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Photos of the 2014 Branson Reunion

Photos of the 2013 San Diego Reunion

New Photos of the 2014 Texas Mini 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

2014 Donations



A Thank You from Fisher House

The First Ever Connie Fishing Tournament
by Ross Leonard

The first USS CONSTELLATION CVA/CV-64 ASSOSIATION FISHING TOURNAMENT was held in Branson, Missouri on 25 SEPT 2014. The tournament was held out of Lilley’s Landing on Lake Taneycomo during the Connie Association’s 2014 Reunion.

All contestants registered in at the Bass Pro Shop at Branson Landing on Monday 22 Sept. There the contestants were checked to ensure they met the qualifications for the tournament and once approved for entry, purchased a Missouri Fishing License, a Trout Stamp, and paid the entry fee for the tournament.

Scoring for the tournament is based on a very complex point system that includes but is not limited to the catching of the first fish, catching the top three largest fish, catching the most fish, lowest number of tie-ups (tangled line), missed fish, the time between catching fish, and numerous other activities. Because of the complexity of the rules, instructions to all contestants were explained over a two day period, Monday and Tuesday the 22nd and 23rd of Sept. at the Bass Pro Shop. The official scorers of the tournament will attempt to make the scoring system somewhat less complex for next year’s tournament.

Tuesday the 23rd of Sept was also the tournament media day at the Bass Pro Shop. ESPM, (Missouri’s version of ESPN) and WFSH of Branson, along with numerous other news organizations heavily covered this event. Bass Pro Shop was packed with fishing fans, some from as far away as Arkansas, attempting to talk to and obtain autographs from the Fishermen. Most contestants expressed the desire to be out on the water instead of giving interviews and signing their name all afternoon. A pre-tournament dinner was held on Tuesday night at TJ Bones Steak House for the contestants and their guests.

At 0630 on the 25th of Sept the tournament finally got underway. A cool morning finally gave way to brilliant sunshine and warm temperatures. And at 1030 it was all over ending in a three way tie for first place.

Sharing first place honors were Harlan Klepper from Wisconsin, Dennis Shaw from Pennsylvania, and Ross Leonard from the great state of Texas. All three are USS Constellation Association Life Members, certified Plank Owners, Shellbacks, Mossbacks, Golden Dragon, and Royal and Ancient Order of The Bridges members. All three worked together in the Power Distribution Gang in E Division during the early to mid 60’s. The USS Constellation CVA/CV-64 Association has kept these shipmates and friends in touch thru – out the last 25 years.

The total number of fish caught was 66, 65 Rainbow Trout and 1 Brown Trout. The breakdown was 24 for Harlan, 22 for Dennis, and bringing up the rear was Ross with 20. Harlan earned most of his points by catching the most fish and the Brown Trout, Dennis by having the least amount of tie ups, and Ross by catching the three largest fish. All three tri-champions ended with exactly 64,000 points. Numerous fans, possibly numbering into the thousands, greeted the contestants at the docks of Lilley’s Landing at the conclusion of the tournament. Next year’s organizers will have to ensure that adequate parking and restroom facilities are available to handle this over-flowing crowd.
It was a beautiful day for fishing and the only regret the tri champions had was missing the Association’s General Meeting being held at the same time as the Tournament. Numerous times during the morning you could hear the contestants say how nice it would have been to be at that meeting.

Monetary awards were presented to the winners at the Champions Luncheon Banquet held at the Great American Steak and Chicken House Restaurant immediately following the tournament. A near capacity crowd attended the award ceremony.

Next year’s tournament is scheduled to be held during the Connie’s 2015 reunion in Washington D.C. on the Potomac River. A large turnout is again expected so please register early to ensure your spot in the Tournament. More information is to follow via the Starwake and the Association’s website (

Click Here for our 2014 Memorial List Page

From our Branson Reunion,

Newly elected officers are:

 President::  Gayland Rushing
 Vice President:  Tommy Best          
Treasurer Paul Mcgehee
Secretary Greg Newbold

We voted to donate $500 each to Wounded Warrior Project and Fisher House
A special thanks to Dorothy Grimes for taking wonderful photos of the reunion posted on our facebook page..

Recent Navy News:

NNS141117-13. F-35C Completes Initial Sea Trials aboard Aircraft Carrier

From Commander, Naval Air Forces Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter completed its first phase of developmental test (DT) aboard an aircraft carrier Nov. 14, three days ahead of schedule aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68).

During the DT-I event, F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) the F-35 Lightning II Integrated Test Force (ITF) from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) located at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in Patuxent River, Maryland, tested the carrier suitability of the aircraft and its integration with carrier air and deck operations in the at-sea environment, achieving 100 percent of the threshold test points.

The aircraft demonstrated exceptional performance throughout its initial sea trails, accelerating the team's progress through the DT-I schedule and enabling them to conduct night operations - a milestone typically achieved during the second at-sea phase of developmental tests, as evidenced by the test schedules of the F/A-18 Hornet and F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet.

"We had such confidence in how the plane is flying that we lowered the weather minimums to what the fleet is actually using, knowing that when I lower my hook and come into the groove I'm going to trap," said Lt. Cmdr. Ted Dyckman, Navy test pilot. "That says a lot for the airplane. So, when it came time for night traps, we said the plane is ready and we launched it. It flew very well behind the ship. Even on the darkest night - pretty much as dark as you can get behind the boat. Two hook-down passes and two traps and that says it all right there. It's unheard of to conduct night ops on the first det."

"The engineers responsible for the aircraft's control laws at Pax (Patuxent) River and Fort Worth have done a phenomenal job designing a carefree aircraft from the pilot's perspective," said Cmdr. Tony Wilson, DT I Team Lead. "The F-35C's performance on the ball was revolutionary, providing carefree handling on approach. The Integrated Direct Lift Control (IDLC) allows ball control like no other aircraft. The control schemes of the F-35C provide a tool for the below average ball flyer to compete for top hook. And, Delta Flight Path is an innovative leap in aircraft flight controls - this command enables the F-35 to capture and maintain a glideslope, greatly reducing pilot workload, increasing safety margins during carrier approaches and reducing touchdown dispersion."

The cadre of DT-I test pilots logged a total of 39.2 flight hours as they conducted 33 flights featuring 124 catapults, 222 touch-and-go landings, and 124 arrestments. There were zero unintentional hook-down bolters, or missed attempts to catch an arresting wire on the flight deck. (Two hook-down, intentional bolters were conducted as part of the DT-I test plan.)

Successful carrier landings of the F-35C also point to an effective re-design of the once-troubled tailhook. Initial testing shore-based testing pointed toward tailhook design issues and the Atlantic Test Range (ATR) at NAS Patuxent River captured critical measurement data with their precision photogrammetric technology and modeling capabilities. The re-design collaboration between Lockheed Martin and Fokker Technologies of the Netherlands - with insight and participation by Navy airworthiness engineers - has yielded a preponderance of three-wire landings during DT-I and firmly established the success of the redesign.

The goal of DT-I, the first of three at-sea test phases planned for the F-35C, was to collect environmental data through added instrumentation to measure the F-35C's integration to flight deck operations and to further define the F-35C's operating parameters aboard the aircraft carrier. A thorough assessment of how well the F-35C operated in the shipboard environment will advise the Navy of any adjustments necessary to ensure that the fifth-generation fighter is fully capable and ready to deploy to the fleet in 2018.

For more news from Commander, Naval Air Forces, visit

NNS141115-12. George H.W. Bush Strike Group Returns to Homeport

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeffrey Madlangbayan, USS George H.W. Bush, Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- After completing a nine-month deployment in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Operations (AOR), the ships and squadrons of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWB CSG) returned to their homeports in Norfolk, Va., Whidbey Island, Wash. and Mayport, Fla., Nov 15.

The GHWB CSG is comprised of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Carrier Air Wing 8 (CVW-8), Destroyer Squadron 22 (CDS 22), the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), and the guided-missile destroyers USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80). The Strike Group, which deployed on 15 February, steamed a total of 73,400 nautical miles throughout two different AORs in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) as well as Maritime Security Operations (MSO) and Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) efforts while working with joint, coalition and allied forces.

"I am extremely proud of each and every Sailor in the George H.W. Bush Strike Group and our many accomplishments during this 9-month deployment. The flexibility and striking power inherent in a Carrier Strike Group made a difference on this deployment, and professional Sailors made it all happen." said Rear Adm. DeWolfe H. Miller III, commander, GHWB CSG. "I am also eternally grateful for the wonderful support we all received from family members and friends, many of whom welcomed us home today."

Highlighting the versatility of a CSG, in one 30-hour period, CVW-8 flew combat sorties in support of the Afghan Democratic run-off elections, CVN 77 then quickly steamed west executing an inbound Strait of Hormuz transit and then launched armed sorties into Iraq to counter ISIL extremist advances. Ships and aircraft of the GHWB CSG were the first U.S. forces on scene providing combat capability over Iraq and options for the President. GHWB CSG commenced the first airstrikes in Iraq, Aug. 8.

"This ship and air wing team possesses tremendous capabilities which can, and did, have an immediate impact on events in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations. This impact is generated not only by the incredible striking power of a Carrier Strike Group, but by the committed men and women aboard these ships that make it happen day in and day out in extremely trying conditions," said Capt. Andrew Loiselle, commanding officer of George H.W. Bush. "From day one, our Sailors came together and remained focused on the mission. I'm extremely proud of our Sailors and all they've accomplished."

In the early morning of Sept. 23, GHWB CSG and coalition partners participated in the first offensive strikes deep into Syria, engaging both ISIS and Khorasan Group targets using a mix of strike fighter and bomber aircraft as well as Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs). The 47 TLAMs employed in the strikes were launched from the USS Arleigh Burke and USS Philippine Sea operating in international waters from the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf, respectively.

During 2014, the GHWB CSG team amassed 12,774 sorties for a total of 34,831 flight hours. Of the sorties, 3,245 were combat sorties with 18,333 combat flight hours. The aircraft made 10,003 catapult launches and arrested landings (traps) for the deployment.

During the deployment, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 delivered a total of 232 precision guided bombs, launched 47 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) and fired more than 2,400 rounds of 20mm ammunition.

This was the 2nd combat deployment for CVN 77, which deployed after the successful completion of a Fleet Readiness Training Plan that included Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX), Air Wing Detachment Fallon, and Fleet Synthetic Training exercises.

Upon return to homeports, GHWB CSG Sailors received a warm welcome by family and friends.

CVN 77 was commissioned Jan. 10, 2009 as the 10th and last Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier. Named after the 41st U.S. President, USS George H.W. Bush is the only aircraft carrier in the fleet with a living namesake.

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

NNS141114-15. Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 2 Established

From Naval Surface Force Atlantic Fleet, Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- Capt. Paul Young assumed command of the newly formed Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron (LCSRON) 2 during a ceremony held at Naval Station Mayport, Florida, Nov. 7.

Waterfront and community leaders joined Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, Rear Adm. Pete Gumataotao, in welcoming the Sailors and staff who will support the arrival of littoral combat ships (LCS) in Mayport starting in 2016.

The ceremony was held at the construction site of the LCSRON 2 headquarters where the support squadron staff and ship crew members is expected to grow to 900 Sailors.

"This is a major command set to do some heavy lifting for us in the very near future," Gumataotao said. "LCS is set to do very specific missions, but brings capabilities to the warfighter that can adapt and flex quickly to a very dynamic operational environment of the 21st century."

With the establishment of LCSRON 2, six LCS of the Freedom variant are expected to be stationed in Mayport within the next few years. These ships include USS Little Rock (LCS 9), USS Sioux City (LCS 11), USS Wichita (LCS 13), USS Billings (LCS 15), USS Indianapolis (LCS 17), and LCS 19.

The Mayport LCS community will include three new buildings where Sailors assigned to the ships will train, while the support squadron staff addresses administrative, scheduling, maintenance, logistics and equipment issues for the ships and crews.

During the ceremony, Young said this was his third - and the most exciting - time assuming command.

"We are going to ask a lot of these Sailors," Young said. "They are going to have to be as innovative as they ever have before. We are going to ask them to challenge and question things they spent years learning. And then, we're going to ask them to take those innovations and fold them neatly and smoothly into the greatest surface force in history. Any of you who have worked with Sailors know they'll do it. They'll get it done and that excites me. It will be an honor and a privilege to watch."

Fast, agile and mission focused, littoral combat ships are designed to operate in near-shore environments and employ modular mission packages that can be configured for surface warfare, mine countermeasures or anti-submarine warfare. The LCS class consists of two variants, the monohull design Freedom variant and the trimaran design Independence variant. The ships are designed and built by two industry teams, led by Lockheed Martin and Austal USA, respectively. They operate with a core crew of 50, a composite aviation detachment of 23, and a mission module crew of 15 to 20 depending on the assignment.

"Littoral Combat Ships will play an important role in today's fleet meeting our CNO's (chief of naval operations) key tenets of warfighting first, operate forward, be ready," Gumataotao said. "It's very motivating to see the diverse mix of surface ships down here in Mayport... Amphibs, CRUDES (cruisers and destroyers), PCs (patrol craft) and soon the LCS Hull 1 variant. The sense of team and partnership is not just evident on the waterfront but also with the community here in Mayport. If you're a junior officer, this is a good place to put on your dream sheet!"

Construction is currently underway for a two-story logistics-support facility that will house classrooms, an operations work space, a reference library, office spaces for the ship crews when they are not shipboard, video teleconference rooms, and a crew lounge.

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

NNS141114-12. F-35C Completes First Night Flight Aboard Aircraft Carrier

From Commander Naval Air Forces, Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter conducted its first carrier-based night flight operations aboard an aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego Nov. 13.

Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Ted "Dutch" Dyckman piloted F-35C test aircraft CF-03 for the inaugural night flight, taking off from USS Nimitz (CVN 68). At 6:01 p.m. Dyckman conducted a series of planned touch and goes before making an arrested landing at 6:40 pm.

The night flight was part of Development Testing I (DT-I) for the F-35C, which commenced Nov. 3 and is expected to last two weeks. The Nimitz is hosting the F-35 Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 during the initial sea trials of the F-35C.

During DT-I, the test team has conducted a series of events designed to gradually expand the aircraft-operating envelope at sea, including crosswind and low-energy, high-wind catapult launches and approaches to test the aircraft's ability to perform in both nominal and off-nominal conditions.

Through Nov. 13, two test F-35C aircraft have completed 28 flights for a combined 34.5 flight hours and accomplished more than 75 percent of threshold test requirements. The aircraft also performed 108 catapult launches, 215 planned touch-and-go landings, two long touch and go landings, 110 arrested landings and zero bolters.

Testing thus far has demonstrated the aircraft's exceptional handling qualities throughout all tested launch and recovery conditions. F-35C maintenance and operations have integrated well with standard Navy carrier procedures onboard Nimitz. The F-35C has proven its ability to operate in the carrier environment and has consistently caught the optimal three-wire during arrested landings. The test team successfully landed during every attempt, with zero hook-down bolters, or failures to catch an arresting cable on the flight deck.

The goal of DT-I, the first of three at-sea test phases planned for the F-35C, is to collect environmental data through added instrumentation to measure the F-35C's integration to flight deck operations and to further define the F-35C's operating parameters aboard the aircraft carrier. A thorough assessment of how well the F-35C operated in the shipboard environment will advise the Navy of any adjustments necessary to ensure that the fifth-generation fighter is fully capable and ready to deploy to the fleet in 2018.

The successful night flight of the F-35C represents a step forward in the development of the Navy's next generation fighter.

For more news from Commander, Naval Air Forces, visit

NNS141116-01. Germantown Participates in Exercise Keen Sword with Japanese Forces

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Patrick Dionne, Commander, Amphibious Squadron 11 Public Affairs

PHILIPPINE SEA (NNS) -- The amphibious dock landing ship, USS Germantown (LSD 42) and the 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion (AAB), 2nd Marine Division (MARDIV), operated with Japanese Self Defense Forces (JSDF) during exercise Keen Sword, Nov. 11-12.

Keen Sword is a bilateral amphibious training exercise conducted with JSDF designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability.

"This is an opportunity to allow the Japanese military see how we operate and for us to learn from them too," said Lt. Jesse Rond, Germantown's combat information center officer. "What makes this unique is that it focuses on improving the relationship we have with the Japanese in a lasting way."

This portion of the exercise kicked off with service members from JSDF being flown over on a Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) CH-47 Chinook, for a tour of Germantown. This allowed Sailors and Marines to engage with members of JSDF and show them a variety of the ship's systems and capabilities. This included a tour of the well deck, the weapons systems, the bridge, the boat deck and the wardroom. Members of the JSDF participated in a Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) drill and had an opportunity to drive amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) in the well deck.

"Next year we will have AAV's, so we have learned a lot on how to operate and maintain them," said Col. Yoshiyuki Goto, assigned to the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF). "Having this ability will help synchronize our sea and land operations."

The main goal of Germantown's participation with JSDF is to practice tactics, techniques and procedures with Japanese forces to strengthen amphibious warfare and to help the JSDF build their developing amphibious forces.

"We showed the JGSDF everything that goes into tactically planning an amphibious assault from the logistical and maintenance procedures to how to operate them," said Marine 2nd Lt. Jeffrey Horwitz, the platoon commander for the 2nd AAB, 2nd MARDIV. "This is important because it shows them how to use AAVs not only in a war time environment but also for humanitarian efforts."

Members of JGSDF were given a brief that included the planning and execution of an AAV assault as well as the basics of how the machines operated. Following the brief, each member of the JGSDF drove an AAV for the first time in the ship's well deck.

"I was the one who explained how the tracks of the AAVs worked," said Marine Sgt. John Vloyanetes. "They were really eager to learn. They were interested in what the AAVs could do and what we can do to help them. It was a great opportunity, and I learned a lot about the Japanese culture and how to work with language barriers."

The final exercise of the day was a simulated MEDEVAC drill that included a CH-47 Chinook helicopter landing on the flight deck with two patients that had simulated injuries.

"We participated in a simulated medical evacuation with the JSDF and had a helicopter land on Germantown with two patients on stretchers as well as a Japanese surgeon," said U.S. Navy Doctor Lt. Erik Johnson, the ship's general medicine officer. "Then we all worked together to get the patients inside the skin of the ship, were I worked in conjunction with the Japanese physician to provide care. We don't have a lot of opportunities for us to communicate with the Japanese on the medical side so this was a great experience to see how their medical field works."

Keen Sword is the latest in a series of joint exercises since 1986 between the U.S. military and JSDF to help enhance cooperation and unity between the two countries in the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

"As strong as we are as a Navy, we can be even stronger if we can collaborate efficiently with other military forces," said Rond. "Both sides learning each other's cultures and capabilities is the best way to break down boundaries and help us come together as a cohesive unit."

Keen Sword will run until Nov. 19, and will include approximately 11,000 U.S. personnel and will continue to take place in a variety of locations throughout Japan, Okinawa and the waters surrounding Japan.

"Even though the Americans and the Japanese have a different history and culture, learning together helps us make great progress for the future," said Goto. "We have adapted to work side by side and that is the strong point of our two nations."

Germantown is part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, commanded by Capt. Heidi Agle, and is conducting joint forces exercises in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

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

NNS141117-14. Fabrication Begins on the Navy's First Ship to Shore Connector

From Team Ships Public Affairs

NEW ORLEANS (NNS) -- Textron, Inc. began fabrication of the Navy's first Ship to Shore Connector (SSC) at its New Orleans facility Nov. 17.

In October, the Navy approved Textron to start production following the SSC Production Readiness Review during which the Navy evaluated the design maturity, availability of materials, and industry's ability to start and sustain fabrication.

"It's an exciting time," said Capt. Chris Mercer, program executive office ships program manager for amphibious warfare. "Starting production on this next generation Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) is a significant milestone for the Navy and Marine Corps. The craft benefits from a mature design and sound production process, paving the way for many more craft to follow. Once delivered, these craft will fill a critical need to recapitalize the Navy's surface connectors."

The SSC will serve as the evolutionary replacement for the existing fleet of LCAC vehicles, which are nearing the end of their service life. The SSC will use more corrosion-resistant aluminum in the hull than LCAC as well as composites in the propeller shroud assembly and shafting to increase craft availability and lower life-cycle maintenance costs.

The SSC will be a high-speed, fully-amphibious landing craft capable of carrying a 74-ton payload traveling at speeds of more than 35 knots. An enclosed personnel transport module can be loaded aboard that can hold up to 145 combat-equipped Marines or 108 casualty personnel. The SSC will incorporate an improved skirt design, the advanced skirt, in place of the LCAC's deep skirt, reducing drag and craft weight.

The SSC supports rapid movement of Marine Expeditionary Forces from the sea base to shore and can tactically deliver personnel and heavy equipment to trafficable terrain well beyond the beach, with the built-in reliability to operate in the harshest littoral environments. With 73 craft planned, the SSC will significantly enhance the capability of Navy and Marine Corps teams to execute a broad spectrum of missions, from humanitarian assistance and disaster response to multidimensional amphibious assault.

As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships, a Naval Sea Systems Command affiliated program executive office, is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all major surface combatants, amphibious ships, special mission ships, support ships, and special warfare craft. Currently, the majority of shipbuilding programs managed by PEO Ships are benefiting from serial production efficiencies, which are critical to delivering ships on cost and schedule.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS141116-03. CNO Visits Future Home of F-35 and Surprises Officers with Medals

By Melinda Larson, NAS Lemoore, Public Affairs

NAVAL AIR STATION LEMOORE (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, and his wife, Darleen, toured the U.S. Navy's future home base, Nov. 14, for the F-35C Lightning II aircraft to see first-hand where the Pacific Fleet's strike fighter force will continue to thrive as a premier Naval aviation asset.

The U.S. Navy announced Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, Oct. 2, as the West Coast home base for 100 F-35C Lightning II strike fighter aircraft that will replace 70 aging FA-18 Hornet aircraft by 2028.

"This is one of the sites where the Joint Strike Fighter will be home based, and it's coming here first," Greenert said, as he addressed more than 1,000 Sailors and Marines from NAS Lemoore and its tenant commands during an all-hands call. "The Sailors at Naval Air Station Lemoore will be the ones to most effectively integrate this aircraft into the air wing. We will get this right."

The CNO opened the assembly by administering the oath of enlistment to 25 Sailors from several commands, including the installation, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific Fleet (SFWP) squadrons and Naval Hospital Lemoore. He also presented four Navy Achievement Medals. Speaking with each member individually, the CNO's wife and the rest of the crowd were kept entertained by the parade of Navy family members invited to the stage for photographs.

Greenert answered several questions and discussed a variety of topics during the all-hands call, from uniform changes to manning issues, deployment lengths and what motivated him to serve as the 30th CNO.

"First of all, you have to get there and be in the Navy this long," quipped the 1975 U.S. Naval Academy graduate. "My number one motivation has been my wife, Darleen. You have to be happy in your home life. Secondly, you've got to want to serve with shipmates like you guys. You have a strong ethical background and good moral character, that's important to me," Greenert added.

The CNO's message, and his presence at the air station, seemed to resonate with Sailors.

"He talked to everyone like they're family," said Equipment Operator 3rd Class (SCW) Andrew Johnson, assigned to Naval Operational Support Center Lemoore. "The CNO being here shows his support for us, we're not off on our own, we're part of something larger than ourselves."

The CNO also met with installation and SFWP leadership for a round table of discussions that included the CNO's positive view of the future of Naval aviation and where it needs to go with not only the F-35C, but also with the current FA-18 Super Hornet. Naval aviation will struggle if both platforms are not maintained and adapt into the future. Additionally, installation and SFWP leadership were able to pass along their concerns regarding installation support and operational requirements for the fleet, fighter, and family.

En route to the installation's airfield, the CNO stopped to visit the new NAS Lemoore Aviator Memorial where he made a surprise presentation of Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medals to the two Naval aviators responsible for the Memorial's creation. The duo lost two friends and brethren Naval aviators following a fatal mishap April 6, 2011.

"This is a selfless, innovative way to pay tribute to shipmates," said Greenert. "Presenting Lt. Cmdr. Erik Kenny and Lt. Cmdr. Ben Charles with the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal is the least we can do for these guys who took it upon themselves to make it happen."

During a tour of the air station's operations side, the CNO saw where strike fighter air crew perform about 200,000 flight operations per year.

"He completely grasped where we are, how we are growing, and the significance we play not only in our carrier strike groups with what will be nearly 60 percent of U.S. Navy's strike fighter airpower, but in our U.S. Navy and National Defense," said Capt. Monty Ashliman, commanding officer NAS Lemoore.

The relocation of two strike fighter squadrons from NAS Oceana to NAS Lemoore in 2016 indicates the West Coast air station will soon be home to 60 percent of the Navy's strike fighter aircraft.

For more news from Chief of Naval Operations, visit

NNS141117-08. Sailors and Marines Deployed During the Holidays Get Free Phone Cards

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

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) announced Nov. 17 that Sailors and Marines in more than 70 deployed units away from their homeports and those forward deployed to overseas ports during the holiday season will be given a free $10 phone card to call loved ones back home.

"NEXCOM has been giving away free phone cards to deployed Sailors and Marines for many, many years," said Thomas Harris, NEXCOM Afloat Personal Telecommunications Service Program. "This is just one small way that we can thank these service members and their families for their service to our country."

The $10 AT&T prepaid phone cards can be used via the Afloat Personal Telecommunications Service system, the ship's Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) system or ashore in the United States or any foreign port where AT&T has a presence. NEXCOM distributed 36,250 free phone cards for the holidays.

Ships and submarines that will receive the free phone cards are: USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), USS New York (LPD 21), USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), USS Vicksburg (CG 69), USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Cole (DDG 67), USS Mahan (DDG 72), USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79), USS James E Williams (DDG 95), USS Simpson (FFG 56), USS Samuel B Roberts (FFG 58), USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), USS Ross (DDG 71), USS Makin Island (LHD 8), USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), USS San Diego (LPD 22), USS Comstock (LSD 45), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS Cape St. George (CG 71), USS Milius (DDG 69), USS O'Kane (DDG 77), USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Gridley (DDG 101), USS Sampson (DDG 102), USS Sterett (DDG 104), USS Dewey (DDG 105), USS Michael P Murphy (DDG 112), USS Gary (FFG 51), USS Rodney M Davis (FFG 60), USS Michigan (SSGN 727), USS San Francisco (SSN 711), USS Olympia (SSN 717), USS Chicago (SSN 721), USS Key West (SSN 722), USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723), USS Louisville (SSN 724), USS Pasadena (SSN 752), USS Hawaii (SSN 776), USS Ohio (SSGN 726), USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720), USS Helena (SSN 725), USS Boise (SSN 764), USS California (SSN 781), USS Florida (SSGN 728), USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS George Washington (CVN 73), USS John S McCain (DDG 56), USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Mustin (DDG 89), USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS Shiloh (CG 67), USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), USS Antietam (CG 54), USS Ashland (LSD 48), USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and USS Germantown (LSD 42).

For more news from Navy Exchange Service Command, visit

NNS141117-11. USS La Jolla Changes Homeport to Norfolk

By Kevin Copeland, Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS La Jolla (SSN 701) arrived at its new homeport in Norfolk, Virginia, Nov. 10. Under the command of Cmdr. Kevin Roach, the submarine was previously assigned to Commander, Submarine Squadron One, home ported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The submarine arrives in Norfolk to begin its conversion to a Moored Training Ship (MTS). La Jolla will remain at Norfolk Naval Station until it is transported in February to Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia, for the 32-month MTS conversion.

During the conversion the La Jolla will have its missile compartments removed, but will have fully operational reactor power plants. It will be equipped with a diesel-powered Supplemental Water Injection System to provide emergency cooling water in the unlikely event of an accident.

"La Jolla is being converted to a state-of-the-art moored training ship," said Roach, a 1995 graduate of the University of Texas with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. "La Jolla was chosen as the next MTS based on her service life and amount of nuclear fuel remaining. If not converted, the submarine would have been inactivated and decommissioned in 2015."

Once converted La Jolla will be designated Moored Training Ship (MTS 701), and will assigned to the Nuclear Power Training Unit (NPTU) at Naval Support Activity in Charleston, South Carolina. At NPTU, the ship will provide a platform for Naval officers and enlisted personnel to train in the operation, maintenance and supervision of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Plants.

The ship will be the first Los Angeles-class submarine to undergo conversion to a NPTU. The current NPTUs in service at Charleston are Daniel Webster (MTS 626), a converted Lafayatte-class ballistic-missile submarine, and Sam Rayburn (MTS 635), a converted James Madison-class ballistic-missile submarine. Sam Rayburn was reclassified as MTS 635 in July 1989 and will remain in service until May 2019. Daniel Webster was designated MTS 626 in August 1990 and will remain in service until November 2022.

La Jolla will remain in service for the majority of the conversion until its reclassification to MTS around Aug 2017 a few months before the boat is scheduled to complete conversion. La Jolla is expected to provide 20 years of service as a MTS.

"The conversion will require a one-of-a-kind hull separation of the forward compartment," said Roach. "Then a newly-fabricated hull section will be welded in place, and the new space will contain training spaces, office spaces, and an emergency safeguard system. The ship's new mission will provide an operational training unit for future nuclear operators during their initial qualification process. La Jolla will be replacing the MTS 626 Daniel Webster in Charleston in 2018."

Master Chief Electronics Technician (Submarines) Edward Brennan said the crew has mixed emotions on the conversion.

"We are very proud that our great ship will continue her service in the Navy for decades to come," said Brennan, a native of Prince George, Virginia. "We believe La Jolla still has some operations left in her so it is bitter-sweet in bringing her to Norfolk for conversion."

He also stated the ship will remain almost fully manned through the conversion process.

"Non-nuclear personnel will remain on board until the conversion process is complete. We will continue through the conversion to receive additional nuclear-trained personnel until we are fully manned to be a MTS in 2017. During the process, our Sailors will maintain or complete their submarine qualifications by riding operational boats in the Atlantic and Pacific. Many of our nuclear-trained Sailors want to remain on the ship during its move to Charleston, and become the first group of instructors on MTS 701 to train students."

Commissioned Oct. 24, 1981 at Naval Submarine Base, New London, connecticut, La Jolla was the first warship named after the township of La Jolla, California, and the 14th ship of the nuclear-powered Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarines. It is 362-feet long, and displaces 6,900 tons. The submarine can be armed with sophisticated Mark-48 Advanced Capability (ADCAP) anti-submarine torpedoes and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles.

Along her illustrious 33-year career serving the U.S. Submarine Force, La Jolla had many 'firsts' under her belt, including the first of the Los Angeles-class of submarines to be home ported in San Diego; the first to participate in the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and Korean Maritime Self Defense Force's first multi-national exercise, Pacific Reach 2004; the first to deploy overseas with the advanced AN/BQQ-5D sonar system on board; and the first to be fitted with the Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV).

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

NNS141117-05. GW Hosts Visitors from Iwakuni, Japan

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Beverly J. Lesonik USS George Washington (CVN 73)
Public Affairs

WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (NNS) -- Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) hosted guests from Iwakuni, Japan, Nov. 17.

Rear Adm. John Alexander, commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet and Capt. Greg Fenton, George Washington's commanding officer hosted 22 visitors who toured the ship and were provided a general orientation of how a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier operates while underway.

"I was very surprised and impressed by the amount of aircraft that can operate in such a limited area," said Rear Adm. Isao Ooseto, commander, Fleet Air Wing 31. "I want to thank [everyone] for extending the invitation because I believe these tours help increase the cooperation between Japan and the United States."

Guests were divided into two groups and were guided through George Washington's hangar bay, Air Operations Center, Combat Direction Center, Flight Deck Control, Flag Bridge, Navigation Bridge and ship's museum.

Visitors also experienced flight operations from the ship's flight deck, seeing firsthand how George Washington's flight deck crew functions together to launch and recover aircraft.

"Our guests were able to see things that help George Washington function," said Fenton. "We have a lot of great technology they were able to see today, but most importantly they saw how none of it can operate without the work of the 5,500 Sailors aboard the ship."

The visitors were given a close up view of how the ship's embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, operates in preparation for its transition from Atsugi, Japan to Iwakuni in the next two to three years.

According to Major Gen. Takehiro Morita, Commander, Western Aircraft Control and Warning Wing, it is important for him to see how George Washington and CVW-5 functions in order to better understand the coordination it is going to take to translocate the air wing.

"I really appreciate everyone who came aboard the ship today," said Alexander. "The close coordination with our Japanese partners is critical to our collective success."

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

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

NNS141117-04. 7th Fleet Commander Outlines Fleet Priorities

From U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, outlined his priorities during an all-hands call with his staff Nov. 14, to discuss his goals and objectives for the Fleet.

"Seventh Fleet's reason for existence is [to] combat readiness," said Thomas. "Our nation and our allies count on us to aggregate credible combat power whenever it is needed, anywhere in the region."

His first priority, "sustain the Fleet," is focused on ensuring the modernization, maintenance and high readiness of the Fleet. By scheduling and posturing forces to avoid vulnerability, Thomas aims to train and certify for combat operations at all levels, and develop Sailors and officers to operate with initiative and responsibility. Beyond mere maintenance and training, however, Thomas also said sustainment encompasses taking care of 7th Fleet families and shipmates.

"Sustainment is about maintaining our warfighting advantage, which starts with our people," said Thomas. "This is more than just making sure ships get the repairs they need. Sustaining the fleet means putting the right people in the right jobs and making sure their families are taken care of. We have an immense amount of talent out here."

"Insisting on operational excellence" is the second priority Thomas emphasized. To accomplish this, Thomas said 7th Fleet must be ready to conduct the full spectrum of operations, from high end combat and contingency response, to presence operations and theater security cooperation. To achieve this priority, 7th Fleet will focus on interoperability with allies and partners by developing innovative, integrated warfighting tactics to be ready to fight and win.

"There are 35 maritime nations in this region that depend on 7th Fleet's presence to maintain security and stability," said Thomas. "We work with more nations and more cultures than any other fleet. It's our job to build those relationships that lay the foundation for the future success of this region."

Thomas' final priority is to "align our forces through coordination up, down and across the chain of command to ensure unity of effort." Thomas explained this priority as an initiative to actively synchronize efforts with all levels of the chain of command.

"We have to ensure we are focusing on higher headquarter priorities and communicating efficiently across the 48 million square miles of our area of operations," said Thomas.

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

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

NNS141115-08. Navy and Marine Corps Recognized for 'Feds Feed Families' Campaign

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class(SW/AW) Leonard Adams, Defense Media Activity, Fort Meade

ARLINGTON, Va (NNS) -- Department of the Navy (DON) leadership recognized Sailors, Marines, Civilians and their families that participated in the 6th annual "Feds Feed Families" (FFF) campaign during a ceremony held at the Pentagon Memorial Chapel, Nov. 14th.

The Navy and Marine Corps collected over 1.5 million pounds of food Jun. 1 through Aug. 27, to help combat hunger in local communities across the country and around the world.

Participation went beyond the national boundaries and extended to the far reaches of deployed Marines and Sailors around the globe.

"There is no way to say thank you enough, to the many hard working men and women who have made the 2014 Feds Feed Families Campaign a success," said Cmdr. Phillip King, commander Naval Installations Command, Chaplin Corps, during his fleet acceptance remarks. "But our gratitude can be expressed by being willing to join with them in the days ahead pledging a renewed effort through these holidays and again with the campaign in 2015."

The FFF campaign is a yearly drive, led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which allows federal employees to donate perishable and non-perishable food items for area food banks. Last year the overall federal campaign brought in 9 million pounds of food in which the Navy contributed 1.2 million of the 1.8 million pounds from the Department of Defense.

"This year's goal was to create interaction and understanding of how the program benefits the community," said Thea Lopez, DON Feds Feed Families operations officer. "With the leadership and support of the Marine Corps Installations Command and Commander Navy Installations Command Chaplains, every Marine and Sailor has the resources, points of contact, and motivated support to make the most of their volunteerism."

This year, the Navy and Marine Corps contributed over 1.5 million pounds of food making the total DON contributions over 5 million pounds to date.

For more information and other ways to get involved with other Charitable Campaigns, contact your local chaplain office or visit:

NNS141115-05. Future DDG 1001 Deckhouse Successfully Integrated

From Team Ships, Public Affairs

BATH, Maine (NNS) -- The future USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), completed the successful lift and integration of the deckhouse on to the ship's hull at General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works (BIW) shipyard Nov.14.

Michael Monsoor will be the second ship of the DDG 1000 Zumwalt class, the U.S. Navy's next generation destroyer. Deckhouse integration is a major milestone for the ship and the DDG 1000 program.

"This is a major milestone for the ship and the program as the Michael Monsoor continues construction and prepares to enter the test and activation phase on the heels of DDG 1000," said Capt. Jim Downey, DDG 1000 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "As the final joining of a deckhouse and hull in this manner, I am proud of the work that has been accomplished with our industry partners. The tremendous design, planning and construction efforts that were instrumental to this program resulted in the successful lift and integration of the deckhouse resulting in a full ship. I look forward to delivering this highly capable ship to the Fleet."

Using four cranes, the ship's 1000-ton deckhouse with lifting fixture was lifted to a position where it could be integrated with the hull. The 610 foot hull was then translated into position, under the deckhouse, so the deckhouse could be lowered and integrated onto the hull.

The deckhouse was fabricated by Huntington Ingalls Industries in Gulfport, Miss., and delivered to the Navy in July. The deckhouse was then transported to Maine for integration with the ship's hull, which is under construction at the BIW shipyard.

DDG 1001 started fabrication in March 2010. With its keel laid May 23, 2013, the ship is currently 79 percent complete with delivery planned in 2017.

DDG 1001 will be 610 feet in length, have a beam of 80.7 feet, displace approximately 15,000 tons and will have a crew of 158 officers and Sailors, including an aviation detachment. The approximately 900-ton deckhouse, which is built from composite materials, is 155 feet long and over 50 feet high and will house the ship's bridge, radars, antennas and intake and exhaust systems.

Progress on the DDG 1000 Zumwalt class guided missile destroyers continues to go well, with all three ships under construction. The future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), named for former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo R. "Bud" Zumwalt, launched Oct. 28, 2013 and was christened April 12, 2014. The future Michael Monsoor, named for Medal of Honor recipient Petty Officer Michael Monsoor, had its keel laid May 23, 2013, and the future Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002), named for the former U.S. president, started fabrication April 4, 2012.

The DDG 1000 class destroyers are designed for sustained operations in the littorals and land attack and will provide independent forward presence and deterrence, support special operations forces, and operate as an integral part of joint and combined expeditionary forces. This warship integrates numerous critical technologies, systems, and principles into a complete warfighting system.

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

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit:

NNS141114-18. USS Mobile Bay Honors Fallen Shipmate on Veterans Day

From USS Mobile Bay, Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The crew of the guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) paid tribute to one of their own on Veterans Day this year, conducting a burial at sea for Master Chief Fire Controlman Mark Dinyar, Nov 11.

Dinyar served on board Mobile Bay from September 2007 until his unexpected passing on April 19, 2014; just six months shy of his scheduled retirement following 30 years of service.

"Burials-at-sea are important because it allows us to respect both the life and the service of our fellow veterans," said Lt. Steve Brown, Mobile Bay's command chaplain. "This burial at sea was an honor to be a part of but also very difficult because this one was for someone we once called our shipmate, mentor, brother and friend; there was no more appropriate day to honor him than Veterans Day."

Many burials at sea are performed for retired veterans who likely did not know the current crew of the ship. Burials at sea are a long standing tradition dating to when the Navy did not have the means for a proper burial so bodies and remains were buried at sea.

Nowadays, the ceremony is a sacred honor requested by the military member, their family, or dependents. This tradition demonstrates honor and commitment to service and their country beyond a military member's life.

Dinyar spent the majority of his career at sea, serving on five different ships, enduring countless underways and deployments, earning the Meritorious Service Medal, five Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, nine Good Conduct Medals, and various campaign and unit awards.

It was his request that his remains be scattered upon the very sea that he spent over half his life honorably and courageously protecting.

"Master Chief Dinyar was a mentor to everyone on board Mobile Bay, including me," said Capt. Timothy Kott, Mobile Bay's commanding officer. "We all miss him very much. It was an honor for our ship to pay respects to him and his family by having his burial at sea on Veterans Day."

For more news from Naval Surface Forces, visit:

NNS141115-07. CNRSW Celebrates National Native American Heritage Month

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chelsea Kennedy, Commander, Navy Region Southwest, Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Region Southwest (CNRSW) held a cultural event to celebrate National Native American Heritage, Nov. 13.

Able Silvas, a ninth-generation Native American/Latino from San Diego, served as guest speaker for the event held in the command's conference room.

"Howka, howka is how we say hello here in San Diego in our Kumeyaay language," said Silvas.

Silvas took time to answer specific questions participants had about Native American culture.

"People don't really talk about the history of Native Americans in the military, they generalize it," said Silvas. "I was intrigued by some of the questions that were asked today because of military actions and the discipline of the military."

Silvas talked to Sailors and civilians about his heritage, the vibrant history of Native Americans in the San Diego region and their ties to the military.

"My family's service goes back to the battle of San Pasqual," said Silvas. "My grandfather's, grandfather fought in that battle. My brother served during Vietnam, and I have many nieces and nephews who have been in Afghanistan."

Silvas has championed the history and culture of his people. He is active in the Native American community and was appointed to the Tribal Council of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians. He was also appointed to the Mayor's American Indian Advisory Committee for the city of San Diego and is committed to historical research.

"I think you're never too old to learn something, anybody can learn at any age," said Francesca Malone, a member of the command diversity team and civilian employee at CNRSW. "There are things that I have learned since I've been a part of the diversity team that I never knew before. Every year we do the same diversity events, but I always learn something new and we achieve that by bringing different people to the command."

National Native American Heritage month is celebrated in November and this year's theme is "Native Pride and Spirit: Yesterday, Today and Forever," to honor the rich history of Native Americans.

"You open people's eyes to things that they never thought about with celebrations like this," said Malone. "You look at a person and you don't know anything about their background. It's nice to know that you're not just a number, you're a person that has a background and everybody has one so learning as much about other people as you can, I think is a benefit to everybody."

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Southwest, visit:

NNS141115-02. 2015 S2M2 Mentorship Program Kicks Off

By Senior Writer Yan Kennon, Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital (NH) Jacksonville kicked off its 2015 Science, Service, Medicine and Mentoring (S2M2) program with about 100 students at Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts Nov. 13.

"The information provided by NH Jacksonville health care professionals helped our students understand the multiple health care career paths available to them," said Carol Daniels, Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts principal. "This experience clearly fits in with our school's mission of providing real-time, real-world medical experiences for our students."

During the event, NH Jacksonville clinicians shared inspirational stories of their careers in Navy Medicine and the paths they took to get there; Darnell-Cookman leadership shared its past Navy and educational experiences; and past S2M2 intern participants shared learning experiences gained from the program.

"It was an amazing experience," said Natalia Rodriguez, Darnell-Cookman junior, and two-year S2M2 intern. "We were able to see and do things that we probably would not get the opportunity to do anywhere else."

After panelists' introductions and an interactive Q-and-A session, students gathered in smaller groups rotating to each clinician, hearing first-hand about the unique role each medical profession contributes to healing our nation's heroes.

Rising 11th grade students are eligible to apply for the one-week summer program. Those selected to participate in NH Jacksonville's summer internship will receive a real-world medical facility experience in numerous patient care areas at NH Jacksonville from anesthesiology and surgery to the Maternal Infant Unit. Students take part in discussions, workshops, job-shadowing and mentoring with clinicians and other medical professionals. Students also participate in basic medical skills and learn how hospital corpsmen are prepared to provide care on the front line through combat casualty training.

"The program provides a great opportunity to nurture the next generation of health care professionals for the Navy, and for the nation as well," said Capt. John Le Favour, NH Jacksonville's commanding officer. "To date, we have had the pleasure of hosting 24 Darnell-Cookman students at the hospital, and are eagerly looking forward to working with selected students during this summer's internship."

Developed in 2004 by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and adopted in 2010 by NH Jacksonville, S2M2's mission is to encourage, nurture, and enhance the commitment to science and medicine in a welcoming and intellectually stimulating environment for groups of diverse students.

NH Jacksonville's priority since its founding in 1941 is to heal the nation's heroes and their families. The command is comprised of the Navy's third largest hospital and five branch health clinics across Florida and Georgia. Of its patient population - about 163,000 active and retired sailors, soldiers, Marines, airmen, guardsmen and their families - about 70,000 are enrolled with a primary care manager at one of its facilities.

For more information, visit the command website at:

For more news from NH Jacksonville, visit:

NNS141117-10. NMCP's Annual Diabetes Boot Camp Provides Quality Care

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/EXW/AW) Gary Johnson, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) staff sponsored their 4th annual Diabetes Boot Camp inside the endocrinology clinic and along the main hallway of the Charette Health Care Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, Nov. 14.

The boot camp was a one-stop shop for patients to complete their annual appointments and health checks.

The event was held as part of Diabetes Awareness Month and allowed more than 130 NMCP's diabetic patients over age 19 to receive multiple screenings and gather information about methods of maintaining their health and living with the illness.

"Some of our patients have difficulties getting to multiple appointments for all the different care and education that is needed when someone has diabetes," said Carmina Bautista, a diabetes nurse in the endocrinology clinic and co-organizer of the event. "We really want to help our patients and make sure they receive the care and education they need. This event lets us condense everything into one visit for them."

Among the services offered were A1C blood sugar checks, blood and urine tests, dilated retinal exams, foot examinations, flu and pneumonia vaccinations, and glucometer testing and troubleshooting.

"The boot camp is really meant to let us provide a one-stop shop for our patients," said Casey Knapp, a disease manager in NMCP's Population Health Department and co-organizer of the event. "It really helps us get our delinquent patients in when they know they are going to get all of their appointments out of the way at one time. While patients are here for the care they need, we can also take time and educate them on different concerns with their health and what to be mindful of."

Staff from eental, endocrinology, health and wellness, immunizations, laboratory, ophthalmology, podiatry, and population health manned tables to allow patients the opportunity to address their concerns with someone one on one. Vendors from around the area and organizations like the American Diabetes Association set up displays with programs, books and products that can help patients manage their diabetes.

Knapp added, it is important for patients to know who they can talk to about their concerns; from eye, foot and teeth to diet and exercise routines.

This year, the camp offered classes on smoking cessation, exercises such as Pilates, yoga and Zumba, and personal time to talk to a nutritionist.

"Diet and exercise can mean the difference between someone who has their diabetes under control and someone who has to routinely take medicine to keep it in line," Bautista said. "The patients we try to get at these events are the ones who need help getting it under control. But a lot do show up because they are extremely proactive about keeping healthy."

Dorothy E. Walker, a retired chief petty officer who was stationed at NMCP, has been a diabetic for nine years and said she has attended the event every year since it began.

"I love coming to this event because it is a very educational experience where I learn about so much, from taking care of my feet and what shoes I should wear to different diets and exercise programs," Walker said. "The staff here really does an awesome job at being a team to provide the best care for patients."

The staff's current plan is to continue this event yearly and continue to encourage those patients who are having difficulty with their diabetes and keeping it under control to attend.

"Everybody knows that if you don't keep your diabetes under control, your kidneys could fail or you have other organs you could lose," Walker said. "The doctors at this facility really talk to each other and provide some great care and information. I would highly encourage those who didn't attend to make it next time. This is too good of an event to miss out on."

For more news from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, visit

NNS141114-16. WW II Cruiser USS Houston (CA 30) Final Report Completed

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- U.S. Navy underwater archeologists from the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) have completed the final survey report of the shipwreck of the World War II cruiser USS Houston (CA 30).

The team's interim report was finalized earlier this summer, confirming the site's identity and documenting conclusive evidence of a pattern of unauthorized disturbance of the grave site. While the findings remain intact from the interim report, this final report benefits from additional archival research and more exhaustively details the condition of the wreck.

As recently as October, Sailors and Military Sealift Command (MSC) civilian mariners assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40), representatives of the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, and naval officers from Australia and Indonesia paid their respects to the crews of USS Houston (CA 30) and HMAS Perth (D 29) during a wreath laying ceremony Oct. 14, at the site of the sunken ships.

The original underwater survey was conducted as part of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2014 exercise in June, U.S. Navy divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) One Company 1-5, along with personnel from the Indonesian navy, surveyed the wreck during a joint training evolution. Over the course of 19 dive excursions, both ends of the wrecked vessel were marked with buoys and the exposed port side, as well as the deck, was documented using video recording.

The site of the sunken ship is the final resting place of approximately 650 Sailors and Marines. The assessment noted there were indications that unknown persons illegally removed hull rivets and a metal plate from the ship, as well as engaged in other unauthorized activities. U.S. and Indonesian representatives are currently coordinating to develop measures to limit continued disturbance of the site.

Houston, nicknamed "The Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast," was sunk in combat during the World War II Battle of Sunda Strait in 1942. Capt. Albert H. Rooks, the ship's commanding officer who was killed in action, posthumously received the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism, while USS Houston was awarded two battle stars, as well as the Presidential Unit Citation.

For more information on the previous interim report and findings, see:

For more information on the USS Houston, visit:

For more news from Naval History and Heritage Command, visit:

NNS020716-10. This Day in Naval History - Nov. 17

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1847 - During the Mexican-American War, 17 Marines and 50 Sailors from the sloop-of-war Dale land at Guaymas, Mexico. The Americans are pinned down in a brief fire-fight and their commander is seriously wounded before the defenders dispersed.

1863 - The screw sloop Monongahela escorts Army troops and covers their landing on Mustang Island, Texas while her Sailors shell Confederate works until the defenders surrender.

1917 - USS Fanning (DD 37) and USS Nicholson (DD 52) sink the first German submarine, U 58, off Milford Haven, Wales, upon entering World War I.

1941 - Congress amends the Neutrality Act to allow U.S. merchant ships to be armed.

1944 - TBMs (VC-82) from escort carrier USS Anzio (CVE 57) and USS Lawrence C. Taylor (DE 415) sink Japanese submarine I 26 in the Philippine Sea while USS Spadefish (SS 411) sinks escort carrier Shinyo in the Yellow Sea.

NNS141118-01. VAQ-138 Yellow Jackets Participate in Exercise Max Thunder in Korea

By MC1 (SW/AW) Frank L. Andrews, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

KUNSAN, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- The Yellow Jackets of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 138 participated in Max Thunder, a bilateral aerial training exercise for U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) military aircrews and maintainers, Nov. 14-21 at Kunsan Air Base, Korea.

The purpose of exercise Max Thunder is to enhance combat readiness of the U.S. and ROK air forces and supporting forces through combined and joint training.

The Yellow Jackets bring suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD) capabilities, also known as radar jamming, to the exercise utilizing EA-18G Growler aircraft.

"When it comes to suppressing an enemy's air defense, I want to know how to best protect our counterparts," said Cmdr. Doug Graber, commanding officer of VAQ-138. "The more VAQ-138 learns about how our counterparts operate, the more we can protect them. It's complicated, but the more we train together the more interoperable we become."

Participation in Max Thunder provides the aircrew and maintainers of VAQ-138 with a valuable training opportunity that only forward-deployed squadrons can experience.

"I'm happy that we can be part of the Navy's plans to operate forward and rebalance to the Pacific," said Graber. "To me, it's always a meaningful exercise when we not only get to prove ourselves in several mission areas, but also find ways to improve capabilities. There are some things you'll never learn until it's time to pick up, move, settle in somewhere new, and start launching jets."

Exercise Max Thunder allows the U.S. and ROK militaries to become familiar with tactical capabilities through mission planning and aerial maneuvers. Through bilateral exercises like Max Thunder, each nation learns critical tactics that allow aircraft to operate together when it really matters.

"Being in an environment like this makes you grow because we are working with the different air forces," said Graber. "We have to learn the different services' jargon, operational norms, and tactics. This is very important for achieving our combined readiness."

Also deployed to the Korean peninsula is the U.S. Marine Corps Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, Pacific (FASTPAC) Detachment 6 Platoon from Yokosuka, Japan. This specialty security team brings an added layer of security to the high-tech squadron.

"We specialize in fixed site security," said Capt. Sean Dixon, officer in charge of FASTPAC Detachment 6 Platoon. "We come here to reinforce security of naval assets like the EA-18G Growler and the equipment VAQ-138 brings. We also regulate who comes around the technology."

"The Marine FASTPAC team solves a lot of our problems," said Graber. "They are able to pick up and deploy with us, and they do a great job of protecting our jets and crew."

VAQ-138 is currently on a routine deployment in support of 7th Fleet. The expeditionary squadron is forward deployed from Misawa, Japan, and is homeported at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Washington.

Exercise Max Thunder is part of a continuous exercise program to enhance interoperability between U.S. and ROK forces and is not tied to any real-world or specific threats. These exercises highlight the longstanding military partnership, commitment, and enduring friendship between the two nations, help ensure peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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

NNS141118-05. Titanic Explorer, Nobel Laureate to Headline Naval S&T Expo

From Office of Naval Research Public Affairs

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- The leader of the expedition that discovered the Titanic wreck and a Nobel Prize-winning physicist are among a growing lineup of speakers slated for the Naval Future Force Science and Technology (S&T) Expo Feb. 4-5 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the naval S&T community's premier event gives attendees the opportunity to interact with Department of Defense (DoD) leaders, who will discuss the status of key programs and new research opportunities. The Expo also will feature as many as 100 exhibits from industry, academia and government.

A revised Naval S&T Strategy detailing ONR's investments in scientific research will be unveiled at the event and set the tone and agenda for the Expo. The strategy will provide in-depth looks at research in robotics, autonomy, cyberspace, advanced training technology, power and energy, and other disciplines.

Incoming Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Mathias Winter will host the event.

"This event is crucial for us to communicate opportunities to potential research partners -- and for participants to learn how they can work with us to achieve the Department of the Navy's goals for delivering innovative technologies," said current Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, who will pass the torch to Winter Jan. 1. "From past experience, I can say this event is essential to getting the best and brightest in one place to share research challenges, new ideas and innovative concepts."

Already confirmed to speak at the event are: Dr. Robert Ballard, president and founder of Ocean Exploration Trust and world-famous undersea explorer; Dr. Bill Phillips, University of Maryland professor and winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on laser-cooling methods; and Maj. Gen. Albert Husniaux, NATO's chief scientist.

Alan Shaffer, principal deputy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, will lead a panel discussion on technology and innovation featuring leaders of S&T organizations from throughout DoD on the Expo's first day.

More speakers will be announced as they are confirmed. Check the Expo website and ONR's Twitter and Facebook profiles for periodic updates.

In addition to distinguished guest speakers, ONR leaders such as Director of Research Dr. Larry Schuette and Director of Technology Dr. Tom Killion will discuss challenges and opportunities.

There also will be breakout rooms to learn more about each of ONR's departments and conduct one-on-one appointments with subject matter experts.

The event is co-sponsored by the American Society of Naval Engineers.

About the Naval Future Force S&T Expo
The Naval Future Force S&T Expo is the Office of Naval Research's premier event. Formerly the S&T Partnership Conference, it provides access to naval leaders and opportunities for dialogue on requirements, challenges and new opportunities in S&T. The Expo is intended to raise awareness of a revised Naval S&T Strategy, program initiatives and challenges, as well as explore new partnerships and ideas to achieve Navy and Marine Corps goals. The event will include specialty forums to discuss themes such as: small business, co-sponsored with the Navy Office of Small Business Programs; innovative technologies; visionary research; science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); doing business with ONR; and international S&T perspectives. Click here to learn more.

About the Office of Naval Research
The Department of the Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs more than 1,000 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.

For more news from Office of Naval Research, visit

NNS141118-10. Navy Releases Guidance for Reducing Access to Lethal Means

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy released guidance for commanders and health professionals on reducing access to lethal means as related to suicide prevention through voluntary storage of privately-owned firearms Nov. 18.

This guidance is part of a broader Department of Defense strategy to prevent suicide and related tragedies in the military as promulgated in a recent memorandum from the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness).

"Firearms were used in half of all Navy suicide deaths in 2012 and 2013, and continue to be the primary method used in both military and civilian suicides," said Capt. Mike D. Smith, director, Navy Suicide Prevention Branch. "Reducing access to lethal means has been proven to save lives. These voluntary measures are intended to help Sailors avoid taking such irreversible actions to end their lives, and provide the opportunity for intervention and care."

NAVADMIN 263/14 states that commanders and health professionals may ask Sailors, who are reasonably believed to be at risk for suicide or causing harm to others, to voluntarily allow their privately-owned firearms to be stored for temporary safekeeping by the command. The decision is entirely up to the Sailor, and the commander or health care professional shall not offer incentives, disincentives or coerce the Sailor into turning over their firearm.

If the Sailor agrees to surrender their firearm temporarily, the commander must ensure that the rights of the Sailor are protected. The weapon may be safeguarded on the installation or other storage location in coordination with local authorities, and returned upon request unless a predetermined storage period is agreed upon between the commander and the Sailor.

Causes of suicide are complex, but consist of a chain of events leading an individual to feel distress and hopelessness, in combination with the capacity to take lethal action. Research indicates that immediate availability of lethal means directly increases the chance of a lethal attempt during a high-risk period.

"Commanders and health professionals must identify Sailors at risk and provide all available assistance while maintaining Sailors' rights," said Smith. "Just as a person should be willing to turn over the car keys when not fit to drive, one should be willing to turn over their firearm for safekeeping until he or she feels fit again."

Warning signs that may indicate suicide risk include expressing thoughts of hurting oneself; developing plans and acquiring means to take lethal action; giving away possessions; engaging in uncharacteristic destructive behavior such as substance abuse or violence; changes in mood including anger or anxiety; loss of connection to others; and/or expressing feelings of hopelessness, purposelessness or feeling like a burden to others.

If a Sailor objects to storage of their privately-owned firearm, commanders may ask the Sailor to voluntarily dismantle their firearm and allow the command to store critical pieces, ask the Sailor to store the firearm with a safety-lock device and provide the key to a trusted adult, or ask the Sailor to store the firearm and/or ammunition in the care of a trusted adult. In all situations where there is an immediate risk to life, commanders and health professionals must take immediate action to ensure the Sailor receives the necessary care, support and treatment to prevent harm and promote recovery.

Guidance set forth by NAVADMIN 263/14 takes effect immediately and is in accordance with Section 1057 of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2013.

For more information, visit Navy Suicide Prevention at or the Defense Suicide Prevention Office at

Help is always available. Visit the Military Crisis Line at or call 1-800-273-8255 (Option 1).

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS141117-21. USS Fort Worth Commences 16-Month Rotational Deployment to Western Pacific

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

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) departed its homeport of San Diego Nov. 17 for a 16-month rotational deployment to Singapore in support of the Navy's strategic rebalance to the Pacific.

Building on the achievements of USS Freedom's (LCS 1) inaugural 10-month deployment to Southeast Asia from March to December 2013, Fort Worth will visit more ports, engage more regional navies during exercises like Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) and expand LCS capabilities, including embarking and using the MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV).

"There is no doubt that LCS brings an enhanced capability to the Asia-Pacific region," said Vice Adm. Kenneth E. Floyd, U.S. 3rd Fleet commander. "We are proud of the crews for the countless hours of hard work in preparation for this inaugural deployment and we're looking forward to Fort Worth building on the successes and lessons learned from Freedom's deployment last year."

Fort Worth, with embarked LCS Crew 104, recently completed its final certifications for its deployment during Task Group Exercise off the coast of Southern California.

After departing San Diego, Fort Worth will visit ports in Hawaii and Guam before arriving in its maintenance and logistics hub of Singapore. The ship will remain homeported in San Diego and all crew members will live aboard.

Fort Worth is the first LCS to deploy under the "3-2-1" manning concept, swapping fully trained crews roughly every four months. This concept will allow Fort Worth to deploy six months longer than Freedom, which swapped crews once in 10 months, extending LCS forward presence and reducing crew fatigue for the 16-month deployment. It is named 3-2-1 because three rotational crews will support two LCS ships and maintain one deployed ship.

Like Freedom, Fort Worth will employ the surface warfare mission package for the entire deployment, to include two 30 mm guns, two 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB) and two 8-member maritime security boarding teams.

For the first time, Fort Worth will also deploy with an aviation detachment from the "Magicians" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35, the Navy's first composite expeditionary helicopter squadron. The aviation detachment will consist of one MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and one MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned autonomous helicopter. The Fire Scout will complement the MH-60R by extending the range and endurance thereby enhancing maritime domain awareness.

"The crew has put in long hours and hard work to ensure both they and the ship are ready for Fort Worth's maiden deployment," said Cmdr. Kendall Bridgewater, LCS Crew 104 commanding officer. "We look forward to arriving in theater and quickly becoming a valuable asset to the 7th Fleet commander, engaging with our allies and partner nations in the Pacific."

This is the second overseas deployment of the Navy's LCS platform. Fast, agile and mission-focused, LCS is designed to operate in near-shore environments and employ modular mission packages that can be configured for surface warfare, mine countermeasures, or anti-submarine warfare.

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

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

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NNS141118-04. Navy Information Dominance Forces Support Bold Alligator 2014

From Navy Information Dominance Forces Public Affairs

SUFFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- As the Navy operates forward to support real-world events, so does the Information Dominance Type Commander (ID TYCOM), as was evident during Exercise Bold Alligator 2014 (BA14), Oct. 29 - Nov. 10.

The ID TYCOM provides Naval commands with intelligence, imagery and strike capabilities. Fleet Intelligence Detachments (FIDs) and Fleet Intelligence Adaptive Forces (FIAFs) are the Navy's enablers that fill this increased demand.

FID and FIAF personnel assigned to the Navy's newest TYCOM, Navy Information Dominance Forces (NAVIDFOR), recently supported multiple commands throughout BA14. This year's Bold Alligator blue-green team involved 19 nations and 18 U.S. Navy and coalition ships, and roughly 14,000 U.S. and international marines and sailors. The exercise featured Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 and 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB).

In previous years, Bold Alligator tested the ability of the Navy-Marine Corps and coalition partner teams to conduct a full-scale amphibious landing in a medium-threat environment. BA14 exercised the ability to conduct crisis response operations in a complex maritime environment, with realistic scenarios that are relevant to current operations. Crisis response operations like Tomadachi in Japan and Unified Response in Haiti illustrate the need for rapid, reliable and ready amphibious forces provided by the Navy-Marine Corps team and coalition partners.

FID personnel typically provide specialized intelligence capabilities to deploying carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups, and support underway training, deployment and surge requirements. FIAF personnel serve as the primary source for meeting fleet obligations for intelligence individual augmentation missions, provide enhanced intelligence capacity to maritime operations centers around the globe, and serve to augment ad hoc fleet and operational intelligence requirements.

During BA14, both FID and FIAF teams helped man the ships' Joint Intelligence Center and Expeditionary Plot for daily intelligence operations. Embarked personnel trained to perform the same duties they would execute during a standard deployment. These intelligence professionals provided background intelligence support to exercise staff and assisted with evolution grading and White Cell activities.

The Navy Information Dominance Corps (IDC) was established in 2009 and combined the deep expertise and strengths of the officer/enlisted, active/Reserve, and civilian workforce from the oceanography/meteorology, information professional, information warfare, naval intelligence and space cadre professions. IDC is an inter-disciplinary corps that possesses an innate understanding of potential adversaries and the battle space. IDC intelligence experts like those from the FIDs and FIAFs accurately identify targets and bring an array of non-kinetic, offensive and defensive capabilities to the fight in the Information Age.

For more information on NAVIDFOR, visit the command's web site at Additional information, articles and photos can be found at

NNS141117-20. First Manned, Unmanned Detachment Deploys Aboard Littoral Combat Ship

From Naval Air Forces, Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The "Magicians" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 Detachment 1 departed Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado, California, Nov. 17, to join USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) on her maiden deployment.

The departure marks the first time the multi-mission MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned autonomous helicopter are deployed together aboard a littoral combat ship.

Lt. Cmdr. Doug Kay, the officer-in-charge of HSM-35 Detachment 1, spoke with media briefly prior to the detachment's departure.

"I have never been more confident in my detachment's capabilities and readiness," said Kay. "I have the right people, and they truly are America's best."

HSM-35 Detachment 1 will consist of one MH-60R and one MQ-8B. The Fire Scout will complement the MH-60R by extending the range and endurance to enhance maritime domain awareness. The deploying aviation detachment will consist of 24 personnel who are qualified to operate or perform maintenance on both the MH-60R and the MQ-8B.

"We are the first squadron to bring all three components together with the MH-60R, the Fire Scout unmanned system, and the littoral combat ship," said Kay. "It's exciting to be at the cutting edge of Naval Aviation as part of HSM-35."

As the next generation submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare helicopter, the MH-60R Seahawk is the cornerstone of the Navy's Helicopter Concept of Operations. The MQ-8B Fire Scout system provides unique situational awareness and precision target support for the Navy and complements the MH-60R by extending the range and endurance to enhance maritime domain awareness.

Littoral combat ships are expected to routinely deploy with one Fire Scout and an H-60 as part of the ship's surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and mine countermeasures mission packages.

Fort Worth also departed San Diego Nov. 17 for the ship's scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

For more news from Commander, Naval Air Forces, visit

NNS141117-17. Hawaii Service Members Recognized for their Achievement

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

HONOLULU (NNS) -- Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, stationed in Hawaii, received excellence awards at the 54th Sea Service Awards recognition luncheon held by the Honolulu Navy League Nov. 14 at the Ala Moana Hotel.

The ceremony was held to recognize 62 military service members who have provided exemplary service and performance of duty.

The Navy League Honolulu council board of directors, community leaders and Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, presided over the event.

The ceremony opened with the parade of colors provided by Joint Service Color Guard and opening remarks from Mick Buck, master of ceremonies for the event, followed by a luncheon.

As the event continued, Rear Adm. Williams spoke to the service members about the success, commitment and investment they have made to the U.S. military and their nation, and the importance of working together for a common goal.

"It is a distinct pleasure to recognize the hard work, contributions and achievements of some of 'the best of the best' of our Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Navy team," said Williams. "Every day, here in the Hawaii-operating area, our squadrons, Coast Guard cutters, flight lines, harbors, piers, logistics and other assets are often shared between Coast Guard, Marines and Navy. We rely on the speed of trust to meet the mission, and leveraging that trust helps us make a difference."

Williams elaborated on the speed of technological growth over the years and new generations that think outside the box, making new advances possible.

"These young leaders that we are recognizing today are the drivers of change, innovating new ways, faster ways, and more efficient ways of doing business," added Williams. "This makes you [Millennial leaders] stronger, more secure and better adaptive planners and communicators. This can lead to less miscalculation, enhanced cooperation and advanced sources of educated talent to draw from."

After the keynote speech, Carlyle Devoe, president of the Honolulu Navy League, Joseph Zettlemoyer, 2014 Sea Service Awards Chair, and Williams presented the certificates to the recipients of the Sea Service awards.

U.S. Coast Guard Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Charles Palmer, assigned to cutter USCGC Ahi (WPB 87364), was awarded the Top Junior Enlisted Leadership Award, chosen out of all the service branches represented.

"It is amazing to be nominated in the first place and to have support of my command here ... it is quite an honor," said Palmer. "It feels very special and I am very thankful to the crew of cutter Ahi and all of the Coast Guard family out on Sand Island."

U.S. Navy Yeomen 1st Class La Toya Calvin, assigned to commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, was among the 2014 Sea Service Recognition Award recipients.

"I am very overwhelmed, humbled and very excited," said Calvin. "I appreciate everyone who helped me be here today and receive these honors, and I hope it will help me be a better leader."

"Never give up, always lead by example, always encourage your Sailors and yourself," advised Calvin as she spoke of her command's support. "I have very strong leaders at Pacific Fleet and all the chiefs, my peers and my Sailors have got me where I am today."

The Navy League of the United States (NLUS) is a national organization of more than 50,000 members and over 270 councils throughout the United States and overseas. Each year, NLUS presents awards in recognition of outstanding individual achievements in leadership, maritime affairs, scientific progress, engineering excellence, logistics competence, excellence in intelligence, and service to community and country.

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

NNS141117-18. Naval Base San Diego Holds Main Street Cleanup

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristina D. Walton

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- More than 400 Sailors and Navy family members gathered outside of Naval Base San Diego on Nov. 15 during the "Main Street Clean Up" event hosted by the base.

During the event, volunteers from 17 commands were divided into two groups and set out in opposite directions to collect trash from the streets of National City and San Diego.

The project, which has been running for 14 years now, is done every six months in an effort to improve the appearance of the area and maintain neighborly relations with the community surrounding the base.

"We need to be the examples," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Rose Sanchez, assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). "Maybe if people see the Navy out there [cleaning] they might want to keep it cleaner."

Another Sailor, also assigned to Essex, added that he's motivated to come help out with the project because he loves San Diego.

"I love the camaraderie of the people here, so I want to help out and give something back to them," said Gas Turbine System Technician (Electrical) 1st Class Christopher Motus, a San Diego native. "Plus, I'm in the same zip code," he laughed.

Other Sailors had different motives for attending the event.

"It's something to give back to the community where we work," said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Jeremy Talbott, a native of Millbrook, N.Y., who brought his two sons to the event. "It's also something to get the kids out so they can get the feel of helping out."

"Being in the Navy is a blessing," said Ship's Serviceman 1st Class Syress Smith, assigned to USS Anchorage (LPD 23). "The community supports us, so this is one thing we can do to give back."

A total of 1,000 pounds of trash was collected during the cleanup.

"It's a good way to give back," said Smith. "It doesn't take much, and we're making a difference."

For more news from Naval Base San Diego, visit

NNS020724-46. This Day in Naval History - Nov. 18

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1889 - The battleship USS Maine launches at the New York Navy Yard.

1922 - In a PT seaplane, Cmdr. Kenneth Whiting makes the first catapult launching from an aircraft carrier at anchor, USS Langley (CV 1), in the York River.

1943 - USS Bluefish (SS 222) sinks the Japanese destroyer Sanae and damages the oiler Ondo 90 miles south of Basilan Island.

1944 - USS Blackfin (SS 322) diverts from her war patrol and picks up captured Japanese cryptographic and technical equipment, along with other secret documents, west of Camurong River on the north coast of Mindoro, Philippines.

1944 - USS Peto (SS 265), USS Spadefish (SS 411), and USS Sunfish (SS 281) attack the same Japanese convoy in the East China. Peto sinks army cargo ships Aisakasan Maru and Chinkai Maru. Spadefish sinks auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 156 and Sunfish sinks army transport Seisho Maru.

1962 - USS Currituck (AV-7) rescues 13 Japanese fishermen from their disabled fishing boat Seiyu Maru, which was damaged in Typhoon Karen.

NNS141119-07. New Navy Standardized FPO Mail Address Format

By Debbie Dortch, Naval Supply Systems Command Corporate Communications

Mechanicsburg, Pa. (NNS) -- Navy Fleet Post Office (FPO) addresses for ships, mobile units and ashore FPOs are being converted to an address format compatible with the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) address system, according to a Nov. 18 NAVADMIN message.

The new address format is effective immediately for mobile units and ashore FPOs.

"The new standardized addresses use a format similar to the way residential mail is addressed across the U.S.," said Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Navy Postal Director Gabe Telles. "Standardization will improve service by reducing transit time, which is good news for Sailors."

The new format for ships and mobile units is as follows:

Line 1: Name
Line 2: Ship or Mobile Unit name
Line 3: Ship or Mobile Unit number, box number
Line 4: FPO (AP, AE, AA) ZIP code (5 digits only)

The new format for ashore FPOs now includes a Postal Service Center (PSC) number and box number along with a 5-digit ZIP code in the address as follows:

Line 1: Name
Line 2: PSC number, box number
Line 3: FPO (AP, AE, AA) ZIP code (5 digits only)

"Sailors will notice immediately that only a 5-digit ZIP code is necessary," Telles said. "This and the new standardized format will be easier for everyone, including businesses, family, and friends sending mail to FPOs."

The standardization comes during the holiday mailing season. NAVSUP announced 2014 holiday mailing deadlines Sept. 15. (

"If senders use an old address but still follow the announced deadline dates for holiday mailings, delivery is expected by Dec. 25," said Telles. "However, using the new address standardization could get holiday mail to its destination more quickly. Sailors should inform everyone who sends them mail about the new format as soon as possible."

Another benefit of the standardization is postal patrons' ability to use the USPS Internet change-of-address process at when rotating to/from new assignments that use FPO addresses. Sailors can find more information at their local FPO or at

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

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit

NNS141119-02. 7th Fleet, JMSDF Leaders Discuss Tactics, Planning Aboard George Washington During Keen Sword 15

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Everett Allen, USS George Washington Public Affairs

WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (NNS) -- Vice Adm. Robert Thomas Jr., commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Vice Adm. Eiichi Funada, commander in chief, Maritime Self-Defense Fleet, and other military leaders embarked Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) Nov. 18 during Exercise Keen Sword 15.

During the visit, Thomas and Funada met with Rear Adm. John Alexander, commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet and Capt. Greg Fenton, commanding officer of George Washington, as well as other commanders, to review the performance of the George Washington (GW) Carrier Strike Group and JMSDF counterparts and discuss future plans for cooperation.

The 2015 Keen Sword exercise improved bilateral cooperation significantly when JMSDF Takanami-class destroyer JS Sazanami seamlessly integrated with the GW strike group during a bilateral training cruise in October and November leading up to Keen Sword. To further increase the bilateral integration, JMSDF Commander, Escort Force (CCF) 2 operated as the sea combatant commander for the exercise, employing tactics and controlling the scheme of maneuver for the strike group's escort ships.

"The purpose of today's visit was to discuss how we've performed in Keen Sword," said Alexander. "Looking at the lessons learned over the course of the exercise, we were able to look at a number of tactical lessons learned, which we believe can be applied in the future."

"Seventh Fleet works closely with the JMSDF every single day," said Thomas. "From advanced combat scenarios at sea to cooperative information sharing. Keen Sword is a culmination of our steady and persistent efforts to ensure smooth interoperability and close coordination."

Approximately 11,000 U.S. personnel participated in Exercise Keen Sword 15, including those assigned to U.S. Forces Japan Headquarters, 5th Air Force, U.S. Naval Forces Japan, U.S. Army Japan and III Marine Expeditionary Force. Training was conducted with their Japan Self Defense Force counterparts at military installations throughout mainland Japan, Okinawa and in the waters surrounding Japan.

"Japan is a very strong ally of ours," said Alexander. "Improving the interoperability between the U.S. Navy and the JMSDF is important, and we will continue to do so."

Keen Sword is a joint bilateral at-sea training exercise held since 1986 involving Japan Self Defense Forces and U.S. military forces. This year's exercise involved multiple scenarios that occurred in a number of locations throughout Japan, including the waters and airspace around Japan.

"It was a great visit," said Thomas. "We demonstrated the most critical tactical capabilities of the carrier strike group in a very short period of time. You can only do that with great Sailors working closely with our great ally."

The guests toured George Washington's flight deck, signal bridge, and flag bridge, observing the operations of the more than 5,500 Sailors of George Washington and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5.

"It's easy to see that George Washington and its crew, along with the air wing, come together to make a finely-tuned machine," said Thomas. "The hard work they do all year long really shows."

Keen Sword strengthens U.S.-Japan military interoperability and meets mutual defense objectives. Exercises like Keen Sword provide an indispensable field training environment for enhancing mutual understanding of each country's tactics, communication protocols, procedures and general interoperability.

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

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

NNS141119-03. FDRMC Completes First Selected Restricted Availability on USS Donald Cook

By Susan Lawson, Commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Forward Deployed Regional Maintenance Center (FDRMC) Detachment Rota completed its first selected restricted availability (SRA) on Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) in Rota, Spain, Nov. 12.

The ship completed combined contractor and type commander sea trials Nov. 12, showcasing the product of excellent teamwork between the type commander, ship, regional maintenance center, and both the Spanish navy and local industry.

"Though only recently established, FDRMC Det. Rota has demonstrated exceptional collaboration during the USS Donald Cook availability, and has the distinction of being completed both on time and within budget," said FDRMC Detachment Rota Officer in Charge (OIC) Cmdr. Joseph Saegert.

"Success can be attributed to the dedication and hard work of the entire maintenance team," said Saegert.

The Donald Cook team managed to complete all milestones and key events on time enabling Ship's Force to complete a successful light off assessment. Command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) modernization completed ahead of schedule and the installation teams provided additional training for Ship's Force and support for the external communications (EXCOM) assessment team.

The Donald Cook is a key component in the U.S. Navy's efforts to protect European allies from ballistic missile threats, and was the first of the four Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)-capable ships to relocate to, and complete a chief of naval operations (CNO) availability, at her new homeport in Rota.

Her short 100-day selected restricted availability (SRA) was scheduled from Sept. 24 until Nov. 12, and was filled with maintenance, modernization, and assessments, such as the BMD readiness assessment, which are usually done after the completion of an availability.

"In addition to the compressed availability schedule, there were many other challenges to overcome in the overseas environment, including timely movement of 1,700 line items of government furnished material, development and execution of first article ship repair procedures with the Spanish contractor, Navantia," said FDRMC Commanding Officer, Capt. Jerry Zinni. "Despite these challenges, all requirements were successfully accomplished, all while establishing organizational boots on the ground."

An availability completion message will be distributed to Naval Surface Force Atlantic, and other Navy stakeholders, once authorized and signed by Zinni, will signal the availability completion certification and allow Det. Rota to complete the ship's departure conference.

For more news from Commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Centers, visit

NNS141118-14. Naval Medical Center Portsmouth's Biannual Symposium Helps 'Docs' Improve Care

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/EXW/AW) Gary Johnson, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- About one hundred independent duty corpsmen and medical providers from around the fleet gathered at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Nov. 13, for the biannual Independent Duty Corpsman Symposium.

The Operational Forces Medical Liaison Services sponsors the event twice a year to provide IDCs with training that will help them provide the highest quality of care possible, and help improve communication between the providers throughout the fleet.

This type of training is important for IDCs who are assigned to commands as non-physician health care providers. The range of responsibility differs according to the community they serve, from Fleet Marine Forces and surface ships to special warfare and Seabee units. They must rely on their own skills when providing care in remote or austere environments.

"For a large number of IDCs, especially those with high operational tempos, it is very hard to get all the training needed and for it to be quality training," said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Jason Shaeffer, OFMLS senior enlisted leader. "This is our way of giving back to the fleet and providing eight hours of quality continuing education."

Topics involved cardiology, preventive medicine, neurology, mental health, internal medicine and endocrinology. The symposium covered specialties that would enhance an IDC's knowledge level while treating patients in these conditions. It also helps them complete mandatory Continuing Medical Education requirement of 15 annual hours.

Capt. Darin K. Via, NMCP commanding officer, kicked off the day, talking about the tremendous work that IDCs do in the community.

"I have no greater respect than for an IDC," said Via. "Whether they are in the field with Marines or on a ship or submarine, they are the true 'docs' of the Navy. These are the folks who commanding officers go to for help making medical decisions, and I am proud that we at NMCP can help with their continuing education."

For some, this was their first time to attend, while for others, the training is like a tradition. Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF) Michael Warden, assigned to Cyclone-class patrol coastal ship USS Zephyr (PC-8), has only been an IDC for five months and was the most junior IDC attending.

"This has been an incredibly beneficial event for both the training and networking," said Warden. "With being a new IDC, any extra training or contacts I can make will be extremely useful, especially here at the hospital with all the different clinics and knowledge they can share."

The symposium originally began as a yearly refresher course. After seeing the need for more frequent and more in-depth training, OFMLS staff redesigned the course to be a biannual event that covers a greater range of training. The next session is scheduled for May 2015.

For more news from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, visit

NNS141119-04. USS Sampson Sailors Act as Role Models for Young Children

By Leah Eclavea, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

TAMUNING, Guam (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Sampson (DDG 102) spent time with young students during a community relations event at Tamuning Elementary School and Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) Elementary School in Tamuning, Guam, Nov. 19.

"Well it is always good to have guests coming over to our schools, especially with the partnership that the schools have between the military and the public school systems," said Johansen Punongbayan, assistant principal, LBJ Elementary School and Tamuning Elementary School. "So it's an opportunity for us to work with them and get to know what they do and what the kids do at the school site."

The Sailors spent time helping students with school work as well as talking about their careers serving in the United States Navy.

"I think it's important for people to realize we are out here doing more than just floating around and looking for bad guys," said Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW) Eric Maier. "We enjoy coming to this community, we enjoy supporting the communities that support us."

Maier helped the students with their class assignments and answered any questions the children had about serving in the Navy.

"I just want them to enjoy the experience and understand that we're people too, that we're just out there doing a job and we care about the job," he said.

Jeni Ann Flores a teacher at Tamuning Elementary School said her students enjoyed their time with the Sailors their visit had a positive impact on the children.

"I think the world can always use a positive role model; especially our children," she said. "And a service member coming here is a big impact on them because here is somebody who cared enough to come and visit and tell about his experiences and it widens the world for them."

Sampson, a guided-missile destroyer, made a port call to Guam while on an independent deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean.

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

NNS141118-13. Naval Medical Center Portsmouth's OB-GYNs Recognized for Excellence

By Rebecca A. Perron, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Thirteen Naval Medical Center Portsmouth's obstetricians and gynecologists were recognized for excellence in their field at the annual Armed Forces District meeting of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists from Nov. 9-12 in Cincinnati.

They attended the meeting to exchange research studies and new patient care techniques, as well as network with fellow military doctors. Each made an oral presentation of research they had conducted or a poster presentation of a patient case report.

Seven attendees were recognized for having the best paper or poster or received the chairman's award.

Some of the residents and staff have attended the meeting for several years. For Air Force Capt. Corey Baxter, a fourth-year resident, it was a first. Being exposed to the breadth of research there is something he can bring back to his clinical practice.

"It was a great experience to see the diversity of research that's going on," said Baxter. "It's interesting because some of the research is medical and some surgical. We are exposed to how other research programs operate via protocol or surgical technique. It's great to see how they work with their patient population as well."

"In the military, we have a unique patient population compared to the civilian sector, especially in subspecialties like urogynecology," said Cmdr. Joy Greer, staff gynecologist. "It's helpful to be able to network to discuss patient challenges in caring for our active-duty members and beneficiaries. It also provides an opportunity to network for research studies."

Greer was recognized for best scientific paper from a fellowship with his topic of functional outcomes of women undergoing pelvic organ prolapse surgery. The study tracked functions like walking, lifting and climbing stairs, as well as frailty markers like anemia and weight loss. Limitations were tracked before surgery and again at six weeks and 12 weeks after surgery.

"We found that for about 30 percent of our patients, those 60 and older, functional limitations before surgery predicted an increased number (of limitations) after surgery," said Greer. "It's really important to counsel patients before surgery, so they can have the appropriate expectations of how long their recovery is going to take. Doctors can also try to optimize certain risk factors before the surgery to improve recovery after."

In addition to Greer, the others who received awards were: Lt. Cmdr. Jerrol Wallace and Air Force Capt. Meghan Taylor for best research paper on a clinical topic; Lt. Cmdr. Adam Sischy received the Chairman's award (non-teaching hospital) for work completed at his previous duty station; and Capt. Rick Gist, Capt. Nanette Rollene and Lt. Julie Whittington for best poster.

Presenting and discussing research is an important portion of the meeting, according to fourth-year resident Lt. Cmdr. Rozalyn Love, but not the main reason she attends.

"Beyond the research piece, you also get to participate in business meetings for Navy OB-GYN, so you get privy to information about pertinent issues in the community for all of the Navy, as well as for all of the Armed Forces," said Love.

One of Love's stops at the conference was the technology booth. This year, she brought back the latest phone and tablet applications that are useful in daily practice and plans to share them with staff and residents. Many of the apps address patient care topics like cervical screenings, pelvic organ prolapse and treatment guidelines for certain diseases.

During the meeting, Lt. Alison Spaniol, a fourth-year resident, competed in a tri-service game of Jeopardy, joining three other Navy OB-GYNs to beat the Army and Air Force team.

"The game featured medical trivia, local geographic trivia and performance-based laparoscopic skills," said Spaniol. "The final question was the year this strain of Ebola was discovered, which was 1976, and we knew the answer."

The takeaways from the conference included an office-based procedure to treat patients who have suffered a miscarriage. Instead of performing a dilation and curettage in the operating room, patients can undergo an office-based procedure.

"We learned the technique and heard a research presentation about its cost-effectiveness," said Spaniol. "This is an improvement in the ability to provide care. The conference gives us the exposure to new technology and new ideas, and awareness of what's being successfully used in another hospital."

Another tool, using clay to build a model of a pelvis, caught the attention of Lt. Suzanne Jenkins, a fourth-year resident.

"This is a way to improve teaching pelvic anatomy to residents and medical students," said Jenkins. "Learning pelvic anatomy is one of the more challenging aspects of our field. Actually starting with the bony pelvis and building the layers of the pelvic floor and physically putting in where the arteries and the nerves run to can help. This is a workshop we will definitely try to begin at NMCP."

For more news from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, visit

NNS141118-12. Petty Officers, NCOs Gain Valuable Insight into Each Other's Service

By By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tim Comerford, Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The second National Capitol Region Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) / Petty Officers Joint Leadership Course gathered more than 100 junior NCOs and Petty Officers to receive leadership wisdom from senior enlisted from all branches at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., Nov. 12-14.

Encouraging esprit de corps and learning, the senior and junior enlisted leaders traveled from as far as Quantico, Va., and Baltimore to discuss leadership and share more about each individual service. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and senior NCO of the U.S. Armed Forces, came up with the idea, initially a three-day course that finished around Armed Forces Day, May 17.

The event was such a success they decided to teach it again shortly after Veteran's Day.

Battaglia welcomed the new attendees, letting them know they shared a common bond the moment they raised their hands and took the Oath of Enlistment.

"I take the oath so seriously that I feel every enlisted member in the armed forces should know it by heart - on demand," said Battaglia to the gathered crowd. "It's a common denominator that brings us all together. When you read the oath, dissect it and really understand it. In layman's terms it says, 'I am willing to support and defend something at all costs.' And that includes the Constitution."

Battaglia pointed at the front row of service members, adding that oath to service includes men and women "who I have never met until I shook their hands. Right now we could receive orders, deploy, suit up, gun up, mount up and I am willing to give my life for any one of them. That's serious. If you don't believe me take a walk over to Arlington and look at the grave sites. They are the ones who took the oath to its ultimate meaning. They gave their lives for this country. That's huge. If that doesn't renew your commitment to the profession of arms, then maybe you are in the wrong business. We put our trust and our lives in each other's hands, just by the purpose and the reason we serve and the uniform that we wear."

He told the gathered NCOs and petty officers that one of the secrets to good leadership is keeping an open mind and not insisting one's own ideas are best.

"Be receptive to [someone else's] thoughts and ideas," he said. "Never fall in love with your own plan. That doesn't mean your plan isn't good. It's just saying that others have ideas. If a Marine, a Sailor and a Soldier are working on a problem, an Airman can come in and [he or she] may have the best solution to that problem."

Battaglia shared that striving to be a good leader is a never-ending process.

"Development as a leader doesn't stop," he said. "As the senior NCO of the armed forces, I still learn each and every day, not just from my higher leaders but from folks like you."

It's a sentiment the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens, who also came to speak with the group, shared.

"Every day I read a professional leadership book," explained Stevens. "If you go and reach inside those books, you gain that knowledge without actually having to live it yourself. You will have your own life experiences but our lives are finite. If you want to gain more you have to reach out and get it from others."

Stevens explained the reason leadership is important is because a group, whether a small business or large military organization, will never be able to rise above the capabilities of its leaders.

"The ability of the organization you are leading is going to max out at your ability to lead," he explained. "If you are a seven out of ten today, the best your group will ever be is a seven. If you are not reaching out and developing and becoming a better leader, the best you will ever do is a seven."

The NCOs and petty officers spent the three days of the course listening to senior enlisted leaders talk leadership and being instructed on the basics of each service. They were also grouped into five units to engage in team building and learn how the honors, customs and leadership styles vary in both different situations and in different services. The course set a robust timetable that took effort to come together.

"It began as a roundtable discussion between with the senior enlisted leaders in the National Capitol Region," said Chief Machinery Technician Brian Clontz, assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Sector Baltimore. He was one of the instructors who returned to teach, again. "I was the liaison selected from Sector Baltimore to spearhead our portion of the project. We started weekly meetings to discuss what the course would be based on in February. The Noncommissioned Officer and Petty Officer: Backbone of the Armed Forces was the book that we based the leadership school on."

Although developing of the course wasn't always easy for the instructors, they received good education from it.

"Sometimes speaking with the others services, they might have been speaking French because the language was just so different," said Marine Corps Master Sergeant Jeremy Owens, a course instructor and Headquarters Marine Corps logistics chief, in Arlington, Va. "Once we got past the initial differences, I found that the other service members truly cared and were truly knowledgeable. We were able to break down the barriers and develop what we feel is a strong leadership program." He further commented on how much can be learned through this shared experience.

"Any opportunity to teach junior troops is a great opportunity and I like being part of it," agreed Senior Chief Equipment Operator Denise Demontagnac from Naval Facilities Engineering Command Headquarters, stationed at the Washington Navy Ship Yard. "There are not many places that Sailors could go to and be with all the services. For many of them, it is [a] first time."

The students echoed that belief, and that's why some volunteered.

"I thought it would be a great opportunity to be with my brothers and sisters-in-arms," said Master at Arms 1st Class Mallart Cunningham, U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard training leading petty officer. "I thought it was a very good introduction to all the branches of service, and great to work hand-in-hand with them. At the end of the day, we realized we all had one mission."

The course ended with a chance for the service members to go to the Washington D.C. Armed Forces Retirement Home and visit with the residents. It was an experience that Staff Sgt. Benjamin Heffron, Army Operations Command Echelon Above Corps operator, won't soon forget.

"I have never been [to the retirement home] before and I think it is a wonderful organization," said Heffron. "We give money to it every month and I wanted to see what it went to. Now, I am amazed."

The instructors plan on continuing the course twice a year around the Armed Forces Day and Veterans Day, respectively. The Noncommissioned Officer and Petty Officer: Backbone of the Armed Forces book is available for download from the Joint Electronic Library at

For more news from Naval History and Heritage Command, visit

NNS020724-47. This Day in Naval History - Nov. 19

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1813 - Capt. David Porter of USS Essex claims the Marquesas Islands for the U.S. In the following weeks, he establishes a base to overhaul Essex and builds a fort.

1943 - USS Nautilus (SS 168) enters Tarawa lagoon for the first submarine photograph reconnaissance mission. She is later damaged by friendly fire from USS Santa Fe (CL 60) and USS Ringgold (DD 500) off Tarawa because due to the mission, Nautilus' presence was unknown to the vessels.

1943 - USS Sculpin (SS 191) is damaged by the Japanese and abandoned by her crew. Forty-one Sailors are taken as POWs, 21 of whom are taken on Japanese carrier Chuyo that is later sunk by USS Sailfish (SS 192). Only one of the 21 Sailors survives and later rejoins the other 20 men. They remain at the POW Camp Ashio until freed Sept. 4, 1945.

1944 - USS Conklin (DE 439) and USS McCoy Reynolds (DE 440) sink the Japanese submarine I 37 100 miles west of Palaus.

1969 - Navy astronauts Cmdr. Charles Conrad, Jr. and Cmdr. Alan L. Bean become the third and fourth men to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo 12 mission.

NNS141121-07. AEGIS Baseline 9 Destroyer Scores Historic Flight Test Mission

By Program Executive Officer Integrated Warfare Systems Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Sailors aboard guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) in partnership with U.S. Pacific Command and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully executed Flight Test Standard Missile-25 (FTM-25), announced Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS), Nov. 20.

This was the first live-fire event in the integrated air and missile defense radar priority mode to engage a ballistic missile target and a raid of cruise missile targets with its AEGIS Combat System.

John Paul Jones engaged three successful near-simultaneous target shots over the Pacific Ocean by the Aegis Baseline 9.C1 (BMD 5.0 Capability Upgrade) Weapon System. One short-range ballistic missile target was intercepted by a Standard Missile-3 Block IB guided missile, while two low-flying cruise missile targets were engaged by Standard Missile-2 Block IIIA guided missiles.

"The capability that the USS John Paul Jones demonstrated during FTM-25 is the culmination of years of tough engineering across the Navy's technical community and our industry partners," said Rear Adm. Jon A. Hill, PEO IWS. "The technology displayed during FTM-25 will be a critical addition to the fleet and their ability to stay prepared."

PEO IWS spearheaded the FTM-25 as part of a developmental test/operational test sequence of events. Other test participants included discriminating sensors flown on two MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles and sensor systems ashore, command and control, battle management and Communications (C2BMC) Enterprise Sensors Lab, C2BMC Experimentation Lab, and the AEGIS Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex located at the Pacific Missile Range Facility.

Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems manages surface ship and submarine combat technologies and systems and coordinates Navy enterprise solutions across ship platforms.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS141121-19. VAW-121 Launches Squadron's First E-2D Advanced Hawkeye

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shane A. Jackson, Navy Public Affairs Support Element - East

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, the "Bluetails," launched the squadron's first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye during a test flight from Naval Station Norfolk, Nov. 20.

The flight marks the end of VAW-121's 37-year relationship with the E-2C Hawkeye, the previous model, and moving forward with the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye ahead of most other early warning squadrons.

"It's still an E-2 and we're going to be capable to provide all the functions and perform all the same missions as we did with the E-2C," said Lt. Cmdr. Nolan King, operations officer for VAW-121. "With the added improvements in our sensor capability we're going to be able to improve efficiency and lethality of the strike group and other assets we're working with."

King said one of the major changes the E-2D will affect upon VAW-121 is an increase in personnel. Due to all VAW squadrons receiving five E-2Ds instead of four, as they did throughout the E-2C's 50-year run in the Navy, more personnel are required to maintain and pilot the extra aircraft.

"We're in a great position to help write the book on employing this aircraft throughout the rest of this year and the next," said Lt. Daniel Hill, training officer for VAW-121. "We're taking what we know and helping to develop recommendations to the fleet and weapon schools based on what we see."

Many of the new improvements aboard the E-2D include an entirely new electronics suite, more powerful turboprop engines and the future potential for air-to-air refueling.

"It's like anything brand new, everybody wants to get their hands on it," said Aviation Machinist Mate 1st Class (AW) Luis Garcia, power plant leading petty officer for VAW-121. "One of the best things about getting this new aircraft is knowing that we get to be the pioneers and learn the platform before anybody else."

Garcia said many of his crew volunteered to extend at VAW-121 for the opportunity to deploy with the E-2D and become experts on the new aircraft ahead of many others in the fleet.

Even with the excitement of being the second squadron to receive the E-2D, the first being VAW-125 the "Tiger Tails," many of the crew are sad to see an aircraft they had all grown familiar with start its slow march to becoming obsolete in the fleet.

"There's always a little nostalgia to see an old friend go," said King. "But there's still enough of the E-2C in the E-2D that we can see our heritage in it."

Testing for the E-2D began in 2007 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, with the craft's first deployment scheduled with aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in 2015.

For more information on VAW-121, visit For more information on the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, visit

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element, East, visit

NNS141121-04. USS Oscar Austin Deploys to 6th Fleet

By Ensign Kirsten Krock, USS Oscar Austin Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) departed Naval Station Norfolk Nov. 21 for a deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).

The ship will conduct maritime security operations and provide theater security cooperation efforts within the AOR.

Oscar Austin will deploy with ScanEagle, an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) designed to provide real-time, low-altitude reconnaissance.

The crew recently participated in Baltic Operations 2014, a multinational exercise in the Baltic Sea. Exercise goals were to improve maritime safety and security through increased interoperability and cooperation among participating nations.

"The crew has worked hard to prepare this ship for deployment," said Cmdr. Russel Sanchez, Oscar Austin's commanding officer. "While leaving family and friends during the holiday season can be challenging, our Sailors have been trained to execute the mission safely and efficiently."

Before deploying, Oscar Austin participated in USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG)/24th Marine Expeditionary Unit's (MEU) Composite Training Unit Exercise. The crew earned their Independent Deployer Certification during the exercise, which assesses a ship's capabilities to function at tactical and operational levels.

Named for Medal of Honor recipient, Pfc. Oscar P. Austin, United States Marine Corps, the ship was commissioned Sept. 18, 1993. Austin earned the Medal of Honor when, on Feb. 23, 1969, his observation post was subjected to a fierce ground attack by a North Vietnamese forces. When one of his companions fell unconscious, dangerously exposed to hostile fire, Austin left the relative security of his fighting hole and raced to transport the Marine to cover. As Austin neared the fallen Marine, he saw an enemy grenade land nearby and leapt in front of the injured Marine, absorbing the effect of the detonation. When Austin reached his fallen comrade, he saw a North Vietnamese soldier aiming a weapon at his unconscious companion. With full knowledge of the probable consequences Austin threw himself between the casualty and the hostile soldier and, in so doing, was mortally wounded.

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

For more Oscar Austin information, visit the ship's website at or join the conversation on Facebook at

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

NNS141121-20. CPPD Releases 2015 Naval Leader Planning Guide

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jayme Pastoric, Center for Personal and Professional Development Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) released the 2015 edition of the Naval Leader Planning Guide (NLPG) Nov. 21.

This year's NLPG includes a 15-month calendar (January 2015 to March 2016), a complete list of CPPD courses and services, and contact information for all CPPD learning sites and Navy College Offices around the world.

"We're excited to launch this year's Naval Leader Planning Guide," said Capt. F.A Reid, CPPD's commanding officer. "As part of our mission to provide tools that help the fleet develop personal, professional and leadership competencies, our continual goal is to provide a valuable, highly useful product to Sailors and Marines to help them meet the Department of the Navy's mission."

Commands can download the PDF version free-of-charge from Navy Knowledge Online under the Leadership tab. Users can also download a file that can be imported into Microsoft Outlook that will populate personal calendars with the dates found in the product. Commands are authorized to use the downloaded source files to arrange for printing at local facilities to satisfy unit-level requests for the guide.

The NLPG brings together a large amount of information in a compact, portable format. Also included are the Principles of Naval Leadership, and Navy and Marine Corps Selection Board and fitness report/evaluation schedules. NLPG additionally includes a directory of community managers and technical advisors at Navy Personnel Command and a map of the world with corresponding time zones. The 2015 product has the latest lists from the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Professional Reading Program, as well as the Marine Corps Professional Reading Program.

Senior Chief Machinist's Mate Angel Delacruz, assigned as CPPD's leadership team learning standards representative, said he uses the NLPG every day to stay up-to-date with his tasks and appointments.

"I have tried other planners, but I didn't like them as much as the NLPG," said Delacruz. "It's an easy tool to use to plan ahead while maintaining visibility on upcoming evaluations, mid-term counseling requirements and selection board schedules."

"Sailors want and need more than a calendar, and we hit the target with this year's edition," said CPPD Command Master Chief Dave Colton. "It's a quick, ready reference for mentoring, detailer information and voluntary education that make the Naval Leader Planning Guide a one-stop shop for personal and professional development."

For more information about the Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD), visit

For more news from the Center for Personal and Professional Development, visit: Find CPPD on Facebook at and on Twitter @CENPERSPROFDEV.

CPPD: Where Mind Meets Mission

For more news from Center for Personal and Professional Development, visit

NNS141121-05. 2014 Navy Community Service Environmental Stewardship Flagship Award Winners Announced

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

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced the winners and honorable mentions in the 2014 Navy Community Service Environmental Stewardship Flagship Awards, Nov. 18.

Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics (N4) Vice Adm. Philip H. Cullom released a naval message listing the awardees.

The awards recognize Navy commands that engage in exemplary voluntary community service activities that promote good stewardship of environmental resources. In the naval message, Cullom saluted the awardees.

"Your outstanding actions embody the Navy's commitment to protecting the environment and enhancing our relations with our neighbors and local communities," said Cullom. "Please accept my personal bravo zulu and thanks for your continued support of our Navy's community service program."

The 2014 winners, by category, are:

Shore command category:
* Small (under 200 personnel): Navy Environmental and Preventative Medicine Unit 2, Norfolk.
* Large (500 or more personnel): Naval Base Coronado, California.

Sea command category:
* Small: 21st Dental Company, Marine Corps Base Kaneohe, Hawaii
* Medium (200 to 499 personnel): ICO Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23, San Diego.
* Large: USS America (LHA 6).

Overseas command category:
* Large: Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.

Commands receiving honorable mentions include:
* Small shore command: Naval Aviation Schools Command, Pensacola, Florida.
* Large shore command: Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.
* Small sea command: Fleet Ballistic Missile Operational Test Support Unit 2, Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Examples of winning initiatives include organizing educational community outreach events, recycling and participating in environmental conservation and enhancement projects, such as environmental clean-ups, shoreline restoration, tree and shrub plantings and invasive species removal.

Award winners will receive commemorative plaques, and honorable mentions will receive signed certificates from N4.

The Environmental Stewardship Flagship, which is sponsored by N4, is one of five flagships in the Navy Community Service program. The other four flagships include Personal Excellence Partnership, Project Good Neighbor, Campaign Drug Free, and Health, Safety and Fitness.

For additional information about the Navy's energy, environment, and climate change initiatives, visit

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

NNS141121-16. Listening to Sailors Provides the Help He Needs

By Mass Communication Specialist Senior Chief Steve Bansbach, Recruit Training Command Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Rear Admiral Rick P. Snyder, Director, Twenty-First Century Sailor Office hosted an all hands call for commands at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, November 20.

The all hands call was a chance for Snyder to speak to sailors about the assistance the Department of the Navy offers to its combat force.

The programs that are managed by the 21st Century Sailor's office include Bystander Intervention, Equal Opportunity, Life-Work Balance, Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Navy Nutrition, Operational Stress Control, Total Sailor Fitness, Physical Readiness, Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, Suicide Prevention and Transition Assistance Program.

By talking about these programs, Snyder was able to achieve his other reason for his visit. He could listen. "I need to hear from [the sailors] what is working and not working," said Snyder. "Their feedback is the most important thing."

Snyder conducted two all hands calls, one for the Chief's mess and one for E-6 and below. The message for both audiences was the same. "Our goal is to make them better sailors," said Snyder. "We recognize there are challenges in the fleet. We know how busy sailors are; they have work they have to do, but sailors need to know these programs exist."

And Snyder knows improvements need to be made. "We know there are problems and we are working on it," said Snyder. "Our goal is to get the most efficiency out of the programs. We need to recognize those common elements that support those destructive behaviors and the common elements that build resiliency. We need to work on those common elements instead of working on one problem at a time."

Snyder also made time after the all hands call to talk one-on-one with sailors to make sure every sailor had a chance to ask a question. "I've found the time after an all hands call is valuable," said Snyder. "If a sailor isn't comfortable talking about something in public they can come up and ask their question privately. I always build that time in."

Snyder's all hands call wasn't all about the programs his office offers, but to thank his audience for building sailors. "The sailors that you have trained are mission ready," said Snyder. "They are all over the news getting the job done."

The 21st Century Sailor Office provides Sailors and families with the support network, programs, resources, training, and skills needed to overcome adversity and thrive. The 21st Century Sailor promotes resiliency in all service members and Navy families, as well as collaboration and synergy across a spectrum of wellness that maximizes total force fitness.

RTC is primarily responsible for conducting the initial Navy orientation and training of new recruits. The command is commonly referred to as "boot camp" or "recruit training".

Boot camp is approximately eight weeks, and all enlistees into the United States Navy begin their careers at the command. Training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms familiarization, firefighting and shipboard damage control, lessons in Navy heritage and core values, teamwork and discipline. Since the closure of RTCs in Orlando and San Diego in 1994, RTC Great Lakes is, today, the Navy's only basic training location, and is known as "The Quarterdeck of the Navy." Today, approximately 37,000 recruits graduate annually from RTC and begin their Navy careers.

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

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For more information about NSTC, visit or visit the NSTC Facebook pages at

NNS141121-13. MILITARY STAR® Card Now Accepted on NEX Web Store

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

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) announced Nov. 21 that NEX customers can now use their MILITARY STAR® Card to make purchase online at the NEX web store,

Any purchase made using the MILITARY STAR® Card will receive free standard shipping every day, no minimum purchase required. There will continue to be an added cost for customers needing expedited or priority shipping.

"We know our customers have been waiting to use their MILITARY STAR® Card to make purchases online," said Christine Estes, Vice President, Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) Omni-channel. "We are happy to now offer this benefit. The MILITARY STAR® Card offers many benefits to our customers and by using it over other credit cards, saves the NEX in transaction fees."

The MILITARY STAR® Card offers 10 percent off the first day's purchases (up to the customer's credit limit), no annual fee, low interest rate and 24-hour customer service including online access.

MILITARY STAR® Card applications are available at any NEX. The application can be processed the same day at the NEX customer service desk.

For more news from Navy Exchange Service Command, visit

NNS141120-25. USS Albuquerque Sailors Honored for Heroism in Campground Fire

By Mass Communication Specialist Second Class Kyle Carlstrom, Commander, Submarine Squadron 11 Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Padre Dam Municipal Water District (PDMWD) in Santee, Calif., recognized three Sailors, assigned to the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Albuquerque (SSN 706), Nov. 19 for their heroic actions in saving the lives of two residents at the Santee Lakes Regional Park and Campground.

PDMWD, along with several city and state official representatives, recognized Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Dylan Perkins (not present), Fire Control Technician 2nd Class Wesley Woods, and Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Patrick Igoe in front of community members and the Sailors' families.

On the morning of Oct. 5, Perkins and Woods were outside while Igoe was asleep inside Perkins' trailer when a fireball caused by propane build-up erupted from a nearby trailer, injuring the couple inside.

"It wasn't what I would call a deafening explosion, but it was definitely something you don't hear every day," said Woods. He explained that Perkins ran into his trailer to retrieve a fire extinguisher and the two ran down the street to help.

When they arrived, Perkins and Woods extinguished the fires inside the trailer. Than, they aided Carmen and James Ruelas, who were both badly burnt, and brought them back to Perkins' trailer. Igoe continued treating the couple, placing both into a cold shower and removing burnt clothing, until firefighters and paramedics arrived on scene.

"Being in the military, we're trained to remain calm out no matter what happens," said Igoe.

Woods had a similar thought, crediting training.

"It's instilled in our minds that once a casualty really does happen and it's not a drill, we know just to snap right to it and do exactly what needs to be done," said Woods.

Also in attendance at the presentation was Mrs. Ruelas, who met her rescuers for the first time since the accident. (James was still recovering from his wounds).

"I feel really blessed to be here to say thank you to them a month later," she said. "Once they heard the explosion, they were there. Because my husband was thrown out due to the pressure, they just readily picked him up and took him. They're definitely heroes in the community and we're lucky to have them."

Cmdr. Trent Hesslink, Albuquerque's commanding officer, commended his Sailors for their actions.

"They did exactly what we hope all our Sailors would do in a situation like this," he said. "They responded without hesitation. It's because of their actions that these two people are still alive today."

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NNS141120-27. Cape St. George Visits Busan during Western Pacific Deployment

From USS Cape St. George Public Affairs

BUSAN, Korea (NNS) -- The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) arrived in Busan, Republic of Korea, for a port visit Nov. 21.

The ship, homeported in San Diego, is currently on a routine deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

"Cape's officers and crew have enjoyed a successful 7th fleet deployment thus far supporting the Navy's forward presence mission," said Capt. Michael P. Doran, commanding officer of Cape St. George. "Our port visit to Korea gives [the ship] and her Sailors an opportunity to help strengthen our alliances with the Republic of Korea and their navy, and positively contribute to regional security and stability."

While in Busan, Cape St. George Sailors intend to learn about Korea's culture and explore sites around the greater Busan region. In addition, Cape St. George Sailors will participate in three community relations projects around the city of Busan. During these projects, U.S. Sailors will meet with students for cultural exchanges.

Cape St. George and its two embarked MH-60R Seahawk helicopters carry out independent operations or with an associated carrier strike group. As a multi-mission platform, the ship is currently supporting 7th Fleet as it maintains a routine presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region in order to promote security and peace, and develop partnerships with partners and allies.

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NNS141121-14. NMCB 3 Saves Seabee Museum $15K, Heightens Battalion Readiness

By Utilitiesman Construction James Rieger, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 Public Affairs Office.

NAVAL BASE VENTURA COUNTY PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 finished installing a new concrete pad Nov. 20, for the Navy Seabee Museum, saving the non-profit organization more than $15K in outside contracting.

The 4-day project started Nov. 17, with the 14-Seabee crew tearing down the museum's old interior mock runway to begin construction on the new 20-cubic yard concrete pad.

According to Tim Morales, the museum's exhibit specialist, the mock runway posed a major safety concern.

"We bought a new scissor lift that will be used to help with maintenance," said Morales. "The lift requires flooring that can withstand several thousand pounds of weight. The new pad is rated for more than 4,000."

In addition to helping the museum overcome safety issues, the project provided valuable training that will increase deployment readiness.

"Pouring concrete is something Seabees do at nearly every project across every deployed region," said Builder 1st Class James Griffith, the project's quality control lead. "For the junior troops helping out, this type of exposure makes them a more capable construction worker."

Construction projects completed during homeport allow NMCB 3 to learn, practice and perfect skills required for conducting the command's humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission when operating forward.

The Naval Construction Force is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. The force provides deployable battalions capable of providing disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance and combat operations support.

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NNS141121-09. Naples Sailors InterACT in SAPR Training

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Luis R. Chavez Jr., Naval Support Activity Naples Public Affairs

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Sailors and Department of Defense civilians serving in Italy gathered at the Naval Support Activity Naples base theater Nov. 20 to participate in Sexual Assault Prevention and Response training performed and directed by the InterACT troupe.

InterAct is a nationally-renowned social justice performance troupe that began in 2000 at California State University, Long Beach.

The group, who performed five shows while in Naples, received a contract from the Navy in June 2014 to showcase their impactful scenes of domestic violence and sexual assault to Sailors for training. They've also provided sexual assault intervention programs for universities, after-school programs and rehabilitation centers since their inception.

"InterACT is a group of students getting together and determining how to use acting to promote a social change on various issues," said Timothy Maurer, naval program manager for InterACT. "We developed various shows on sexual assault, racism, homophobia, bullying and stalking to try and raise awareness on these topics."

Throughout the performance, actors from the InterACT troupe played out several scenarios that ultimately led to sexual assault and domestic violence. During their acts, the troupe invited audience members on stage to participate as either a bystander or a voice to represent the victim's inner conflict.

"We saw sexual assault was an issue and we realized that most sexual assaults were not being reported, and we wanted to shift this paradigm," said Maurer. "When the Department of the Navy contacted us to perform on naval installations, we saw this as another step closer to making a change. We need to shine the light on this subject and make a difference together."

Jill Loftus, director, Department of the Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (DON-SAPRO), said during focus groups and conventions service members wanted a more proactive and practical sexual assault prevention and response training, and that is exactly what's provided by InterACT.

Sexual assault reporting has increased significantly in the military according to data released by the Department of Defense for 2013. The increase in reporting is believed to be the effect of commands delivering consistent and effective prevention and response methods.

For more information about sexual assault prevention contact your command representative or visit

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NNS141120-24. Navy Recruiting District San Diego Expands Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Initiative

By Navy Recruiting District San Diego Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Navy Recruiting District San Diego expanded their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative with the addition of new equipment Nov. 6 and 7.

The Navy recognizes that a healthy STEM workforce is critical to meeting the Navy and Marine Corps' challenges, and is committed to educating and creating excitement in the American youth in related fields.

"Today's technology will only continue to advance at an accelerated rate," said Navy Recruiting District San Diego STEM coordinator, Lt. Cmdr. Brian Alvara. "It's important to get kids involved in STEM early, as it will prepare them for a highly advanced technical future. The Navy requires a much more talented and capable warfighter and if these students ever decide to join, understanding STEM fundamentals when they are young can translate into a more successful career."

Navy Recruiting assists in educating the American youth through classroom lesson plans and presentations that recruiters use to mentor them on the importance of STEM topics. They also learn how the subjects apply beyond classroom.

They kicked off their fall and winter STEM Tour during two local elementary school science fairs. Alvara joined with the district's recruiters, to help students explore the role engineering, physics, trajectory, and aerodynamics play in launching rockets uses rolled paper, tape, compressed air and the launcher. Kindergarten through eighth grade students each constructed a paper rocket and calculated firing angles at varying amounts of air pressure to hit a target in the distance.

Students used stainless steel, copper and PVC tubes induce a magnetic field using non-ferrous metal. Lastly, students learned about Lenz's Law of electromagnetic induction, where magnetic effects of the induced current opposes the change in conditions which produced it.

When NRD San Diego visited Pride Academy, in Santee, California, Nov. 7, fourth and fifth grade teacher, Joe Kemery noted that having hands-on equipment gets students excited and engaged.

"I think the STEM Program is more engaging than anything," he said. "I think it's really great that kids are really trying to explore what they're doing instead of being force-fed answers and just trying to take in information."

The Navy STEM program aims to increase, inspire and support the talent pool from which the next-generation of great Sailors, naval engineers and scientists will come.

"When students see the Navy at an elementary school, middle school, or even a high school they may not immediately think about serving their country," said Alvara. "But as the Navy continues to provide and participate in these types of events, we are branding ourselves as a professional and technical organization where students and future Sailors have an opportunity to make careers out of their interests in STEM."

For more information visit: For more information on Navy District San Diego visit:,; Navy recruiting visit: or joining the Navy visit:

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NNS141121-03. Naval Special Warfare's CPO 365 Takes on SEAL 'O Course'

From Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Chief petty officers (CPO) and first class petty officers assigned to Naval Special Warfare Group Two (NSWG 2) took on NSWG-2's "O Course," Nov. 20.

The obstacle course physical training session was held as part of the master chief petty officer of the Navy's (MCPON) CPO 365 program.

"Naval Special Warfare Group Two holds physical fitness and leadership training each week as part of CPO 365," said Chief Petty Officer Bill Mesta, NSWG 2. "The training is held to promote networking, leadership development and camaraderie between NSWG-2's CPOs and first class petty officers."

NSWG-2's 'O Course' consists of a variety of obstacles including balance logs, a rope wall climb and low-hurl slide.

"Naval Special Warfare operators use the 'O Course' to simulate battlefield conditions in a controlled training environment," said an East-Coast based Navy SEAL (Sea, Air, and Land) assigned to NSWG-2. "After running from the headquarters building to the course, we did two laps around the course followed by a group run."

According to MCPON's guidelines, the CPO 365 program is split into two phases.

Phase One began Sept. 17 and concludes when the NAVADMIN instruction announcing CPO selection results is released. All first class petty officers will participate in CPO 365 throughout the duration of Phase One regardless of whether they are board-eligible or not.

Phase Two concludes with the traditional pinning ceremony. All first class petty officers will remain engaged in primary training events during Phase Two with the understanding there may be specific instances where CPO selectees conduct separate sessions (i.e. fundraising, CPO Selectee Leadership Course and others to be determined by command master chiefs).

"I am a firm believer that the first class petty officers who actively participate in CPO 365 are better prepared to make the transition to chief petty officer," said Chief Petty Officer Na'eem Phillips of NSWG-2. "The program is an excellent tool to provide future chiefs with the necessary tools to succeed."

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NNS141120-28. USS Olympia Thankful Port Visit to Yokosuka

By Lt. j.g. Erik Edwards, USS Olympia Public Affairs Officer

FLEET ACTIVITIES YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN 717) arrived at Fleet Activities Yokosuka Nov. 20 for a visit as part of its on-going deployment to the Western Pacific.

"It seems appropriate that days before our own Thanksgiving holiday, I extend our sincerest thanks to our host nation and ally, Japan," said Cmdr. Thomas Shugart, Olympia's commanding officer. "The citizens of Japan are the nicest and most welcoming people, and we are proud to be here."

Olympia continues to conduct a multitude of missions while showcasing the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.

"We understand the important role we play in protecting the trade routes of the Western Pacific, providing credible defense against any hostile maritime forces and projecting power from the sea to the shore when needed," said Shugart.

"It is a great opportunity to be the Chief of the Boat for the crew of this incredible ship and to experience visits to such amazing host nations as this one," said Master Chief Electronics Technician Roland Midgett. "The crew has continued to work aggressively; incorporating new and innovative technologies to maintain dominance throughout the maritime battle space, and are well-deserving of a short break from the task at-hand."

Several of Olympia's sailors are brand new to Western Pacific deployments.

Culinary Specialist Seaman Casslee Farmer checked aboard only a month ago. This is his first Navy assignment, bringing with it both excitement and anxiety, while he adjusts to underway life.

Regarding his expectations for Yokosuka, Farmer said, "My first opportunity to get out [into Japan] and taste the food. Which I can't wait to do. On board the days go by quick. We eat, work, study, sleep, and the best thing to do is look forward to port visits."

Measuring more than 360 feet long and displacing 7,000 tons, Olympia is the 29th Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine. The ship is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

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NNS141120-22. Naval Academy Class of 2015 Receives Service Assignments

By U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- The Naval Academy Class of 2015 received notification of their service assignments, Nov. 20, informing them about warfare communities in which they will serve as commissioned officers in the Navy and Marine Corps.

A major milestone in their career at the Academy, 1,076 first-class midshipmen opened letters containing the information that will define their lives in the fleet.

"Service Assignment is a very special time for our seniors here," said Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Ted Carter. "I join them in their excitement to start the next chapter of their lives in service to this nation."

More than 96 percent of the midshipmen received either their first or second choice of assignments into the Navy or Marine Corps. Midshipmen First Class Shannon Cuthbert chose surface warfare officer (SWO). Cuthbert's mother, an intelligence officer, and father, a naval aviator, also graduated from the Naval Academy. They both helped with her decision, but in the end, she chose a different path.

"They both helped by giving me information about their naval careers," said Cuthbert. "I wanted SWO because I think the community has a great mission and many leadership opportunities."

Cuthbert will join the 251 midshipmen entering the surface warfare community. Among the 137 entering the submarine community is Midshipman First Class Annienorah Beveridge. She will join a growing population of female officers and enlisted aboard submarines.

"I really look up to all of our predecessors and I am thankful that they have paved the way," said Beveridge. "The females that I met during my youngster submarine cruise were incredibly capable and found great meaning in their jobs. I don't doubt that we will face challenges, as any junior officer does, but we are ready to face them head on."

Midshipmen First Class Dan Bohannon's decision came in his final year at the Academy after learning the roles and responsibilities of a Naval Flight Officer.

"It wasn't until First Class year that I seriously considered putting aviation community in my top preferences," said Bohannon. "Specifically I found being a weapons system officer on-board an F/A-18F Super Hornet to be fascinating and really enticing. The advancement opportunities and bonuses in the community also looked great, and since I'm looking to make a career in the Navy, it was definitely a great fit for me."

271 midshipmen were selected to become Marines. For Midshipmen First Class Ian Sharbel, it's a family tradition.

"I'm pretty excited right now, it's been a long-time dream," said Sharbel. "My father and grandfather were both Marines and many other members of my family are Marines so it feels great to be carrying on the family tradition."

Sharbel offered piece of advice for his lower classmen about selecting a service.

"Talk to the mentors and try to understand the different communities and opportunities that are available," he said. "Understanding what you are getting in to, and the overall community structure with respect to the service and leadership models, can go a long way in helping you find the right community."

The class of 2015 will graduate in May.

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NNS141120-21. NMCP Corpsman Named Navy Medicine East Sailor of the Year

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Abraham Essenmacher, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SW) Russell Wagenman, from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, was selected the Navy Medicine East 2014 Sailor of the Year, Nov. 19, as announced by Navy Medicine East commander Rear Adm. Terry Moulto.

The Navy Medicine East commander the selection from nineteen petty officer first classes competed for the honor, each of the military treatment facilities and commands that comprise the medical collective. The competition included corpsmen, as well as rates that provide support in a medical setting.

"When the admiral pulled the envelope out, my knees starting shaking a little bit," said Wagenman. "I started thinking, 'This is it, It could be me.' When he read my name, I couldn't believe it."

Wagenman, a native of Dent, Minnesota, has been the leading petty officer of the Nursing Services directorate since April. He leads 275 junior Sailors in the daily operation of 11 specialty nursing units across four departments, which provide care to more than 15,000 patients annually.

"He's a go-to person who I can really count on," said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman (SW/AW) Roona Jackson, Wagenman's senior enlisted leader. "He's really functioning on the level of a chief.

"He's managed to be very personable and very engaging with the Sailors, from sponsorship to training and any personal issues Sailors may have," continued Jackson. "He identifies challenges and jumps on board to tackle them right away."

The ceremony began with remarks from Navy Medicine East's Command Master Chief (SW/AW/FMF) Michael James, host of the competition.

"This has been a tough competition this year," said James. "I am thankful to all the region CMCs who worked hard and assisted with the Sailor of the Year board to help make this very difficult ...

"I was very impressed with the poise, professionalism and the caliber of the 19 Sailors who represented their commands," continued James. "Any one of them could have easily been our regional Sailor of the Year."

This is the first time that a Portsmouth candidate was selected since the reorganization within Navy Medicine created the regional command about a decade ago.

"It's great and special to have one of NMCP's 'First and Finest' selected and having all of his co-workers there to recognize him for this great achievement," said James. "I think it speaks about the great volume of work our Sailors do at NMCP, and that they see they are very competitive throughout the region."

The petty officer first class finalists brought with them many distinguishing accomplishments, including civic and community activities and fitness standards. During the boards that were held the day before, the Sailors tested their mettle in professional military knowledge, leadership, military bearing, Navy values and current events.

During the process leading up to the board and selection process, Wagenman studied Naval Administrative messages, uniform updates and regulations, as well as advancement criteria affecting the Navy. He thanked those who helped him prepare for the board.

"My chain of command put together a pre-board where they asked me a lot of tough questions to get me to think outside of NMCP on a bigger Navy scale," said Wagenman. "That helped me formulate what we do here and the effect it has on the Navy. The Sailors above me and around me on the deckplate who help me, they give me the opportunity to do what I do."

Wagenman also thought highly of his fellow candidates throughout the process and the time spent with them.

"I've made a lot of friends over the last couple of days that I will have for a long time," he said. "Getting to talk to them and to know them, inside the hospital and outside in a social setting, has been one of the most rewarding parts [of the competition]."

Wagenman will next compete for selection as Navy Medicine Sailor of the Year against other regional candidates within Navy Medicine. If selected, he'll advance to the Navy's Shore Sailor of the Year competition. In the meantime, Jackson and other senior enlisted leaders will coordinate mock oral boards to assist Wagenman in his preparing for the next level.

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NNS141120-19. LCSRON 1 Sailor Named Mineman of the Year

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

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A Sailor assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron (LCSRON) 1 in San Diego was recently named as the Association of Minemen's 2014-2015 Mineman of the Year (Sea).

Mineman 1st Class (SW) Steven G. Hassler, who works with the Mine Countermeasures (MCM) mission package program for littoral combat ships, was named the recipient of the award during the association's annual reunion which was held Oct. 6-8 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Hassler said he was not expecting to receive such recognition for doing his job.

"I was surprised at first," said Hassler. "But then I felt honored and humbled that my chain of command and fellow minemen both past and present felt I had what they were looking for as Mineman of the Year."

Hassler, a native of Wheatland, Wyoming, said wanting to be a part of the latest mine warfare technology is what brought him into the LCS program.

"I really like the concept of being a detachment that could be deployable to anywhere in the world and embark the two newest class of ships and use all the new mine warfare equipment," said Hassler. "I also liked the idea that I would be able to be on the ground floor of introducing new technology that was going to be the future of mine warfare and the future for my rate."

According to Hassler, the biggest difference in mine warfare aboard an LCS ship is the fact that the ship is completely out of the minefield.

"We are also able to search larger areas in a shorter period of time than an Avenger-class minesweeper," said Hassler. "Right now Avenger-class MCM's have more options to neutralize mines, but the big trade-off is that the system we use on LCS doesn't require our ship to be in the minefield to neutralize mines."

Hassler said he is extremely proud to be a mineman and the mine warfare community is unlike any other community in the Navy.

"We are a rate this is very proud of our heritage and pride ourselves in the fact that by the nature of our rate we become a jack of all trades," said Hassler. "At times our job can be very stressful but because of how small our rate is you learn to trust and rely on your shipmates."

With almost 12 years of active duty service under his belt, Hassler said his next goal is making chief petty officer.

"My secondary goal is to continue to use all the resource the Navy has given me to finish college and get a degree," said Hassler. "But I guess ultimately I would say I had a successful career if I can continue to be a positive role model and mentor to my junior Sailors and help them reach their goals."

Hassler's peers and supervisors praise his many accomplishments at the command.

"A master of his trade, petty officer Hassler is a role model for his peers, superiors and subordinates, as well as the community of San Diego, "said Capt. Randy Garner, the commander of LCSRON 1. "I depend on his knowledge and expertise on all mine warfare systems for successful daily operations and continued advancement of the MCM mission package, paramount to the future of the LCS program and our Navy as a whole."

Garner described Hassler as an irreplaceable asset to the LCS MCM program and an integral leader on the leading edge of mine warfare.

"He is truly an exceptional Sailor, brilliant technician and tactician who is most worthy of the special recognition commensurate with selection as the 2014-2015 Mineman of the Year," said Garner.

However, Hassler wants everyone to know that he didn't win the award on his own.

"The hard work and dedication of everyone in my detachment is what won this award," said Hassler. "I look at this as more of a group award and I just have the honor of picking it up for them."

Established in 1977, the Association of Minemen was founded as a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the records and memories of the U.S. Navy mine warfare forces. Since their creation, the organization's members have dedicated themselves to recognizing the contributions of Navy personnel in the field of mine warfare, holding commemorations and establishing memorials dedicated to the accomplishments of its members.

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NNS141120-18. Naval Base Ventura County Wins Southwest Region Installation Excellence Award

By Andrea Howry, Naval Base Ventura County Public Affairs

POINT MUGU, Calif. (NNS) -- Last month, Naval Base Ventura County was honored with the Navy Region Southwest 2015 Installation Excellence Award and will go on to compete at the Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) level.

Commander, Navy Region Southwest (NRSW) named NBVC the winner in the large installation category. Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake was named the small installation winner.

All 10 installations in the region competed.

"All award packages were outstanding, and the competition was tough," said Capt. Christopher Plummer, NRSW chief of staff. "All hands continue to perpetuate NRSW's exceptional reputation for taking care of our fleet, fighter and family, and lead CNIC."

Ventura County and China Lake will each receive $110,000 in Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization funds.

Capt. Larry Vasquez, commanding officer of NBVC, called the award a team effort.

"We've been the Navy's best-kept secret for years, and now that secret is getting out," said Vasquez. "It's great to be recognized for the hard work the team puts in every day."

The award took into account shore operations, facilities management, CNIC strategic guidance, mission support, energy usage, quality of life, unit morale, environment, real property asset management, real property stewardship, competitive activities, communications, safety and health, security, public relations and other honors received.

Part of its recognition stems from its multiple accomplishments throughout the year.

It was the only Navy installation to support the Department of Health and Human Services with children who had crossed into the United States unaccompanied. After Ventura County learned of this mission, base personnel opened a facility that could house the children in 10 days. In the following 10 weeks, 1,555 children passed through the facility, as well as 160 VIPs touring, including members of Congress and the chief of naval operations. There were no legal or runaway incidents during this time.

The base serves as the Navy's hub for unmanned aircraft operations, testing and maintenance. These platforms include the unmanned helicopter MQ-8C Fire Scout, and soon its older-variant the MQ-8B as well the broad area maritime surveillance unmanned aircraft system MQ-4C Triton maintenance detachments. Every year, the base hosts Black Dart, a joint exercise to test countermeasures to protect against enemy unmanned aircraft systems, during which 1,250 interagency, international and industry partners demonstrate 80 systems. Additionally, it serves as the only Department of Defense installation to allow for more in-depth, real-time testing of unmanned systems operations, due its allowable airspace, Class D.

The base continues its conservation efforts, in conjunction with nearby San Clemente Island, to contribute to removing the Island Night Lizard from the endangered list, despite being the busiest approach control in the Navy, with a recorded 96,450 flight operations, including air traffic control service for Oxnard and Camarillo.

In the past decade, the installation has exceeded energy- and water-conservation goals put forth by the Secretary of the Navy with a reduction by 36.3 percent since 2003 for energy and by 35.7 percent for 2007 in water. Future projects include wind turbines and a reverse osmosis plant on San Nicolas Island.

A refurbished plant nursery on San Nicolas Island has produced more than 5,000 native plants used for erosion control.

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NNS020724-49. This Day in Naval History - Nov. 21

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1861 - During the Civil War, the screw steamer New London, along with screw steamer R.R. Cuyler and crew members of the screw steamer Massachusetts, capture the Confederate schooner Olive with a cargo of lumber in Mississippi Sound.

1918 - U.S. battleships witness the surrender of German High Seas fleet at Rosyth, Firth of Forth, Scotland to U.S. and British fleets.

1942 - USS Cincinnati (CL 6) and USS Somers (DD 381) uncover the Norwegian ship SS Skjilbred as being the German blockade runner Anneliese Essberger after setting explosions and boarding the ship. Survivors are taken on board USS Milwaukee (CL 5).

1943 - USS Nautilus (SS 168) lands U.S. Marine Corps Reconnaissance Company on Abemama, Gilberts while USS Trigger (SS 237) sinks Japanese freighter Eizan Maru in the Yellow Sea.

1944 - USS Sealion (SS 315) sinks the Japanese battleship Kongo and destroyer Urakaze 60 miles north northwest of Formosa.

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