian personnel to sustain the fleet, enable the fighter, and support Navy families worldwide.

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NNS150625-18. TSC Pass-in-Review Celebrates Sailors Past, Present

By Zach Mott, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Marching across the green grass of Ross Field, the reviewing officer and commanding officer proudly inspected the Sailors as they stood at attention in their freshly pressed uniforms during Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes' Pass-in-Review, June 24.

The more than 1,200 Sailors from TSC marched in formation onto Ross Field where they were admired by the crowd of more than 100 senior Navy leaders, fellow Sailors and officials from the surrounding communities.

"You are going to be members of a critical team," said Rear Adm. Michael S. White, commander of Navy Education and Training Command, who was the reviewing officer for this ceremony. "That team is what provides security and stability around our world through maritime power."

The theme of this year's pass in review was the Battle of Midway, the turning point in the Battle in the Pacific that saw the Americans achieve their first significant victory of the Japanese navy. White said the Sailors of today are similar to those from World War II as they chose to serve their country during a time of war.

"Very soon some of you may find yourselves launching aircraft to support operations in Iraq or Syria," said White. "You are vital and you are elite because of where you stand today"

TSC is responsible for the 24-hour supervision, training and mentorship of more than 13,000 Sailors. The history of this training site dates back to before World War I.

"You are the Sailors of the 21st Century and we are very proud of you," said Capt. John B. Vliet, TSC Great Lakes commanding officer.

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

NNS150625-16. NAVSUP GLS Visits Camp Lemonnier

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Julia A. Casper, Camp Lemonnier Public Affairs

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command Global Logistics Support (NAVSUP GLS), Rear Adm. James McNeal, toured Camp Lemonnier (CLDJ) during a scheduled visit to the Horn of Africa area of operation (AOR), June 19.

McNeal's visit focused on increasing his understanding of supply operations at CLDJ. McNeal also spoke with Sailors during an all-hands call and toured CLDJ's growing building expansion projects.

"It is important that I visit with Sailors and congratulate them on the job that they're doing here to support the fleet," said McNeal.

During the all-hands call, McNeal answered questions, spoke with Sailors about various topics that are specific to this AOR, and even recognized individuals who have gone above and beyond with their primary responsibilities.

"There are a lot of moving parts that go beyond Camp on a daily basis," said Senior Chief Logistics Specialist La Dala, Camp Lemonnier's logistics senior enlisted leader. "It is our junior Sailors that make this happen. I am glad he could take the time to recognize them."

McNeal also took a site tour of CLDJ's supply spaces to better recognize the demand that the supply department encounters daily.

"This was a great opportunity for him, (McNeal) to physically see the challenges we have to endure here," said Dala. "We support more than Camp personnel. We support every ship that comes into port here in this AOR which can be an arduous task at times."

CLDJ's logistics department handles more than 12,000 pallets and 105,000 pounds of cargo, including service members' mail to aircraft parts weekly.

"The supply department maintains operations and provides the logistics support that the Navy requires to do its job," said McNeal. "This is a very busy area of the world and these Sailors here are focused on providing the fleet everything they need to support the Navy's mission and support the Global War on Terrorism."

Camp Lemonnier supports Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) and other tenant commands protecting United States interests in Africa and provides full spectrum individual support to personnel stationed on Camp Lemonnier. Camp Lemonnier partners with its host nation, Djibouti, to be a valued part of the community by fostering long-term common interests.

For more news from Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa, visit

NNS150625-15. George Washington Carrier Strike Group Enhances Alliance with Australia

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Paolo Bayas, USS George Washington Public Affairs

BRISBANE, Australia (NNS) -- The George Washington Carrier Strike Group (GWCSG) departed Brisbane, Australia, June 24, after a five-day goodwill port visit.

GWCSG includes the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90).

"It was a great honor to be here in Brisbane," said Rear Adm. John Alexander, commander, Battle Force U.S. 7th Fleet. "We have a great connection with the people of Australia, along with our common history and background. Thank you for opening your city to us."

During the visit, George Washington held a welcoming reception for Australia's leaders and local nationals, to include Ambassador John Berry, U.S. Ambassador to Australia; Hugo Llorens, U.S. Consul General; George Brandis, attorney general for Australia; and the Honorable Jackie Trad, Queensland deputy premier.

"Our thanks go to the men and women of the United States and Australia who are serving today. The proud tip of the spear of freedom," said Berry. "For 239 years the U.S. has been dedicated, ever-moving persistently forward, toward an ever more perfect union at home and toward a better world for all, with the help of our allies and our friends. America is grateful to have you [Australia] shoulder-to-shoulder with us every step of the way and through every military engagement since WWI. Long may this alliance last and prosper. May God bless all those who serve in uniform. May God bless the United States and Australia."

The reception highlighted the celebration of the upcoming 239th birthday of the United States and its intertwined history with Australia.

"Captain Kuehhas, you and the servicemen who serve aboard this wonderful ship are very welcome. On behalf of the Prime Minister of the people of Australia, I bid you welcome to this fine city," said Brandis. "We gather tonight to welcome our friends and allies, and to share a celebration of the 239th birthday of a nation who has done more to advance the cause of freedom than any nation has done in whole history of mankind."

Brandis added that the inspiration of our longstanding alliance is not simply in the need to protect the people, but also founded in the ideals of liberty. Hence, it was appropriate to celebrate with George Washington - a ship named after the founder of the U.S. nation and with the motto "the Spirit of Freedom."

The five-day visit allowed Sailors to compete in four sporting events with local teams, explore 14 local attractions, and lend a hand in six community relation (COMREL) projects.

During a COMREL project at the Queensland Maritime museum, U.S. service members assisted in the restoration of the Royal Australian Navy River-class frigate HMAS Diamantina (K377).

"We greatly appreciate the support and assistance provided to us from GW," said Ian Jempson, museum chief executive officer. "This young group of Sailors helped us complete some very physically demanding tasks on our warship and we welcome them back whenever the seas should take them here."

George Washington and 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

NNS150625-13. Military, NGO Medical Providers Host Continuing Promise 2015 Women's Health Seminar

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

ACAJUTLA, El Salvador (NNS) -- Navy and civilian medical professionals embarked aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) hosted a "Women's Health Day" seminar at a local Latter-day Saints (LDS) church June 23 during the humanitarian-civil assistance mission Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15).

Non-government organization (NGO) volunteers from Latter-day Saints Charities (LDSC) worked alongside military medical providers to promote health, nutrition and mental well-being to host nation health care workers and community members.

Cmdr. Erlina Naval, a nurse practitioner assigned to the Women's Health Clinic at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP), Virgina, explained that training on "universal women's issues" was suggested during the pre-deployment site survey to Guatemala in October 2014.

"Staff from the LDS church in Guatemala attended the seminar and found it very valuable, and they requested that similar conferences be held in additional countries during CP-15. One of the church Elders has helped organize this by working with Comfort's training officer," said Naval.

Naval said the first seminar in Guatemala, CP-15's second mission stop, was highly successful, with more than 100 attendees participating. Since then, seminars have been held in Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador, with an additional seminar scheduled for the CP-15 mission stop in Honduras.

"Many of the attendees have expressed gratitude and appreciation for the conference both verbally and in surveys," said Naval. "After each topic, many in the audience engage with us by asking questions and sharing experiences from their countries. Initially, many attendees had requested that we add additional topics on self-confidence, self-esteem and women's empowerment to the agenda."

Listening to the audience's input, Lt. Cmdr. Mary Rhodes, a psychiatrist assigned to NMCP, developed a presentation on self-esteem for the El Salvador seminar.

"My hope is that the discussion on self-esteem will encourage host nation women to use adaptive coping skills and gain confidence in themselves," she said. "The presentation is designed to help the women identify their strengths so that they feel empowered to make changes in their life that they identify as important."

The Women's Health Day also focused on topics such as sexual assault, nutrition, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases and health issues specific to women. The facilitators stressed that positive changes in lifestyle and behavior can result in better health, enhanced quality of life and improved readiness.

"When we provide this conference to host nation health care staff and members of the community, we not only strengthen partnerships, but we are also assisting in empowering women with knowledge about their health," said Naval.

CP-15 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

NNS150625-12. Essex Amphibious Ready Group and 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit Enter U.S. 5th Fleet

By Lt. Clint Ramsden, Essex Amphibious Ready Group Public Affairs

USS ESSEX, At Sea (NNS) -- The Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO), June 21.

While deployed to the region, the Essex ARG and 15th MEU will conduct maritime security operations, participate in theater security cooperation efforts and provide ready forces that help maintain conditions for security and promote regional stability.

The Essex ARG and 15th MEU team will provide combatant commanders a versatile sea-based, expeditionary force that can be tailored to a variety of missions, including quick reaction crisis response options in maritime, littoral and inland environments in support of the nation's maritime strategy.

"The Sailors and Marines of the Essex ARG/15th MEU team bring a uniquely flexible, adaptable and responsive force to the region," said Carroll. "The Essex ARG/15th MEU team is a 'Swiss Army Knife' of military capability across a wide range of military operations."

Maritime security operations hone security skills in a maritime environment and assist in the development of counter terrorism and security protocols of allied nations in the region. Security forms the foundation from which stability arises, resulting in global economic prosperity.

These operations are designed and implemented to disrupt violent extremists' illegal activities such as hijacking, piracy, weapons smuggling and human trafficking.

As a fully integrated Marine Air-Ground Task Force, the 15th MEU, is capable of operating across a wide variety of environments and mission sets, from humanitarian assistance to full-scale combat operations with little advance warning.

"The distinct ability of amphibious forces to gain access to critical areas anywhere in the world with ground, air and logistics forces enable the Navy-Marine Corps team to shape actions across the range of military operations to resolve conflict, conduct humanitarian assistance or combat the enemy in remote, austere environments that would otherwise be inaccessible," said Cryer.

While earlier, transiting through U.S. 7th Fleet AOO, Rushmore made a successful rescue of 65 Indonesian distressed mariners in the waters between the Indonesian islands of Kalimantan and Sulawesi June 10. The rescued mariners were safely transferred to Indonesian authorities after remaining overnight and were being treated for injuries.

U.S. 5th Fleet AOO encompasses about 2.5 million square miles and includes the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden and parts of the Indian Ocean.

The Essex ARG, commanded by Capt. Clinton A. Carroll, Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 3, is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47).

The 15th MEU, commanded by Col. Vance L. Cryer, is comprised of a ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment; aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 (Reinforced); logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion 15 and a command element.

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NNS150625-11. NEXCOM Gives $46.6 Million to MWR

By Kristine M. Sturkie, Navy Exchange Service Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) announced June 25 that its fiscal year 2014 audited financial report showed a $46.6 million contribution to Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR).

"NEXCOM's mission is to provide our customers with quality goods and services at a savings and to support Navy quality of life programs," said retired Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, chief executive officer, NEXCOM. "Each year, we contribute 70 percent of our profits to MWR to accomplish that mission. For 2014, we gave Navy MWR $46.6 million from our sales. Shopping at the NEX not only saves our customers money, it also contributes to their quality of life."

Navy MWR uses the dividends from the NEX in a variety of ways. Installations receive part of the funds for specific installation level MWR efforts. The remaining funds are used for MWR capital projects to improve facilities.

"Our MWR effort relies on the dividend we get from NEXCOM to continue to offer a quality recreation experience for Sailors and their families. These funds are very important in helping us to upgrade facilities and equipment, as well as support the diverse recreation needs of the military community that we serve," said Lorraine Seidel, recreation program manager for Navy Installations Command.

NEXCOM operates on the retail fiscal year calendar, which in 2014 was February 1, 2014 - January 31, 2015.

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NNS150625-08. Joint Service Medical Modeling, Simulation Expo Showcases Latest Technology

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacquelyn D. Childs, Navy Medicine Education and Training Command Public Affairs

SAN ANTONIO (NNS) -- The fourth annual Joint Medical Modeling and Simulation Exposition, held at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, provided spectators and vendors the opportunity to view and discuss the latest technological advancements in medical training, June 22.

The event allowed the Navy Medical Modeling and Simulation Training (NMMAST) team, along with their partners at Air Force Medical Modeling and Simulation Training (AFMMAST) who coordinated and hosted the event, to observe several different companies' most up-to-date training tools at one time.

"The expo is a unique opportunity for Navy Medicine education and training leaders to see a number of medical modeling and simulation tools of the future dedicated to the adult learner," said Cmdr. Typhanie Kinder, NMMAST director. "Some of the new medical modeling and simulation tools we are seeing today will no doubt contribute to saved lives on the battlefield in the future, which is what medical education and training is all about."

Demonstrations set up by various vendors included everything from full-body mannequins controlled remotely from tablets, to detailed eye and ear simulators which provide students with life-like examples of hundreds of possible scenarios in patients.

According to Scott Woodcox, NMMAST deputy program manager, the vendors were carefully selected based on their ability to support the training needs and mission of military medicine's education and training enterprise.

"Most of these vendors understand what we're trying to do," he said. "So they're here, the leadership gets to see them, and we get to talk to them. It's a good relationship and it's a good thing we do this every year because we can find out what updates and new technology are coming out."

Reporting directly to Navy Medicine Education and Training Command (NMETC), NMMAST is responsible for providing the Navy with appropriate medical modeling and simulation training equipment and programs at different sites around the world.

"The big thing we do is make sure everyone gets what they need according to their requirements," said Woodcox. "The actual requirements are important because if you're teaching a course and there's a cost involved, you want to touch on the things that are most important. What we do is make sure the right simulators get to the right area and everyone fills their requirements."

The expo was open to senior leadership in San Antonio, including NMETC Commander Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle, providing them the opportunity to see first-hand the tools and resources used at their respective training sites.

After the leadership walk-through in the morning, the doors were opened to the public the rest of the day.

NMETC is an Echelon 3 flag headquarters command that manages Navy Medicine's formal education and training programs. NMETC is 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 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

NNS150625-07. Navy Lodge Hawaii Wins Top Award

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Omari K. Way, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) presented Navy Lodge Hawaii with its third Edward E. Carlson Award, large category, June 23.

The Carlson Award is presented each year to the Navy Lodge that demonstrates superior performance in operations, guest service and associate satisfaction.

Last year Navy Lodge Hawaii was a top performer in each category and set a new record for occupancy rate at 99.7%.

"You... had a room occupancy heads-and-tails over everyone else in the Navy Lodge program. One hundred percent for months!" said Michael Bockelman, NEXCOM vice president and director of Navy Lodge Programs. "And you did it on an island of all places. Think about it. One guy misses his plane and you could have a vacancy. Not you guys."

Capt. Stanley Keeve Jr., commander, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, accepted the award on behalf of the Lodge.

"If you look at all of the Navy Lodges that exist out there, guess what? You guys are the best. That's pretty good, quite frankly," Keeve said. "This is a gorgeous place to be. I know that it doesn't get there by itself. It takes folks like you who make that happen."

The award takes its name from a person who made things happen. Edward E. Carlson started as a hotel page at the Benjamin Franklin in Hotel Seattle and worked to become chairman and chief executive officer of what later became Westin Hotels and United Airlines.

According to Bockelman, Carlson's contribution as a member of the Secretary of the Navy's Exchange/Commissary Advisory Board led to the establishment of the Navy Lodge in 1969.

"In reality it's about what happens today. It's your passion for guest service," Bockelman said. "It's your passion for those Navy families. It's your passion for what you do every day that really makes you the best."

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit

NNS150625-06. NEO Drill Held in Naples

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mat Murch, Naval Support Activity Naples Public Affairs

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- The Naval Support Activity Naples (NSA) Emergency Management Office held a Noncombatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) drill for members of the military community at the base elementary school, June 23.

Emergency Management holds several drills throughout the year including active shooter and earthquake scenarios, however the NEO drill is their largest annual exercise.

Overseas evacuations can be offered or ordered for events like civil unrest and natural disasters.

The scenario played out as if an emergency evacuation was happening and personnel from various command departments went through the same process they would in an actual disaster.

As service members and their families neared the school, signs directed them into lines for those with or without pets. Participants then signed in at reception and moved to the next station where volunteers helped ensure they had the correct paperwork and gave information on what to do if they were missing any necessary material.

Participant's passports were scanned and their information was entered into a database. Each person received a wristband with a barcode holding their relevant data.

"With a passport we scan most of the information we need to enter in the system right away," said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Chris Niosco, from Emergency Management. "We need full name, gender, birthdate and nationality, and the passport scanner makes it much easier."

Participants continued on and had the option of visiting areas with personnel from medical, legal, Red Cross, the U.S. consulate, the chaplain's office and the Fleet and Family Support Center.

Army Chaplain Capt. Dwayne Hughes was one of the first participants to enter the drill and said he felt like he got a lot out of the evolution.

"It took me about 36 minutes to get through all of the stations and I learned a lot," Hughes said. "Me and my wife have a 'go bag' just in case something were to happen, but we didn't actually know what all information we needed to keep in it. Now that I've been through the process and saw just how much information I was missing and forms I'd never heard of. I'd also never heard of the Red Cross's 'Safe and Well' program, so the whole experience was informative."

Breanna Perez, assistant at the Naples Red Cross field office, explained that the "Safe and Well" program is a website operated by the Red Cross to help make communication between family members easier and more efficient.

"The website is designed so families in a disaster area can put in their names and other basic information and either a phone number or address," Perez said. "Then they click either a pre-determined message or a personal message for their families. Then family members outside the disaster can look up the name of their loved one along with either the address or phone number and see if they are ok."

The participants from the installation's Emergency Management team said they felt that the drill was a success.

"Last year we had a mock up of this drill to see where we were and we've done a lot based on what we learned last year to make things better," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class Aaron Berry, from Emergency Management. "Annual training like this is very important because it helps us gauge our strengths and weaknesses. As important as it is to see what we are doing right, it's important to know where our weaknesses are so in the case of an actual disaster we can be as prepared as we can be."

Visit for information on building kits, family emergency plans, and what to do in a number of disasters and scenarios.

For more news from Naval Support Activity Naples, visit

NNS150625-05. USS Fitzgerald to Experience Life Down Under

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Patrick Dionne, USS Fitzgerald Public Affairs

BRISBANE, Australia (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile-destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) arrived in Brisbane for a port visit, June 25.

The port visit will provide Fitzgerald Sailors time to unwind and the opportunity to explore Australia and its culture.

"This presents a unique opportunity for the crew to enjoy some liberty after a very busy year," said Master Chief Brice Baldwin, command master chief of Fitzgerald. "The crew will be able to experience the local culture, history and animal life that has made Brisbane such an important part of Australia."

Fitzgerald's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) committee organized several tours in order to help make the crews' Australia experience as rewarding as possible.

"The tours provide Sailors with a great way to get off the ship and see what Brisbane has to offer," said Chief Interior Communications Electrician Mauricio Donalds. "Some of the opportunities include the Australia zoo, a local amusement park 'Brisbane Dreamworld' and the rainforest and ecosystem, were Sailors will get the chance to interact with wildlife."

Many Fitzgerald Sailors have expressed enthusiasm about the rare opportunity to explore Australia.

"I'm really looking forward to Australia, it's going to be so much fun," said Quartermaster 3rd Class Christiana Casillas. "I never imagined that I would ever have the experience to go to Australia and it will be good to get off the ship and do some sightseeing."

Fitzgerald is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS150625-04. USS Chafee Sailors Experience Rich Brisbane Culture

From USS Chafee Public Affairs

BRISBANE, Australia (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) visited Brisbane, for a port visit and prepared for exercise Talisman Sabre 2015, June 19-24.

"It was very exciting to visit our friends in Brisbane," said Cmdr. Shea Thompson, Chafee's commanding officer. "This port visit as well as exercise Talisman Sabre provides our Sailors a chance to strengthen the bonds between the U.S. and Australia. We just completed a long training phase and are ready to show off our hard-earned skills."

Chafee Sailors experienced the rich culture of the area with various tours of local historic locations and regional attractions provided by the ship's morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) association.

"MWR Australia offered ATV rides, SCUBA diving and fishing trips, as well as tickets to the Dream World Fun Park," said Ensign Ben Baehren, Chafee's MWR officer. "Sailors had many great options to choose from."

Other than tours, many Sailors spent time with their families and friends who came out to visit them in Brisbane.

"It was exciting to see my family," said Lt. Nicholas Hughes, whose wife, Jennifer, is from the Australian state of Victoria." Visiting Australia always feels like a homecoming; I've enjoyed exploring Brisbane and the famous Gold Coast."

Chafee is on deployment with the George Washington Strike Group in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and will participate in the biennial military training exercise Talisman Sabre 2015 in Australia, July 4-19.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS150625-02. USS Jacksonville Visits Australia During Patrol

By Ensign Nicholas Lucania, USS Jacksonville Public Affairs

STIRLING, Australia (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Jacksonville (SSN 699) arrived in Stirling, Australia, June 25 for a port visit as a part of its Western Pacific deployment.

The Jacksonville crew was excited to visit Australia. For many, this was their first time in Australia. The crew looked forward to interacting with the Royal Australian Navy and immersing in the local culture through community service projects and planned activities.

"I am really looking forward to spending time in Australia," said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Kevin Beck. "I have never been south of the equator before. I can't wait to visit the surrounding cities, catch a game of footy and see a kangaroo."

Since departing Sepangar, Malaysia, Jacksonville has been hard at work, rapidly responding to a variety of tasking and continuing the professional development of each Sailor aboard. More than one dozen Jacksonville Sailors have earned their dolphins since departing Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - a testament to the crew's dedicated efforts.

"The crew continued to push hard during the second leg of deployment and Jacksonville experienced nothing short of success," said Master Chief Electronics Technician Kevin Rollert, the chief of the boat aboard Jacksonville. "We are fortunate to be visiting another outstanding port call. This is a great opportunity for the crew to relax and enjoy the sights."

Throughout their 2015 Western Pacific deployment, Jacksonville's crew of 144 Sailors will conduct a variety of missions. Jacksonville will participate in several joint exercises focused on enhancing international maritime operations.

Jacksonville was commissioned May 16, 1981 and is homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Jacksonville measures more than 360 feet long, displaces 6,900 tons and is one of the most capable submarines in the world. Jacksonville supports a wide range of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare and naval special warfare.

Throughout its proud 34-year history, Jacksonville conducted thirteen deployments and continues to respond to all challenging tasking, living up to its motto of "The Bold One."

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 7, visit

NNS150625-01. Navy's Senior Enlisted Visits Sailors in Korea

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Abraham Essenmacher, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

CHINHAE, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens visited with Sailors assigned to Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea at Commander, Fleet Activities Chinhae (CFAC) Wednesday, June 24.

During his visit, Stevens toured CFAC, observed daily operations and conducted an all-hands call on the importance of Navy operations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

"This theater of operations and the partnership with our regional allies will always be extremely important for the Navy," said Stevens. "Every Sailor is an important part of that alliance and I am always amazed by their continued superior performance."

Stevens stressed the importance of family support and the contribution spouses and family provide to the Navy.

"We could not do what we do every day without the support of our families," said Stevens. "I consider every Sailor and their family part of my family. I hope that means something to them, because it comes straight from the heart."

During the all-hands call Stevens answered questions about future changes to retirement benefits, the eSailor initiative and factors being considered for future physical readiness standards.

"I thought he had a great point about bringing tablets to the fleet," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Bryan Carrero. "I think it would help increase our efficiency at work and our quality of life."

During his time in Chinhae, Stevens was able to speak with more than 200 Sailors and civilians.

"His visit helped to demonstrate that the Sailors in Korea and the mission here is important," said Chief Yeoman Christopher Sherman.

For more information on Stevens and his initiatives visit
For more information on Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea visit

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

NNS020418-33. This Day in Naval History - June 25

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1859 - Though the U.S. is neutral in the Spanish Opium War, Capt. Josiah Tattnall offers the use of the U.S. steamer Toey-Wan to the British and French during the Battle of Taku Forts to receive wounded and dead troops.

1917 - During World War I, the first Navy convoy of troopships carrying the American Expeditionary Forces arrives in France. The 14 troopships depart on June 14 from New York, which includes the 5th Marine Regiment.

1942 - USS Nautilus (SS 168) sinks the Japanese destroyer, Yamakaze, southeast of Yokosuka, Japan.

1944 - Marine PFC Harold G. Epperson serves as a Machine Gunner in action against Japanese forces at the Battle of Saipan, Mariana Islands. During the furious battle, he bravely remains at his post and aggressively defends his battalion's position. When an enemy soldier hurls a hand grenade into his emplacement, he selflessly throws himself upon it, sacrificing his life to save his comrades. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" on this occasion, he is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

1950 - North Korea invades South Korea, beginning the Korean War. Two days later, President Harry S. Truman supports the United Nations call and authorizes US naval and air operations south of the 38th Parallel, Korea.

1956 - Fleet Adm. Ernest J. King dies at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in New Hampshire.

NNS150626-03. Team Navy Gets Gold at the DoD Warrior Games

By Robin Hillyer-Miles, Fleet and Family Readiness Public Affairs, and Shannon Leonard, Navy Wounded Warrior -- Safe Harbor Public Affairs

QUANTICO, Va. (NNS) -- Team Navy claimed its first gold medals at the DoD Warrior Games during track and field competitions June 23 at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.

Additionally, for the first time since the inception of the games in 2010, Navy's wheelchair basketball team advanced to the finals, ultimately taking home a silver medal.

"I've had the pleasure of watching this [wheelchair basketball] team play together many times, and they make us proud," said Vice Adm. Dixon R. Smith, commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC). Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor, which sponsors Team Navy, is a CNIC program.

On the field, the wounded warrior athletes contended with blistering heat while competing in seated and standing shot put, and seated and standing discus. Team Navy's retired Naval Air Crewman Brett Parks, who is friends with wounded warrior athletes on all of the teams, raised his arms in exclamation and waved to everyone when his name was called and he entered the shooting circle.

"I beat my personal best with an 8.95 score," Parks said excitedly after his shot put throw. "I'm throwing further than I did last year by two meters, but everybody else improved, too!"

Wife of Team Navy member Senior Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Ryan "Austin" Reese, and their daughters, Aspen, age 13-weeks, and Nadia, age 4 years old, cheered all of the athletes on the field. "The games are inspirational! This is a fantastic opportunity for us to meet people in similar situations and gain a support network," said Charity Reese.

After a morning of tough competition on the field, track events were interrupted by a severe thunderstorm. Retired Navy Aviation Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Donald Jackson won a gold medal in a sprint event before wet conditions postponed the competition. The remaining track events have been rescheduled for Sunday, June 28, before the closing ceremony.

At the wheelchair basketball game in Barber Gym, enthusiastic spectators filled the stands and gave both teams a standing ovation at halftime. Team Navy ultimately fell to the Marines 57 to 24 after a grueling match during which they fought for every point.

On June 24, virtually all of the U.S. service members competing in the Warrior Games took part in meet-and-greet events on Capitol Hill. During the morning, members of Team Navy took time to meet with their local representatives. After lunch, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) welcomed the wounded warriors to Capitol Hill during remarks in Statuary Hall in the Capitol building.

On June 25, Navy's sitting volleyball team took part in a round-robin tournament to determine the bracket for the upcoming playoffs. The team earned a gold medal at last year's games, and the athletes are looking forward to another great year.

"These games mean so much to me," said Team Navy member Lt. Cmdr. Maria Gomex-Mannix, a sitting volleyball player who also claimed a silver medal in two women's field events. "I sat by my friend Mark Brown's bed until I got on my flight to come here on Sunday. He died while I was in the air. I am dedicating these games to him. I know that I got the silver medal with his help."

Thirty-nine seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors are competing on behalf of Team Navy this year. The Warrior Games are being held June 19-28. Approximately 250 wounded warrior athletes are participating in the competition.

NWW is the Navy and Coast Guard's wounded warrior support program. Team members have upper-body and/or lower-body injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairments, serious illnesses and post-traumatic stress.

To learn more about NWW, the DoD Warrior Games and adaptive sports, visit; call 855-NAVY WWP (628-9997) or email

Follow NWW on Facebook ( and Twitter (@navysafeharbor) for the latest news from Marine Corps Base Quantico.

For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit

NNS150626-23. Navy JAG Corps Welcomes New Leadership

From Navy Judge Advocate General Corps Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps held a change of office ceremony on June 26, at the Washington Navy Yard.

During the traditional change of office ceremony, presided over by the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, Vice Adm. Nanette M. DeRenzi retired and was relieved by Vice Adm. James W. Crawford III who became the 43rd Judge Advocate General of the Navy. Crawford previously served as the Deputy Judge Advocate General and Commander, Naval Legal Service Command.

"We go where it matters, when it matters," said Greenert. He went on to emphasize that the Navy has to do that legally and that DeRenzi was responsible for keeping the Judge Advocate Corps on course and speed.

Additionally Greenert said, "[DeRenzi] was responsible for an enormous array of diverse issues. She served the Navy and Nation very well."

During DeRenzi's tenure as the JAG, the Corps provided counsel on a wide range of complex issues including sexual assault prevention and response, Military Commissions, protection of navigational rights and freedoms, and support to wounded, ill, and injured Sailors and Marines. DeRenzi praised the members of the JAG Corps community for their work fulfilling the Navy's missions.

"To the men and women of the JAG Corps family -- from every corner of the globe, on the seven seas, and in harm's way on distant shores, you performed magnificently in every area of our practice; and in building and sustaining a vibrant, high-performing, well respected community of professionals," said DeRenzi.

Crawford will serve as the Navy JAG for three years.

"We have made a promise - we deliver legal support; more important legal solutions," said Crawford. Speaking to the members of the JAG Corps community, Crawford continued, "You advance our ability to deliver on our shared promise for the Navy of today, the Navy of tomorrow and the Navy of the future."

Rear Adm. John Hannink was promoted prior to the ceremony to the rank of rear admiral (upper half) and will serve as the Deputy Judge Advocate General and Commander, Naval Legal Service Command. Most recently, he served as a Fellow on the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group, Newport, Rhode Island.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to work in an organization that has service at its core, both in advising Navy leaders and in taking care of Sailors and their families," said Hannink.

The Judge Advocate General of the Navy provides legal and policy advice to the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations on all legal matters from military justice to environmental law. The Judge Advocate General also directs a worldwide law firm of more than 2,300 attorneys, paralegals and support staff.

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

For more information on the Navy JAG Corps, visit

For more news from Navy Judge Advocate General, visit

NNS150626-21. USNS Mercy Arrives in Arawa for Pacific Partnership

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Greg Badger, Pacific Partnership Public Affairs

ARAWA, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea (NNS) -- The hospital ship USNS Mercy ship (T-AH 19) arrived in Arawa, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, today for its second mission stop of Pacific Partnership 2015.

While in Arawa, PP15 personnel will work and train side-by-side with the community on civic service events, women's leadership and safety topics, medical and veterinary care.

"In Papua New Guinea, we are providing medical and dental services, in collaboration with the host nation and at their invitation," said Capt. Melanie Merrick, the commanding officer of the medical treatment facility onboard Mercy. "We're working alongside providers, including doctors and nurses in the hospitals and clinics. We're able to do some subject matter exchanges with those providers and also with the administrators of those hospitals, as we bring repair technicians, laboratory and pharmacy capabilities as well ... to help the country prepare in calm for potential crisis in the future."

Also, the Mercy crew will work in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby and the host nation government to host several engagements focusing on women's health and violence prevention.

"We want to emphasize the key themes of participation, protection and partnership," said Royal New Zealand Air Force Wing Cmdr. Jennifer Atkinson, the chief of staff for this year's Pacific Partnership mission. "We're looking at ways we can work with the host nation to empower their women, and in response we are supporting workshops on both gender-based violence prevention and family violence prevention."

In addition, the PP15 engineering team, made up of personnel from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11, Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, U.S. Air Force RED HORSE, U.S. Marine Corps, and Japan Self-Defense Force engineers will work side-by-side with Papua New Guinea engineers to improve two local primary school facilities.

"The work that is already being done and the work we are set to do is all very exciting. I personally look forward to meeting and working with the Arawa community leaders, and I know our personnel are eager to visit Papua New Guinea and work alongside the community to tackle these very important projects for the people of Arawa," said Capt. Christopher Engdahl, Pacific Partnership 2015 mission commander. "We are tailoring every event, at the host nation's request, to ensure each of these events supports the people of Arawa, and also helps us learn from their professionals and community leaders. We know that the best way for all of us to be ready for a crisis is to work together now before a disaster occurs."

To accomplish so many events during the seven-day stay in Arawa, Pacific Partnership will have a larger footprint this year than in previous visits to Papua New Guinea. The hospital ship arrived with more than 900 personnel, including volunteers from eight non-governmental organizations and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

PP15 participants on the ship and on the ground include personnel from the United States, Australia, Timor Leste, Japan, and New Zealand. All PP15 personnel will work collectively with the Papua New Guinea government and local community on the various medical, dental, veterinary and engineering civic action projects.

"Mercy has been to Papua New Guinea before, in 2008 and in 2013," said Royal Australian Navy Capt. Brian Delamont, Pacific Partnership's deputy mission commander. "So the local communities can expect to see some of the same events and equipment, such as our two helicopters that will be transferring personnel and supplies. Sometimes the helicopters will be flying low over villages, but it will all be done very safely."

The Mercy crew is scheduled to work in Arawa through July 3, when the ship and crew will move to their next port of call in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.

Now in its tenth iteration, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region. While training for crisis conditions, Pacific Partnership missions have provided medical care to approximately 270,000 patients and veterinary services to more than 38,000 animals. Additionally, the mission has provided critical infrastructure developments to host nations through the completion of more than 180 engineering projects.

Additional information on the Pacific Partnership mission is available on the U.S. Pacific Fleet Pacific Partnership website at

NNS150626-20. Pacific Partnership Celebrates Arrival in Micronesia with Ceremony, Reception

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Carla Burdt, Pacific Partnership Public Affairs

KOLONIA, Pohnpei (NNS) -- Task Force Forager, embarked aboard the Military Sealift Command joint high speed vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3), kicked off its second visit of Pacific Partnership June 22 with an opening ceremony and reception onboard the ship.

Kolonia, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) acting governor Marcelo Peterson expressed his gratitude for the work that Pacific Partnership will be completing in Micronesia.

"I am confident that the next two weeks, this partnership will make a positive, lasting impact on the people of the Federated States of Micronesia. On behalf of the people of FSM, I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the U.S. for your unwavering commitment," said Peterson. "I would also like to thank those of you who have been working to make this possible."

In his remarks at the opening ceremony, Federated States of Micronesia Vice President Yosiwo George spoke of the value of friendships and partnerships, especially that between the United States and FSM.

"We have gathered today to witness a ceremony to mark the commencement of the mission," said George. "In doing so, perhaps it is fitting we use this occasion to reflect on the unique partnership that the FSM has with the United States of America. It is a special partnership forged many years ago, based on historic times, common shared values, principles and mutual desire for friendship."

To the crew of Task Force Forager and Pacific Partnership, George had these words.

"I ask that you showcase our island hospitality and show the Micronesian spirit of friendship and camaraderie. I trust that this stay will extend your cooperation, understanding and support so that the mission's objectives are implemented efficiently and effectively.

"At the end of it all, remember and know that your friendly interactions will make the mission successful, memorable and enjoyable for all of us," he said.

Millinocket arrived in Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM June 21 for a two-week mission visit.

Millinocket and embarked Task Force Forager, led by an expeditionary command element from the Navy's 30th Naval Construction Regiment (30 NCR) from Port Hueneme, California, are currently serving as the secondary platform for Pacific Partnership 2015. The primary platform for the mission is the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), currently in route to its second mission port of Papua New Guinea.

Now in its tenth iteration, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region. While training for crisis conditions, Pacific Partnership missions have provided medical care to approximately 270,000 patients and veterinary services to more than 38,000 animals. Additionally, the mission has provided critical infrastructure developments to host nations through the completion of more than 180 engineering projects.

Additional information on the Pacific Partnership mission is available on the U.S. Pacific Fleet Pacific Partnership website at

NNS150626-19. America Sailors Participate in 'Home Builders Blitz'

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Somers Steelman, USS America (LHA 6) Public Affairs

EL CAJON, Calif. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) volunteered at Habitat for Humanity's Home Builders Blitz in El Cajon, Calif., June 24.

Home Builders Blitz is Habitat for Humanity's initiative to partner with the community to build four houses in five days. San Diego Habitat for Humanity has participated in 4 Home Builders Blitz events since 2006.

"We laid the foundations on Monday. Today on day three we are rolling along adding siding and roofing to the home," said Shandy Arwood, Habitat for Humanity's community engagement manager. "We plan on completing all four homes by Friday."

America's volunteers assisted four different contractors in the Blitz. They lent a hand in a variety of tasks including construction clean up, event services and traffic control.

Master-at-Arms 1st Class Christopher Soma, assigned to America, initiated and coordinated the command's participation in the event, and has been the point of contact for a total of five events.

"I touched base initially with my division," said Soma. "After talking to my fellow first classes and some of the junior Sailors I know, it seemed more and more people wanted to get involved. That's when the decision was made to make it a command-wide event."

The Builders Blitz model is designed to build the homes with zero cost to Habitat for Humanity by seeking donations of construction materials and volunteers for necessary labor.

"Over 50 percent of all our jobs have military volunteers," said Arwood.

"This is what we do," said Soma. "We come together with a common focus and get things done for people who need us."

More than 70 Sailors from America have been involved in these events. Machinist's Mate 1st Class Sabella Batey, assigned to America, said that volunteering gave her a new perspective on what it means to give back.

"I feel it is very important to volunteer, because a lot of us take things for granted," said
Batey. "These houses are built for low income families. It is important that we humble ourselves and remember not everyone is as fortunate as we are."

According to Habitat for Humanity, the first national Home Builders Blitz in 2006 brought together more than 1,000 professional home builders and 130 Habitat affiliates across the country to build 459 homes, providing housing for nearly 2,000 people. Over the years Sailors have played a significant role in these projects.

"It is extremely important for Sailors in the Navy to volunteer," said Intelligence Specialist 1st Class Jeffrey Jones, assigned to America. "It brings a sense of community not only to the individual service members, but also to local businesses and residents."

America plans to participate in two Habitat for Humanity builds every month, until they complete the post shakedown availability period.

NNS150626-17. Sexual Assault Reports: Week of June 15-21, 2015

From the Office of the Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- This week's overview of alleged sexual assaults is compiled based on nine initial reports across the Navy from June 15-21. This timeframe reflects only the receipt of the initial reports; two of the reported incidents occurred during this period and seven occurred outside of the report period. Each report will be fully investigated. Looking at this snapshot in time, we see the following:

* Three reports are from events that occurred on-base, five are from an event that occurred off-base, and one is from events at unknown location.

* Among the nine alleged offenders, two were petty officers, one was E-3 and below, five were civilians, and one was unknown.

* Seven of the alleged offenders were male, one was female and one was unknown.

* Four of the reported incidents were alleged to be service member on service member and five were non-service member on service member.

* Among the 10 alleged victims, one was an officer, six were petty officers and three were E-3 and below. Six of the alleged victims were female and four 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

NNS150626-12. Improved Personal Wi-Fi Service Coming to Navy Lodging, MWR Facilities Worldwide

By Kristine M. Sturkie, Navy Exchange Service Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) and its vendor partner, ViaSat, announced that they are upgrading personal telecommunications services for Wi-Fi on Navy bases worldwide, June 26.

The upgraded Wi-Fi will be located in Navy Lodges, unaccompanied housing, Navy Gateway Inns & Suites (NGIS) and Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) facilities.

"By expanding our existing pay-as-you-go Wi-Fi service, we are able to offer a true enterprise solution for our military members and their families," said Mary Morse, vice president, NEXCOM's Telecommunications Program Office. "Once a person signs up for basic Wi-Fi service, it can be used on Navy bases where Wi-Fi access is made available, such as lodging and MWR facilities, anywhere around the world."

In lodging facilities, including Navy Lodges and NGIS, bandwidth speeds on the basic service plan will increase from 2 Mb/s to 5 Mb/s, with a 3 Mb/s guaranteed minimum speed. Users will be able to stream videos and Skype to loved ones back home, quicker and easier.

The basic service plan in lodging facilities will be complimentary. However, users can pay to upgrade their service to include additional bandwidth up to 30 Mb/s.

"Previously, users couldn't purchase additional bandwidth, which is needed if they want to watch movies or play games while staying in a Navy lodging facility," said Morse. "This is especially important for those military and family members who may be staying for extended periods of time."

A new feature, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), will allow guests free in-room phone calls to and from the United States while staying at NGIS or Navy Lodges. Previously, guests paid for all in-room calls. Guests will also be able to roam seamlessly between rooms within the same building without being disconnected.

For military members residing in unaccompanied housing, the cost for Wi-Fi service remains the same, but the bandwith has been greatly expanded. Now, users will get 30 Mb/s per month for the same price they are currently paying for 6 Mb/s.

Most Navy locations will receive these new services by the end of 2015, except for Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which will receive the new services in early 2016.

For more news from Navy Exchange Service Command, visit

NNS150626-08. Carrier Strike Group 8 Destroyers Conduct Missile Firing Exercise

By Ensign Tyler L. Westover, USS Gravely Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Four Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers of Destroyer Squadron 28 conducted an integrated missile firing exercise (MISSILEX) in the Virginia Capes, June 5.

USS Gravely (DDG 107), USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) and USS Ramage (DDG 61) took part in the test firing exercise. Each ship fired a Standard Missile (SM-2) equipped with telemetry to track missile performance. Gravely assumed duties for planning the exercise and orchestrated several rehearsal opportunities to prepare for the firing event. The exercise was intended to increase watch team proficiency and assess weapon and combat system performance of the firing train.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason Brock, Gravely's systems test officer, provided the firing orders to the four ships as the Force Air Defense Coordinator.

"This exercise is the culmination of many, many hours of practice and maintenance by the ship's fire controlmen," said Lt. j.g. Daniel Fallon, the ship's fire control officer, who was the air warfare coordinator for the launch. "The fire controlmen flawlessly executed the exercise, hitting their target dead on. It was awesome."

The fire control officer is in charge of all the missile fire control systems as well as the combat systems that calculate the fire solution and interface with the launching system.

"I could not be more proud of my crew's performance during this event," said Cmdr. Alysa Ambrose, Gravely commanding officer. "All four of the ships prepared very hard for this event, and executed flawlessly."

Gravely, Bulkeley, and Gonzalez will deploy together with the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and Carrier Strike Group 8 later this year. Ramage will independently deploy around the same time.

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

NNS150626-07. Midshipmen Experience Life Aboard USS Shamal

From USS Shamal Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Four U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen joined the crew of patrol coastal ship USS Shamal (PC 13) for a two-day underway, June 17.

During their visit, the midshipmen were able to experience live gunfire exercises and an astern refueling with the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE 5) off the coast of South Carolina.

The underway was a unique training opportunity for both the visitors and the crew. During the demonstration of astern refueling, the midshipmen learned how this method of refueling helps patrol coastal ships remain on station for longer periods of time.

After completing the refueling at sea, Shamal conducted a small arms gun shoot to improve crew proficiency. The midshipmen also participated and were able to live fire two different caliber weapons, the M240 and .50-caliber machine guns.

Upon their return to port, the future officers said they walked away from their experience with appreciation for the efficiency and tenacity of the crew.

"There is a lot of camaraderie amongst the crew and no one hesitates to get the job done," said Midshipman 3rd Class Joshua M. Story.

USS Shamal (PC 13) is attached to Destroyer Squadron 14 and will soon deploy to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations.

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

NNS150626-06. U.S. Sailors Participate in Romanian Enlistment Ceremony

By Lt. Cmdr. Mike Billips, Naval Support Facility Deveselu Public Affairs

CARACAL, Romania (NNS) -- U.S. Navy Sailors stationed at Naval Support Facility (NSF) Deveselu, Romania, participated in a oath-of-enlistment ceremony for the Romanian Army in the nearby city of Caracal, June 19.

Several hundred new service members were sworn in after completing a four-month course of instruction, according to Captain-Commander Razvan Bratulescu, chief of staff for the Romanian 99th Military Base, which is co-located with NSF Deveselu on a former MiG fighter base.

Capt. William Garren, NSF Deveselu commanding officer, was among the reviewing officials for the ceremony, accompanied by a combined honor guard from NSF Deveselu, its principal tenant command Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System Romania, and the 99th Military Base. Garren said the ceremony and pass-in-review by the 1st Instructional Battalion "Olt" reminded him of his own boot-camp graduation in 1977 in Orlando, Florida.

"I realized that their enlistments are not much different from ours," Garren said.

U.S. and Romanian military members from the Deveslu base have participated together in several military and civil ceremonies since NSF Deveselu was established in October 2014. In addition to securing the outer security perimeter of the base, the 99th acts as a liaison to other Romanian military units for the U.S. base.

NSF Deveselu is home to an Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System tenant command. Aegis Ashore is a land-based version of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) System currently deployed on U.S. Navy ships, but deploys the SM-3 missile only.

When completed, about 200 U.S. military, government employees and contractors will work on the base located in south-central Romania's Olt County.

For more news from Naval Support Facility Deveselu, Romania, visit

NNS150626-05. NOSC Corpus Christi Celebrates Navy Reserve Centennial

From NOSC Corpus Christi Public Affairs

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- More than 125 reservists from the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Corpus Christi, their civilian employers, and their families joined thousands of local baseball fans at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Texas, June 20 to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Navy Reserve.

The Saturday night game was set aside as a special event honoring the centennial and included a reenlistment ceremony, promotion ceremony and a fly-over by local reserve pilots.

Cmdr. Rey Morillo, commanding officer of the NOSC, was humbled to be a part of the event.

"To know that what we are doing here in South Texas is a part of a much bigger, national celebration, for today's reserve force, but also for those who came before us to make America what it is today, is truly humbling," he said.

"The location,"Morillo continued, "is ideal for our NOSC because we have such a close relationship with our community. We wanted to have this event somewhere where we could share it with our community partners and Whataburger Field is a great location to do that."

NOSC Corpus Christi is located on board Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, the home of Training Air Wing 4, which trains Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and international aviators. NAS Corpus Christi is celebrating its 75th anniversary in the coming year and base Commanding Officer Capt. Steve Banta joined Morillo to show support for the Centennial event.

"There is a strong bond in the Navy between the active and Reserve forces," Banta said, "It's fitting that the 100th anniversary of the Naval Reserves coincides with our celebration of the 75th anniversary of NAS Corpus Christi. Additionally, one of the important missions of the base is to continue fostering the great cooperation we enjoy between the military and the local community. NOSC Corpus Christi exemplifies these qualities. Their personnel wear a military uniform and serve their country, and they also serve their local community as teachers, firefighters, police officers, and local business men and women. We at NAS Corpus Christi are proud and honored to stand in support of our local reservists during this celebration."

The mission of the Navy Reserve is to deliver operational capability and strategic depth to the Navy, Marine Corps, and Joint Forces. Congress authorized the establishment of the Federal Naval Reserve on March 3, 1915. With more than 58,000 personnel worldwide and 123 NOSCS nationwide, the Navy Reserves has always been and continues to stay committed to a ready and accessible force.

For more information about Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, visit and follow them on Facebook at Follow NOSC Corpus Christi's current events at and learn more about the Navy Reserve Centennial, visit

For more news from Chief of Naval Air Training, visit

NNS150626-01. USS Princeton Holds Change of Command Ceremony in San Diego

By Lt. Rochelle Rieger, USS Princeton Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- After 22 months in the captain's chair, Capt. Chuck Good turned over command of the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) to Capt. Chris Alexander while pierside at Naval Base San Diego, June 24.

Good's tour saw Princeton through a wide variety of milestones for both the ship and the crew.

Completing an extensive U.S. 5th Fleet deployment in October 2013, Princeton went straight into an extended docking selected restricted availability (EDSRA) period.

"This magnificent crew has returned Princeton to the fleet fully modernized and ready for another decade of service," said Good, speaking about the arduous 16-month mid-life shipyard overhaul.

Coming out of the yards as one of the most capable and upgraded ships on the waterfront, Princeton has spent the last few months exhaustively testing all new systems.

"We just returned from completing combat systems ship qualification trials for our new upgrades, and this crew came away with a perfect score - all targets killed, all mission capabilities demonstrated," said Good. "No CO [commanding officer] likes to give up command, but what a way to go out with a bang, literally!"

Good and his family will be moving to Monterey, California, for his next tour as the surface warfare chair at the Naval Post-Graduate School.

Alexander, coming to Princeton from the staff of Commander, Naval Surface Forces U.S. Pacific Fleet in Coronado, California, said he is ready to take on the task of commanding the most powerful surface combatant in U.S. 3rd Fleet.

"This ship and her ever-changing crew have seen a lot the past few years" said Alexander. "I am more than ready and excited to see what the next few years bring, and to show off our new systems to the waterfront."

Princeton is currently in the basic phase of training in preparation for a future deployment with a carrier strike group.

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NNS020418-34. This Day in Naval History - June 26

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1945 - USS Bearss (DD 654), USS John Hood (DD 655), USS Jarvis (DD 799), and USS Porter (DD 800) sink three Japanese auxiliary submarine chasers and a guardboat and damage a fourth auxiliary submarine chaser south of Okekotan, Kurils.

1945 - USS Parche (SS 384) attacks a Japanese convoy and sinks gunboat Kamitsu Maru and freighter Eikan Maru seven miles of Todo Saki, southern Honsju.

1950 - After North Korean invaded South Korea, USS Mansfield (DD 728) and USS De Haven (DD 727) evacuates 700 Americans and friendly foreign nationals from Inchon, Korea.

1962 - U.S. Naval Facility, Cape Hatteras, N.C., makes the first Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) detection of a Soviet diesel submarine.

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