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First Looks at our 2016 Reunion in San Antonio, TX

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

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


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

A message from the President:

New Plaque Building 92


Commemorative Plaque Dedication
Brooklyn Navy Yard and Center
May 2, 2016, Noon

Good afternoon, my name is Gayland Rushing, President of the USS Constellation CVA/CV-64 Association. I am a Plank Owner, having served onboard from 1961-1963, as part of the original sea worthiness crew. You ask why we are here today.
We are here to celebrate the lives of your Brooklyn Navy Shipyard family members, lost while working onboard the USS Constellation, which evolved into a part of America’s history, protecting our beloved freedoms, we all hold so dear to our hearts. Rest assured your shipyard family has never been forgotten and our wish is to honor and remember them this day and forever more.

The keel was laid in 1957 and just before her completion on Dec 19, 1960, a tragic accident occurred. A fire broke out. While many workers escaped the fire, unfortunately, fifty perished. It took several months to rebuild the ship. She was commissioned on October 27, 1961, a testament to the tenacity, grit and spirit of the men working in this shipyard. A commemorative bronze plaque, memorializing their names was created by the Navy League. That original plaque was mounted on the bulkhead hangar deck and traveled around the world for forty two years. Unfortunately, the plaque disappeared around the time the ship was decommissioned in 2003. After several years of unsuccessful investigations, the original plaque was deemed lost. But the spirit of the plaque and its’ recipients memories lived on. Something good arose from this unfortunate incident. Safety rules were updated to forbid use of wooden scaffolding in future ship building.

The USS Constellation’s motto was “spirit of the old, pride of the new”, serving in numerous conflicts around the world, the first being the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. After Cuba, her home port was changed from Jacksonville, FL to San Diego, CA. She was too large to go through the Panama Canal so she sailed around the tip of South America’s Cape Horn making many stops in the process where she and her crew became great ambassadors for America’s Navy. She hosted three Presidential visits, Lyndon Baine Johnson, Richard Milhouse Nixon and Ronald Wilson Reagan who proclaimed her to be “America’s Flagship”. Her maiden cruise was 1961-1962. She made many cruises to the Far East known as Westpac and to the Middle East known as Westpac and the Arabian Sea cruises. Her twenty first and final cruise returned to San Diego in 2003 where she was decommissioned, after forty two years’ service.

You and your families and our Navy families, were privileged to witness the achievements made by our beloved ship. What a legacy! The USS Constellation went on to become one of the most decorated and valued aircraft carriers of her time. She received at least sixteen Awards, Citations, Campaign Ribbons and Medals such as:
Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Secretary of the Navy Letter of Commendation, Navy “E” Designation, Navy Expeditionary Service Medal, Navy Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, South East Asia Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Unit Citation and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and I am certain there are many more awards which I have not mentioned.

In conclusion, 2003 was a sad year for members of the USS Constellation Association, our beloved ship was removed from service and our treasured plaque was also adrift. How can we turn this negative issue into a positive issue? Three compassionate men of the USS Constellation Association, who are in attendance today, Marty Horowitz, Rich Romeo and Phil Tambasco, knew the importance of replacing this plaque. So they worked hard to come up with a plan and presented it to the Association’s Executive Board and general membership during one of our annual reunions in Arlington, VA. The plan, passed by a unanimous vote, was to fund and recreate a new plaque and GIFT it to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, memorializing shipyard workers names with a new permanently installed plaque as a reminder of the lost lives on that fateful day. From this day forward, all families will have a place to visit and perpetuate their memories. Thank you USS Constellation Association for remembering and providing this beautiful new bronze plaque today.

I thank you all for being here for this important occasion and for your attention. Thank you to the Building 92 committee for coordinating this ceremony, especially Aileen Chumard, Executive Director of Programs and Exhibits, John Coburn Vice President and Lead Architect, Andrew Gustafson Vice President Turnstile Tours, Cindy Vanderbosch President Turnstile Tours, Marie Nachsin External Affairs and Adrianne Murray Manger Visitor Services. Again, thank you for allowing me to speak today. I bid you:
Fair Winds and Smooth Seas and may
God Continue to Bless and Keep America Strong!
And now we take great pride and pleasure in presenting to this great ship yard, your
new plaque, ENJOY!

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




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

Click Here


Parts of Connie on Ebay

Photos of the 2014 Branson Reunion

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

Important and Interesting USS Constellation Scrapping Links

USS Constellation Last Voyage Site

Voyage of the Carbon Foss

Brooklyn Navy Yard Tribute Wall

Click Here for our 2015 Memorial List

Recent News Stories:

NNS160516-22. Navy League Kicks Off 51st Sea, Air, Space Expo

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dustin Knight, Defense Media Activity

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (NNS) -- The 51st annual Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition kicked off at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, May 16.

The "Service Chief's Update," a panel led by Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller, Commandant of the Coast Guard, Adm. Paul F. Zukunft and Administrator of U.S. Maritime Administration, the Honorable Paul N. Jaenichen, kicked off three days of panel discussions about the state of each respective service, the future of maritime operations and the importance of partnerships.

"I think that partnerships matter because they're going to allow us all to team together and use our collective resources to solve some really challenging problems," said Richardson. "Our Navy is much more strong when we see ourselves as partners with other people. Partners of industry, partners of academia, research and development and certainly international partners as well. By having those conversations early on we can define our problems, come up with solutions, combine forces together, that's what I think we can do."

During the panel, Richardson took advantage of the large crowd to discuss the importance of advancing technology.

"The rate of introduction of technology, which is again, not only entering the market faster and faster but, being adopted by society at just as fast a rate," said Richardson. "The rules of the game, the rules of competition are changing just as fast if not faster than the competitors themselves."

Richardson also took a moment to express his gratitude to the Navy League.

"I extend my sincerest appreciation to the Navy League for their efforts in putting together another exceptional exposition," said Richardson. "The annual Sea-Air-Space Exposition continues to serve as a unique platform for military leadership to participate in deep conversation, spirited debate, and other rewarding engagements."

The remainder of the expo will feature panels and roundtable discussions about information warfare, high velocity learning, manpower in the 21st century and strengthening our Navy team in the future.

More than 300 exhibitors will display their products to an estimated 12,000 attendees and representatives from 25 countries, as well U.S. government officials.

"The Navy-Marine Corps team is grateful for this unique opportunity to interact with defense leaders and industry professionals who are fundamental to the progression of our maritime forces," Richardson noted.

The Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition was founded in 1965 as a means to bring the U.S. defense industrial base, U.S. private-sector companies and key military decision makers together for an annual innovative, educational, professional and maritime-based event located in the heart of Washington, D.C. Sea-Air-Space is the largest maritime exposition in the U.S. and continues as an invaluable extension of the Navy League's mission of maritime policy education and sea service support.

"For more than five decades, the Navy League of the United States has done a remarkable job to make this an enterprising occasion for our sea services to address the challenges we face both today and in our future," said Richardson.

Sea-Air-Space is open to active duty and reserve military, federal civilian employees, congressional members and staff, retired U.S. military and Navy League Members. There is no charge to attend the three-day exposition and professional seminars.

NNS160514-01. USS Stout Deploys

By Ensign Adam Geuss, USS Stout Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Sailors aboard guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) departed their Norfolk homeport May 14 for a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations.

Stout recently completed a challenging training cycle in preparation for deployment while simultaneously assisting two other strike groups prepare for theirs.

"My crew has been pushed to the limits during the last year in preparation for this deployment and have excelled at every challenge," said Cmdr. Adam Cheatham, Stout's commanding officer. "I have a very talented and amazing crew. I couldn't be more proud of the crew and I look forward to being forward deployed with these men and women."

This deployment is part of an ongoing rotation of ships supporting maritime security operations in the U.S. 6th and 5th Fleet areas of operations.

Maritime security operations provide stability and complement counter-terrorism efforts of regional partners. U.S. Navy operations in the 5th and 6th Fleet are focused on the commitment to fostering security and stability through operations and training with regional partners. This mission is vital to enhancing existing, cooperative relationships necessary to safeguard the region's role in the global economy.

The Stout is a Ballistic Missile Defense-capable, Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. Capable of traveling in excess of 30 knots and has a ship's company of approximately 300 Sailors.

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

NNS160516-01. USS Spruance Finishes Historic Port Call in Tonga

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Will Gaskill

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (NNS) -- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) completed a four-day port call in the northern port of the Kingdom of Tonga, May 10.

The ship's visit marks the first time a U.S. warship has come pierside in Tonga. In 2011, USS Cleveland (LPD 7) anchored offshore, as did USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) in 2013.

During their time in port, members of the crew attended several meetings with Tongan Defense leaders, conducted community relations projects, and held a reception on their flight deck for local dignitaries.

Spruance's Commanding Officer Cmdr. Manuel Hernandez took an opportunity to visit Tonga's Chief of Defense Staff Brig. Gen. Lord Fielakepa, and Navy Component Commander Cmdr. Heiss Fonohema, to discuss maritime security and stability, reinforcing the strong naval partnership between the U.S. and Tonga.

"We value our partnership with the Tongan government and are committed to strengthening our cooperative maritime relationships as the basis for maritime security and prosperity," said Hernandez. "Security and stability at sea serve as the foundation for economic prosperity in the region. Together with our partners, we are committed to keeping the sea lanes open for the benefit of all."

During their time in Tonga, Spruance Sailors also participated in several community relations (COMREL) projects, including assisting with a modernization project at a local hospital and delivering bicycles and various sports equipment to nearby schools, while also working with the local Peace Corps chapter.

"I have always wanted to be involved in a COMREL because I enjoy helping other people," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Dean Dibble. "This experience was rewarding because we actually got to do something that made a difference."

During the evening of May 10, Spruance's crew hosted a reception on board for distinguished visitors from Tonga, including the guest of honor Deputy Prime Minister Honorable Siaosi Sovaleni, the U.S. Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission Doug Sonnek, members of the royal family, diplomatic corps, and representatives of several foreign embassies.

Following the port visit, Spruance will conduct Oceania Maritime Security Initiative missions. OMSI missions are a Department of Defense initiative, in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard, to provide enforcement against illegal fishing and poaching in economic exclusive zones (EEZ). Many of the EEZs are in waters with close proximity to the Pacific partner nations of the U.S.

Along with guided-missile destroyers USS Decatur (DDG 73) and USS Momsen (DDG 92), Spruance is part of the Pacific Surface Action Group deployment to the Western Pacific. Spruance departed San Diego, April 19.

Under the operational control of U.S. 3rd Fleet, the PAC SAG is scheduled to conduct routine patrols, maritime security operations, and theater cooperation activities to enhance regional security.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.

For more information on USS Spruance please visit:

For more news from Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, visit
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NNS160516-04. USS Decatur, USS Momsen to Visit Busan, Republic of Korea

From Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Guided-missile destroyers USS Decatur (DDG 73) and USS Momsen (DDG 92) are scheduled to arrive in Busan, Republic of Korea, for a mission planning conference, May 17.

The conference will finalize details for a bilateral exercise with the ROK Navy to be held May 19-24 in the waters around the Korean peninsula.

The exercise is a defense-oriented, naval training evolution designed to conduct maritime maneuvers, strengthen the U.S.-ROK alliance, and improve regional security.

Decatur and Momsen are part of a Pacific Surface Action Group, operating under Commander, Destroyer Squadron 31.

According to Capt. Charles Johnson, commodore of CDS 31, the purpose of the exercise is to ensure the presence of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and to demonstrate the strength of the alliance and partnership between the U.S. and ROK, while maintaining the highest level of readiness.

The port visit will also provide an opportunity for the crews to promote friendship and goodwill with the people of the Republic of Korea.

"The primary focus of our port visit will be to plan our upcoming exercise at sea," said Johnson. "However, I also want our Sailors to get a chance to foster strong relationships with our allies, not just in our planning meetings, but while exploring the local culture."

The U.S. Navy maintains a presence in the Indo Asia-Pacific region to help preserve peace and security and to further partnerships with friends and allies. Its forward presence contributes to freedom of navigation and lawful use of the sea, furthers operational training, and enables an exchange of culture, skills and tactical knowledge.

Guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) and embarked "Devil Fish" and "Warbirds" detachments of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49 are also part of the PAC SAG. Spruance is underway conducting Oceania Maritime Security Initiative operations. OMSI is a Department of Defense initiative, in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard, to provide enforcement against illegal fishing and poaching in economic exclusive zones.

Under the operational control of U.S. 3rd Fleet, the PAC SAG is scheduled to conduct routine patrols, maritime security operations, and theater cooperation activities to enhance regional security and stability.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.

For more information on the ships please visit: and

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

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

NNS160516-07. Blue Ridge Completes Spring Patrol, Returns to Yokosuka for Scheduled Dry-Docking Period

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jordan KirkJohnson, USS Blue Ridge Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- U.S 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and embarked 7th Fleet staff returned to Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka May 16, concluding a three-month patrol.

During the spring patrol, Blue Ridge visited 10 ports in eight different countries, strengthening and fostering relationships within the Indo-Asia-Pacific region through various theater security cooperation, staff talks and ship tours.

"We go to many ports, and we are a direct reflection of the United States in countries that don't have a lot of exposure to the U.S.," said Blue Ridge Commanding Officer Capt. Matt Paradise. "The crew's superior performance and behavior this underway has shown that they understood that."

The Blue Ridge team consists of more than 900 members, including embarked 7th Fleet staff, Marines from Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Pacific (FASTPAC) and the "Golden Falcons" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12. During the port visits, Sailors engaged with the local community through 16 community service events and 12 Morale, Welfare and Recreation tours.

"This underway is something I will never forget," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Victor Molina. "Before the Navy, I had never even heard of some of these countries. Being able to travel to all of these places, meet the people and experience the cultures made this underway a once in a lifetime opportunity for me."

Blue Ridge participated in exercises at sea with the Sri Lankan navy and the People's Liberation Army (navy), conducting ship maneuvers and a Codes for Unexpected Encounters at Sea (CUES) exercise, enhancing the promotion of safe navigation and coordination between vessels.

"The exercises went very well," said Paradise. "While in Shanghai we sat and planned for the CUES exercise with the crew of the Chinese Lanzhou destroyer, Xi'an (DD 153) and since they escorted us out of port, we took those new relationships and lessons learned immediately to sea. The more we practice, the more we increase our cooperation; it's a win-win."

In addition to participating in TSC events, Sailors challenged their own ship's combat readiness through multiple inspections including a Damage Control Mobility Exercise Certification Validation, and a Combat Systems Certification Validation.

"Blue Ridge is constantly training and undergoing certifications," said Paradise. "We just completed the Combat Systems Certification Verification and passed every event with flying colors. [Afloat Training Group] was impressed with the effort, attitude and expertise of the crew."

The ship made port calls in Osaka, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Mumbai, Goa, Thailand, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Yokohama, covering more than 13,000 nautical miles during its more than 80-day patrol.

Blue Ridge will now begin an Extended Dry-Docking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA) period, where it will undergo necessary changes and maintenance to increase its lifespan.

"Believe it or not, I am looking forward to this dry-docking period," continued Paradise. "Sailing on the open ocean and traveling from port to port has been great, but I'm equally excited for this EDSRA. It's a time for us to pay it forward, upgrade the ship and maintain her for the next generation."

Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for 36 years. As the flag ship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, Blue Ridge is vital in maintaining partnerships in the 7th Fleet area of operations.

For more news from USS Blue Ridge, visit

NNS160516-02. CVW 9 Completes Material Condition Inspection

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Frost

SOUTH CHINA SEA (NNS) -- Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 Sailors completed a mid-deployment Material Condition Inspection (MCI) while embarked on USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), May 13.

Naval Air Forces Pacific performs the MCI to ensure all squadrons of CVW 9 are meeting maintenance and safety standards at the beginning and midway point of deployment.

The air wing achieved a passing grade on all inspections, including an inspection on the highest flight-hour F/A-18 Super Hornet currently used in the Navy.

"We always have room to improve, but overall, [the] air wing did a great job," said Lt. Cmdr. Rich Killian, from Lemoore, California, CVW 9's maintenance officer. "The thing about Stennis is that everyone wants us to succeed. We couldn't do it alone. We wanted to hone our partnership [with the ship's crew] from day one. The 'look ahead' mentality the air wing adopted from the ship early on has paid dividends in the long run."

'Look Ahead' is John C. Stennis' official motto.

CVW-9 consists of the Black Aces of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 41, the Tophatters of VFA 14, the Warhawks of VFA 97, the Vigilantes of VFA 151, the Wizards of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133, the Golden Hawks of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112, the Chargers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, the Raptors of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71 and the Providers of Fleet Logistics Combat Support Squadron (VRC) 30.

Every squadron in CVW 9 participated in at least one invasive and one non-invasive inspection designed to thoroughly assess the condition of the aircraft, as well as an inspection of the squadron's maintenance documents.

"There was a lot of involvement by Sailors and leadership," said Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Adam Spencer, from Lemoore, California, one of the material condition inspectors. "There was hard work going into [this inspection]. The maintainers were motivated and open to suggestion."

The F/A-18E Super Hornet from the Tophatters, with side number 201 (bureau number 166435), has 5,558 flight-hours, the most of any Super Hornet used in the Navy, and passed the inspection performed on it.

"Due to hard effort and diligence, we pulled through on the inspection," said Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Nathaniel Toothman, from Jacksonville, Florida, Tophatters' airframes division leading petty officer. "[Aircraft 201] is the hardest working and most well used in the fleet, and it's one of our better aircraft."

According to Tophatters' maintenance material control officer Lt. j.g. Drew Buckley, from Redwood Falls, Minnesota, the air wing wouldn't have been able to achieve this score without the maintainers' expertise.

"These jets fly hard and long," said Buckley. "Our maintainers are proud to keep these aircraft in good shape."

Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.

For more news on John C. Stennis visit or

NNS160516-05. Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26)

From Team Ships Public Affairs

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future John P. Murtha (LPD 26) during a ceremony at the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard, May 13.

The delivery of John P. Murtha serves as the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder to the Navy and is a major milestone in the ship's transition to operational status.

"This is the 10th San Antonio-class ship we've delivered, and our Sailors and Marine Corps will be receiving another highly capable platform in John P. Murtha," said Capt. Darren Plath, LPD 17 class program manager. "This ship has performed exceedingly well to date, which is a testament to our Navy and industry team and the production efficiencies realized on this class."

Following crew move aboard and certification, the ship will transit to Philadelphia for commissioning, planned for fall 2016. Upon commissioning the ship will transit to her homeport of San Diego.

The principal mission of LPD 17 class amphibious transport dock ships is to transport and deploy the necessary combat and support elements of Marine Expeditionary Units and Brigades. The ship will carry 699 troops -- with a surge capacity to 800 -- and have the capability to transport and debark air cushion or conventional landing craft and amphibious vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (MV-22). These ships will support amphibious assault, special operations and expeditionary warfare missions through the first half of the 21st century.

HII is currently in production on the future USS Portland (LPD 27) and was awarded a contract in December 2015 for long lead time material to support detail design and construction of the future LPD 28.

As one of the Department of Defense's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft.

For more information, visit,, or

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS160516-09. Rear Adm. Fung Helps Kick Off Roanoke Navy Week

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

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Reserve Director Maritime Operations Battle Staff Rear Adm. Mark Fung participated in Roanoke Navy Week, May 15-18.

In addition to receiving an official proclamation, Fung met with leadership from the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and conducted a memorial ceremony at the National D-Day Memorial for all D-Day veterans.

"Participating in Roanoke Navy Week provides a great opportunity to showcase the power projection our naval forces provide," said Fung, who also met with educators to discuss science, technology, engineering and math outreach at Virginia Tech and Roanoke College.

"The world's oceans give the U.S. Navy the power to protect America's interests anywhere, at any time," said Fung. "Presence helps deter potential conflicts, and it avoids escalating the situation when tensions rise. It also gives our nation's leaders the chance to act when needed. Again, being there matters, such as being here to take part in Roanoke Navy Week."

The admiral's visit was part of the national Navy Week outreach initiative to educate local communities on their Navy's current relevance and worldwide capabilities.

Fung reached out to veterans and community members, expressing the Navy's role in American security, global commerce, and future career opportunities.

Navy Weeks exist to share the Navy's story to an area without a significant force presence.

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

For more news from Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, visit

NNS160516-12. NAVFAC Celebrates National Public Works Week

By Don Rochon, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) public works professionals began celebrating National Public Works Week, May 15.

National Public Works Week, which runs through May 21 this year, started in 1960 as part of a public education campaign by the American Public Works Association.

The weeklong event seeks to raise the public's awareness of public works issues and employees who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for present and future generations. This year's theme is "Public Works Always There."

"Our public works teams represent NAVFAC's local installation support to Navy and Marine Corps bases worldwide," said NAVFAC Commander Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg. "Our teams work behind the scenes in providing vital public works services such as electricity, water and wastewater management in support of the installations they serve."

NAVFAC has provided management and leadership of Navy public works for more than 170 years. As the Navy's public works officers, Civil Engineer Corps officers lead Navy and Marine Corps public works departments around the globe in providing comprehensive shore installation facility engineering, acquisition, environmental and transportation services.
In fact, last year, NAVFAC PWDs helped keep naval facilities and infrastructure around the world well-maintained and managed, as more than 533,000 service calls and 63,000 emergency calls were recorded and completed in 2015.

NAVFAC's public works professionals can be seen on base hard at work inspecting submarine piers, constructing new runways, fixing roof leaks, heating buildings in the winter, or cleaning up oil spills. They are also at the forefront of executing cutting-edge energy projects for the Navy to help meet the Secretary of the Navy's energy goals. Advanced metering, renewable energy, and residential energy conservation projects are helping to reduce the demand for energy, on and off base.

For more information, visit,, or

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit

NNS160516-10. Blue Ridge Invites Friends, Family for Cruise

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Don Patton, USS Blue Ridge Public Affairs

YOKOHAMA, Japan (NNS) -- After more than 80 days, U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) welcomed family and friends aboard for the final stretch of it's 2016 patrol cycle May 16.

Over 200 friends and family members joined the ship in Yokohama as it made its journey back to Yokosuka, Japan.

"We are hosting this friends and family day cruise to provide our friends and family a firsthand look at what we do as Sailors onboard, allowing them to have a better understanding of the duties we perform day-to-day," said Chief Information Systems Technician Troy Young, Blue Ridge family day cruise coordinator.

The Blue Ridge team consists of more than 900 members, including embarked 7th Fleet staff, Marines from Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Pacific (FASTPAC) and the "Golden Falcons" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12.

While aboard, Blue Ridge's visitors will be treated to a steel beach picnic and get to see the "Golden Falcons" and the ship's flight quarters crew perform a helicopter exercise.

"Not many civilians get to see a flight quarters evolution in real life," said Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Jamal Najjar, Blue Ridge flight quarters landing signalman (enlisted). "This event gives us the rare chance to showcase the type of work that we do on a daily basis, while underway."

The ship's damage controlmen and Marines will also provide guests with the opportunity to see static displays of some of their equipment.

"We prepared a display of our firefighting equipment on the ship's main deck to give our visitors a chance to see how it works and actually try on some of our gear for themselves," said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Kevin O'Connell.

"I'm hoping that all of the families and friends will leave with warm hearts, and a better appreciation for what their loved ones do and the sacrifices that each Sailor makes," continued Young.

Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to the Yokosuka, Japan, region for nearly 36 years and recently completed its patrol, strengthening and fostering relationships within the Indo-Asia Pacific Region.

For more news from USS Blue Ridge, visit

NNS160516-08. Chung-Hoon Wins Cryptologic Excellence Award

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Marcus L. Stanley, USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) Public Affairs

SOUTH CHINA SEA (NNS) -- Guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) was awarded the Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet (C7F) Quarterly Cryptologic Excellence Award for cryptologic efforts in support of theater, fleet and national tasking, May 16.

Chung-Hoon was also recognized in April as the Task Force 70 (CTF 70) Cryptologic Ship of the Quarter for the second fiscal quarter.

"Chung-Hoon is the gold standard for cryptology in the 7th Fleet AOR [area of responsibility] and truly has earned their selection as the winner of the C7F Cryptologic Excellence Award," said fleet cryptologist Cmdr. James C. Dudley. "During the second quarter of fiscal year 2016, USS Chung-Hoon set the standard for cryptologic excellence for the John C. Stennis Strike Group, CTF 70 and C7F."

Cmdr. Tom Ogden, Chung-Hoon's commanding officer, praised his cryptologic team for their accomplishment and spoke about the impact the team has made through their efforts.

"Combining a high level of technical knowledge and a culture of formality allows our cryptologists to perform exceptionally on a daily basis," said Ogden. "They know their equipment and the procedures to use it, and then through creativity and innovation they break new ground in the world of cryptology."

The cryptologic operations efforts aboard Chung-Hoon resulted in collection and analysis that produced time sensitive-reports, indications and warnings vital to fleet and strike group force protection.

"The impact of USS Chung-Hoon is evident in the cryptologic dominance and professional accomplishments of the Sailors," said Dudley. "Cmdr. Tom Ogden has developed a culture of cryptologic excellence aboard his ship that should be commended."

"I believe the cryptologic culture aboard Chung-Hoon stems from every cryptologist sincerely striving and desiring to be the best at what we do," said Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Christopher A. Hines. "We understand that our role is vital to the overall mission, and we use that as fuel to do our jobs."

The Chung-Hoon cryptologic team dedicated more than 800 hours of troubleshooting and maintenance to five systems, enabling the team to maximize collection and reporting for C7F, CTF 70, John C. Stennis Strike Group, and national consumers.

"USS Chung-Hoon continues to perform above and beyond, seeking answers to difficult questions in pursuit of cryptologic success," said Dudley. "This type of tenacity enhanced the collection of high-value signals, provided in-depth analysis, superb reporting and training to units throughout the AOR."

Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, Chung-Hoon is operating as part of the John C. Stennis Strike Group and Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.

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NNS160516-03. "One Ship, One Crew" Drives Frank Cable's Readiness Training

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alana Langdon, USS Frank Cable Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors and Military Sealift Command mariners aboard the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) worked together to improve at-sea readiness for emergency-response situations while underway, May 13.

MSC Mariners and Navy Sailors participated in drills as part of a shipwide effort to ensure the crew is prepared to respond to emergencies that may happen in an operational environment.

"We are the first ship integrated with MSC mariners and Navy Sailors to this magnitude," said Damage Controlman 3rd Class Wesley Blankenship, a native of Marion, Ohio, assigned to Frank Cable and the first responding team leader. "We are battling two different standards of damage control and trying to make both standards become one; the Frank Cable standard. Because of our differences, drilling and training are important so we can create that Frank Cable standard."

MSC's quick response team is designated as the ship's first response team to all casualties, followed by an initial attack team provided by whichever repair locker, MSC or Navy, is manned and ready first, then dispatched by damage control central to combat the scene. Since initial and following attack teams can be either Navy or MSC, integrated training, drilling and communication are all important to practice to become muscle memory.

"There are things you can't teach in a classroom environment," said Blankenship. "These drills are important because it gives me a chance, and my fire party, to trust in each other and understand how we all are going to react and get the job done."

After the fire drill, an all-hands abandon ship drill was announced for life-raft mustering and emergent suit training purposes. MSC mariner Joe Olivares demonstrated how to quickly don an emergent suit, create an effective seal, utilize the self-inflatable bladder and locate the suit's salt-water activated beacon.

"Running these drills at sea adds to the realism," said 3rd Mate Darrel Tracy, of MSC. "When something happens, we aren't going to be tied up in port, we are going to be underway. Drills like this help to mentally and physically prepare us for any disaster."

Frank Cable leadership encourages Sailors and mariners to educate each other on damage control, and communicate and embrace each mission with the attitude of "one ship, one crew."

"This crew has done an exceptional job preparing the ship for our upcoming deployment," said Capt. Drew St. John, Frank Cable commanding officer. "Facing the ship's first deployment in more than 14 years, the crew, both MSC and Navy, have worked tirelessly over the past few months to reach this point. I have complete confidence in the ability of each and every Sailor and mariner, and am proud of all they have accomplished."

Frank Cable, forward deployed to the island of Guam, conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels in the 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility. For more information on Frank Cable, find us on Facebook at USS Frank Cable (AS 40), or

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NNS160513-24. Floating Drydock Arco Holds Change of Command

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ronald Gutridge, Commander, Submarine Squadron 11 Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Lt. Cmdr. Zachary Harry relieved Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Sims as commanding officer of auxiliary repair drydock, medium, Arco (ARDM 5) during a time-honored change of command ceremony at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, May 13.

Guest speaker Capt. Gene Doyle, chief of staff, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet praised Sims and his crew for their exceptional performance on their accomplishments together.

"Beyond all of his mission accomplishments, I stand in awe of Lt. Cmdr. Sims' leadership skills," said Doyle. "He knows his crew's strengths and weaknesses. He knows when to apply the gas and when to tap the breaks. I thank you and congratulate you on a job well done. Your performance has been outstanding and you led your team well throughout your tenure."

Following his remarks, Capt. Brian Davies, Commander, Submarine Squadron 11, presented Sims with the Meritorious Service Medal for his exceptional performance from May 2014 to May 2016.

Sims reflected on his time in command and attributed the repair facilities' success to his crew and their hard work.

"Although I am the one that gets to stand before you today, the last two years has been about the Sailors of Arco," said Sims. "I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest Sailors the Navy has to offer, and every Arco Sailor is most certainly included in that category."

Following Harry's assumption of command, he addressed his crew for the first time.

"As Arco, we'll continue providing excellent support and service to the submarine fleet," said Harry. "I'm looking forward to working with all activities that make our Navy the greatest in the world."

Sims, a native of Morrow, Georgia, enlisted in the Navy January 1990 and entered the nuclear propulsion program. He was commissioned as a Nuclear Power Limited Duty Officer in February 2001 and earned a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering Technology from Thomas Edison State University, Trenton, New Jersey. His sea tours include USS Stonewall Jackson (SSBN 728), USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), USS Columbus (SSN 762), USS San Francisco (SSN 711) and USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).

Sims is scheduled to report for duty to Commander, Naval Air Force U.S. Pacific Fleet, San Diego.

Harry, a native of Angie, Louisiana, completed Nuclear Field "A" School and Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Florida, and later completed the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit in Charleston, South Carolina. In January 2003, Harry was commissioned as a Limited Duty Officer.

His previous sea tours include USS George Washington (CVN 73), USS Emory S. Land
(AS 39), USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS Ronald Reagan(CVN 76).

Arco (ARDM 5), the second drydock to bear the name Arco, was built by the Todd Pacific Shipyard Corporation, Seattle. Arco was placed in service on June 23, 1986, and currently has a crew of 104. It has a lifting capacity of 7,800 tons, is 492 feet long, 96 feet wide and has a wing wall height of 61 feet. The drydock is equipped with two wing wall cranes capable of lifting up to 25 tons each. Arco is used primarily for dry-docking and servicing 637 and 688 class submarines. Arco is a CSS-11 asset under the operational control of Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

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NNS160514-02. What's in the Thrift Savings Plan?

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David A. Cox

SOUTH CHINA SEA (NNS) -- Sailors have many investment options when it comes to retirement; one of those is the Department of Defense's Thrift Savings Plan.

Chief Aviation Maintenance Administrationman Rhoda Rothwell, USS John C. Stennis' (CVN 74) lead command financial specialist, has spent the last year ensuring Sailors understand the various options for investing, including the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

"TSP is not like a regular savings plan where it's just sitting in an account with very little [return on investment]," said Rothwell. "You can keep track of where your money is going and how much return on investment it's accruing. It's a better way to get more for your money."

TSP is the equivalent of a civilian 401(k) retirement plan. Service members can contribute dollars from their paycheck before taxes are taken out. The service member then decides where to allocate the money based on six different mutual fund options.

The safest fund in the TSP is the G fund, which invests in government bonds. The S, I and C funds are riskier, because they invest in shares of stocks of publicly traded companies. Higher risk means that the funds have the potential for higher investment returns. The F fund is a mix of bonds and stocks, and the L fund invests in all of the funds previously mentioned. Which fund the service member decides to invest in depends on their own personal retirement goals.

"If you put it all into the G fund you won't be getting the most bang for your buck, but if allocated well to all the funds, you could be making a decent return on investment in a few years," said Rothwell. "Six percent each paycheck could very well turn into a million dollars by the age of retirement."

Rothwell said that the L fund is probably the best fund for a young Sailor just joining.

Investing in the TSP also has several other advantages including: being able to borrow against the amount available in your account for personal loans or home loans and being able to roll the amount over into a private 401(k) or individual retirement account (IRA).

If a service member decides to withdraw all of their TSP before the age of 59 1/2, the amount will be subject to a 20 percent federal income tax in addition to a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty. When an individual separates from the military they are allowed to keep their investment in TSP however they must withdraw the full amount or roll it into a different account by age 70 1/2.

Rothwell said Sailors should put money in the TSP, because it is an account you do not see every day, like your savings account.

"Your first thought when you look for money for an emergency isn't to take your money out of your TSP, it's to take it out your savings," said Rothwell. "A good quote by Warren Buffet is 'Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after savings,' which is easy when you have a TSP, if you budget and finance correctly you won't have a problem," said Rothwell.

Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.

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NNS020131-17. This Day in Naval History - May 16

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1811 - The frigate President, commanded by John Rodgers, exchanges several shots with HMS Little Belt during the night. Each captain claims the other fired first, increasing tensions between the two countries prior to the War of 1812.

1820 - The frigate Congress becomes the first U.S. warship to visit China when she visits Guanhzhou (now Canton).

1919 - Three Curtiss NC seaplanes leave from Trepassey Bay, Newfoundland, Canada for the first trans-atlantic flight. Only NC 4 makes the flight successfully reaching the Azores on May 17.

1943 - USS MacKenzie (DD 614) sinks the German submarine (U 182) west of Madeira. Before being sunk, (U 182) sinks five Allied merchant vessels, including the American steam merchant Richard D. Spaight on March 10, 1943.

1944 - USS Franks (DD 554), USS Haggard (DD 555) and USS Johnston (DD 557) sink the Japanese submarine (I 176), 150 miles north of Cape Alexander, Solomon Islands, forcing Japanese to shift the position of their subs in the New-Guinea-Carolines area.

1965 - The first US naval gunfire support in Vietnam is performed by USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) as she fires upon the Viet Cong coastal concentrations southeast of Saigon.

1981 - USS Jacksonville (SSN 699), is commissioned at Naval Submarine Base, New London, Groton, Conn. Her first homeport is Norfolk, Va.

1992 - Military Sealift Commands USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199) is christened and launched at New Orleans, La.

2015 - Armed Forces Day is celebrated the third Saturday of May. Authorized by President Harry S. Truman in 1950, the single-day event replaces three separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days.

NNS160517-07. National Society of Black Engineers Honors US Navy Engineer as Professional Member of the Year

By John Joyce, NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications

DAHLGREN, Va. (NNS) -- The National Society of Black Engineers honored a Navy engineer for leadership impacting NSBE's mission in Virginia, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division announced May 16.

Serita Seright was named the NSBE Region II "Professional Member of the Year" during its 42nd National Convention, held in Boston.

"I'm humbled to be recognized for personifying the NSBE mission -- to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community," said Seright, among a select group of technology executives, students and academics honored at the ceremony for their efforts in expanding diversity in technology.

The award recognizes individuals who make outstanding contributions to NSBE, especially their chapter and region, in the areas of leadership, excellence, service, and advancement of NSBE programs and mission.

"Serita is positively impacting the community through her participation with all levels of FIRST Robotics," said Richmond Professionals Chapter President LaShara Smith in her nomination of Seright for the award, adding the NSWCDD engineer is also the STEM-U-LINK co-chair.

Hosted by the Richmond Professionals chapter of NSBE, STEM-U-LINK is a free career exploration fair for all students, especially 8th to 12th grade minority students. The event's objective is to show the versatility and range of career paths a student can pursue as a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professional in a friendly judgment-free environment.

"STEM-U-LINK is significant because it is the first career exploration fair for minority middle and high school students in the greater Richmond community," said Smith. "This half-day event touched over 100 minority students. Serita's community service, role as [pre-collegiate initiative] chair, and individual mentorship will fill the pipeline leading to an increase in black engineer and STEM professionals."

As pre-collegiate and the collegiate-initiative chair for the Richmond Professionals Chapter of NSBE, Seright assists the chapter to provide and manage programming that fulfills the NSBE mission.

"It's an honor and privilege to be surrounded by the Richmond Professionals chapter, a family of talented and dedicated engineers," Seright said.

As a college student, Seright competed in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Southeastern Conference robotics competition in 2012.

The Navy civilian electrical engineer returned to the IEEE robotics competition April 2016 as a judge and mentor to, "encourage teams during the competition because I know from firsthand experience that the competition is very challenging."

The competing teams represented colleges and universities around IEEE Region 3, encompassing southeastern states. The competition -- influenced by supply-chain logistics -- required students to deploy robots they designed and built to pick up color-coded containers, scan the container barcode, and then place the containers in the appropriate storage locations in the playing field.

"Paying it forward is important to me because we can increase the number of black engineers by using our knowledge and resources to create the next generation of STEM leaders," said Seright, who is responsible for promoting technical education and careers, interacting with academia from pre-school to graduate school, and acting as a support system for NSBE student chapters.

NSBE is dedicated to the academic and professional success of black engineering students and professionals. NSBE offers its members leadership training, professional development activities, mentoring opportunities, career placement services and more. NSBE comprises 394 active chapters -- 242 collegiate, 70 professional and 82 pre-collegiate -- located in six geographic regions. NSBE is governed by an executive board of college students and engineering professionals and is operated by a professional staff at its world headquarters, located in Alexandria, Virginia.

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NNS160517-09. Navy Historical Works on Naval Aviation, Vietnam History, Earn Prestigious Awards

From Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Two Navy historical works have earned special recognition for their contributions to the field of historic scholarship, the North American Society for Oceanic History announced May 14.

"War in the Shallows: U.S. Navy Coastal and Riverine Warfare in Vietnam, 1965-1968" by the Naval History and Heritage Command's John D. Sherwood, Ph.D. won the John Lyman Book Award in the category of U.S. Naval History. Meanwhile, "United States Naval Aviation 1910-2010" by Naval History and Heritage Command's Mark L. Evans and Roy A. Grossnick, won the John Lyman Book Award in the category of Naval and Maritime Reference Works and Published Primary Sources.

"These are very prestigious awards, and we're very proud of the command's historians who researched and wrote these books," said Samuel J. Cox, director of the Naval History and Heritage Command. "Both books are important historical works and are indicative of the expert, scholarly research and publication being performed here every day by the history professionals of NHHC, including the outstanding editorial and publication support the authors received in publishing these two definitive texts."

Each year the North American Society for Oceanic History (NASOH) presents the John Lyman Book Awards to recognize excellence in the publication of books that make significant contributions to the study and understanding of maritime and naval history. Winners of the awards for books published in 2015 were announced at NASOH's Annual Meeting held in Portland, Maine, May 14.

"War in the Shallows: U.S. Navy Coastal and Riverine Warfare in Vietnam, 1965-1968" details the operations of three inshore task forces -- the Coastal Surveillance Force (TF 115), the River Patrol Force (TF 116), and River Assault Force (TF 117) -- which made up the naval component of the Mobile Riverine Force (MRF). It also examines the basing, logistics, tactics, rules of engagement, and technology of the Navy's inshore task forces in Vietnam. Perhaps the most enlightening aspect of the book is the use of interviews with Vietnam veterans that illustrate the social history of the men who made up the "brown water" Navy. They provide a glimpse of the humanity behind the hardware rarely seen in message traffic or action reports. The book can be downloaded for free from NHHC's website:

"United States Naval Aviation 1910-2010" is the Naval History and Heritage Command's fourth update to the original history, which was initiated in 1960. That first issue celebrated the first 50 years of United States naval aviation and this two-volume set commemorates the centenary. Previous editions have proved an invaluable first-stop research tool to aviation, naval, and military historians. This latest update breaks U.S. naval aviation history into two volumes -- chronology and statistics. Both have greatly increased content over the previous version beyond simply including years not previously covered. New and expanded research makes these the definitive volumes on U.S. naval aviation's first century. The two-volume set can be downloaded for free from NHHC's website:

According to NASOH's website, the society was founded in 1973 to provide a forum for maritime history and remains actively devoted to the study and promotion of naval and maritime history. The society's objectives are to promote the exchange of information among its members and others interested in the history of the seas, lakes, and inland waterways; to call attention to books, articles, and documents pertinent to naval and maritime history; and to work with local, regional, national, international, and government organizations toward the goal of fostering a more general awareness and appreciation for North America's naval and maritime heritage.

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

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NNS160517-10. Navy Week Kicks Off in Roanoke, VA

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam Austin, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

ROANOKE, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors gathered at the Market Square in downtown Roanoke to mark the beginning of Navy Week Roanoke May 16.

The kickoff event featured musical performances from the U.S. Fleet Forces Band, equipment demonstrations from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2, rifle handling from the Ceremonial Guard Drill Team, and remarks from Vice Mayor David Bowers and Rear Adm. Mark Fung, deputy of Naval Contruction Force, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.

"The purpose of Navy Week is to bring your Navy to you," said Fung. "For those communities that don't live along the coast where we have a large naval population, it can be hard to grasp all that the Navy does for national security, global commerce, and deterring aggression from those countries that wish to do us harm."

Since 2005, the Navy Week program has served as the Navy's principal outreach effort in the areas of the country without a significant naval presence. More than 185 Navy Weeks have been held in 68 different U.S. cities.

Roanoke has not hosted a Navy Week since 2008. This year, the Navy has returned with a host of community outreach events throughout the week, including scheduled performances from the U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, and the U.S. Navy parachute demonstration team, the Leap Frogs.

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NNS160517-11. NDW Honors 1st Japanese Embassy Arrival to US

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

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval District Washington commemorated the arrival of the first Japanese Embassy to the United States in May 14, 1860 by hosting a plaque dedication and unveiling ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard, May 13.

The plaque, now permanently displayed in Willard Park in the Washington Navy Yard, was donated by the Society of Descendants of the First Japanese Embassy.

More than 100 guests from the Society of Dependents of the First Japanese Embassy to the United States of America, 1860 Inc.; Japan America Society of Washington; prominent Japanese Americans and government employees working at the Washington Navy Yard attended to witness the historic ceremony.

Distinguished guests included former United States Secretary of Transportation, Norman Mineta; Deputy Chief of Mission, Atsuyuki Oike of the Embassy of Japan; and Commandant, Naval District Washington Rear Adm. Yancy Lindsey.

Lindsey welcomed guests in attendance while addressing the crowd during his opening speech and spoke about the efforts to make the ceremony and the plaque a reality for Takashi Muragaki.

"For over a year Mr. Muragaki has steadfastly shepherded the effort to put in this special place a fitting reminder of the historic event that we're celebrating today," said Lindsey. "Mr. Muragaki, we're inspired by your dedication and your loyalty to the memory and legacy of your ancestors. It's been a pleasure to work with you throughout these past several months. Your kindness, consistency and patience epitomize the diplomatic charisma demonstrated in this place by your ancestor so many years ago."

Muragaki is chairman of the Society of Descendants of the First Japanese Embassy and a fourth generation descendant of Vice Ambassador, Norimasa Awajinokami Muragaki. He thanked Naval District Washington for bringing the plaque dedication ceremony to fruition.

"With sincere gratitude and joy I welcome you to the plaque unveiling ceremony commemorating the historic arrival of the First Japanese Embassy to the United States of America in 1860," said Muragaki. "Tomorrow marks the 156th anniversary of this historic event."

Japan's first diplomatic trip to the United States occurred May 14, 1860, when the steamer Philadelphia brought the first Japanese delegation to Washington, D.C. Three Japanese Ambassadors, including Norimasa Awajinokami Muragaki, were received at the Washington Navy Yard.

According to Muragaki, his ancestor participated in establishing the first solid bond of friendship between the two nations 156 years ago.

"Today the shared history between the United States and Japan continues," said Muragaki. "This plaque presentation culminates collaboration with honored attendees of both countries."

The ceremony culminated with the unveiling of the plaque which reads: "In commemoration of the arrival of the First Japanese embassy to the United States of America at the Washington Navy Yard on the 14th day of May 1860. We honor and remember the first historic visit of 77 Japanese members of the Edo government of Japan and the long-lasting friendship between the United States of America and Japan. Presented this 13th day of May 2016 to the Unites States Navy by the Society of Descendants of the First Japanese Embassy to the United States of America 1860."

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NNS160517-13. Aviation Community to See Significant Change in Training

By Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Matthew Clutter, Navy Medicine Education and Training Command Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The Naval Survival Training Institute announced May 17, the Navy is fully integrating the Reduced Oxygen Breathing Device (ROBD) into aviation hypoxia training as a bridge to the more permanent normobaric hypoxia (oxygen reduced) trainer.

The portable ROBD is replacing the large, room-sized low-pressure chambers that were decommissioned at all eight Aviation Survival Training Centers in March, said Capt. Michael Prevost, NSTI assistant officer in charge.

The ASTCs execute the Navy's aviation survival training program and are probably best known for their water survival training for pilots and flight crews. But they also train aviators to recognize the symptoms of hypoxia -- a condition in which the body is deprived of an adequate supply of oxygen. Instructors do that by inducing hypoxia in the aviators.

Typically when pilots become hypoxic, it can greatly affect their ability to fly a plane. Ask pilots what it feels like, and they may compare it to "not feeling right" or simply feeling "a bit strange." To put it medically, the signs and symptoms are quite varied but can range from lightheadedness and a tingling sensation to complete unconsciousness.

The decommissioned low-pressure chambers had been a part of aviation training since 1947. The chambers induced hypoxia by reducing the atmospheric pressure and oxygen level. However, physically changing the atmospheric pressure puts students at risk of decompression sickness, which typically occurs with a change in air pressure.

ROBD eliminates this risk. Instead of changing the atmospheric pressure, ROBD uses bottled gasses to feed an adjustable oxygen and nitrogen mixture to a pilot's oxygen mask to produce the atmospheric oxygen contents for altitudes up to 34,000 feet.

ROBD training is also more realistic. In the traditional low-pressure chambers, hypoxic pilots and flight crew members were required to perform tasks that required simple coordination. By contrast, ROBD can be packed up and taken to a fleet simulator, permitting context-specific hypoxia training.

"Instead of sitting in a low pressure chamber playing patty cake or playing with a shape box or something like that, we can put them at a set of aircraft controls and have them do aviation-type tasks," Prevost said.

Prevost explained hypoxia is the number-one human factors issue for the F/A-18 Hornet and for the commander of Naval Air Forces. He said ROBD addresses this issue by giving him and his team a much better way to train aviators for hypoxia. In addition to its mobility is its ability to allow the pilot train and re-train for hypoxia -- something that was rather limited with the low pressure chamber due to the reported cases of decompression sickness.

Low-pressure chambers are expensive to operate and maintain, and they have reached the end of their operational life. By shutting them down the ASTCs avoid the risk of pushing them structurally, Prevost said.

In decommissioning the giant, steel low-pressure chambers, the Navy is losing a longtime staple of the aviation training community. In its place is a more mobile and efficient tool. The shift to a less expensive, more efficient and permanent training solution will be complete by 2017. All pilots will use the ROBD trainer until the full implementation of normobaric hypoxia trainers occurs. Once those trainers are in place, only pilots who fly with masks will continue using the ROBD.

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NNS160517-19. Mount Whitney Departs for BALTOPS

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Karen E. Rybarczyk, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) Public Affairs

GAETA, Italy (NNS) -- USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) departed Gaeta, Italy, to conduct unit level training in preparation for BALTOPS 2016, May 16.

BALTOPS is an annually recurring multinational exercise designed to enhance flexibility and interoperability, as well as demonstrate resolve of allied and partner forces to defend the Baltic region.


"The forward-deployed Mount Whitney Sailors and civilian mariners are dedicated to serving at sea; forward, ready, and engaged. We deploy today ready to meet all assigned tasks in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations." - Capt. Carlos A. Sardiello, commanding officer, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20)

Quick Facts:

The ship conducted flight operations shortly after leaving port, landing a MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, "Ghost Rider," from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 Det.1.

Mount Whitney, forward deployed to Gaeta, Italy, operates with a combined crew of U.S. Navy Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners. The civil service mariners perform navigation, deck, engineering and supply service operations, while military personnel support communications, weapons systems and security. It is one of only two seaborne joint command platforms in the U.S. Navy, both of which are forward deployed.

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

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NNS160517-21. NAVSUP Features Innovation at Sea-Air-Space Expo 2016

By Kathy Adams, NAVSUP Corporate Communications

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (NNS) -- Innovation is being featured in the Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) booth #1305 at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition May 16-18.

Navy culinary specialists (CSs) are showing off their training and skills in cooking demonstrations throughout the three days of the expo. The CSs are also available to answer questions about their contributions to Sailors' quality of life, cooking on deployment, and the training path they take to become Navy chefs.

NAVSUP's dietitian is in the booth answering questions about the Go for Green® program. Go for Green® is a food identification system designed to help service members identify healthy food and beverage choices while dining in military galleys. The color codes are green for eat often, yellow for eat occasionally, and red for eat rarely; along with a salt shaker graphic to measure sodium content, help service members choose foods and beverages that boost their performance, readiness, and health.

Food service officers and CSs took part in Go for Green® training in January at NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk, Naval Air Station Oceana, and aboard USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109).

"The exceptional demands placed on military personnel make good nutrition crucial," said Rear Adm. Jonathan A. Yuen, commander, NAVSUP. "From nutrition basics, to performance nutrition, to weight management strategies, Naval Supply Systems Command's dietitian works with individuals and NAVSUP's Navy Food Service division to make sure Sailors have the tools they need to make healthy choices both at work and at home."

"Sea-Air-Space is a perfect opportunity for our culinary specialists to showcase their culinary expertise," said Lt. Cmdr. Keith Capper, director of Navy Food Service. "The skills, combined with a focus on nutrition and Sailor readiness are a recipe for success for our Sailors and the Navy. It's an exciting time to be in Navy Food Service!"

Also featured in the NAVSUP booth is Statistically-driven Maintenance Analysis & Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.). S.M.A.R.T. leverages the Navy's historical equipment maintenance data. Analyzing this data enables S.M.A.R.T. to predict which component within a piece of equipment is the most likely cause of failure. With this knowledge, a Sailor can significantly increase his or her chance of performing a successful repair the first time -- keeping the Navy's equipment functioning and ready for every mission.

The S.M.A.R.T program is designed to put trends found in historical corrective action data into a technician's hands via an intuitive interface. With this, a technician is provided an initial corrective action based on probabilistic analysis of the historical data. It determines the probability of repair success regardless of troubleshooting accuracy. S.M.A.R.T also provides collaboration capabilities to maintainers where comments can be provided and searched. The program is a custom web application developed by NAVSUP Business Systems Center in partnership with Fleet Readiness Center Navy Warfare Development Command.

Sea-Air-Space is the largest annual innovative, educational, professional and maritime exposition based in the U.S., and features the most current information and technology relevant to maritime policy.

NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter. With headquarters in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP oversees logistics programs in the areas of supply operations, conventional ordnance, contracting, resale, fuel, transportation, and security assistance. In addition, NAVSUP is responsible for food service, postal services, Navy Exchanges, and movement of household goods.

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NNS160517-22. Phoenix Express 2016 Commences

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

SOUDA BAY, Greece (NNS) -- Maritime forces from Europe, North Africa, and the United States began the 10th iteration of the multinational maritime Exercise Phoenix Express, May 17.

Phoenix Express, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, is designed to improve regional cooperation, increase maritime domain awareness information-sharing practices, and operational capabilities to enhance efforts to achieve safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea.

Quick Facts:

This year's exercise control group will be hosted at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Center (NMIOTC) located in Souda Bay, Greece, but training will take place throughout the Mediterranean to include North African nations' territorial waters.

The at-sea portion of the exercise will test North African, European, and U.S. forces' abilities to combat illegal migration, illicit trafficking, and movement of materials for weapons of mass destruction. Additionally, participating forces will work together to practice procedures of search-and-rescue in cases where vessels are in distress.

Participating Maritime Operations Centers (MOCs) will exercise information-sharing practices.

Participants of Phoenix Express have opportunities to enhance expertise in a number of areas: boarding techniques, search-and-rescue operations, medical casualty response, MOC to MOC communication, and maritime domain awareness tools.

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

A Combined Maritime Operation Center (CMOC), led and comprised of North African navy officers, will form at NMIOTC to manage at-sea operations.

While the exercise is facilitated by the U.S. Navy, senior leaders from North African navies have prominent roles in the exercise. A Moroccan officer will oversee the exercise control group; a Tunisian officer will oversee the CMOC; and an Algerian officer will oversee a five-ship surface action group participating in the at-sea phase.

U.S. units participating include the dive and rescue salvage ship USNS Grasp (T-ARS 51), and the USS Gravely (DDG 107). Additionally, medical and maritime interdiction operations specialists will assist participating partner nation units during the exercise.

A senior leader seminar will be held one day prior to the start of the exercise, organized and facilitated by the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies. The seminar will focus on the current maritime challenges in the Mediterranean and bring forward dialogue on how regional cooperation can address those challenges.

Exercise Phoenix Express is one of three U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet facilitated regional exercises. The exercise is part of a comprehensive strategy to provide collaborative opportunities amongst African forces and international partners that addresses maritime security concerns.

Participating nations in Phoenix Express 2016 include Algeria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States. NATO Shipping Center is also scheduled to participate.

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NNS020131-18. This Day in Naval History - May 17

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1942 - USS Tautog (SS 199) sinks Japanese submarine I-28; USS Triton (SS 201) sinks the Japanese submarine (I 64), and USS Skipjack (SS 184) sinks a Japanese army transport ship.

1943 - Destroyers USS Moffett (DD 362) and USS Jouett (DD 396) sink German submarine U 128, which was credited with sinking 12 Allied merchant vessels, including 4 American ships.

1944 - USS Gleaves (DD 423), USS Hilary P. Jones (DD 427), USS Hambleton (DD 455), USS Rodman (DD 456), USS Emmons (DD 457), USS Macomb (DD 458) and USS Nields (DD 616) and RAF Wellington (No.36 Squadron) sink German submarine U 616 off the coast of Algeria.

1973 - Capt. Robin Lindsay Catherine Quigley becomes the first woman to hold a major Navy command when she assumes command of U.S. Navy Service School, San Diego, Calif.

1987 - USS Stark (FFG-31) is struck by two Iraqi Exocet Missiles in the Persian Gulf, killing 37 Sailors and wounding 21.

1990 - USS Roark (FF-1053) rescues 42 refugees from an unseaworthy craft in the South China Sea.

NNS160518-07. Course Changes Bring Ready, Relevant Training to ETs, FCs at CSCSU

By Zach Mott, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Changes to the radar portion of training for fire controlmen and electronics technicians are nearing their end almost four years after the process began. Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit (CSCSU) Great Lakes completed a pilot class for the partial task trainer (PTT) T1 Radar system, May 13.

Instructors are currently taking feedback from that first class to help shape what the new course will look when it has a full re-launch later this summer.

"It's going to be an iterative process and it should be," said Pam Jacobsen, instructor supervisor for CSCSU and retired master chief electronics technician. "This could take a good six to eight months to get a good flow. The more eyes on and the more feedback we get, the better the product will become."

This PTT is designed to replace the AN/SPS-64 radar course, which is growing outdated and costly -- in both time and money -- to repair with each passing day. CSCSU has been installing the new T1 systems into its radar lab since September and has 22 of the expected 28 systems in place.

In addition to using new equipment, instructors are changing the way they present the material to students. Instead of using computers to guide the lessons and students following along with a PowerPoint presentation, instructors are using more hands-on instruction methods that allow for immediate feedback and further explanation, as needed.

"It's nice for the instructors because we get that immediate feedback from a student," said Jacobsen. "We know if they're catching on or they're not catching on. We can kind of see that look of 'are they getting it' or 'are they not getting it.'"

Students also enjoy the hands-on approach, which allows them to fully work through a simulated radar system that mirrors those they will see in the new lab.

"I feel more prepared going into [the lab]," said Seaman Patrick MacMahon, a student in the Fire Controlman 'A' School who was working through a training simulator in the classroom. "I've been able to learn from the instructors. I think them presenting information to us is more refreshing than us looking at it on a screen."

The length of radar training -- three weeks of instruction in the old AN/SPS-64 course -- will not change for the T1 PTT, but it is the way in which the training is provided that is changing.

"The goal is that they have a basic understanding of how a radar works," Jacobsen said. "Whether we use the 64 or a partial task trainer, at the end of the day we want them to understand how the radar works."

With each step in the classroom and lab, there is an instructor only steps away if a student has a question or needs something explained in greater detail.

"I think that the fundamentals are solid and we're still learning as we go," MacMahon said. "But, I've been able to learn a lot from my instructors."

Instructors also focus on procedural compliance in every lesson and every phase of training. Ensuring students are able to follow the process by which they accomplish each task is important, not only in the classroom but also when they get to the fleet.

Whether that task is the Combat Systems Operational Sequencing System (CSOSS) process, the six-step troubleshooting process, or is related to the Maintenance and Material Management (3M) process, Jacobsen and her fellow instructors ensure each student understands the importance of procedural compliance.

"We drive CSOSS home constantly," Jacobsen said. "It teaches them test procedures. They're using a six-step troubleshooting process constantly because logical thinkers are what we're trying to make here."

Jacobsen said she expects there to be more tweaks and adjustments to the PTT before it is fully launched, but she is happy with the process so far.

"In the end, it's going to actually serve the students better and the Sailors are going to be more prepared," she said.

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NNS160518-12. WWII Veterans Receive Legion of Honor

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Raymond Minami, USS Bataan (LHD 5) Public Affairs

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (NNS) -- Amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) hosted a Legion of Honor ceremony as part of Fleet Week Port Everglades May 7.

More than 300 guests attended the ceremony honoring nine World War II American veterans who participated in at least one of the four main campaigns of the Liberation of France.

The award is France's highest and pays tribute to those who have provided exceptional service to France.

Awardees Charles Adderley, Kalman Bass, Edwin Blasingim, James Gilchrist, Robert Kampert, Sam Kornfeld, Arthur Kosa, James Lockshin and Calvin Landau became Knights of the Legion of Honor. The group joined notable Americans -- inventors Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, astronomer Simon Newcomb, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Guest speaker Adm. Kurt W. Tidd, Commander, U.S. Southern Command, was honored to participate in the ceremony.

"You came from different backgrounds, different experiences," said Tidd. "You were ordinary men who became part of something extraordinary. In countlesss battles, large and small, you changed the course of history."

Adm. Tidd recognized the close ties that unite the two countries, calling France America's oldest friend.

"We celebrate a bond of our two countries," said Tidd. "A bond that has endured over two centuries, France is our first ally. More than 240 years ago you helped us win our independence, more than 70 years ago we helped you regain your independence. We owe our freedom to each other."

Consulate General of France Phillipe Letrilliart honored the nine veterans by saying each of their names and recognizing them all as heroes, thanking them personally for coming to the shores of France and fighting to restore democracy and freedom in Europe.

"This ceremony is about you and what you have done," said Letrilliart. "We recognize the actions of our nine veterans and through you we remember and honor your comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice. It is important to remember what these men did and the lives lost, to tell your children about their feats so that it is never forgotten."

All nine men, now in their 90s, saw action in the European campaign with almost all of them fighting in the battle at Normandy. The men helped bring WWII to an end and halt Nazi aggression on the continent and abroad.

Before pinning the medals on the lapels of the men, Nicole Hirsh, vice president, American Society of the French Legion of Honor, told the veterans she is proud to count them among the members of the society of the French Legion of Honor.

"Wear the red ribbon proudly," said Hirsh. "From now on, this to remind you of France's eternal gratitude and important part you played in this liberation."

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NNS160518-11. Makin Island Certifies 3M Early

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Robin W. Peak

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The crew of USS Makin Island (LHD 8) successfully completed the arduous Maintenance and Material Management (3M) certification assessment ten weeks ahead of schedule.

"Our Sailors did an outstanding job," said Makin Island 3M Coordinator Master Chief Ship's Serviceman Ioapo "PT" Puaatuua, from San Diego. "They did what they do so well every day: conduct maintenance. The ownership of the crew was evident in their performance and each Sailor showed off their equipment with personal pride, proving this warship is ready to move forward."

The challenging 3M inspection was an all-hands evolution. For three days, inspectors assessed 321 maintenance spot checks and maintenance condition validation checks from more than 65 workcenters throughout the ship. Procedural compliance is the hallmark of a safe ship, and this in-depth inspection certified the crew's adherence to safe and proven procedures.

Typically, ships receive a 13-week gap between the administrative 1.3 assessment and the functional 1.4 inspection, in order to correct discrepancies and hone maintenance practices. In an effort to complete the certification inside the basic phase training cycle, Makin Island requested to challenge the certification 10 weeks early, leaving only two weeks between the 1.3 and 1.4 evaluations.

"We asked to move up the timeline because we were ready. Makin Island Sailors know their equipment, and they have been trained extensively in 3M. The inspection results clearly demonstrate that," said Puaatuua. "Training played a key role in preparation for this inspection. We prepared all of our Sailors on how to properly conduct spot checks, how to correctly maintain their equipment, and how to accurately manage their 3M program."

The 3M inspection is part of a training cycle that continuously monitors and trains Sailors on proper shipboard maintenance. The program plays a critical role in ensuring the ship meets its expected 40-year life span.

Makin Island Executive Officer Capt. Mark Melson leads the ship's 3M program.

"Our material condition is directly related to each Sailor's ability to conduct maintenance effectively and in accordance with the Navy's 3M system," said Melson. "We are not fully mission capable if we can not properly maintain our equipment and our systems. This crew proved once again that we are inspection ready!"

Puaatuua attributed the success of the inspection to the 3M training team, the departmental 3M assistants, work-center supervisors and the Sailors who performed spot checks during the inspection. The teamwork and over-the-shoulder training by ATG over the last few months were critical to Makin Island's success.

"Maintenance is an all hands effort from the wardroom, Chief's mess and especially the junior Sailors who are out there doing the maintenance everyday and performing the spotchecks," Puaatuua said. "I am extremely proud of this crew's ability to continuously surpass expectations and get the job done right the first time. Bravo Zulu, shipmates!"

Interior Communications Electrician 2nd Class Andrew Christian, from Washington, D.C., received a score of 100 percent on his spot check and credited his success to the training he received.

"We do a lot of hard work and we take pride in our ship," said Christian. "This inspection was an opportunity to showcase what we do every day and how well we do it."

Commanding Officer Capt. Jon P. Rodgers expressed his pride in the Makin Island crew achieving this milestone simultaneously with the Supply Management Certification and a surprise Pay and Personnel Audit in the same week.

"Despite our best efforts to alleviate simultaneous inspections, we fall short, and inevitably place a heavy burden on the backs of the crew. The winning attitude of these Sailors is impressive," Rogers said. "Family members of the Makin Island crew should be justifiably proud of their Sailors for these noteworthy achievements! Maintenance is very critical to this ship being ready to deploy and respond when necessary. This crew not only passed these three inspections, but scored impressively high given the additional burdens associated with the last maintenance period prior to deployment. This certification proves our crew has pure heart and ready to answer the nation's call whenever we are needed."

The Makin Island crew is undergoing the basic training cycle in preparation for a regularly scheduled deployment in fall 2016.

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NNS160518-10. CVW 9 Commander Achieves 1,000th Trap

By Lt. James Haizlip, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 Public Affairs

SOUTH CHINA SEA (NNS) -- Commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 completed his 1,000th career carrier-arrested landing, or trap, aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) May 11, flying a F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the "Tophatters" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14.

To Capt. Rich "Snap" Brophy, of Carmel, California, becoming a part of the "Grand Club" is a great accomplishment -- representative of a long career spent flying aircraft of multiple different platforms, he said.

Brophy, however, was quick to recognize this is not merely a personal achievement.

"This milestone could not be reached without the hard work of the Sailors providing an aircraft ready to fly and a catapult and arresting gear team qualified and ready to launch and recover aircraft," he said.

Brophy has amassed over 3,900 flight hours in a career spanning 24 years. Brophy began his career with Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105 flying off USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). He has flown in numerous operations throughout his career including Southern Watch, Allied Forge, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom.

He was commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115, and Brophy assumed command of CVW-9 January 2015.

CVW-9 is currently embarked aboard John C. Stennis on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

CVW 9 consists of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133 and Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 151, 97, 41 and 14.

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NNS160518-04. Mayport Remembers Fallen Shipmates at Stark Memorial

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael Lopez, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Det. Southeast

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Sailors held a ceremony of remembrance at Naval Station Mayport, May 17, to honor Sailors who were killed aboard guided-missile frigate USS Stark (FFG 31) 29 years ago.

On May 17, 1987, while on patrol in the Arabian Gulf, 37 Sailors died when two Iraqi missiles struck Stark. Despite the severe damage inflicted, the heroic efforts of Stark's crew saved the ship. Stark was decommissioned at Mayport in 1999.

Surviving crew members attended the annual ceremony, including retired Chief Operations Specialist Larence Barrow, who spoke about what remembering the tragedy means to him.

"There's such a catharsis, and you learn that everyone else shares the same feelings, and it's a camaraderie," Barrow said. "It's a healing ceremony for us to meet with the families, to share the stories and reminisce. We need that."

This year's memorial included the donation of Stark's original stern plate from Janna Ryals, a Navy veteran and sister to Signalman (striker) Seaman Earl Ryals, who died in the attack.

"This shows that we're still respecting and honoring not only the men who died that day, but the ones that are still alive," said Ryals.

Ryals said she originally wanted to keep the stern plate at home with her to remember her brother, but she had a change of heart and realized sharing it was the best thing she could do for Stark's crew. The stern plate will now be on display Naval Station Mayport.

"I did lose my brother, but through this I've gained several other shipmates," said Ryals.

This year's rememberance was hosted by NS Mayport's Second Class Petty Officers Association (SCPOA). First-year SCPOA member, Ship's Serviceman 2nd Class Jeffery Meade said he was happy to be associated with such a historic event.

"I think it's important that we preserve this tradition because the Stark was homeported in Mayport," he said. "There are many family members of the crew who still live in the area, and it means a lot to them that we do this."

Mayport Memorial Park was established Aug. 1, 1987, with the dedication of the Stark monument and will continue to honor this memorial every May 17.

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

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

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

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

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

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

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

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

NNS160519-06. SAS 2016 Comes to a Close

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dustin Knight, Defense Media Activity

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (NNS) -- Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, The Honorable Sean J. Stackley, brought the 2016 Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition to a close May 18 with a speech during the SECNAV Luncheon held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor.

Stackley spoke about the importance of innovation and moving quickly to get new technology to the fleet.

"We've launched two broad campaign centers, centered on rapid prototyping and advanced capabilities to get at that speed," said Stackley. "We've put our best and brightest in charge of delivering results and we have significantly increased our research and development investments, particularly in those game changing technologies that provide the greatest promise for maintaining our technological superiority. "

Stackley also spoke about the challenges of the Navy and the importance of partnership.

"The partnership that CNO highlights in his design, inside the Navy and Marine Corps with other services, and with international partners; the partnerships we form increase our warfighting capability."

Stackley continued to speak about the importance of partnerships between sea services, government industry, and our allies.

"What makes this partnership strong is our common objectives to protect the nation and to take care of our men and women stationed around the world, at war and on watch, safeguarding our liberties," said Stackley.

Throughout the three-day event, Navy leadership and industry leaders spoke about the future of Navy innovation and capabilities, the importance of working closely with our partners and allies, and equipping and sustaining the sea services.

"It's almost a cliche, but I think this is the best expo we've had," said Jim Offutt, chairman of the Navy League Foundation and former president of the Navy League. "Several exhibitors mentioned this was the most traffic on the expo floor they have ever seen. This is also the best line-up of speakers we have had, each having something meaningful and new to say. Not only are we a trade show; I have heard more and more about the professional development panels and the range of topics that were discussed. Both the trade show side and the professional development sides were great successes."

More than 12,000 attendees had the opportunity to browse more than 300 exhibits from industry leaders and naval commands.

"I was here primarily to see what our defense industry has to offer, what new toys we have out there, what things they're trying to present, and just basically, the latest technology," said Lt. Cmdr. Kemi Elebute, PMS-505, Littoral Combat Ship Office. "I actually enjoyed the expo. This is my first time attending. There was a lot of good information put out. I learned a lot from the contractors that were here, from the exhibits, and from the panels that were given."

Next year's Navy League Sea-Air-Space expo will be held April 3-5 at the same location.

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NNS160519-14. Bataan Trains with New Mark VI Patrol Boats

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Raymond Minami, USS Bataan (LHD 5) Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Coastal Riverine Squadron Four (CRS-4) conducted well deck operations with the Mark VI patrol boat for the first time aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) May 15.

Two Mark VI boats demonstrated their capabilities by mooring and launching multiple times from the well deck of Bataan, accomplishing a major milestone for the craft.

The first operational Mark VI arrived in Bahrain as part of U.S. 5th Fleet. Once deployed, CRS-4 will utilize the Mark VI to conduct maritime security missions throughout the Arabian Gulf.

Deck Department Division Officer Ensign Michael Klooster, from Cummings, Georgia was excited to train with CRS-4.

"This is the second time Mark VI patrol boats have ever done well deck operations and the first time conducting operations with an LHD-class amphibious warfare ship," said Klooster.

The Mark VI is an 85-foot patrol craft fitted with a Mark 38 25mm gun on the bow, and an ability to reach speeds in excess of 35 knots. The craft will provide the Navy the continued ability to patrol waterways for the purpose of protecting coalition forces and vital infrastructure.

"We need to continue doing these operations because they are extremely beneficial to us," said Klooster. This will allow us to be more adaptable and support further operations when we deploy overseas. The Mark VI patrol boats are extremely cool pieces of machinery; they are extremely useful to the Navy's warfighting mission."

According to Klooster, the boats are versatile enough to fit inside the well deck; thus, they can be transported to any location in a short period of time. The crafts are also provided with kickstands to help deck department when conducting boat operations.

"Not only do these boats come into the well deck, they actually have kickstands that are manually operated and lowered so they sit in the well instead of having all kinds of shoring and everything done to hold it in place," said Klooster.

The Coastal Riverine Force (CRF) operates in harbors, rivers, bays across the littorals and ashore. The primary mission of CRF is to conduct maritime security operations across all phases of military operations by defending high value assets, critical maritime infrastructure, ports and harbors both inland and on coastal waterways against enemies and when commanded conduct offensive combat operations.

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NNS160519-08. USS Frank Cable Continues Training for Upcoming Deployment

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alana Langdon, USS Frank Cable (AS 40) Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors and Military Sealift Command mariners assigned to submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) increased underway readiness by simulating emergency drills and running flight operations, May 17.

The crew practiced working as an integrated team to simulate a man overboard recovery and a helo crash drill during flight operations.

"When you have two different cultures coming together on one platform, how well you integrate will determine how well the ship is prepared to combat a casualty," said Cmdr. Ed Callahan, Frank Cable's executive officer.

Search and rescue swimmers ran a full evolution for a man overboard rescue. SAR swimmers entered the water and swam out to attach a litter to a J-divot line, which was heaved up by a line crew comprised of Sailors and civilian mariners. After the litter was successfully recovered, MSC's search and rescue swimmer further tested the line-crew by attaching himself. The crew successfully heaved-in and recovered him.

"Drilling and training with Sailors is important because we can take the good from both commands and use it to our advantage," said Tuaina Togotogo, a native of Pago Pago, American Samoa, and member of the MSC flying squad. "This helps us find our battle rhythm and how we work as a team."

Flight quarters was set in the afternoon, where Frank Cable's flying squad dressed out on the flight deck, tested communications with the bridge and simulated damage control for extracting personnel from a downed helicopter.

"Frank Cable Sailors and Military Sealift Command mariners demonstrated 'One Ship, One Crew' success during our helo crash drill as they combated the casualty as a team," said Callahan. "The drill was a huge success in helping us realize our strengths and weaknesses that we will now address on the next training session."

Frank Cable, forward deployed to the island of Guam, conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. For more information on Frank Cable, visit our website or like us on Facebook at USS Frank Cable (AS 40).

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NNS160519-03. US Naval Academy Plebes Endure Rigorous 14-Hour Sea Trials

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

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- Plebes from the U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 2019 endured 14 hours of rigorous physical and mental challenges during the annual Sea Trials training exercise May 17.

Modeled after the Marine Corps' Crucible and the Navy's Battle Stations recruit programs, Sea Trials serves as a capstone event for the plebes.

"Sea Trials is one of the culminating events to end plebe year," said Midshipman 2nd Class Megan Rosenberger. "It is a time for them to put forth everything they have learned mentally and physically throughout the year and work together as a team. The plebes are put under pressure and stressful situations that they have to work through as a team and be able to adapt."

Although the primary purpose of Sea Trials is to serve as a rite of passage to the plebe class, it also strengthens senior midshipmen's roles as leaders.

"We have a phrase we say as upperclassmen -- 'positive pressure with a purpose' -- and it's to help us remember to be those leaders who are helping others, staying positive and guiding them and making sure we are building them up for success," said Rosenberger.

The exercises took place at different locations throughout the yard and Naval Support Activity Annapolis. Events included a variety of physical and mental challenges that simulated situations officers might encounter in the fleet and Marine Corps. Companies focused on teamwork to overcome each obstacle.

"This day is the most amazing day I have ever had," said Midshipman 4th Class Morgan M. Jones. "I have bonded more with my company today than I have ever since arriving here back in July. This event has brought us together, and no one here has any negative energy. Everyone is helping each other out and keeping each other positive, so we can move forward and finish."

During a ceremony at the completion of the exercise, 29th Company was named the Iron Company, recognizing them as the top performers in endurance and spirit throughout the event.

"The two lessons that were reinforced today and that is taught to you here is the importance of attitude and effort in everything you do, and the power of the human will," said Marine Col. Stephen Liszewski, commandant of midshipmen. "These two things can shape your future in anything you do."

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NNS160519-16. Profitable Partnerships: Chief of Naval Research Stresses Global Collaboration at Panel

By David Smalley, Office of Naval Research

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- Cyber and electronic warfare, shrinking defense budgets, and critical international science and technology partnerships were some of the key concerns for seven military leaders from around the world who met at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition in National Harbor, Maryland, officials announced May 19.

Sharing thoughts about present and future fleet and force needs during the "International Naval Leadership Panel: Naval Technology 2025 and Beyond," the chiefs of naval research or their representatives from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Singapore and the United Kingdom talked about common technology challenges -- and opportunities -- in a session moderated by U.S. Chief of Naval Research, Rear Adm. Mat Winter.

"As we look at a global proliferation of threats," said Winter, who heads the Office of Naval Research, "how can we stay ahead?"

The consensus answer from the panelists was science and technology collaborations will be essential to giving warfighters the edge in a rapidly changing and technologically advancing world.

"International partnerships are literally a force multiplier," Winter noted. "No one place has a monopoly on innovation or new concepts."

Jamie Watson of the Defence Science and Technology Group in Australia, agreed, noting the alignment of the Australian Navy and its overseas partners was essential as that nation advances work in anti-submarine warfare, electronic warfare, radar and other areas.

He also praised the regular exchange of scientists and engineers between partner nations.

These intense levels of cooperation, he said, reflect "a strong desire for interoperability," which in turn contributes to making research "more cost effective, mutually beneficial ... and increases mutual reliance."

The panel was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research Global, the arm of ONR that sponsors international scientific exchanges, conferences and research, which supports collaboration between naval personnel, scientists and technologists around the world.

The annual Sea-Air-Space Exposition is hosted by the Navy League and focuses on matters of interest to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

Multiple technologies were listed by the participants as key to future maritime security. Common areas of concern, and opportunity that were central to the assembled naval S&T leaders included:

- Staying ahead of adversaries in the rapidly-changing cyber arena.

- New research to enhance human performance. Both Winter and Rear Adm. Harris Chan of Singapore discussed cutting-edge research projects designed to provide individuals with seemingly superhero-like healing and load-carrying capabilities, for instance.

- Developing advanced, autonomous unmanned platforms for use beneath the waves, on the surface and in the air.

"As we listen to others, we see we have the same problems," said Chan. "Collaboration is key to everything we do."

To achieve and maintain dominance in different critical research areas, officials said, international partnerships have been, and will be increasingly essential. Each country has its own industry and academia capable of providing unique perspectives and experiences. Collaboration advances new capabilities for the future force through diverse approaches and shared resources, with costs reduced by leveraging related work and avoiding duplication of research.

This important commitment, said Winter, has already proved its value and will continue "to ensure our warfighters have the technological advantage to achieve their mission."

David Smalley is a contractor for ONR Corporate Strategic Communications.

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NNS160519-15. Naval War College Overhauls Joint Military Operations Curriculum

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

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Students in the Joint Military Operations department at U.S. Naval War College are getting more real-world experience through war gaming and operational-level planning beginning this trimester.

This comes as a result of a major course upgrade intended to send better-prepared graduates to the fleet.

Over the past year, JMO faculty have taken student feedback, listened to the demand signal of Navy leadership and improved the course by placing more emphasis on warfare in the maritime environment and war gaming.

"In the past, we had taught a lot of theory," said Capt. Richard LaBranche, JMO department chair. "Formerly for a final project, we had the students write a military operations order on how to defeat an army on an island, and that was the end of it. Now we make them write an order that's focused on a war at sea with a near-pier competitor, and then we have them fight that operations order in a war game."

Adding active learning, such as table-top exercises and a capstone war gaming event has increased student learning, student participation and student enthusiasm, according to the faculty.

"This was a ground-up build where we looked at what was missing [in the old curriculum]," said LaBranche. "We had to truncate some of the old coursework to make room for the new portion. We changed about 40 percent of the course. We now include more naval warfare theory, the employment of naval combined arms, and naval capabilities. We then put in tabletop, active-learning exercises where the students have to synthesize what they learned."

The new course includes three active-learning wargame scenarios and the students get immediate and valuable feedback from the exercises.

"They have to show us that they know how to fight," said Bill Hartig, professor in JMO who helped design the new course. "And if they don't do well, they are going to lose the battle. That's a pretty big piece of feedback. Synthetic ships are going to sink and synthetic people are going to die."

A winning strategy involves many factors, including a coherent operations plan that applies the use of combined arms to achieve objectives in the maritime environment.

"Each warfighting asset should be used most effectively as one part of a totally integrated, symbiotic organism within given task forces," said LaBranche. "Previous classes never had the opportunity, but with the advent of the new curriculum students are more deeply exposed to maritime warfare. They are also learning about the capabilities of our potential competitors and how to deal with them."

LaBranche added that another aspect of the active-learning environment is that different answers can be correct.

"There is no right answer, but there are answers that are more right than others," LaBranche said. "This is the reality of the ambiguous environment."

Educating students with this new curriculum allows the department to more completely fulfill two missions of NWC -- to educate and develop leaders and to support combat readiness.

"These students will be high-value assets for any Navy staff," added LaBranche, "because they are going to know a lot more about maritime planning and joint operations than a typical Navy officer."

The success of having war games included in the curriculum has been noted by the faculty and may result in more changes in the future.

"We are constantly changing our course to keep up with what works and what our students need to know," said Hartig. "Next year we will add even more wargaming to the course.

"The problem is the students don't want to stop. They are naturally competitive, and they love seeing how they are performing," Hartig said.

NWC is a one-year resident program that graduates about 600 resident students and about 1,000 distance learning students each year. Its missions include educating and developing leaders, helping define the future of the Navy, supporting combat readiness, and strengthening maritime partnerships.

Students earn Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) credit and either a diploma or a master's degree in National Security and Strategic Studies or Defense and Strategic Studies. Established in 1884, U.S. Naval War College is the oldest institution of its kind in the world. More than 50,000 students have graduated since its first class of nine students in 1885 and about 300 of today's active duty admirals, generals and senior executive service leaders are alumni.

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NNS160519-13. Navy Honors D-Day with Ceremony at National Memorial

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam Austin, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

BEDFORD, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors, veterans, and townspeople alike gathered at the National D-Day Memorial May 18 to pay respect to the lives lost June 6, 1944 and to honor the legacy they left behind.

Rear Adm. Mark Fung, the deputy for Naval Construction Force, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, addressed those gathered in remembering the sacrifices of Navy Sailors that historic day.

"The valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of the U.S. Navy on D-Day could be told through 176 different stories," said Fung, referencing the 176 Sailors who died. "It is important that we remember our heroes and pay past tribute to those in the Navy who have gone before us."

Following the ceremony, Sailors from USS John Warner (SSN 785) laid a wreath at the memorial in commemoration. The sound of Taps filled the air as the U.S. Fleet Forces Band rang out the 24 solemn notes that herald the bravery of those who paid the ultimate price for freedom.

"The seas were rough that day, and so was everything else," said Charles Shaeff, a retired Sailor who took part in the D-Day invasion at the age of 19. "There are so few of us [D-Day veterans] left, so it's good to see that we'll be remembered."

The National D-Day Memorial resides in Bedford, Virginia -- a community that suffered the highest per-capita loss of lives in the D-Day invasion. The Memorial honors the Allied forces that participated in the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 during World War II. The Memorial encompasses the names of the 4,413 Allied soldiers, Sailors and Airmen who died in the invasion and stands as a powerful, permanent tribute to the valor and sacrifice of the D-Day participants.

The ceremony was one of many events occurring during Navy Week Roanoke, yet it was one of the more poignant moments given its relation to both the upcoming Memorial Day and D-Day weekends.

Since 2005, the Navy Week program has served as the Navy's principal outreach effort in the areas of the country without a significant naval presence. More than 185 Navy Weeks have been held in 68 different U.S. cities.

Roanoke has not hosted a Navy Week since 2008. This year, the Navy has returned with a host of community outreach events throughout the week. Some of these include scheduled performances from the Blue Angels and the Leap Frogs -- due to take place during the Lynchburg Regional Airshow this weekend. Others include performances scheduled during the Salem Red Sox game this Friday, as well as various other appearances throughout the city this week.

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

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

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

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

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

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

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

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