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New 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


I'm a Plankowner, Oct, 27, 1961, was aboard during Commissioning,  and past President of the USS Constellation Association, I even attended the Decommissioning in San Diego in 2003. 

The reason I'm contacting you is there was a bronze plaque that was hung in the hanger deck honoring those who were killed in the 1960 Brooklyn Navy Yard fire aboard Constellation. We looked for the plaque during the decommissioning, it had been removed and hasn't been seen since. 

Speaking for our association, we would be interested in recovering this plaque and donating it to the Brooklyn Navy Yard where Constellation was constructed, her birthplace! The navy yard has set up a museum honoring all those people who worked there from the begining, also showing all ships built there. We have spoken to one of the curators there and they would love to have that plaque placing it in the museum to honor those who lost there life that day in 1960. 

Please let me know if you can help us locate the plaque, that would much appreciated. I thank you in advance! 

Very Truly Yours
Marty Horowitz
Past President USS Constellation CVA-64 

This was written by Marty Horowitz and sent to the Naval History Center at the Washington Navy Yard in D.C.  We are presently looking for this memorial for display in the Brooklyn Navy Yard Museum.  There is a room there dedicated to the USS Contellation CVA/CV 64.  If you have any information about this plaque that was removed after Connie's decommissioning, please contact

There are plans in the works to have a special reunion located in Brownsville, TX when the Constellation arrives there after a last 5 month deployment-so to speak.  Information will be posted here soon.
Click Here for our 2013 Memorial List Page


Recent Navy News:

Bremerton's floating museum draws old shipmates

By Rachel Anne Seymour

For Kitsap Sun

Nearly 200 former shipmates of the USS Turner Joy attended a reunion banquet, memorial service and ship tour of the old destroyer, which was known for its battles in the Vietnam War.

The reunion, which started Aug. 7, gives former sailors the chance to "tell sea stories or lies," joked Richard Asche.

Asche, who lives in Port Orchard and has helped organize the reunions since they started 1990, served on the ship in 1963 and 1964.

While the last time the reunion was in Bremerton was six years ago, former shipmates can tour USS Turner Joy at any time, Asche said.

During Saturday's open tour, shipmates from around the country convened to see old friends and talk about their time on board the ship.

George Ainley, of Stockton, Missouri, recalled the ship's upper decks reaching 140 degrees and the lower decks being 120 degrees. There was no air conditioning on the ship, just forced air ventilation, he said.

Ainley served on the USS Turner Joy from 1964 to 1967.

Because of the extreme heat, sailors had to be careful not to touch any metal part of the ship without the protection of rags or clothing, he said.

Ainley said he could once walk up and down the stairs between decks, which are extremely steep, without a railing.

Burns from accidentally touching the ship's metal wasn't the worst injury Ainley ever saw during his service.

During a misfire accident in 1965, Ainley tried to help hold on the skin of one sailor who was severely burned after jammed ammunition in one of the gun mounts exploded. Although the burned sailor lived, three others died in the incident and another two were injured.

Jon Littmann, of Denton, Texas, also was injured aboard the USS Turner Joy in another incident and was the only shipmate to receive a Purple Heart, he said. He served on the war ship in 1967 and 1968.

After less than two months on the ship, an explosion on the starboard side put a hole in the deck and blasted through the wash room wall, hitting Littman with shrapnel in his back end. The incident earned him the nickname "Half Ass," which has been printed on his reunion name tag in the past. This year he wrote it in himself.

"He was our hero," jested Bill "Jay" Butka, whose time on the ship overlapped with Littmann's for a few months.

Butka, of San Diego, served on the USS Turner Joy twice once from 1965 to 1968 and again from 1971 to 1979.

In its last month of war, the ship fired 10,000 rounds, said Butka, who was there for the last round the war ship fired in the 1970s.

NNS140825-10. America Visits Valparaiso on Maiden Transit

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John Scorza, USS America Public Affairs

VALPARAISO, Chile (NNS) -- The future amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) arrived to Valparaiso, Chile for a scheduled port visit, Aug. 24.

America is currently on its maiden transit, "America visits the Americas," testing the ship's capabilities and strengnthening partnerships within the 4th Fleet area of responsibility.

During the visit, Sailors and Marines assigned to USS America and Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) South will conduct bilateral exercises with the Chilean Navy, offer ship tours, host a reception for Chilean guests and distinguished officials, and participate in a local community relations project with a children's home in the area.

In addition, the ship's military and civilian crew will have the opportunity to experience the rich culture of this host nation and serve as goodwill ambassadors.

The ship has already completed port visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; transited the Strait of Magellan at the southernmost point of South America; and is scheduled to visit Peru before arriving to her San Diego homeport. During the transit, America has also conducted bilateral engagements with other valued partners in the area of responsibility such as Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.

America is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tawara-class of amphibious assault ships. As the next generation "big-deck" amphibious ship, America is optimized for aviation, capable of supporting current and future aircraft such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned Oct. 11 in San Francisco.

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

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

NNS140825-02. US Sailors Continue Legacy of Outreach, Enduring Friendships in Korea

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Wendy Wyman, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

KOJE ISLAND, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Active duty and Reserve Sailors stationed across the Korean peninsula visited the Aikwangwon Social Welfare Foundation at Koje Island for a community outreach project with residents and staff, Aug. 24.

The visit was a community relations activity planned around the Ulchi Freedom Guardian bilateral exercise and provided a day of games and interaction for both Sailors and Aikwangwon residents.

"We come here to make new friends, to learn more about Korean culture, and to help sustain our relationship with this wonderful school," said Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea. "We are honored to carry on the U.S. Navy's long relationship with the residents and staff at Aikwangwon."

The visit kicked off with a welcome from Kim Im-soon, superintendent of Aikwangwon, and a video presentation, highlighting the 60-plus year relationship with the U.S. Navy. American service members and local volunteers separated into groups to help residents with occupational training including assembling clothespins, building shell mobiles, and making gimbop (a traditional Korean snack food) as part of lunch preparation.

"Just by being here, it builds a connection with the community," said Capt. Darren Hanson, vice commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea. "The residents are happy that we are here and just spending time with them. Ultimately, it's not about building things, it's about building relationships."

The 60 U.S. Sailors broke into seven teams with their resident partners to compete in a series of team-building games. Both American and Korean team members warmed up with some freestyle dancing before moving on to the games.

"For more than 60 years our Navy has engaged with Mrs. Kim, her staff, and the residents of Aikwangwon," said Command Master Chief James Honea, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea. "I can't think of any other community relationship more enduring than this and surely none more personally enriching."

Kim Im-soon founded Aikwangwon, meaning "the garden of love and light", during the Korean War with seven orphans and the support of U.S. Navy doctors stationed in Chinhae. Over the past six decades, the institution has evolved from one building into a campus which houses 240 residents, including children and adults of all ages, and provides specialized education for more than 200 students from across Korea.

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea is the regional commander for the U.S. Navy in the Republic of Korea and provides expertise on naval matters to area military commanders, including the Commander for the United Nations Command, the Combined Forces Command, and Commander, U.S. Forces Korea.

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

NNS140825-01. USNS Henson Supports 7th Fleet in Warfighting Readiness

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brannon Deugan, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

BUSAN, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command oceanographic survey ship USNS Henson (T-AGS 63) collects and analyzes oceanographic data that is used to support U.S. Navy warfighters.

Henson is a multipurpose oceanographic survey ship that conducts hydrographic, acoustic, oceanographic and bathymetric survey operations worldwide and is currently operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet.

"Henson is a multifunction ship," said Steven Faber, Mine Warfare Fleet Support lead. "We provide data that assists in the decision making for everything from mine warfare to anti-submarine warfare."

Data collected by Henson will be analyzed and utilized in numerous different products specifically requested by U.S. 7th Fleet to meet mission requirements.

"Henson paints a picture of the environment on the floor of the ocean," said Brian Hartley, Henson's data manager. "This is important because it gives warfighters the ability to make decisions based off timeline data the oceanographic survey ships like Henson have collected over the years."

Henson was designed to provide multiple capabilities including physical, chemical and biological oceanography; multidiscipline environmental investigations; ocean engineering and marine acoustics; marine geology and geophysics; and bathymetric surveying. These capabilities provide an in-depth understanding of ocean conditions, which then helps prioritize search efforts in areas such as mine warfare.

"With the capabilities available to us in our equipment, we can understand how the environment and terrain affects the use of mine warfare in the future," explained Hartley. "If we know an area is silt and the laying of a mine there would cause the mine to simply sink into the bottom, searching there would be more problematic, say, than for an area with sandy terrain and several hazards. That would be an area to really do an extensive search for mines in the future."

Henson serves as a platform for surveyors with the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO). NAVOCEANO has technical control of Henson and four other survey ships and uses a variety of platforms, including ships, aircraft, satellite sensors and buoys to collect oceanographic and hydrographic data from the world's oceans. Henson is operated by the Military Sealift Command for the Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC).

NAVOCEANO, the largest subordinate command within the CNMOC, is responsible for providing oceanographic products and services to all elements of the Department of Defense.

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

NNS140825-12. Vice Commander of Naval Forces Korea and Korean Fire Chief Share Common Careers and Goals

From U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

BUSAN, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Two professional firefighters who live worlds apart were brought together Aug. 23 in Busan, Republic of Korea, through their connections to naval service.

Capt. Darren Hanson, vice commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea, Navy Reservist, and professional firefighter from Seattle, had the opportunity to meet Fire Chief Kiok Lee, a former Korean navy officer turned firefighter, during a tour of the Busan Fire Department (BFD) emergency headquarters and special operations division. Hanson met with Lee and other BFD personnel during a pause from a major bilateral military exercise with the Republic of Korea.

Hanson, who also serves as the commanding officer for the U.S. Naval Forces Korea Reserve Detachment in Port Hueneme, California, is deployed to Busan along with members of his unit to support the U.S. 7th Fleet and the Republic of Korea navy during exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian.

Lee, of the BFD fire safety and audit division, has been a friend of the U.S. Navy for years through his support for a U.S. military good neighbor community outreach program that helps connect American service members with Korean citizens for friendship and cultural engagements.

"We have a lot in common through our service to our countries and service to our cities," said Hanson. "Firefighters share a unique camaraderie through common experiences in serving our communities. The same goes for those who serve in the Navy. No matter where we serve in the world, we are a family of service professionals."

The two men also have similar career paths. Hanson and Lee both graduated with Bachelor of Science degrees in engineering and both men earned commissions as naval officers for their respective nations in 1988.

"I think we have similar goals in life," said Lee. "Those goals are centered around service. Capt. Hanson is allowed to serve both his country and his city as a naval officer and firefighter. I admire him because he chooses to serve for the American people and for the citizens of Seattle."

The fire station tour ended with each firefighter exchanging unit patches from the Seattle Fire Department and BFD.

"I feel like we built an important friendship today," said Lee. "I hope this relationship develops into a closer partnership between Busan firefighters, the U.S. Navy in Korea and with firefighters in the city of Seattle."

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

NNS140825-06. Joint Statement by the Ministry of National Defense of Chile and the United States Department of the Navy

From Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs

CHILE (NNS) -- Joint Statement by the Ministry of National Defense of Chile and the United States Department of the Navy on the Research, Development and Use of Alternative Fuels

Reaffirming the longstanding commitment by both countries to work in close partnership to support military capabilities that enable the two nations to effectively conduct combined military operations in support of shared security interests, Chilean Undersecretary of Defense Marcos Robledo and United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus agreed Aug. 22 to continue, through their respective navies, discussions on research, development and use of advanced drop-in alternative fuels to power surface ships and aircraft.

The United States and Chilean navies recognize the significant benefits of the use of drop-in alternative fuels such as biofuels, to increase energy security brought about by a reduced dependence on imported fuel and an increased certainty of energy supply and cost.

Chile's energy agenda, which calls for 45-percent of newly-installed capacity for 2014-2025 to come from non-conventional, renewable energy sources, is consistent with the United States Department of the Navy's expressed goal of obtaining 50-percent of total organizational consumption through alternative energy sources by 2020.

The United States Department of the Navy, recognizing that energy security is directly tied to military capability, is moving toward the sustained use of a 50/50 blended biofuel/petroleum product and encourages its military partners to work toward certification of their aviation and maritime assets to use this blended product to ensure interoperability between respective navies is maintained.

This focus on interoperability and the benefit of continued bilateral research into alternative energy sources has been a part of the relationship between the Chilean navy and the United States Navy since 2010. At the 2010 EXPONAVAL, an event organized by the Chilean Navy, both nations advanced the discussion on alternative and renewable energy technologies. Following this discussion, the Chilean navy joined the research into the use of biofuels being carried out by the United States Navy.

The Chilean navy, through its Programs, Research and Development Directorate, has maintained an active involvement in this project, principally in determining the possibilities and implications of incorporating this type of fuel for engines and turbines in Chilean naval vessels. A series of workshops have been conducted from 2011 through today on specific projects dealing directly with the use of biofuels as a means of propelling navy vessels.

The two navies will continue to discuss the strategic direction for alternative fuels and carry on working toward ensuring that energy efficiency is a key aspect considered during future capability development and acquisition. They will also explore the possibility of collaborating on alternative fuels research projects and alternative energy demonstration activities.

For more news from Secretary of the Navy, visit

NNS140825-03. US, Guatemalan Service Members Finish City Library Project

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rafael Martie, Southern Partnership Station Public Affairs

PUERTO BARRIOS, Guatemala (NNS) -- U.S and Guatemalan service members supporting Southern Partnership Station 2014 (SPS-JHSV 14) finished renovating the Puerto Barrios city library, Aug. 22.

Over the last three weeks, U.S. Marine Corps 8th Engineer Support Battalion (ESB), 2nd Marine Logistics Group personnel, U.S. Navy Seabees from Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202 and Guatemalan army engineers painted the building, refurbished areas outside the library, replaced light fixtures, overhauled doors, upgraded the restrooms, repaired plumbing and improved electrical capacity.

The project also ended with a ribbon cutting ceremony at which civil and military authorities attended.

U.S. and Guatemalan personnel that supported the project did not go unnoticed with civil and military leaders from both countries thanking everyone involved in the project.

"This means a lot to me because I was a teacher for twenty-five years before I became mayor," said Jose Antonio Lopez Arevalo, the mayor of Puerto Barrios. "I am motivated to continue to improve on this educational treasure for our city after all the hard work our U.S. and Guatemalan military friends have put into it."

The city library also supports the community by providing a place to conduct research or for recreational purposes.

"The library felt abandoned for quite some time and it was very sad to see daily," said Puerto Barrios, a resident of Silvia Jannette. "The building is stunning now, but what really matters is that the U.S. and Guatemalan military folks did this for our young generation to have a place to pursue their educational needs."

The community around the library personally thanked all the service members involved and offered assistance to the team at the project site.

"I really enjoyed this project for two reasons: getting good work experience for our junior Marines and Sailors, and most importantly, leaving something behind that the community can come together and use," said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Garrett Burn, 8th ESB, 2nd Marine Logistics Group from Tacoma, Washington. "I have been grateful for the support we have received from the community."

U.S. personnel finished work on the library project and next week the Military Sealift Command Joint High-Speed Vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) will return to reload and transport service members to Honduras and continue the SPS-JHSV 14 mission.

SPS-JHSV 14 is a U.S. Navy deployment focused on subject matter expert exchanges with partner nation militaries and security forces. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet employ maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability and build enduring partnerships that foster regional security in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.

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

NNS140825-05. Vouchers Enable Accelerated Officer Graduate Education

By Ed Barker, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval officers unable to pursue full-time graduate studies now have an additional education option with the FY-15 Graduate Education Voucher (GEV) program, announced Aug. 25.

Detailed in Naval Administrative Message (NAVADMIN) 191/14, the GEV program offers eligible officers the opportunity to receive funded graduate education during off-duty hours. Through GEV, unrestricted line (URL) officers can apply to receive funding for Navy-relevant graduate education meeting the requirements of at least one subspecialty code as specified by the Navy Subspecialty System.

"Many officers find it challenging to maintain their career progression and simultaneously schedule full-time education at Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) or other institutions," said Dr. Cheral Cook, graduate education coordinator for Naval Education and Training Command (NETC). "The GEV program offers an accelerated path to an off-duty master's degree with financial support of up to $20,000 per fiscal year, with a total limit of $40,000 for the entire course of study."

All required fees normally charged by the university relating directly to student application and enrollment, including mandatory health fees and health insurance, laboratory fees, vehicle registration and identification cards, and computer fees are reimbursable. Other reimbursable expenses include the cost of textbooks and course materials, and limited expenditures for transcript and entry fees, and final thesis production.

Lt. Jeffrey Cornielle, a submarine officer and instructor at the Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific at Pearl Harbor, recently completed his master's degree with Pennsylvania State University.

"This degree program has enabled me to approach problem solving from more than the traditional methods that I learned through Naval training," said Cornielle. "It provided me more insight on personnel management and its important role in the overall engineering project management process. I now have the tools to take a step back from a problem and understand how to evaluate all facets of that problem before making an educated decision which could make a strong impact on my mission's success. This is definitely a great tool to have available for my post-Navy career when that time comes."

GEV applicants select a regionally accredited school and choose a specific course of study meeting their community's subspecialty requirements. Education plans are reviewed and approved for the Navy subspecialty code by NPS.

The GEV program is targeted at officers with demonstrated superior performance and upward career mobility who are transferring or have recently reported to shore duty, in order to allow sufficient time for completion of a graduate program. The GEV program is open to URL active-duty officers in pay grades O-3 through O-5, in designators 111X (Surface Warfare), 112X (Submarine Warfare), 113X (Special Warfare/SEAL), 114X (Special Operations), and 13XX (Naval Aviator/Naval Flight Officer).

There are 120 planned quotas available for FY-15 as follows: Surface Warfare - 42; Submarine - 27; Aviation - 49; Special Warfare/Special Operations/Explosive Ordnance Disposal - 2. Quotas by degree program and warfare areas are listed in the in the NAVADMIN, and additional information can be found on the Navy College Program's GEV Web page at:

Some restrictions apply and enrollment in the program carries a service obligation of three times the number of months of education completed, with a minimum of 24, and a maximum of 36 months obligation. Officers completing a degree using GEV should expect to serve one tour in a subspecialty billet not later than the second tour following graduation. OPNAVINST 1520.37B contains additional information on specific program requirements. Interested officers should submit written requests to their detailer, per the NAVADMIN and OPNAV instruction.

For those with Program-specific GEV questions, call
850-473-6064 , DSN: 753.

For those not qualifying for the GEV program, educational assistance may be available through the Tuition Assistance program, G.I. Bill or other graduate education programs, as listed on the Navy College Web site at

For more information on the Naval Education and Training Command, visit and

NNS140825-08. USS Momsen Holds Change of Command Ceremony in Seattle

By Ensign Vanessa Berry, USS Momsen Public Affairs

SEATTLE (NNS) -- The crew of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Momsen (DDG 92) welcomed their new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony in Seattle, Aug. 21.

Cmdr. Javier Gonzalez relieved Cmdr. Elaine Collins, completing her 18-month command tour.

Collins led Momsen through a four-month deployment to the 7th Fleet Area of Operations to participate in exercises Talisman Sabre, Silent Banchee, and Cooperation and Readiness Afloat Training (CARAT), various successful inspections and an efficient transition into a dry-dock maintenance availability.

"I am honored to have served as the commanding officer of USS Momsen," said Collins. "It was an experience of a lifetime to command this mighty warship with the finest crew a captain could ask for. I have complete faith that Cmdr. Gonzalez, along with the officers, chiefs, and crew will continue to propel Momsen to new heights."

Collins' next tour will be at the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C.

Gonzalez previously served as the executive officer on board Momsen and will assume command through the Executive Officer to Commanding Officer Fleet-Up program. Cmdr. Jason Kipp has assumed the duties as Momsen's new executive officer.

"Momsen is a ship that isn't afraid to take on any challenge and excels at overcoming them," said Gonzalez. "I cannot thank Cmdr. Collins enough for her leadership, mentorship, and friendship over the past 18 months. The success Momsen has enjoyed was laid by the efforts of Cmdr. Collins and her team."

"Momsen is a complex machine of war," Gonzalez told his Sailors after assuming command. "You, the Momsen Sailors bring her alive, and the families who support you, are national treasures. I respect and thank you for your service. I am extremely proud to be your commanding officer, and I look forward to our continued success. Rise Above!"

Momsen is currently undergoing a scheduled dry dock maintenance period and is dry docked at Vigor Shipyards in Seattle. Momsen is assigned as part of Destroyer Squadron 21.

For more news from Naval Surface Forces, visit

NNS140825-04. Naval Station Yorktown to Host Last All-Military Wilderness Challenge

By Mark O. Piggott, Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Public Affairs

YORKTOWN, Va. (NNS) -- Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) department is preparing to host the last All-Military Wilderness Challenge after 14 years of the competition.

The Wilderness Challenge is scheduled to take place Oct. 9-11 in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains on the New and Gauley Rivers in Minden, West Virginia.

Military personnel representing more than 30 teams from around the world are expected to compete for the title of the "Ultimate Extreme Military Race Team."

The challenge contains a series of five outdoor adventure races in a team format, including an 8-kilometer mountain run, a 12-mile mountain bike race, a 14-mile forced hike through the mountains, a 13-mile whitewater raft race on the Gauley River, and a 7-mile kayak race on the New River; a total of more than 52 miles travelled in two days.

"The All-Military Wilderness Challenge brings together the best athletes the Armed Forces have to offer and puts them to the test," said Michael Bond, event coordinator. "As the competition has gotten tougher and tougher, so have the competitors as more teams join in to battle it out for the title."

The race is designed to bring camaraderie, competition, and team spirit between all five branches of the armed services. Teams must be comprised of four active duty military members, one of whom must be female. Teams may also include active reservists, retirees, and Reserve Officers Training Corps.

"This is one of the most grueling, hard-fought competitions in the Armed Forces, so the winning team will be one of the few to hold the title of Wilderness Challenge Champion," Bond added.

Since 2000, the All-Military Wilderness Challenge has tested the limits of human endurance as teams push themselves to finish the race. To the competitors, it's not just about winning, it's about crossing the finish line and getting that Wilderness Challenge Coin -- something only given to those who complete all 52 miles of the race, said Bond.

"The Wilderness Challenge will always be remembered as the ultimate test of strength, speed and endurance, both mental and physical," Bond concluded. "That's something the men and women of our military rely upon each and every day in defense of our Nation."

Registration is open to all branches of the military. The registration fee is $600 per team and can be made online at or by calling (757) 887-7256 .

For more news from Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, visit

NNS140824-01. DoD Registers Concern to China for Dangerous Intercept

By Amaani Lyle, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Defense Department has expressed its concern to Chinese diplomatic officials about an Aug. 19 incident in which an armed Chinese fighter jet conducted a dangerous intercept of a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters Aug. 22.

The aircraft was on a routine mission when the intercept took place over the Pacific Ocean about 135 miles east of Hainan Island in international airspace, Kirby said.

"We have registered our strong concerns to the Chinese about the unsafe and unprofessional intercept, which posed a risk to the safety and the well-being of the aircrew, and was inconsistent with customary international law," he said.

Kirby also noted that DoD officials believe the Chinese jet made several passes and crossed under the aircraft with one pass having only 50-100 feet of separation.

"The Chinese jet ... passed the nose of the P-8 at 90 degrees with its belly toward the P-8 Poseidon, we believe to make a point of showing its weapons load out," Kirby said. "They flew directly under and alongside the P-8, bringing their wingtips ... to within 20 feet and then conducted a roll over the P-8, passing within 45 feet."

The admiral asserted that the incident undermines efforts to continue developing military-to-military relations with the Chinese military.

"This kind of behavior, not only is unprofessional, it's unsafe," Kirby said, "and it is certainly not keeping with the kind of military-to-military ... relations that we'd like to have with China."

On April 1, 2001, a Chinese fighter jet collided with a U.S. Navy EP-3 surveillance aircraft -- the P-8 Poseidon's predecessor aircraft -- that was flying a routine mission in international airspace over the South China Sea. Wang Wei, the Chinese pilot whose fighter jet collided with the EP-3, was killed. The damaged EP-3 made an emergency landing on China's Hainan Island, where its crew was held by Chinese authorities and eventually released.

NNS140823-04. Stewards of the Sea: Gettysburg Partners With Marine Biologists

By Ensign Tommy Changaris, USS Gettysburg Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- A team of Navy-trained marine biologists embarked aboard guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) Aug 18-22.

The team of marine biologists trained Gettysburg's Sailors and assessed their ability to spot sensitive marine life in the ocean. The team stood underway watches on the bridge wings with binoculars and radios searching for and documenting marine mammals.

"Our effort here is designed to ensure the crew is well-trained and is a role model for Navy stewardship of the ocean" said Jen James, marine biologist. "Our presence and training will only strengthen the training and awareness of the crew."

Navy marine biologists are required to assess the effectiveness of Navy lookouts in a global effort to ensure ships train and operate to their fullest capabilities while remaining in compliance with environmental regulations.

Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Davone Osbyward, was one of the lookouts who underwent training and observation and said the training he received inspired him to become a better steward of the environment.

"There is so much information out there about marine life and the easy steps we in the Navy can do to help protect it," said Osbyward. "It was a really eye-opening experience."

Despite their short time on board, the team was impressed by how quickly the crew rallied around them.

"The entire crew has been fully engaged and supportive of our presence from the beginning," said Andrew Dimatteo, marine biologist. "They really did everything they could to ensure our trip was a success."

Cmdr. Nathan Scherry, executive officer aboard USS Gettysburg, said the marine biologists were extremely excited to be onboard and perform their assigned task.

"This was such a positive experience for both parties involved" said Scherry. "We received valuable training emphasizing the importance of keeping our environment safe while still being able to fully conduct our mission at sea."

For more information on the efforts of the U.S Navy to be good stewards of the environment, please visit

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

NNS140823-03. Navy Doc Sails Into the 'Land of 10,000 Lakes'

By Lisa Johnson, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

DULUTH, Minn. (NNS) -- Navy Medicine leadership met with Minnesota's top medical professionals, public safety officials, and academic leaders to discuss the Navy's importance to global economics, Navy Medicine's capabilities and commitment to patient care during Duluth Navy Week 18-22 Aug.

Rear Adm. Kenneth Iverson, deputy chief, Medical Operations, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery was the top medical officer representing Navy Medicine during the week.

"I grew up in Minnesota, so it was truly my distinct honor and privilege to serve as the lead for Navy Medicine during Duluth Navy Week," said Iverson. "Minnesota has a rich history of supporting our military service members. Duluth Navy Week is a great opportunity to give back while also highlighting our Navy's capabilities for those who desire to be a part of our team."

During a visit to St. Luke's Hospital, the admiral met with hospital leaders and physicians involved in care for traumatic brain injury patients, followed by a presentation to the hospital staff.

"Visits such as Rear Adm. Iverson's are extremely important to St. Luke's as they are informative and used to educate physicians and staff on critical health care topics," said Linda Basara, St. Luke's director of education. "In addition, this visit supported our mission of 'the patient above all else' by showing us Navy Medicine's focus to serve those entrusted to its care."

During his presentation, the admiral informed the staff how Navy Medicine fits into the Navy's commitment to worldwide readiness and stability.

"We learned how expansive and crucial Navy Medicine is for its beneficiaries," said Basara. "The aspects of expeditionary care provided in the air, on and below the sea, and on land, were fascinating. The garrison health care, wounded warrior care and the humanitarian assistance/disaster response demonstrate the 'Global Force For Good' in real action."

During his two days of outreach, Iverson met with the Essentia Health chief operating officer and leadership team, visited the Duluth Vet Center, took a tour of the VA Clinic in Superior, Wisconsin and met with firemen, police officers and first responders in the Duluth metropolitan area.

"I graduated from the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis," said Iverson. "I've visited Duluth many times in my younger days and I was thrilled with the opportunity of returning to this city for an opportunity to share the Navy and Navy Medicine missions."

Navy Medicine is a global health care network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ships, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

Duluth Navy Week is one of six Navy weeks across the country this year. Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they make in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence.

For more news from Navy Medicine, visit

NNS140823-02. Submarine Group 2 Disestablishes

By Lt. Timothy Hawkins, Submarine Group 2 Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- The top command at Naval Submarine Base New London was disestablished Aug. 22 during an outdoor ceremony aboard Virginia-class attack submarine USS Missouri (SSN 780) stationed in Groton, Connecticut.

Submarine Group 2 has been disbanded after 49 years in a move that streamlines the command-and-control structure for Atlantic-based attack submarines and aligns it with a more efficient organizational arrangement on the West Coast.

Three submarine squadron commanders, who oversee attack submarines stationed in Connecticut and Virginia, will now immediately report to Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia.

"A smooth and responsible 'sundown' of Submarine Group 2 has been our objective for the past year. We deliberately sought to make it seamless," said outgoing commander Rear Adm. Kenneth Perry. "We make that transition now, the result of thoughtful planning and solid teamwork."

Personnel who staffed Submarine Group 2's 45 military and civilian positions in Groton have been reassigned.

Perry, 53, is retiring following 32 years of active-duty service.

"You have given so much, Admiral Perry, to our nation over these many years," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut. He was the first of four speakers, which included Adm. John Richardson, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, and Vice Adm. Michael Connor, commander, Submarine Forces.

Connor spoke about contributions Submarine Group 2 has made throughout history to prepare submarines for forward operations around the world.

"The true strength of Submarine Group 2 has been their ability to adapt, to remain flexible, to adjust to the mission and the needs of the Navy," said Connor.

Submarine Group 2 was originally named "Submarine Flotilla Two" when it formed in August 1965. It provided oversight for the planning and operation of ballistic-missile submarines until the early 1990s.

Most recently, Submarine Group 2 has provided oversight to three submarine squadrons, waterfront maintenance and support units, a torpedo facility, 23 operational attack submarines and five newly formed crews for Virginia-class submarines under construction.

"The proud history of Submarine Group 2 is etched in all of our DNA," said Richardson.

Perry was awarded the Legion of Merit for achievements during his final tour. He assumed command of Submarine Group 2 in April 2013.

In addition to maintaining responsibility for 29 attack submarines, Perry led a 60-member Navy task force that delivered a plan for formal review to integrate enlisted women into the submarine force by 2016.

"Ken was the consummate naval officer, full of adventure, full of laughter, full of love and full of service," Richardson said.

Perry closed his final remarks by thanking the Navy for "a great adventure."

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit

NNS140823-01. USS Makin Island ARG Departs Hong Kong

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

HONG KONG (NNS) -- The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit departed Hong Kong, Aug. 23, after completing a three-day port visit.

The amphibious ready group (ARG) is comprised of the flagship amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45), and amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22).

The visit served as the first port call for all three ships, which departed San Diego July 25.

"Port visits are a great opportunity to promote stability and security in the region," said the Commodore of the Makin Island ARG, Capt. Victor Cooper. "Hong Kong has long served as a top port visit for Sailors and Marines and I am very happy to have had the opportunity to visit again and foster good relationships."

While in Hong Kong, the Sailors and Marines took advantage of a wide selection of activities, including cultural heritage tours, Disneyland tours, Ocean Park tours and community service programs.

Chief Navy Counselor Jessica Lawson, assigned to Makin Island, has visited Hong Kong more than a dozen times in her Navy career, but this was the first visit where she went to Disneyland.

"The other times I'd gone to the markets, shopped all over town and seen a lot. This time I wanted to try to do something different," she said. "I can cross that off my bucket list."

The ARG is continuing on a scheduled deployment with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit to promote peace and freedom of the seas by providing security and stability in the 7th Fleet area of operations.

For more news from USS Makin Island (LHD 8), visit

NNS140822-07. Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group Departs for Deployment

From Commander, U.S. Third Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group departed Aug. 22 for a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific and U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, and embarked Destroyer Squadron 1 deployed with guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and guided-missile destroyers USS Gridley (DDG 101), USS Sterett (DDG 104), and USS Dewey (DDG 105).

Carl Vinson also embarked the aviation squadrons of CVW-17 which includes the "Fighting Redcocks" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, the "Sunliners" of VFA-81, the "Stingers" of VFA-113, the "Mighty Shrikes" of VFA-94, the "Cougars" of Electronic Attack Squadron 139, the "Sun Kings" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 116, the "Red Lions" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15, the "Battlecats" of Helicopter Sea Maritime Strike Squadron 73, and Fleet Logistic Support Squadron 30.

The strike group deploys with approximately 6,200 Sailors and will focus on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. Bunker Hill, Dewey, Gridley and Sterett, multi-mission ships that possess the Aegis Weapons System, will support Carl Vinson carrier operations and provide deterrence to potential adversaries, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas, and provide humanitarian/disaster relief as necessary.

For more information on USS Carl Vinson visit:

For more information on Carrier Strike Group 1 visit:

For More information on Carrier Air Wing 17 visit:

For more information on DESRON 1 ships visit:

For more information on USS Bunker Hill visit:

File photo of USS Bunker Hill:

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

NNS140822-16. NMCPHC Holds Change of Command

By Hugh Cox, Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Command of the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) changed Wednesday when Capt. Scott Jonson relieved Capt. Michael Macinski during a ceremony conducted at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Aug. 22.

Rear Admiral Terry Moulton, Commander, Navy Medicine East, Portsmouth, Virginia presided over the ceremony.
In his remarks, Moulton cited the leadership and accomplishments of both participants as well as the tremendous impact that NMCPHC's contributions have on Navy and Marine Corps mission readiness.

"The Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center is the public health expert," said Moulton. "From supporting our nation's wounded, ill, and injured to monitoring and improving the environment that our Sailors and Marines work and live in every day. You're at the front of Navy medicine leading the fight to ensure our forces are always ready to respond. Prevention and protection starts with you."

Moulton presented Macinski with the Legion of Merit for his leadership in support of Navy public health and the Navy medicine mission.

"Capt. Macinski is a caring and trusted leader who has inspired his staff and set the bar high," said Moulton.

Macinski has been the driving force behind numerous public health success stories during his tenure as commanding officer. Under his leadership, NMCPHC successfully launched a comprehensive health promotion and wellness campaign that drew praise from the United States surgeon general and strategically aligns with the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative. He also re-established the Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit Seven Rota, Spain, thus bringing back a critical public health asset to both European Command and Africa Command areas of operations.

Macinski is particularly pleased with the legacy he leaves behind and even more grateful to the efforts of the Navy public health experts who help ensure war-fighter readiness.

"I'm extremely proud of the support that Navy medicine and in particular Navy public health provides to our Fleet and Marine Corps customers," said Macinski. "I consider it a privilege and my good fortune to have been surrounded by such dedicated and hard-working professionals. This team is second to none."

The new NMCPHC Commanding Officer, Capt. Jonson, a native of International Falls Minnesota, was commissioned in late 1987 and began his Navy Medicine career as a staff physical therapist at Naval Medical Center, San Diego.

Jonson earned his Master of Science Degree in Human Movement Science from the University of North Carolina and holds a doctor of science degree in orthopedic
physical therapy with a concentration in sports medicine and primary care from the tri-service U.S. Military-Baylor University Sports Medicine-Physical Therapy Doctoral Program at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Operational assignments included the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), where Jonson had the distinction as being the first Navy physical therapist assigned as ship's company to a U.S. Navy warship.

Most recently, Jonson served as the executive officer at the Naval Medical Research Unit, San Antonio.

Upon assuming command, Jonson thanked Macinski for his leadership and lasting contributions to public health, while praising the entire NMCPHC enterprise for their role in war-fighter readiness.

"You're the right team to help prevent injury and illness on the battlefield and in-garrison," said Jonson. "I'm truly honored to serve as your next commanding officer."

NMCPHC is part of the Navy medicine team, a global health care network of 63,000 Navy Medical personnel around the world who provide high-quality healthcare to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ships, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

For more news from Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, visit

NNS140822-14. Naval Special Warfare Group TWO Change of Hands, Plans, and Command

By By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Desiree D. Smith, Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Public Affairs

VIRGINA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Special Warfare Group (CNSWG-2) TWO held a change of command ceremony at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Aug. 22nd.

Capt. Peter G. Vasely relieved Capt. Robert E. Smith, who served at the helm of CNSWG-2 since Aug. 2012. Rear Adm. Brian Losey, Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, was the guest speaker for the ceremony.

"The change of command ceremony is a time-honored naval tradition, all hands would muster on deck and witness the formal transfer of authority from one commander to another," said Losey.

Rear Adm. Losey spoke to an audience of more than 350 Naval Special Warfare (NSW) personnel, family, and friends about the accomplishments of CNSWG-2 and the forward deployed forces during Capt. Smith's tenure as well as the shift in direction that he directly supported during his tour.

"He's done a tremendous job in realizing the vision of the continent of Africa," said Losey. "Capt. Smith not only postured there from a command and control standpoint but coordinated with the State Department in each of the countries to remain postured to respond to U.S. unilateral interest if, and when necessary."

Rear Adm. Losey continued, "He has put Group TWO out front in one of the most contentious conflict zones in the world and that's East Africa. Think Sudan, Somalia, and then all of the boundary states such as Ethiopia and Kenya and it's only 18 nautical miles away from where some of the most focused unspoken fighting is occurring in respect to Yemen."

"Admiral William McRaven's number one priority is to win the current fight, and the current fight is being manifested in Afghanistan and he kept the force to the fire and for the last 13 years NSW has been recognized with two Medals of Honor, 58 Navy Cross Medals, 94 Silver Star Medals, and over 2600 Bronze Star Medals with Valor," said Losey. "We've had 77 teammates killed-in-action and 270 wounded and that is no small amount of sacrifice or commitment."

Rear Adm. Losey closed his remarks by saying, "Capt. Smith has done a tremendous job helping evolve our force." Rear Adm. Losey then called the military personnel present to attention and asked the guests to rise as he awarded the Legion of Merit Medal to Capt. Smith for his accomplishments while in command of CNSWG-2. Rear Adm. Losey then turned the floor over to Capt. Smith.

Commander, Naval Special Warfare Group TWO's primary focus rested heavily on Afghanistan when Capt. Smith assumed command in 2012.

"Within the first six months Rear Adm. Sean Pybus and Losey, both challenged us as they challenged every major commander in NSW," recalled Smith. "The challenge was what do we do after Afghanistan, how are we relevant and how does this force continue to serve the American public to ensure security across the globe? It wasn't just the challenge but the empowerment, and they empowered us to reach out to the fleet and operational commanders to engage with them to find out what their needs were to shape our force to their needs, and as we did that, we leveraged that empowerment to make Group TWO relevant,"

Smith ended his remarks saying, "Pete, you're getting a great command, they are ready. I couldn't think of a better person to turn this command over to because from the Naval Academy to Coronado, the East Coast and to D.C., I think it made us both stronger people and this mission is going to continue forward and you're the right man to lead it."

Capt. Smith and Capt. Vasely then read their orders. The two then met in front of Rear Adm. Losey to ceremoniously execute the change of command before Capt. Vasely addressed the command for the first time as the commanding officer.

"As we look at this transition, it comes at a very challenging time and a period of great uncertainty where our country faces a multi-faceted series of threats from violent extremist organizations. One thing that is absolutely certain is the competence, capability of the force to fight, and willingness to win the hardest challenges that are thrown at it," said Vasely.

Capt. Vasely continued his remarks by stating, "I am honored that you and the NSW community have entrusted me with the responsibility to major command and I'm committed to the responsibility of being in command of Group TWO. I'm committed to the men and women of Group TWO to provide you with clear vision, guidance and direction so that you are enabled to continue to excel in executing this nation's toughest missions, and also to your families for being the rock and foundation of everything we do and the commitment they so justly deserve,"

For more news from Naval Special Warfare Group 2, visit

NNS140822-13. USS Cole Deploys to 6th Fleet

By Lt. j.g. Douglas Kroh, USS Cole Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) departed Naval Station Norfolk today, on a deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

After transiting the Atlantic Ocean, Cole will enter the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding waters to conduct maritime operations and strengthen partner nations' maritime capabilities, promoting a secure maritime environment.

"It is an honor to command Cole as we set sail," said Cmdr. Dennis Farrell, the ship's commanding officer. "The men and women who make up the crew of Cole are this nation's best and brightest and they have answered the call to serve America, protect the nation's security and carry out the maritime strategy."

Cole returned from her last deployment in January 2013. Between maintenance periods, the crew was underway for certification exercises, participation in the NATO exercise Joint Warrior and Fleet Week New York earlier this year.

"The history of this ship carries great weight," said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Bradley Dowden. "We are all proud to carry it into the world. Showing her off gives me a great sense of personal pride."

The ship was commissioned June 8, 1996, and is named after U.S. Marine Sgt. Darrell Samuel Cole, who received the Medal of Honor for his "conspicuous gallantry" at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.

For more Cole information, visit the ship's website at

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

NNS140825-13. MCPON Visits Sailors in Germany

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Martin L. Carey, Office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

STUTTGART, Germany (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens hosted an all-hands call at the Patch Chapel with Sailors stationed at United States Army Garrison Stuttgart Aug. 20.

"I'm really happy to be here today with all of you," said Stevens. "This is a great opportunity for me to talk to you and hear what's on your mind."

The call was streamed live on Defense Connect Online where MCPON talked about the eSailor initiative, leadership development, and took questions from the live and virtual audiences.

Yeoman 1st Class Carlos Salas, from Columbus, Georgia, assigned to United States Africa Command, asked why it is mandatory for Sailors to earn warfare pins.

"It's not so much about it being required or not, " said Stevens. "It's about ensuring that Sailors are fully trained and equipped to do their jobs."

A Sailor watching online asked about changes to deployment schedules.

"With the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson preparing to deploy for nine and a half months, it allows us to implement the Optimized Fleet Response Plan, which is designed to give us more predictability in regards to deployment lengths and schedules," said Stevens. "But we must keep in mind that we are in the Navy, and as such, we go when and where the United States needs us to go."

Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Robert Willis, from Augusta, Georgia, assigned to United States Africa Command, voiced his frustration about the inability for reservists to easily view and pick orders for mobilization.

"I recently spoke with the Reserve Force Master Chief CJ Mitchell and he and his team are working on system that will soon post open billets online so that the Reserve force can start filling them."

Before departing, MCPON expressed his thanks and gratitude to the Sailors.

"I want you all to know that for me and my wife Theresa, we consider you all family", Stevens said. "We love and care deeply about each and every one of you, and ask that you take care of yourselves and your shipmates."

After the all-hands call, MCPON toured garrison installations including the Defense Information Systems Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, and Special Operations Command Europe.

For more information on the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy visit

NNS020718-39. This Day in Naval History - Aug. 25

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1864 - CSS Tallahassee, commanded by Cmdr. John Taylor Wood, returns to Wilmington, N.C. to refuel on coal. During her more than two week raid, CSS Tallahassee destroys 26 vessels and captures seven others.

1927 - USS Los Angeles (ZR 3) rises to a near-vertical position due to the sudden arrival of a cold air front that lifts the airship's tail, causing it to rise before she can swing around the mast parallel to the new wind direction. Los Angeles only suffers minor damage but the affair demonstrates the risks involved with high mooring masts.

1943 - Depth charges from USS Patterson (DD 392) sink the Japanese submarine, (RO 35), 170 miles southeast of San Cristobal Island, Solomon Islands.

1944 - USS Picuda (SS 382), in an attack on a Japanese convoy at the western entrance to the Babuyan Channel, sinks destroyer Yunagi 20 miles north-northeast of the Philippines and merchant tanker Kotoku Maru.

1951 - 23 fighters from USS Essex (CV 9) escort Air Force heavy bombers in an attack on Najin, Korea due to the target being beyond range of land-based fighters.

NNS140826-08. USS Greeneville Returns Home

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Khor

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- A crowd lined the submarine piers for a warm aloha welcome as the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Greeneville (SSN 772), returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Aug. 25, following a deployment to the Western Pacific.

Family and friends showed off signs, banners, and leis as the submarine came into view in the harbor.

The submarine's commanding officer, Cmdr. Martin Muckian said the crew was outstanding during deployment.

"I am very proud of the crew," said Muckian. "They performed superbly in every area, from the tactical watchstanders, to the nuclear propulsion plants operators, to the cooks. Every Sailor did his job and did it well, and that enabled Greeneville to do some great things for 7th Fleet on this deployment."

The 150-man crew of Greeneville was forward deployed for more than six months, completing a variety of operations and missions vital to national security.

For a young seaman, it was his very first deployment, while for a seasoned senior chief, it was his 12th deployment.

In addition to gaining the experience of operating in the Western Pacific, the deployment afforded Sailors the opportunity to work on critical qualifications.

Over the course of the deployment, 15 enlisted Sailors and two officers became submarine qualified and are now able to wear their respective submarine warfare insignia, or "dolphins."

"The crew is feeling sky high after this deployment," said Muckian. "They were asked to do some difficult things and they know they delivered. It's a great feeling for them. When you combine that feeling of accomplishment with the joy of seeing your family and friends again, it makes homecoming a great day."

While on deployment, Greeneville's crew helped strengthen community ties in Guam, as well as with foreign allies in South Korea and Singapore.

Muckian said Greeneville Sailors were great ambassadors for the U.S. Navy, and they had a lot of fun on deployment and did everything from mountain hiking in South Korea to scuba diving in Guam.

"It was a memorable experience for everyone," added Muckian.

It became apparent that Greeneville was finally home as the crowd cheered and clapped their hands upon the submarine's return.

For Meghan Scassero, having her husband, Electrician's Mate 1st Class Joshua Scassero, home after such a long time meant the opportunity to enjoy their anniversary together.

"Tomorrow is our anniversary!" said Scassero. "So we're going to spend time together. I've missed him terribly, so it is nice to have him home!"

USS Greeneville is the 61st Los Angeles-class submarine and the 22nd Improved Los Angeles-class attack submarine.

USS Greeneville was commissioned a U.S. naval warship at Norfolk Naval Base Feb. 16, 1996. Greeneville changed homeport to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in March 1997.

For more information about Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit and

NNS140826-06. USS Vella Gulf Departs Black Sea

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston Jones, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East Detachment Europe

MEDITERRANEAN SEA (NNS) -- The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) departed the Black Sea after a series of engagements promoting peace and stability in the region, Aug. 26.

While in the Black Sea, Vella Gulf's mission was to work with NATO allies and partners, demonstrating the United States' commitment to strengthening and improving interoperability while working toward mutual goals in the region.

"Our Black Sea operations were excellent training opportunities for Vella Gulf to work with our maritime partners, and we enjoyed our port visits to Romania and Georgia," said Capt. Robert Katz, Vella Gulf's commanding officer. "Being afforded the opportunity to work together with our partners helps build greater maritime domain awareness in the Black Sea. We look forward to fostering these relationships in the future."

Upon entering the Black Sea for the second time this deployment, Vella Gulf completed a divisional tactics exercise with the Turkish navy, Aug 8.

Vella Gulf made port visits to Constanta, Romania and Batumi, Georgia.

In Romania, Vella Gulf Sailors were treated to a barbeque hosted by the Romanian chapter of the Navy League, and participated in Romanian Navy Day.

In Batumi, Georgia, Vella Gulf hosted distinguished guests including Prime Minister of the Republic of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili, Georgian Minister of Defense, Iraklii Alasania, and U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland.

Vella Gulf participated in joint training exercises with the Georgian Coast Guard focusing on visit, board, search and seizure tactics, damage control, and NATO flag signaling.

The port visit to Batumi culminated in a flag signaling exercise with the Georgian navy upon the ship's departure.

Back in the Mediterranean, Vella Gulf is scheduled to finish her deployment after two patrols in the Black Sea.

Vella Gulf, homeported in Norfolk, Virginia, is deployed in a multi-mission role in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to contribute to regional maritime security, conduct bilateral and multilateral training missions, and to support NATO operations and deployments throughout the region.

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

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

NNS140826-03. Frank Cable Sailors Volunteer to Help Reclaim Public Parks

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg House, USS Frank Cable Public Affairs

DEDEDO, Guam (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) volunteered to help Island Girl Power, a community service organization for young girls in Guam, clean and renovate a series of public parks that have been neglected for a number of years in Dededo, Guam, Aug. 23.

Frank Cable and Island Girl Power have been working on this park since July 2, but this isn't the first time the two have worked together.

"It's great when the Frank Cable comes out to help," said Juanita Blaz, the program director for Island Girl Power. "We have a long history with Frank Cable helping us out with many of our projects over the years."

Along with the benefits for the community, Sailors can feel a sense of achievement after taking part.

"I love meeting with the local civilians and connecting with the community," said Religious Programs Specialist Seaman Lester Williams. "I think the most important thing is looking around and seeing what we are accomplishing for the community."

When the project started in July, the park had piles of garbage, old tires and was overgrown with weeds. Now, as the volunteers finish with this park, the basketball court has a fresh coat of paint, the weeds and garbage have been taken out and mulch is being laid down to help new grass grow.

"It's just the right thing to do," said Gunner's Mate 1st Class Sierra Clemmons, another volunteer from Frank Cable.

Frank Cable, forward deployed to the island of Guam, conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels deployed in the U.S 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

For more information on Frank Cable, visit, and

NNS140826-11. Ship Stores Receive Enhanced Point of Sale System

From Navy Exchange Service Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) announced Aug. 26 USS Mitscher (DDG 57) and USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) were the first ships to receive the new afloat retail point of sale systems, Retail Operations Management version 3 (ROM 3) in its ships stores.

ROM 3, the newest version of retail operations management, will provide ship stores with an updated system to order and receive merchandise from multiple vendors, track and manage inventory, record a range of financial transactions and perform in-depth reporting.

"This new system will allow data to flow freely between the ship's workstations and allow commands ashore to see the data as well," said Charles Vaughan, vice president, Navy Exchange Service Command's Ships Stores Program. "The integration of this new system will deliver a better tool in which Ship's Servicemen can manage their afloat retail business and serve their Sailors."

A core piece of this system is a point of sale module. This module, similar to any retail store's cash register, provides the ability to scan barcodes, sell merchandise, print receipts and accept cash or NavyCash payments.

"There is so much added on, particularly in the details," said Chief Ship's Serviceman William Barton, USS Mitscher S-3 leading chief petty officer. "Seeing the actual system in action was very impressive. It is a much more streamlined way of doing business and cuts out the user errors found in previous versions."

This initiative was a joint effort between Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) N6, NAVSUP Business Systems Center, NEXCOM's Ships Stores Program and NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center. Installation will continue throughout the fleet and all ships are scheduled to receive ROM 3 over the next two years.

"We will work aggressively to install this tool onto the ships and the schedule is based on ship schedules, ship availability, holiday and standdown periods and available manpower," said Vaughan. "We know the ships want this and we are working hard to deliver this enhanced tool."

For more news from Navy Exchange Service Command, visit

NNS140826-12. Under Secretary of Defense Visits JB Charleston

By Eric Sesit, Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. (NNS) -- The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Jessica L. Garfola Wright, completed the first day of a two-day visit to Joint Base Charleston, S.C. Aug. 22, to witness joint basing in action and observe the active duty and Reserve missions.

Wright is the senior policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense on recruitment, career development, pay and benefits for 1.4 million active duty military personnel, 1.1 million Guard and Reserve personnel, 748,000 Department of Defense civilians, and is responsible for overseeing the overall state of military readiness.

Wright began her day with a mission briefing highlighting the more than 60 DoD agencies comprising JB Charleston, and featuring leaders from the Navy, Army and Air Force; active duty and Reserve - a first look at the diversity she would see throughout her visit.

Following the briefing, Wright learned about the C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlift mission at the air base, a mission shared by both active duty and Reserve Airmen, before beginning an immersion tour of the 17,000-acre weapons station.

After lunch with a group of 20 students from the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command at the Naval Weapons Station galley, Wright conducted a Navy all-hands call at the Bowman Center on the NNPTC campus and answered questions from among the 500 Sailors in attendance.

Wright prefaced her remarks and encouraged Sailors to ask questions by stating, "After 35 years serving in uniform, I understand what it's like to grow up in our system and I understand that change is difficult."

Possible changes to areas like health care, retirement systems, housing allowances and commissaries were the subject of many of the questions Sailors asked Wright.

Wright also had high praise for the men and women of JB Charleston and the mission they accomplish every day.

"We have found that where joint basing works, it can be a very effective. Have there been some hick-ups along the way? Sure, but the JB Charleston leadership is committed to the mission and making JB Charleston a great place to live and work," Wright said.

While at the Weapons Station, Wright also visited the Navy Consolidated Brig Charleston, Naval Health Clinic Charleston and the Naval Weapons Station Library.

Wright spent the 23rd touring several 315th Airlift Wing units and speaking with Reservists during an Air Force 'all call.'

Wright assumed her responsibilities as Under Secretary Jan. 1, 2013 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate June 25, 2014.

NNS140826-02. NBK Holds SAPR Victim Advocate Refresher Training

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class William Blees, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest

SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) held a Sexual Assault Prevention (SAPR) Victim Advocate (VA) Refresher training module on Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Bangor, Aug. 21-22.

The two-day training module focused on restoring knowledge that may not have been used since Sailors attended initial VA classes.

Day one began by exploring the military justice process from the perspective of the victim's legal counsel (VLC). The VLC takes participants through the military justice process from initial report to final closure.

Afterwards, the class took part in "Walk the Plank: Practical Lessons for Advocates Needing Knowledge" training. Based on real experience, "Walk the Plank" has been developed to assist Sailors in understanding the complete advocacy role.

"This training helps me to know the proper procedures when working with victims of sexual assault," said Electrician's Mate 1st Class Nastasia Propst, assigned to Transient Personnel Unit. "Having them know someone is there makes a huge difference."

The day ended with information on the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Advocate Certificate Program renewal process and safeTALK.

SafeTALK is meant for anyone who wants to promote suicide safety regardless of previous experience or background and is accredited by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

Day two of training provided the VAs with the opportunity to visit community and military resources that sexual assault victims may access. This included traveling to the Kitsap County Special Assault Unit and Superior Court location, a military courtroom tour, military and civilian forensic exam programs at local hospitals and Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

"This training allows victim advocates to leave here feeling more confident in their abilities to help someone who has been a victim of sexual assault," said Candy Cardinal, civilian SAPR victim advocate. "Having additional training will help when victims come forward."

Seeing these resources firsthand is intended to increase VAs understanding of the services provided for sexual assault victims at each location.

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

NNS140826-20. Not If but When - Earthquake Preparation a Naval Hospital Bremerton Standard

By Douglas H. Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- There are two old adages shared in the greater Puget Sound area regarding earthquakes. One is that it's not a matter of 'if' as much as 'when.'

The other states that if there's a sizable earthquake in your area, there are two structures that need to remain standing and a hospital is one of them (the other is the jail).

Naval Hospital Bremerton preemptively prepares as much as possible for the 'if' factor and has also proactively ensured the military treatment facility is still functional after an earthquake with a seismic retrofitting project.

In the wake of the Napa, California quake of 6.0 Aug. 25, and another 4.3 rumbling along a well-known fault line centered approximately six miles north of Mount St. Helens Aug. 26, the possibility of a quake striking closer to home became a vivid reminder to emergency management coordinators.

According to Terry Lerma, NHB Emergency Preparedness coordinator, if such a quake happened to impact NHB instead of the Napa area on Sunday, the immediate actions for staff after drop, cover, hold, would be "not to run outside," he stressed.

"We would then have to immediately check all work spaces for any damage and make any structural damage and/or injury to staff/visitor/patients reports," said Lerma, also citing that the command would then have to secure any leaking water, gas, air, suction, or oxygen lines, and not use any elevators until NHB's Facilities Management department ensures they are safe and operational.

"We would also have to check the outside grounds for any buckled pavement, cracks, leaking water mains, or any smell of natural gas and notify Security. We would report any fires, and be prepared for possible aftershocks," added Lerma, also noting that a phone muster would be started of all work center staff to ensure they are safe and accounted for.

"We would also need to prepare for a possible mass casualty situation for non-military affiliated civilians possibly showing up at the front gate requesting assistance and be prepared for the Navy Fleet and Family Accountability Assessment Service (NFAAS) to be activated," Lerma said.

Coincidently, NHB recently held a command-wide exercise Aug. 5 to respond to a earthquake as well as handle mass casualties as a result of the natural disaster.

Those who think it can't or won't happen only have to look to 2001, when the Nisqually earthquake, a measured 6.8 Richter scale earthquake shook NHB with reverberations and gave staff members a forewarning of just what it was like to experience a sizable seismic shaking, as the epicenter is just 50 miles south of Bremerton.

Dan Frederick, then officer in charge of Branch Health Clinic, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, was attending a training class on the sixth floor when the 45-second long quake hit.

"I remember it very well. Everything started to shake. I was able to see outside and could notice how much the building was moving in relation to the trees. And the movement kept going. It was scary the amount of movement taking place. I was thinking that this structure can't take much more because the force will cause it to break apart. Being on one of the top floors and feeling and seeing the motion was quite the ride," said Frederick.

Because of the past experience and where the command is situated, NHB completed a unique seismic retrofit project in 2007, which vastly improved the structural ability of the facility to withstand a large earthquake.

"We were the first Navy medical facility to undergo the seismic retrofit project," said Russ Kent, NHB facility manager. "Our hospital has to be operational immediately after an earthquake and we retrofitted it to stringent criteria to be better able to withstand a sizable quake in the future."

History shows that the entire area is prone to quakes, with other such notable seismic events such as a magnitude 6.5 quake widely felt on April 29, 1965 and a measured 7.1 quake April 13, 1949.

"We did experience damage and inconvenience when the Nisqually quake hit. That event helped to accelerate the need for a much more secure and stable structure. Our hospital building itself is quite strong and flexible. We had no structural damage. But even with the tremor about 50 miles away and deep below the earth's surface, the ground motions, and intensity of the seismic shaking caused significant nonstructural damage, especially at the upper floors. Rigid materials such as drywall, window panes and piping do not perform well when suddenly required to bend," Kent said.

Lerma attests that NHB Facilities Management department has done a great job to retrofit the core building with the Seismic Retrofit - shock absorbing inertia dampeners - to prevent the upper floors of NHB from transitioning from the initial shaking to the rolling circular motion experienced in the 2001 Nisqually Quake.

"We were the first Naval Hospital to be wired with sensors throughout the building and have our own seismograph that will tell us immediately after a quake if the hospital building is safe to stay in, or if we should evacuate," said Lerma.

Part of NHB's overall command readiness and emergency response is effectively and rapidly respond to a natural disaster like an earthquake, as well as provide medical care and prepare to handle mass casualties.

"Our staff should always be aware of such a possibility. We have at least two major and three minor earthquake faults running through and/or near Kitsap County. Geographically, the Kitsap Peninsula is essentially an island if the Tacoma Narrows and Hood Canal Bridges were closed. Many geologists say we are overdue for "the big one," so the possibility of a significant seismic event is possible at any time," Lerma said.

Lerma stresses that all staff should prepare their home, work space, and personally owned vehicles with emergency preparedness kits along with structural preparations such as securing furniture from falling over, making sure the water heater is safely strapped, and knowing how to shut off their utilities. Staff should also prepare their families with a communications plan such as an out of state contact person and a rendezvous point in case the streets are blocked or closed.

"We must prepare ourselves and family if/when an earthquake strikes. NHB staff might very well need to provide care for an extended timeframe until relief arrives or back to normal operations. We have to have the ability to sustain ourselves, and also know our families are prepared to survive with emergency supplies for any such interim period. As a hospital, we must be ready to serve not only the active duty and beneficiary population, but also the "perfect storm" of circumstances that has wounded, injured civilians show up at the front gate needing care due to the inability to transit to a civilian hospital. If needed, we have backup utility systems that will provide power, heat, and water for approximately a week after a significant seismic event," Lerma said.

Lerma notes that NHB has routinely held mass casualty drills in conjunction with an earthquake scenario. Some of the main objectives of a mass casualty exercise are to rapidly test and evaluate damage assessment to the facility itself; assist patients, visitors and staff with injuries; and track patients through treatment areas a

NNS140826-05. Chicago NROTC Midshipmen Complete Freshmen Orientation at Great Lakes

By Michael F. Miller, Naval Service Training Command Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Sixteen newly enrolled midshipmen from the Chicago Consortium Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) programs participated in their freshman orientation at Recruit Training Command on board Naval Station Great Lakes, Aug. 18-23.

The NROTC Chicago Consortium consists of students from Northwestern University, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Illinois Chicago and Loyola University.

A consortium is made up of two or more NROTC units from separate colleges or universities that are located within the same geographical proximity.

Rear Adm. Rich Brown, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), who directly oversees the NROTC program, congratulated each of the new midshipmen for their acceptance into the NROTC program as he spoke to them during a break in their sail training.

"I am very happy you chose the NROTC program and I know how excited you were upon receiving the news", said Brown. "You are one of the 900 Americans who were selected for a NROTC scholarship. Remember that in the next four years as you are working your way through the program. Have a great year and I look forward to seeing you again in the fleet in four years!"

A staff of naval science instructors and Marine officer instructors led the orientation along with several midshipmen that volunteered their time to help train and lead the incoming freshmen. Freshman Orientation at RTC is unique to the Chicago consortium and provided an opportunity for the freshmen orientation to be completed in a controlled military environment.

"It was important for us to do freshmen orientation at RTC because of the tremendous training opportunities available," said Capt. Brian D. Koehr, commanding officer of the Chicago consortium. "For the freshmen to get the experience of visiting the Quarterdeck of the Navy, it has been an invaluable experience for their entry into Navy life."

During their stay at RTC, the unit was given the opportunity to tour the Navy's largest simulator, USS Trayer (BST 21), the 210-foot-long mock-up of an Arleigh Burke destroyer inside a warehouse of RTC's USS Iowa headquarters building.

The rest of the week at RTC and Naval Station Great Lakes also included physical training, weapons familiarization, close order drill, swim qualifications, confidence chamber exposure, and basic seamanship and lessons in sailing on Lake Michigan.

The midshipmen and staff learned about the Landing Craft Mechanized boats with Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 1 and went underway on a demonstration cruise on the waters of Lake Michigan.

"This was a good refresher of the basics of being in the military," said Thomas George, a Marine-option freshman from St. Louis, Mo. who just came off three years of active duty in the Marine Corps as an infantry rifleman. "I got selected out of high school for the NROTC scholarship but chose to enlist in the Marine Corps. It's a great opportunity to be here after serving in the military but a good lesson in humility. It doesn't matter where you have been or what you have done, we are all equal."

"I really enjoyed the intensity of the week," said Loyvia Chinchilla, a Navy-option freshman from Glen Ellyn, Ill. "This has been a humbling experience this week and I liked the dedication, inspiration and leadership of the upper classmen and staff. It made me think of how I am going to lead Sailors four years from now."

The NROTC Chicago Consortium midshipmen are among more than 4,000 students enrolled in the NROTC program at colleges and universities throughout the country. The NROTC Program was established to develop midshipmen mentally, morally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, and loyalty, and with the core values of honor, courage and commitment.

The NROTC program, overseen by Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) at Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill., was established to develop midshipmen mentally, morally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, loyalty and Navy core values in order to commission college graduates as naval officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the naval service and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.

For more information about NROTC, visit

For more information about NSTC, visit, and

NNS140826-17. NAVFAC Southeast Awards F-35 Maintenance Hangar Contract

By Earl Bittner, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast announced the first task order from a $240 million indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) multiple award design-build construction contract Aug. 26.

Carothers Construction Inc., of Oxford, Mississippi, was awarded the initial task order for $34.4 million for the design and construction of an aircraft maintenance hangar at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina.

"The new hangar is designed to support and accommodate the F-35's unique operational and maintenance requirements," said Troy Ward, MCAS Beaufort Site Activation Task Force program manager.

The hangar project is expected to be completed by September 2016. Other work to be performed under this contract includes general building type projects (new construction, renovation, alteration, demolition, and repair work) including industrial, airfield, aircraft hangar, aircraft traffic control, infrastructure, administrative, training, dormitory, and community support facilities.

"The existing hangars were designed and built to accommodate legacy aircraft, almost 60 years ago," said Ward. "They have reached the end of their useful life and renovating or expanding the existing hangars would not be cost effective. We're building a 21st century facility here to support our new fifth generation fighters, the Lightning II."

The five contractors for this IDIQ contract include Carothers Construction Inc., Oxford, Mississippi; Archer Western Construction, LLC (small business), Chicago, Illinois; Brasfield and Gorrie General Contractors, Birmingham, Alabama; Hensel Phelps Construction Co., Orlando, Florida; and M.A. Mortenson Construction Co., Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The contract period is for 36 months with an expected completion date of August 2017.

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit

NNS140825-16. New Navy-Funded Blue and Fin Whale Tagging Study Begins

From U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- A Navy-funded study to continue documenting blue and fin whale distribution, occurrence and movement patterns along the U.S. West Coast and throughout the Eastern Pacific began July 31.

Oregon State University researchers will attempt to locate and attach up to 24 long-term satellite tracking tags to blue and fin whales off Southern California.

The researchers will deploy from Santa Barbara or Long Beach, depending on reported sightings of blue and fin whales. The team's goal is attachment of 12 tags to blue whales and 12 tags to fin whales. These location-only tags can track and report whale movements for up to a year. The tag technology was developed by the Office of Naval Research and the Navy's Living Marine Resources Program.

A recent publication ( from the same research group reported on results from similar blue whale tagging conducted from 1993 through 2008: Irvine LM, Mate BR, Winsor MH, Palacios DM, Bograd SJ, et al. (2014) Spatial and Temporal Occurrence of Blue Whales off the U.S. West Coast, with Implications for Management.

U.S. Pacific Fleet is funding the deployment, data analysis and reporting for this 2014 field effort. Continued follow-on field work in 2015 and 2016 is also planned.

An additional eight Advanced-Dive-Behavior (ADB) tags will be deployed on four blue whales and four fin whales. These tags collect high-resolution data on time, depth and body orientation as the whales feed. Although of shorter duration (up to six weeks), data from the ADB tags will be combined with satellite-sensed oceanographic data to characterize blue and fin whale habitats within Southern California and insights into their variable foraging habits at depth that cannot be seen during surface observations.

Work is being conducted under a research permit to OSU from the National Marine Fisheries Service. Preliminary results will be reported by the Navy to the National Marine Fisheries Service via an annual monitoring report for the Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing Study Area in the late spring of 2015.

For more news from Pacific Fleet, visit

NNS140826-01. Northwest Chief Selects Graduate USS Turner Joy CPO Legacy Academy

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

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Navy Region Northwest Chief selectees graduated a 2014 USS Turner Joy Chief Petty Officer Legacy Academy held aboard USS Turner Joy (DD 951), Aug. 22.

Commands throughout the Navy chose 47 selectees to participate in this year's academy, which was broken into two classes, which entails living aboard the Vietnam-era destroyer for six days while participating in community relation projects, ship preservation, leadership training, reenactments of Vietnam-era operations and heritage projects relating to the U.S. Navy and its Chiefs Mess.

More than 50 mentors along with friends and family attended the graduation ceremony held on the pier in front of the Turner Joy museum.

"The chiefs really took us under their wings and out into the community to instill in us what it means to be a chief petty officer," said Chief (Select) Aviation Electronics Technician David Sweeney, a Rochester, New York, native assigned to USS Nimitz (CVN 68).

"Whether it was meeting with veterans at the veterans home or painting the Turner Joy, they humbled us and put us in a position to remember those who came before us and to think of our Sailors," said Sweeney. "They really emphasized being a deckplate leader."

"I want all of you to remember that you are never carrying those anchors by yourself," said Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Paul Klahr, a Middletown, Pennsylvania, native, while serving as guest speaker during the academy graduation. "Take that pride and honor you have in serving your country and pass it on to your Sailors; be that chief."

The Region Chiefs Mess mentored the selectees throughout the transparent program according to Chief Navy Career Counselor Rex Parmelee, a Nicholasville, Kentucky, native and public affairs officer for the academy.

"This academy, being held aboard Turner Joy which is a museum, is interactive with the public and families," said Parmelee. "We keep the families informed through social media and the selectee are actively engaged with community relation projects and ship preservation which all tie into their naval heritage."

The Chiefs Mess gave parting wisdom after the ceremony to graduates.

"Remember that as the chief you enforce rules that officers assign, and you lead Sailors," said Commander, Submarine Group 9 Command Master Chief Ted Calcaterra, a Missoula, Montana, native. "The driving steam you gathered here may be diffused over time, but [the academy and chief indoctrination process] will serve as your foundation for your future as a chief."

"As chiefs we choose to lead because we were selected to be here," said Calcaterra.

Being selected to be a U.S. Navy chief is an honor bestowed to outstanding enlisted Sailors, according to one graduate of the academy.

"Out of all the selectees on the Nimitz, I was one of four," said Sweeney. "I owe many thanks to my command, and the Chiefs Mess for the opportunity to work with my brothers from different communities and function as a team."

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

NNS020626-13. This Day in Naval History - Aug. 26

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1775 - R.I. delegates press the Continental Congress for creation of a Continental Navy to protect colonies.

1839 - The brig USS Washington seizes the Spanish slaver Amistad, near Montauk Point, N.Y. The Africans are held on murder charges due to their prior seizure of the ship in July. The case goes to the Supreme Court in Jan. 1841, and former President John Quincy Adams successfully argues the defendants' case.

1843 - The day after the steam frigate, USS Missouri, becomes the first steam-powered ship to complete a Trans-Atlantic crossing, she accidently catches on fire, explodes and sinks at Gibraltar, without loss of life.

1912 - A detachment of Marines from USS Rainbow lands at Camp Nicholson, near Shanghai, China, to protect American interests from local revolutionaries.

1944 - Motor torpedo boats (PT 511), (PT 514), and (PT 520) take part in a night engagement that turns back the last German attempt to reinforce the besieged garrison at La Havre. The PTs sink Germany artillery ferries (AFP 98) and (AFP 108).

1949 - While operating in stormy seas off northern Norway, USS Cochino (SS 345) suffers a series of serious battery explosions that result in her loss. Though Cochino's crew is successfully rescued by USS Tusk (SS 426), the submarine loses seven of her own men during this difficult effort.

NNS140827-11. Ball Caps May be Worn with NWUs Beginning Sept. 1

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy and command ball caps may be worn in place of the eight-point cover with the Navy Working Uniform Type I, II or III beginning Sept. 1, as outlined in NAVADMIN 200/14, released Aug. 27.

As announced in July, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert made the decision to expand the ball cap wear policy based on fleet feedback.

According to the NAVADMIN, command ball caps are organizational clothing that may be purchased with appropriated funds. Sailors may purchase command ball caps with personal funds, just as they purchase command badges, patches, belt buckles and other permissible uniform items.

Additionally, wardrooms, chief petty officer messes, first class petty officer associations, junior enlisted associations, and other organizations may purchase command ball caps with their funds. Department of Defense guidance prohibits the use of moral, wellness and recreation's non-appropriated funds to purchase command ball caps.

The eight-point cover remains the basic uniform component cover for the NWUs and will be the only appropriate cover for personnel uniform inspections and special occasions to ensure a uniform appearance within the command.

The Navy and command ball cap will remain authorized, optional head gear worn with Navy flight suits, Navy blue coveralls, flame resistant coveralls, and the Navy physical training uniform.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS140827-01. Ike Departs Dry Dock, Returning to the Fleet

From USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) moved from Dry Dock 8 to pier 42/43 at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) in Portsmouth, Virginia, Aug. 26.

Thirty feet of water was introduced to Dry Dock 8 on Aug. 25, and the remaining space was flooded to the waterline Aug. 26. Once flooding was complete, Ike exited the dry dock for her new location on pier 42/43.

Ike has been in dry dock since September 2013, conducting a scheduled docking planned incremental availability (DPIA) period.

"Without the excellent work of the ship's team leaders and zone managers, the ship wouldn't have been ready when it was," said Lt. Cmdr. Jeremy James, Ike's maintenance manager.

James said the ship's force and NNSY personnel worked well together, completing approximately 12,500 jobs prior to flooding the dock.

Brian Bennett, the Ike DPIA project supervisor, said the undocking is the first of many major key events to come for the Ike project team. "Putting water on the hull and floating the ship is truly a monumental task," he said.

Capt. Mark Bridenstine, the commanding officer of Norfolk Naval Shipyard, said it was the commitment and dedication of Bennett, deputy project superintendents John Tuthill and Steve Hein, and the entire Ike team that enabled the ship to reach this milestone.

"With the undocking, the combined Norfolk Naval Shipyard, contractor and ship's force team moves another step closer to delivery of this high-value asset back to the fleet," Bridenstine said. "[They] have overcome significant new work and production delays, leading to this momentous event in the life of a carrier dry-docking availability. Momentum is high and focused on production completion."

While most of Ike's maintenance was completed during the past year, work remains to be completed in preparation for the ship's return to operational readiness.

James said the crew's focus will be on moving the crew aboard the ship, getting the mess decks up and running, and getting critical systems in the ship's Reactor and Combat Systems departments fully operational for the next deployment.

Ike rested atop wooden and concrete blocks as the dock began to flood, Aug. 25. The dock was only partly flooded on the first day of the evolution to test various systems for any necessary rework.

Early the next morning, Aug. 26, the shipyard resumed flooding operations, and Ike floated for the first time in nearly a year. Later that afternoon, with the assistance of tug boats, Ike had been relocated from Dry Dock 8 to new moorage at pier 42/43.

"Having Ike back in the water is a major milestone as we progress through this maintenance period," said Capt. Stephen T. Koehler, Ike's commanding officer. "Not only does it allow us to do maintenance that had to wait until we were waterborne, but it gives the crew and the shipyard a very big morale boost to achieve this event."

The next major milestone during Ike's DPIA will be crew move aboard, which is scheduled to commence in less than a month.

"Both the crew and I are fired up to move back aboard and bring the Ike back to life," Koehler said. "The entire ship's force and shipyard team has worked extremely hard getting us to this point, and now we must keep up the maintenance and training focus throughout the fall to get Ike back to the fleet."

For more news from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), visit

NNS140827-02. USS Norfolk Returns from Final Deployment

By Kevin Copeland, Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Norfolk (SSN 714) returned to Naval Station Norfolk from its final regularly scheduled deployment, Aug. 26.

The city of Norfolk's namesake will begin deactivation in 2015.

Norfolk, under the command of Cmdr. Greg Zettler, returned from the Central Command area of responsibility where the crew executed the nation's maritime strategy for supporting national security interests and maritime security operations.

"During the deployment we provided unmatched versatility to two different Combatant Commanders," said Zettler. "Norfolk conducted operations in both the U.S. Fifth and Sixth Fleet areas of responsibility in support of theater and national level tasking. The crew performed admirably throughout the deployment, professionally and enthusiastically overcoming many challenges to accomplish a wide variety of submarine missions."

Norfolk left its homeport in February, and during the deployment steamed more than 30,000 nautical miles. Port visits were conducted in Lisbon, Portugal; Rota, Spain; Bahrain; and Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates.

"Upon leaving for the deployment, I challenged the crew to return at the end of deployment having improved both themselves and the Norfolk team," said Zettler. The crew responded - one officer and 13 enlisted crewmembers completed their Submarine Warfare Qualifications and earned their gold and silver dolphins. Additionally, we had five officers and 13 enlisted Sailors earn promotions and advancements while forward deployed, including five being advanced to chief petty officer, one chief petty officer to senior chief, and one senior chief to master chief.

"We had two Sailors selected for commissioning and 28 Sailors reenlisted. Our Engineering Department Master Chief was selected to receive the 2014 Vice Admiral Charles A. Lockwood Award for professional excellence. Finally, we welcomed seven new members to our Norfolk family as seven Sailors became fathers."

Norfolk was built by Newport News Shipbuilding and was commissioned May 21, 1983 by then Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger. The 360-foot submarine is the third naval ship to be named in honor of the city of Norfolk. It is also the Navy's 133rd nuclear-powered submarine and 89th of the attack submarine class. The crew compliment includes 15 officers and 116 enlisted Sailors.

Zettler said the crew was disappointed to learn they make the final deployment on the ship which will shortly begin the decommissioning process.

"I consider it a deep honor to have been the last deployed commanding officer of the Norfolk and to have represented the entire Norfolk community during the namesake's last deployment. You would hardly know this is a 30-year old ship. The crew has put in a lot of work to maintain her in top material condition and she has brought us home safely following a very successful deployment. Like every Norfolk Sailor, part of my soul is woven into the fabric of the ship and its crew, and it will be a sad occasion to mark her retirement.

"For the immediate future the crew is looking forward to reuniting with their families and friends, and taking advantage of a short operational stand down, take some leave, and relax."

Fast-attack submarines like Norfolk have multifaceted missions. They use their stealth, persistence, agility and firepower to deploy and support special force operations, disrupt and destroy an adversary's military and economic operations at sea, provide early strike from close proximity, and ensure undersea superiority.

For more information on the submarine force visit the Submarine Force web site at

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

NNS140827-03. Message Clarifies Medical Record Disposition

From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Sailors need to take an active role in getting their medical and dental records to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at retirement or separation, according to a Navy message released Aug. 19.

"One of the benefits Sailors have earned with their voluntary service to the nation is support throughout their life from the VA," said Ann Stewart, director, Pay and Personnel Management. "To make it as easy as possible for the VA to provide that support, it's in their best interest to make sure their medical records have been turned in to the appropriate medical facility when they separate or retire from the Navy."

Before a Sailor separates or retires, commanding officers (CO) and officers in charge (OIC) are responsible for ensuring that the Service Treatment Records (STR), medical and dental records, are at the appropriate medical and dental facilities. This guarantees that the records will be available to the VA.

"If you need to file a claim with the VA in the future, and please don't assume that you never will have to, they will check to verify your period of service in the Navy," Stewart said. "If, later in life, you need to make a connection between a medical condition and your time in service, the VA has to have access to your medical record. That's the reason why NAVADMIN 187/14 is so important."

With the release of the message, COs and OICs are directed to provide a quarterly list of personnel who have separated or retired that includes their name, separation date, date their STR was made available to the medical/dental facility, and an explanation for STRs not provided by the separation date, if necessary.

"Take this seriously, if you have your medical record, turn it in," said Stewart. "If you don't, verify with your supporting medical treatment facility that they have it, and if they don't, help them find it by providing your duty stations for the last five years so your medical department can track it down. This effort is in your best interest, make sure you have access to what you've earned."

For more information, read NAVADMIN 187/14 at

For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit

NNS140827-07. Joint Region Marianas Celebrates Women's Equality Day

By Leah Eclavea, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

ASAN, Guam (NNS) -- Joint Region Marianas (JRM) employees gathered to celebrate Women's Equality Day at the command headquarters in Asan Aug. 27.

Women's Equality Day celebrates the milestone in history when women won the right to vote Aug. 26, 1920. It was on that day the 19th Amendment was adopted into the U.S. Constitution.

"I believe that Women's Equality Day is just as significant to our Navy as any war or any battle," said keynote speaker Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, commander of JRM. "This day represents the ideal of female equality brought to focus after years of work and sacrifice. Women's Equality Day is a turning point that has made us a stronger Navy, a more globally engaged Navy and more importantly a Navy more fully reflective on values and best characteristics of our great nation."

Bolivar spoke about the history of women suffrage and women's role in Navy history.

"Our U.S. Navy has in fact often been more progressive than civilian society in allowing women the opportunity to succeed," said Bolivar. "In 1908, women first entered the naval service more than a decade before they were granted the right to vote."

Antonette Vegafria, a paralegal specialist for JRM, attended the event and commented on how she felt about celebrating Women's Equality Day.

"Women's Equality Day gives women more encouragement to say that we are being supported," said Vegafria. "We are just like the men and it reminds us that we should not be afraid to compete, to do the things we would love to do knowing that we can do it."

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

NNS140827-10. Five Things You Need to Know about Vella Gulf's Time in the Black Sea

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob D. Moore, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) departed the Black Sea Aug. 26, after a series of engagements in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. Here are five things you need to know about Vella Gulf's time in the Black Sea:

1. This was Vella Gulf's third time in the Black Sea. She first entered the Black Sea May 23. She departed June 12, entered again July 7, and departed July 14 after participating in the Bulgarian-led exercise Breeze 2014. Her most recent period in the Black Sea began Aug. 6.

2. Vella Gulf's port visits in the region included: Varna and Burgas, Bulgaria; Constanta, Romania (twice) and Batumi, Georgia. Sailors had the opportunity to explore the local cultures, conducted community service projects and hosted ship tours.

3. Vella Gulf has participated in numerous exercises with NATO allies and partners in the Black Sea since May. In addition to Breeze 2014, Vella Gulf conducted separate bilateral engagements with the Romanian navy's frigate ROS Regina Maria (F 222) and the Turkish navy corvette TCG Bykada (F-512), a division tactics exercise with the Turkish navy fast attack craft TCG Tuzla (P 1200) and participated in Romanian navy day, which involved landing a Romanian navy SA-330 Puma helicopter on the flight deck. Vella Gulf also participated in a joint training exercise with the Georgian coast guard, following her departure from Batumi.

4. Vella Gulf hosted distinguished visitors including U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.

Hagel, while speaking to Sailors over the ship's 1MC, June 5 in Constanta, said: "I want to thank all of you, especially with what you're doing on this mission particularly. As we partner with Romania and the rest of our NATO allies, I want all of you to know that I am proud of you, and the President of the United States is proud of you."

Garibashvili, in his speech to the crew in Batumi, said, "Partnership with the United States of America is one of the top priorities in our country's foreign policy. We prize the U.S. support of Georgia's sovereignty, territorial integrity, democratic development, and integration into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. The friendship and support of America is of utmost importance to us."

5. Vella Gulf and the U.S. Navy's presence in the Black Sea represents efforts by the United States to reaffirm its commitment to strengthening ties with NATO allies and partners, while working toward mutual goals of promoting peace and stability in the region.

"It is important to support and reassure our partners, we hope our presence in the Black Sea continues to strengthen those bonds," said Vella Gulf's Commanding Officer Capt. Robert Katz.

Vella Gulf, homeported in Norfolk, Virginia, returned to the Aegean Sea yesterday, where she is deployed in a multi-mission role in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to contribute to regional maritime security, conduct bilateral and multilateral training missions, and to support NATO operations and deployments throughout the region.

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

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

NNS140827-05. USS Columbus Holds Change of Command

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

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- USS Columbus (SSN 762) held a change of command ceremony Aug. 26 at the submarine piers on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Cmdr. Albert Alarcon relieved Cmdr. David Youtt as commanding officer.

Youtt expressed how proud he is of having had the opportunity to be in command of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine and working with some of the best Sailors in the submarine force.

"Thank you for your professionalism, thank you to the Columbus families for your sacrifice and support, and thank you to the crew of the USS Columbus for your hard work and dedication over the past three years," said Youtt.

In command for more than two years, Youtt maintained his ship and crew to the highest level of combat readiness. During Youtt's tenure in command of Columbus, more than 115 new submariners earned their warfare qualifications, or "dolphins," the team executed more than 550 days at sea and steamed more than 115,000 nautical miles. Youtt deployed to the Western Pacific twice and conducted several missions vital to national security.

The ceremony's guest speaker, Rear Adm. William Merz, commander of Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, praised Youtt for an amazing job in command.

"Dave, you have clearly done a superb job," said Merz.

Merz said he looks forward to seeing him in his next assignment as submarine operations officer for Task Force 74 out of Yokosuka, Japan.

"I could not imagine a more perfect leader for this incredibly important position,"

During the ceremony, Youtt was awarded a Legion of Merit for his successes in command of Columbus from September 2011 to August 2014.

As Alarcon assumed command of Columbus, he thanked Youtt for turning over a very capable ship and a highly loyal crew.

"Columbus has sustained superior performance under Capt. Youtt's leadership, and I am truly honored to share in our ship's legacy of excellence," said Alarcon.

Alarcon addressed the crew on their future under his command.

"Our job is to always be ready to answer our nation's calling," said Alarcon. "Somewhere across the ocean, there is another crew waiting for the opportunity to compromise our freedom and our way of life. But little do they know that the bus will always be ready to respond. Gentlemen, we have work to do, let's make our country proud."

USS Columbus is the 51st Los Angeles-class submarine and the 12th improved version of this class, which includes a vertical launch system for Tomahawk cruise missiles and an improved hull design for under-ice operations. She completed a post-shipyard availability in June 1994 in Groton, Connecticut, after initial construction and shakedown operations. In September 1994, the ship conducted an inter-fleet transfer to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and joined the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force.

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

NNS140827-13. Panelists Speak at Women's Equality Month Conference

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

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Panelists from the Navy and Marine Corps spoke with Sailors, Marines, and civilians during the Women's Equality Month conference in the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon, Aug. 26.

Rear Adm. Katherine Gregory, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Andrea Brotherton, deputy naval inspector general, and Sgt. Maj. Angela Maness, Marine Barracks Washington D.C. made remarks about how they personally see women's achievements, roles, and the future of women in the Department of the Navy.

"I came in the Navy back in 1978," said Gregory. "This kind of event would never have happened back in that Navy. And so that really speaks to how far we've come."

The panelists encouraged female service members to be themselves, not change for anyone and never give up on their goals.

"You have your personality, you have who you are," said Brotherton. "You don't need to try to be someone else. What you need to do is take those skills that you have and hone them and make them valuable to the organization because we all bring something that's different and contributes to the whole and that's what makes it great."

They also shared inspirations in their lives that have driven them to continue their careers, not give up hope, and become great leaders.

"Our parents are just everything for all of us," said Maness. "My father was a marine so I wanted to follow in his footsteps, my dad inspired everything that I do, but currently it is my mother who is the one that inspires me today. After raising five children, one that went in the Army, two that were marines, and the other two, total civilians, but supporters of marines, she's the one, with my dad, two separate deployments to Vietnam, she raised all five of us on her own."

Women first entered naval service in 1908 with the establishment of the Navy Nurse Corps, 12 years before women were granted the right to vote. Women continued to serve in the Navy in varying capacities throughout World War I and World War II, but it was not until June 12, 1948, with the passage of the Women's Armed Services Integration Act that women gained permanent status in the U.S. armed services. The first six enlisted women were sworn into regular U.S. Navy service July 7, 1948. Four months later the first eight female naval officers were commissioned Oct. 15, 1948.

NNS020718-38. This Day in Naval History - Aug. 27

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1942 - USS Iowa (BB 61) is launched at the New York Navy Yard. Commissioned in Feb. 1943, Iowa serves in both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean during World War II and now serves as a museum battleship at Los Angeles, Calif.

1944 - USS Stingray (SS 186), after being depth charged and "lightly worked over while reconnoitering the designated spot" lands a party of one Filipino officer, 14 men and 60 percent of the supplies earmarked for delivery to guerilla forces at Saddle Rock, Mayaira Point, on northwest shore of Luzon. Heavy Japanese shipping in the vicinity compels Stingray's departure before all stores land.

1944 - PV aircraft sink Japanese vessel, Tensho Maru, between Odomari, southwest of Sakhalin and
Onnekotan Island, Kuril Islands.

1945 - Units of the Pacific Fleet enter Japanese waters for the first time during World War II, to prepare for the formal Japanese surrender on Sept. 2, 1945.

1959 - While off Cape Canaveral, Fla., USS Observation Island (EAG 154) makes the first shipboard launch of a Polaris missile.

2007 - Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson, Jr., MC, USN, becomes the first African-American to be appointed as Surgeon General of the US Navy.

NNS140828-23. We're in this Together: One Suicide is One Too Many

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Johans Chavarro, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Detachment Hawaii

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Starting in September the Navy will be promoting the message "Every Sailor, Every Day," to encourage all Sailors, leaders, families and members of the Navy community to strengthen their connections with those around them in accordance with Suicide Prevention Month.

Unfortunately, suicide is currently one of the top causes of death in the Navy, claiming the lives of approximately 44 Sailors in 2013 alone and, according to Navy Personnel Command, 39 lives so far in 2014.

While these statistics suggest a decrease in frequency of total suicide fatalities from previous years, the numbers show that some Sailors are still finding themselves with nowhere to go and no other option.

In an organization that requires the cooperation and unity of every Sailor to accomplish its mission, one suicide is one too many.

So, how do we keep moving forward?

According to Lt. David Broderick, a psychologist at Makalapa Mental Health Clinic Pearl Harbor, in addition to the web of resources that target raising awareness, reduction and response to suicide, it is also increasingly important to "get ahead of the problem" and address the social challenges and stigmas that may lay at the crux of the issue.

"Efforts need to continue to be made towards de-stigmatizing and being more empathic about suicide so that the person asking for help doesn't feel overwhelmed with asking for it," said Broderick. "If people are hesitant to go and talk to their chain of command about feeling depressed or hopeless, because they worry their career might get affected, or because maybe they're not yet at that point of really wanting to hurt themselves, then things can certainly end up escalating the longer they wait."

Lt. James Ragain, a chaplain attached to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, echoed Broderick's sentiments, saying there are a lot of social challenges and stigmas that come with suicide.

"For the person that may be having thoughts about suicide, there's certainly the stigma of, 'am I going to be seen as different?' Or, 'are people going to treat me as weak?,' said Ragain. "And on the other end there's the taboo of asking difficult questions about people's lives and asking the question we're trained to ask, 'are you thinking about suicide?' We may think that by asking this question this person may reject us and cost us a friendship."

As Ragain described, the programs that are available work effectively to equip individuals with the know-how and insight to identify external indications and red flags, as well as providing help to those who need it, but, "oftentimes the tools can be like giving cough syrup to someone who needs an antibody. We need to get below the surface."

"If they can't open up to anyone, or if they don't feel safe opening up to anyone, and no one is there to ask that clear and direct question, 'are you thinking about suicide?,' then the situation can certainly snowball out of their control," said Ragain.

Lt. Cmdr. Kaarin Coe, a social worker and the Suicide Prevention Coordinator at Military and Family Support Center Pearl Harbor, said that while the task of asking a shipmate or co-worker if they are having thoughts of suicide or are in need professional help may seem daunting, it is important to keep in mind the Navy's core values to intervene when something is out of place in the work place, as well as with those around us.

"The Navy's greatest asset is their people," said Coe. "Nothing moves, flies, or sails without someone at the helm - whatever form that may take. When we take care of each other, we ensure our Navy stays not only 'Fit to Fight,' but focused on the mission. When we get people support sooner rather than later, they are able to either maintain their ability to be mission focused, or return to duty faster than if they wait until there is a crisis. I believe this is the cornerstone of our core values."

Ragain said to continue moving forward it is crucial that Sailors and individuals find the honor, courage and commitment to initiate early avenues of communication with those that may be showing signs of suicide.

"When someone starts that internal dialogue about suicide and they have someone they can talk with about what's going on in their life, it lets them get everything out onto the table, and for a lot of people it's like a huge weight's been taken off their shoulders," said Ragain. "For others, as they listen to themselves talk about suicide and about their issues, it's almost like they convince themselves not to do it because they now have that connection with someone and they know they're no longer alone."

Because of this, it is imperative that Sailors and individuals remain perceptive to changes in behavior and attitude of someone who they may suspect is struggling emotionally, said Ragain.

"One thing that happens when people are thinking about suicide is they give out invitations to people, to connect with them and talk about their feelings," said Ragain. "I use 'invitations' as opposed to 'warning signs,' because what they're doing is inviting other people to talk about this major decision they're going to make in their life. These invitations may come in the form of the things they say like, 'there's no hope for me, things will be better once I'm gone.' Or as blatant as, 'I'm going to kill myself.' Invitations also come in the form of their appearance, or how they isolate themselves from other people."

Coe said that anyone can become susceptible to suicidal thoughts, thus it becomes important that everyone recognize their role as a resource by remaining vigilant to the signs that may be out of the ordinary with their co-worker or shipmate.

"Being aware of changes in mood, demeanor, and behaviors are key in recognizing early that something may be going on," said Coe. "Knowing the resources available can also help get someone to the support they need sooner."

Once contact and communication is established, Sailors and individuals can then move on to subsequent resources that will work more directly to provide the support and help necessary.

At this stage in the Navy, Broderick suggested that commands continue to stress that Sailors seek help and resources.

"Commands need to continue stressing that and eventually people may find themselves more willing, or not as nervous, to seek help and go talk to someone," said Broderick.

"The clinic is a place for everyone to come for outpatient treatment for whatever life stresses they may have going on," said Broderick. "We offer therapy groups here to individuals with psychologists and social workers. We also have psychiatric nurse practitioners and psychiatrists available here to work on the medication aspect. Our mission is to get people back to work and to feel stronger about going back to work."

But to accomplish this mission first requires one to make that uncomfortable effort and ask that difficult question, "are you thinking about suicide?"

It is only through increased empathetic and open communication that this can be achieved, said Coe.

"The more a difficult topic is discussed open and honestly, the more it breaks down the taboo/stigma. Recognizing that we all need help at different points in our lives is key."

From September 1-30, "I Pledge to ACT," a web-based effort, will t

NNS140828-16. CNO Visits NAS Key West

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian Morales, Naval Air Station Key West Public Affairs

KEY WEST, Fla. (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert visited Naval Air Station Key West for an all-hands call and tour of enlisted housing, Aug. 27.

Greenert's visit was part of a Southeast U.S. tour, which included stops at Southern Command, Joint Interagency Task Force-South, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Central Command, and Special Operations Command. At each of the stops Greenert met with leadership and Sailors to listen and learn what was on their minds.

During an all-hands call, Greenert reenlisted 19 Sailors and presented awards to 11 Sailors and one civilian assigned to NAS Key West and its tenant commands. Being reenlisted by the CNO was a unique experience, according to Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Jesse Oakes, of NAS Key West.

"I feel it's a very rare opportunity; something that you don't get to do every day," said Oakes.

Oakes' wife Kurumi and other reenlistee family members present were called up by Greenert to join their Sailors as he presented them with their certificates of reenlistment.

After the reenlistment and awards presentation Greenert thanked Navy civilians, Sailors and their family members for their service in Key West before continuing on with the big picture of today's Navy and where Key West comes into play.

"This place is incredibly crucial to our training," said Greenert. "We can do our most advanced air wing tactics here and here is where we will develop our future for our air wings. Key West is a part of our future, as far out as I can possibly see."

The CNO took questions from Sailors concerning personnel detailing, the CNO's Navigation Plan, commissioning programs, selective reenlistment bonuses and upcoming changes to the final multiple score on advancement exams.

Greenert ended the visit with a call to be good shipmates.

"Lastly, we've got to take care of each other," he said, imploring the audience to be vigilant in suicide awareness and overall mental health in order to keep our Sailors and Navy strong.

For more news from Naval Air Station Key West, visit

NNS140828-17. Development Squadron 5 Receives First Unmanned Undersea Vehicle

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Johndro, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- Commander, Submarine Development Squadron 5 (CSDS 5), Detachment UUV, took delivery of Large Training Vehicle 38 (LTV 38), an unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) Aug. 22.

The delivery makes LTV 38 the first UUV to join the vehicle inventory used by detachment UUV at Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport.

Once a few final operational preparations are completed over the next few weeks, it will be ready to hit the water for both capabilities tests and proficiency training.

"This is certainly a key milestone for Detachment UUV in that we will have a baseline training vehicle for the future of Large Displacement UUVs," said Lt. Brian Nuss, officer in charge at Detachment UUV.

LTV 38 was originally developed for the Sea Stalker program. The vehicle is 27 feet in length and 38 inches in diameter, and was originally assembled in 2008 by Penn State University's UUV land-based test facility at State College, Pennsylvania. It underwent its first series of operational tests shortly after its assembly and made its first operational deployment on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96).

"This process was a long time coming," said Sonar Technician (Submarines) 1st Class (SS/DSV) Travis Townsend, leading petty officer at detachment UUV. "Puget Sound has a great undersea and naval presence. It truly makes sense for the detachment to receive this vehicle and start preparing for what the future of the Navy holds."

As a UUV, LTV 38 is able to perform at a maximum depth of 1,000 meters for up to 72 hours. It is designed as a full-pressure hull vehicle, capable of both line of sight and over the horizon communications, and can also conduct limited autonomous contact avoidance maneuvers via acoustic sensors while anchored and such missions are conducted and controlled remotely.

UUVs allow naval submarines to safely gain access to denied areas with revolutionary sensors and weapons. These areas may be denied based on unacceptable risks to a submarine such as extremely shallow water, very poor acoustic conditions, or mined waters. UUVs provide unique capabilities and extend the "reach" of naval platforms while reducing the risk to the submarine and its crew.

The use of unmanned vehicles in the undersea environment is projected to grow for the Navy. During a recent visit to the Pacific Northwest, Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, told Sailors he envisions having autonomous underwater vehicles on patrol by the end of the decade.

"The future large-diameter vehicles will come in 2020 and in order for the detachment to fully prepare for the delivery of those vehicles we have to start with the tactics, training and procedures now to make it a successful program in the future," Nuss said.

According to the Penn State University Applied Research Lab, the Pacific Northwest provides key components for efficient transition of UUV technology to the fleet that includes technology development, testing and evaluation, and fleet presence.

"We couldn't have done this without the partnership from Keyport, Penn State and Commander, Submarine Force Pacific, supporting us both financially and realizing that there's a gap in training that needs to be filled for Det. UUV to succeed in the future," said Nuss.

For more information about Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit and

NNS140828-02. X-47B Achieves New Set of Firsts Aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt

From Naval Air Systems Command Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Navy's X-47B completed its final test aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Aug. 24 and returned to its home base at Naval Air Station Patuxent River after eight days at sea.

While underway, the X-47B flew in the carrier pattern with manned aircraft for the first time and conducted a total of five catapult launches, four arrestments and nine touch-and-go landings, including a night time shipboard flight deck handling evaluation.

"This is another detachment for the record books; all tests were safely and effectively executed," said Capt. Beau Duarte, Navy's Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager. "We have set the bar for the future of unmanned carrier aviation."

Testing began Aug. 17 when the X-47B performed its initial cooperative launch and recovery cycle with an F/A-18. With its automatic wing-fold capability and new tailhook retract system, the X-47B met the program's objective to demonstrate that carrier-based manned and unmanned aircraft could maintain a 90 second aircraft launch and recovery interval.

Throughout the week, the Navy/Northrop Grumman test team captured X-47B flying quality and recovery wind condition data to evaluate how the aircraft responds to wake turbulence during approach and landing. This data will be used to improve a simulation model for use with carrier-based aircraft.

The team also evaluated how the unmanned aircraft performed during the first night time taxi and deck handling operations aboard a carrier. Since the shipboard environment presents different challenges at night, this test was an incremental step in developing the operational concept for more routine unmanned air system flight activity.

"We conducted X-47B night flight deck operations to understand the human interface and suitability of the unmanned air vehicle and deck operator's hand-held control unit in the night environment," said Barbara Weathers, X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System lead. "These lessons learned will help with the development of future unmanned platforms."

The Navy will continue to execute shore-based testing at Patuxent River to further the goal of seamless integration with manned aircraft and to refine best practices for the evaluation of future unmanned air systems.

For more information visit Naval Air Systems Command, visit

NNS140828-11. Family and Friends Join TR for a Day at Sea

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sandra A. Pimentel, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) welcomed guests to the ship for a Family and Friends Day cruise, Aug. 27.

TR Sailors invited more than 2,000 of their family and friends for a day at sea to give them a taste of life aboard the mighty warship.

"While there are many high definition TV shows depicting carrier life, until you're actually hearing and seeing it first [hand] there is no way to really understand what it's like. I guarantee it will be a memory of a lifetime," said Capt. Daniel Grieco, TR's commanding officer. "Enjoy and have fun. Take time to say hi to the Sailors. Many of them will be humble, but the reality is that it takes everyone on the ship to run her efficiently each day."

The day was a unique chance for Sailors to bring their loved ones aboard and show their family and friends where they work and how they live.

"We are very proud of what he's doing. He's doing his job and serving his country," said Tanya Demby, mother of Damage Controlman Fireman Jonathan Korver. "It's amazing."

"It was fun to have them aboard. It's an experience I'm glad I had," said Korver. "I'm definitely proud they came aboard.

As TR gracefully cut her way through the sea, guests and Sailors took part in myriad events. In the ship's hangar bay, the hub of activity, guests played bean-bag toss, hopped in the bounce house and listened to live music. Guests also followed self-guided tour routes designed to provide a glimpse of the ship's inner workings.

"A lot of planning went into this day. We tried to provide as many different activities as we could," said Megan Villapudua, TR's Morale, Welfare and Recreation representative and afloat recreational specialist.

The hangar bay also doubled as a mess deck for more than 5,000 people. TR's food service specialists put on an all-day feast that included a light breakfast, lunch and an ice cream social.

"There was a lot of advance planning and a lot of coordination between many different parties to make this all run smoothly," said Chief Warrant Officer Benny Brockington, TR's food service officer. "We fed about 3,000 more people than we usually do. Everyone knew their role, and everyone understood that we wanted to make the ship look good. All of this was due to the team we have."

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 treated guests to an air power demonstration that dazzled guests watching from the flight deck. The demonstration featured air-refueling, precision formation flying and a supersonic flyby.

"The energy was very infectious. Everyone was on pins and needles waiting to see the demonstration. It made me proud," said Ellen Hilkowski, wife of Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Anthony Hilkowski.

TR and her crew performed one final demonstration of seamanship and professionalism by mooring the hulking ship to the pier they departed from. Then with the brows attached family and friends departed and the festive day drew to a close.

"The reason we have days like today is because, I'm exceptionally proud of each and every one of our Sailor's," said Command Master Chief Bill Smalts, TR's command master chief. "And if their family members and friends could come out and see what they do every day and understand what it is they do and what they sacrifice, they would be proud to. It is their sacrifice that enables us to so what we do. It's the ones that are out there getting dirty, not the captain not the executive officer, it's them and that's why we do this."

Join the conversation with TR online at and

For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt, visit

NNS140828-21. EODMU 8, VP-4 Participating in Exercise Northern Coasts

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob D. Moore, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

BALTIC SEA (NNS) -- Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 8, based at Naval Station Rota, Spain, and Patrol Squadron (VP) 4, based at Naval Air Station Sigonella, are participating in Exercise Northern Coasts 2014 (NOCO 14), beginning Aug. 29.

NOCO 14 is a German led, Finnish hosted multinational maritime exercise, consisting of separate explosive ordnance disposal, special and maritime operations.

The exercise includes underwater mine countermeasure, counter improvised explosive device, and anti-submarine warfare events designed to improve interoperability between U.S., allied and partner units.

During the exercise, Sailors will work side by side with counterparts from allied and partner nations on land, at sea and in the air. Sailors will become familiar with each other's military tactics, techniques and procedures in order to achieve greater interoperability when conducting combined peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, or when countering global or regional threats to maritime safety and security.

The primary focus of the U.S. portion of the training will be on counter-improvised explosive device, underwater mine countermeasure, and anti-submarine warfare tactics, techniques and procedures.

Northern Coasts is in its 6th year. Participating nations include Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany and the U.S.

This is a routine training exercise and is not associated with, or a reaction to, any real world events.

EODMU 8 provides an operational explosive ordnance disposal capability to locate, identify, render safe, recover, field evaluate and dispose of all explosive ordnance as directed by commander, Task Force 68 in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.

VP-4 is part of commander, Task Force (CTF) 67. CTF 67 provides support to U.S. 6th Fleet, Naval Forces Europe-Africa, NATO and unified commanders to conduct anti-submarine warfare, maintain domain awareness, enhance regional stability, promote cooperative maritime safety and security and conduct overseas contingency operations.

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

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

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

NNS140828-15. Expeditionary Forces Train for Rapid Response

By Ens. Jonathan Smith, Expeditionary Strike Group 2 Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Members of Expeditionary Strike Group 2 (ESG-2), Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), and 2nd Marine Logistics Group conducted an annual, rapid-response planning and loading exercise (LOADEX) at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Aug. 27-28.

Experts from across the commands trained together by loading, unloading and moving personnel and equipment from land to sea and back using ship-to-shore connectors and amphibious shipping. The goal of the exercise was to strengthen rapid response capabilities to support recovery efforts following domestic and foreign disasters.

"It's vital to conduct these exercises together to continually figure out what works and what doesn't work - before a crisis hits - to maximize our effectiveness," said Cmdr. Christopher Wells, USS Whidbey Island's (LSD 41) commanding officer.

The exercise included creating load out plans and moving equipment which can be used for disaster response. Loads included cargo re-supply vehicles, forklifts, and generators, which were loaded onto to amphibious ships, USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) and USS Arlington (LPD 24). The ships would then transport the equipment to impacted areas during disaster relief operations.

Multiple loading methods, including Navy's Improved Modular Lighterage System (INLS) and side port operations were tested in order to validate various load configurations and options. INLS, constructed and operated by Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 (ACB-2), is a floating dock system which can form ferries, causeway piers, or ships' ramp roll-off discharge platforms, to offer adaptable delivery methods of vehicles and critical supplies.

"We are uniquely capable of supporting Defense Support of Civil Authorities, similar to the way we enabled logistics in Haiti," said Cmdr. John Anderson, executive officer of ACB-2. "We support logistics over the shore including ship-to-shore transportation of equipment and material. This is a valuable training opportunity to expand our interoperability with supported agencies."

Transport using amphibious shipping holds several advantages to include simultaneous delivery of large amounts of personnel, equipment and supplies for immediate use. In addition, seaward delivery reduces stress on recovering roads and bridges, which typically follow natural or manmade disasters.

"The amphibious force has been called the 9-1-1 force of the Navy because we provide quick and effective response," said Master Chief Petty Officer Peter Dyksterhouse, USS Whidbey Island's command master chief. "I like to think of LSDs as the pick-up truck of the force... when you need something big moved; you always rely on that friend with the truck to get the job done."

Amphibious forces have responded to numerous crises, in support of local and federal governments, to include Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated the nation of Haiti.

The Navy's East Coast based disaster response is divided into two distinct command and control structures. Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) is led by NECC to provide support to U.S. federal or local governments, if requested. ESG-2 oversees foreign Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Response (HA/DR) to include providing recommendations to assist planners in developing an executable plan.

"As the combat cargo assistant, my role is to validate, educate and guide collaborating forces during the scenario as well as provide plan deconfliction, if necessary," said Gunnery Sergeant Mario Pacheco, ESG-2's combat cargo assistant.

In addition to overseeing and managing the readiness of the amphibious fleet, ESG-2 is a joint, rapid and robust deployable staff. Through oversight of 24 tenant commands, ESG-2 supports the entire range of military operations to include theater security cooperation events and major combat operations.

For more news from Expeditionary Strike Group 2, visit

NNS140828-14. Department of the Navy Releases Energy Survey

From The Office of the Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) (NNS) -- The Navy opened an online energy survey to service members throughout the Navy, Aug. 25, to gain a better understanding on how the Fleet views the role of energy in the Navy's mission.

Participants in the survey are chosen via random selection among service members. The survey results will be used to help guide ongoing planning efforts with the Department of the Navy's (DON) energy program. The survey will be available for 30 days and the results are expected back in October.

In October 2009 the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus laid out five aggressive energy goals to improve the Navy's energy security and efficiency, increase the Navy's energy independence, and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.

The Department is achieving several initiatives through the energy goals and views the survey as a critical step to continue in the process.

"It is critical that we understand how Sailors perceive energy, both from an awareness standpoint and in how energy relates to the performance of their daily duties," said Rear Adm. Kevin Slates, director of the Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division (OPNAV N45). "Our goal is to leverage energy technologies and behavioral change to achieve the Navy's goals and enhance combat capability. Changing our culture today will better prepare Sailors to operate weapons of the future, such as directed energy weapons, that depend on energy instead of explosives to achieve their kinetic effect. Energy enables warfare, but we need Sailors to see value for these types of changes to become the new normal."

If you are a service member who has received the survey and have questions, contact Dr. Kimberly Whittam or Geoffrey Patrissi

For more information on the Department of the Navy's energy program visit,

NNS140828-12. EXWC Demonstrates Energy Efficient Equipment for Naval Expeditionary Units

By Darrell E. Waller, Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center Public Affairs

PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- The Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (NAVFAC EXWC) completed a demonstration of energy efficient, expeditionary tent camp facilities and light construction expeditionary equipment Aug. 12-13.

The two-day demonstration was a milestone in the development of standard tent camp capability sets for use with all Navy Expeditionary Table of Allowances (TOAs), and included representatives from Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), Naval Beach Groups, Naval Special Warfare Command, Navy Expeditionary Medical Support Command, and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR).

"This event provided the Navy Expeditionary Enterprise their first hands-on exposure to NAVFAC proposed standardized capabilities," said NAVFAC EXWC Commanding Officer Capt. Mark. K. Edelson. "The equipment displayed here is more energy efficient than previous types and delivers huge benefits to our nation's warfighters through reductions in energy use and fuel consumption on the battlefield."

The demonstration was part of a joint Naval Expeditionary Program Office (NEPO) and EXWC 2014 effort to redesign combat operation center infrastructure under SPAWAR's Navy Enterprise Tactical Command and Control capability directly supporting the NECC.

Batch laundry capabilities, and redesigned weapons transport containers and lightweight water purification system were among the items on display. Legacy configurations of the FY15 standardization effort were also highlighted, including multiple shower and latrine systems, energy-efficient environment control units, Tactical Quite Generators, power control panels, water and fuel systems including bladders and SIXCON's (shipping containers).

First-day highlights included informational briefs, discussions and a review of the comprehensive manual developed by NEPO and EXWC for the equipment displayed. Subject matter experts and technical staffs presented each facility or functional capability to assembled participants.

NEPO and EXWC will gather feedback and consider changes before implementation in the final TOA configurations.

NAVFAC EXWC is the Navy's premier activity for facilities and expeditionary technology solutions, engineering services, equipment logistics and products needed to equip the fleet and meet warfighter requirements. EXWC also delivers specialized engineering and technology solutions that support sustainable facilities and provides logistics and expeditionary systems support for Navy combat force capabilities.

To learn more about the NAVFAC Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, visit

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit

NNS140828-03. Seal Beach Harbor Patrol Unit Sailors Rescue Surfer

By Gregg Smith, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Public Affairs

SEAL BEACH, Calif. (NNS) -- A harbor patrol boat crew from Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach rescued a local surfer during extremely heavy wave conditions off the coast on August 27.

While on patrol escorting a ship into Anaheim Bay, the security Sailors observed a person in distress near the entrance of the harbor breakwater.

"I couldn't believe that there was someone in the water way out there," said Master-at-arms Second Class Devin Terry.

A hurricane off the coast of Mexico had created much higher than normal swells of over twelve feet, high surf, and dangerous rip currents throughout the southern California coastal region.

"It was the worst I've experienced in my ten years in the Navy," said Master-at-arms Second Class Robert Craven, "It was just horrible out there."

The Sailors carefully maneuvered their boat near the surfer and quickly determined that he needed help.

"He said that he had been stuck there for over an hour and a half, fighting the water," said Craven.

The surfer, a 30-year-old man from Lawndale, Calif., was picked up and later transferred to an Orange County Sheriff's Department patrol boat for the trip back to dry land. The Navy security boat crew meanwhile resumed their patrol.

"He was really thankful, and really happy to get out of the water," said Terry.

For more news from Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, visit

NNS140828-13. CNAL Commemorates Women's Equality Day

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ernest R. Scott

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic (CNAL) Multicultural Committee hosted Kappa Epsilon Psi Military Sorority (KEY) Aug. 26 during a Women's Equality Day celebration at Naval Station Norfolk.

This annual observance recognizes women throughout history and the contributions they have made toward full equality in the United States.

"The greatest thing we can do to ensure equality is to speak up against the various forms of bias that exist today," said Adriene Slaughter, a U.S. Navy veteran and guest speaker for the event. "I'm thankful for all the doors that have opened that allow me to be involved."

Slaughter currently serves as the President of the Hampton Roads Southside Chapter of KEY. The organization, which caters exclusively to women of the U.S. Armed Forces, has three primary objectives - honor our past, unite service members, and mentor future leadership.

"Our goal is simple, make a difference in our community," said Slaughter. "By being involved, we get to know our sisters, understand their struggles, and provide help where we are needed."

Established by Congress in 1971, Women's Equality Day was introduced to commemorate the passing of the 19th Amendment and the anniversary of women's suffrage. Today, Aug. 26 draws attention to the continued efforts toward equal rights.

"Today goes beyond our Women's History Month celebrations," said Chief Logistics Specialist Brady Fox, CNAL Multicultural Committee. "Not only are we honoring past accomplishments, we are recognizing existing struggles and learning how to fix the issues."

Women first entered naval service in 1908 with the establishment of the Navy Nurse Corps. The first six enlisted women were sworn into regular U.S. Navy service July 1948; four months later, the first eight female naval officers were commissioned.

Today, nearly every naval community is open to women. Female Sailors continue to excel in almost all facets of naval duties, both ashore and afloat. More than 67,000 women serve in the Navy's active and reserve components, comprising 18 percent of the total force.

"We still have obstacles to overcome," said Slaughter. "But we will always have women ready to stand for women's rights."

For more news from Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, visit

NNS140828-08. Naval Station Norfolk CPOs, CPO Selects Unite to Help Victims of Domestic Violence

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Edward Guttierrez III, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- More than 30 chief petty officers (CPO) and chief petty officer selectees united with local charity Samaritan House to restore and renew emergency housing for the victims of domestic violence in the Hampton Roads region, Aug. 27.

"Today was our first community relations event of the chief induction season," said Chief Yeoman Steve Mundy. "We just wanted to come out and help Samaritan House and the families that will be staying in the residences."

Samaritan House has provided emergency and transitional housing, and community outreach to victims of domestic violence and homeless families in the Hampton Roads area since 1984.

The event was held as part of CPO 365 Phase II, the second part of a three-part, yearlong development and training program designed to test the first class petty officers or CPO selectees mentally, physically, personally and professionally. Phase II begins when board results are released and builds upon Phase I, which is intended to prepare board-eligible Sailors for their transition.

The goal of CPO 365 is to educate first class petty officers and CPO selectees about Navy heritage, Navy policies and procedures, equal opportunity guidance, sponsorship and indoctrination, Fleet and Family Service Center programs, the enlisted retention board, career development boards, physical fitness and nutrition.

"The most important thing about CPO 365 Phase II is instilling hard work, dedication, pride and team work into every chief selectee," said Mundy. "So any time we can come together as a team to reach a common goal, plus help the community, it's definitely a positive for the Chiefs Mess and the United States Navy."

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

NNS140828-10. Kings Bay Honors Fallen Service Members

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ashley Hedrick, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay Public Affairs

KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay finished its Run for the Fallen held by the Kings Bay Fitness Complex Aug. 21.

Throughout Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, 6,805 service members died in battle. The men and women were fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters to many families across the nation.

As a way to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, runners around the world paid tribute to the war heroes by participating in the Run for the Fallen.

The national event began Flag Day, June 14, 2008, when a team of runners ran across America from Fort Irwin, California, to Arlington National Cemetery. Pictures of deceased service members marked each mile of the trek in remembrance of what they did for our nation.

"We do this for all who have sacrificed their lives for what we believe in," Cpl. Jacob Meyers of Marine Corps Security Force Battalion Kings Bay said. "Anybody that we love, that we know who has been to combat and has fallen, it's all in remembrance of them."

Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay finished its Run for the Fallen held by the Kings Bay Fitness Complex Aug. 21. The event began June 18 with a 5K run. From June to August each command or individual was asked to log and record their miles. In the end, each mile is tallied to see which command had the most miles.

Heather McCormick, Navy Adventures Unleashed coordinator said the event is held to honor those who have fallen but those who have served should be saluted too.

"It is important to remember those who are serving our country, whether they are currently serving or they've died in battle," McCormick said. "Kings Bay does this run in honor of them."

The closing ceremony started the Kings Bay event with the presentations of colors, a morning prayer, and words of guest speaker Erick Millette, a wounded warrior who participates in the Warrior's Speak program. Marines displayed a representation of a battle cross. Its purpose was to show honor and respect for fallen service members

Cmdr. Ed Callahan, Naval Submarine Base Kings Base executive officer, spoke to the runners before the race.

"With every step you take, with every breath you take, with every heartbeat, you're doing it for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice," he said.

The Kings Bay runners were given small reminders of who they were running for. Changes also were made to this year's run to make it more symbolic.

"This year we handed out dog tags with the names of the fallen," McCormick said. "It was something to remind them as they were running. We also put out stakes with the battlefield cross on them, which represented a fallen service member."

After the run, an Honor and Remember Flag was awarded to the command which logged the most miles. MCSFBn Kings Bay earned first place with a total of 3,452 miles. Commander, Submarine Squadron 16 came in second with 1,670 miles, and Maritime Force Protection Unit was third with 1,428 miles.

From June 18 to Aug. 21, a total of 15,287.91 miles were logged by Kings Bay service members in honor of those who have fallen in battle.

For more news from Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., visit

NNS140828-01. NRD Dallas Participates in USS Anzio Reunion

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Vargas, Navy Recruiting District Dallas Public Affairs

DALLAS (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Navy Recruiting District (NRD) Dallas participated in the 49th Annual USS Anzio (CVE 57) Reunion Ceremony, Aug. 23.

Anzio was commissioned in August of 1943 as the USS Coral Sea, an escort carrier commanded by Capt. Herbert W. Taylor. After quite a few battles in the pacific, her name was changed to the Anzio in September of 1944. Anzio, a port city in central Italy, was the site of an Allied amphibious assault that took place in January of 1944.

Maurice E. Charles, president of the USS Anzio/Coral Sea Association, served aboard the aircraft carrier from 1943-1946. He was the manager of the ship's service as a Seaman, First Class.

"I was in charge of ship's service," said Charles. "During the time I was aboard the ship, we were part of 15 battles ranging from Guadalcanal, Makin Island, New Guinea, Japan and the Philippines to name a few."

During the reunion ceremony, the color guard from NRD Dallas presented the colors during the playing of the national anthem. Culinary Specialist 1st Class Daniel Dockery, petty officer in charge of the color guard, said he was excited to perform during the ceremony.

"It is truly an honor to be part of this reunion," said Dockery. "These Sailors were part of World War II and are a huge part of our naval history so I am glad to be here supporting them in their reunion."

Cmdr. Ed Morales, commanding officer of NRD Dallas, also was in attendance during the ceremony and was able to present the National Ensign to the daughter of Courtney B. Spratlin, who served aboard the Anzio as a plane captain from 1943-1945 and passed away earlier this year.

"I am so privileged to be part of this ceremony and to present the American flag to the daughter of a World War II veteran," mentioned Morales. "It is pretty significant to meet and recognize these individuals who are part of our naval heritage."

Clissa Spratlin England is the daughter that received the American flag on behalf of her father. She mentioned that her father enjoyed serving with his shipmates aboard the Anzio and that he was truly honored to serve during World War II.

"Daddy would speak about his experiences during the reunions and all his shipmates were so glad to have served together during this time," said England. "I am so touched to receive this American flag for my father and it is always a good time to come to the reunions and meet his shipmates."

According to the Naval History and Heritage Command, Anzio was the first American carrier to visit the port in Shanghai, China as part of Operation "Magic Carpet." Anzio received six battle stars for her service and was the most decorated escort carrier in the pacific during World War II. Anzio was decommissioned in August of 1946.

"I would like to thank NRD Dallas for their participation in our reunion and I want to say that all World War II vets are very satisfied with the Navy today," said Charles.

Morales mentioned that it is always an honor to participate in events like this reunion. There will soon be a time when there are no more living World War II veterans so anytime you have an opportunity to honor these individuals you have to make the best of it.

According to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, it is estimated that by the year 2036, there will be no more living veterans from World War II.

For more news from Navy Recruiting District Dallas, visit

NNS140828-24. Air Medals Awarded to Vietnam Naval Aviators

From Naval Air Force Pacific Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A ceremony held aboard the USS Midway Museum Aug. 27 recognized the heroism and bravery of two naval aviators during Operation Lion's Den, a critical nighttime surface operation late in the Vietnam War.

The Air Medal was presented to Rear Adm. William W. Pickavance, Jr. and Rear Adm. Patrick D. Moneymaker for heroic achievement while participating in aerial flight 42 years ago. Both recipients earned the award while serving as pilots of A-7B Corsair II ground attack aircraft, assigned to Attack Squadrons 93 and 56, respectively, embarked with the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CVA 41) Aug. 27, 1972, while conducting an armed reconnaissance mission.

Retired Adm. S.R. Foley, then commanding officer of Midway, commented on the heroism of the two aviators during this timely event. "I must admit that I would not have missed this opportunity for all the money in the world," said Foley. "I am absolutely delighted to be part of this because they are a success story and justice is being done today."

Recognized by Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, Pickavance and Moneymaker were cited for providing close air support to a surface action group involved in Operation Lion's Den, the nighttime shore bombardment mission against the enemy port of Haiphong, North Vietnam. Receiving an urgent call for assistance from the cruiser USS Newport News (CA 148), which was under attack by North Vietnamese torpedo boats, they immediately diverted to the scene and deployed flares to pinpoint the fast-moving vessels among the small islands dotting the outer harbor, illuminating the targets for the ship's gunfire. Despite intense hostile fire, they repeatedly pressed home low altitude bombing attacks to sink or cripple the torpedo boats, their actions contributing to the success of the mission.

During the ceremony, Pickavance and Moneymaker spoke of their actions during the operation and recognized all the men that served alongside them in combat.

"I would have never imagined when I first joined the team at Midway that 42 years later I would be here," said Moneymaker.

Pickavance and Moneymaker were presented with the Air Medal by Vice Adm. David H. Buss, Commander, Naval Air Forces, during a ceremony aboard the USS Midway Museum in San Diego.

For more news from Commander, Naval Air Forces, visit

NNS020718-41. This Day in Naval History - Aug. 28

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1867 - Capt. William Reynolds of the screw sloop-of-war, Lackawanna, raises the U.S. flag over Midway Islands and takes formal possession of these islands for the United States.

1891 - During a period of political unrest at Valparaiso, Chile, a landing party commanded by Marine Corps Capt. William S. Muse lands from USS San Francisco and USS Baltimore to protect American lives and guard U.S. Consulate.

1942 - 120 women are commissioned as ensigns or lieutenant junior grades and report to "USS Northampton," Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

1942 - PBY (VP 92) and Canadian corvette HMCS Oakville sink German submarine (U 94). USS Lea (DD 118) and Oakville pick up the survivors.

1952 - USS Boxer (CV 21) launches an explosive-filled drone which explodes against a railroad bridge near Hungnam, Korea. This mission marks the first guided missile launched from a ship during the Korean War.

1991 - A helicopter from USS America (CV 66) rescues three civilian sailors who spent 10 days in a lifeboat 80 miles off Cape May, N.J., after their sailboat capsizes.

NNS140829-13. Rodney M. Davis Promotes Pacific Partnership at Sail Raja Ampat 2014

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Derek A. Harkins, USS Rodney M. Davis Public Affairs

RAJA AMPAT, Indonesia (NNS) -- The crew of Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) sailed alongside other navies during Sail Raja Ampat Aug. 22-23.

Sail Raja Ampat is part of a series of international maritime events hosted by the government of Indonesia in West Papua, Indonesia.

Crew members welcomed Indonesian navy Ensign Michael Kasake, a liaison officer, on board to help coordinate the ship's participation in Sail Raja Ampat.

"I'm proud to be involved in something that lets us and our allies work together like a family and showcase our partnerships and this island to the world," said Kasake.

Rodney M. Davis Sailors manned the rails as the ship joined a formation of more than 50 ships from Indonesia, Singapore, and Australia. The ships sailed past a crowd ashore at Torang Cinta Beach, Waisei on the island of Waigeo and rendered honors to distinguished visitors , which included the President of Indonesia, Susilo Yudhoyono, and U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) Deputy Commander, Rear Adm. Robert Girrier.

The overcast skies and falling rain did not dampen the spirits of the participants.

"A little rain isn't going to stop a Rodney M. Davis Sailor," said Electronics Technician 1st Class Christifer Dearing, from Redmond, Oregon.

Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Robertus Sulistiono, from Los Angeles, serves in deck department's 1st division on board Rodney M. Davis. Sulistiono, who was born in Indonesia and lived there for more than 20 years, acted as an interpreter during the event.

"I'm proud that I could help out," said Sulistiono. "I'm happy to do whatever I can for the ship."

Participation in events like Sail Raja help advance regional partnerships and alliances with navies throughout the region.

"Sail Raja Ampat was another great chance for us to work with our Pacific allies" said Cmdr. Todd Whalen, Rodney M. Davis's commanding officer. "We also sailed with ships from Indonesia, Singapore, and Australia during Rim of the Pacific 2014 last month, so our participation in Sail Raja helps sustain those relationships."

Rodney M. Davis, based out of Everett, Washington, is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS140829-04. America Departs Chile, Continues to Peru

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Demetrius Kennon, future USS America, Public Affairs

VALPARAISO, Chile (NNS) -- The future amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) departed Valparaiso, Chile after a scheduled three-day port visit, Aug. 27.

This was the crew's fourth stop on the ship's maiden transit, "America Visits the Americas" from Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, to its homeport of San Diego. Since the ship departed, the crew has also made port visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and hosted distinguished guests from Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay on board.

While in Chile, the ship hosted a reception in the ship's hangar bay for more than 300 guests.

Distinguished guests included U.S. Ambassador to Chile, Michael Hammer; Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr.; and numerous senior Chilean, U.S. government and military officials.

"Chile is a great Pacific nation. The United States is a great Pacific nation. It is imperative that we work together to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the Pacific," said Harris.

Rear Adm. Frank L. Ponds, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 3, embarked on board America, said the ship's visit emphasizes the longstanding relationship between the two nations and helps build the interoperability that will have impact on both regional and global issues.

"This reinforces not just the military relationships, but relationships between our governments and with our Sailors and Marines that have families and friends here in the South American region; and I believe we will have made a lot of new friends during our visit," said Ponds.

America's Commanding Office, Capt. Robert A. Hall Jr., said that exchanging lessons, learned and procedures with partner nations, such as Chile, strengthens important partnerships.

"This ship has great capability in wartime, but it's our peacetime mission that we've really been stressing as we transit around South America," said Hall.

During the three-day port visit, the crew provided guided tours of the ship to nearly 500 people from the local community including U.S. Embassy families, members of the Chilean military and students. The crew was also able to experience their host nation and serve as goodwill ambassadors through sporting events with Chilean soccer and rugby teams, and through participation in a community relations event at Arturo Prat Childrens' Home.

"It was nice to experience Chilean culture and eat some of the fine cuisine, and see some of the sites," said Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Eric King, assigned to America. "This was a short tour, but I plan on taking some leave later and coming back to visit South America."

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

America is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tawara-class of amphibious assault ships. As the next generation "big-deck" amphibious ship, America is optimized for aviation, capable of supporting current and future aircraft such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. The ship is scheduled to be ceremoniously commissioned Oct. 11 in San Francisco.

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

NNS140829-14. Citadel Pacific 2014 Enhances Security, Readiness on Guam Installations

By JoAnna Delfin, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

ASAN, Guam (NNS) -- Navy and Air Force service members and personnel throughout the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility including Guam tested their anti-terrorism plans and response during Exercise Citadel Pacific 2014 (CP 14) from Aug. 25-29.

Joint Region Marianas (JRM), U.S. Naval Base Guam, Andersen Air Force Base, U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Guam and USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) participated in the annual exercise to enhance the training and readiness of security forces to respond to threats to the installation and units.

"It's to prepare us for real-world type events and these scenarios here were based on incidents that have happened in the past," said JRM Security Officer Gregory Jacobs. "The focus will be to train our personnel to ensure that they can respond accordingly and they can take appropriate actions."

During the exercise, a simulated active-shooter event was held at the JRM headquarters where three individuals were pronounced dead at the scene and seven others severely wounded and transported to USNH Guam. Hospital Commanding Officer Capt. Jeannie Comlish said the mass casualty drill held in response to the simulated active-shooter incident was an excellent opportunity for her staff to test their readiness and response in the new facility.

"This is our first opportunity to really test the building and test how our staff work within in the building to flow patients to the places they need to go," she said. "We are clinically ready. We have an excellent staff and our clinical skills are outstanding, and we're here to take care of patients and provide that exceptional care."

Comlish added the exercise not only assessed the response of everyone involved but the partnership between different commands and agencies.

"I think that practicing and drilling and working together at times when it's not a reality... helps all of us for a time when disasters catch us off guard," she said. "They identify what we're doing really well and how we can communicate as partnership in a community."

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

NNS140829-12. USS Germantown Successfully Completes INSURV

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Amanda R. Gray, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SASEBO, Japan (NNS) -- The amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) completed a material inspection by the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) at Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo, Aug. 28.

The extensive three-day assessment of the entire ship was evaluated by 98 subject-matter experts assigned to INSURV, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7, Commander Amphibious Squadron (COMPHIBRON) 11, and the Inspection and Readiness Assist Team (IRAT).

"When it comes to the material condition of the ship and the potential for ships to go into harm's way, we want to ensure that the ship runs properly, and it is very important that all of the systems work," said Lt. Refus Combs, assigned to INSURV. "As mandated by congress, we try to come out and do as thorough of a job as we possibly can in the time allotted."

INSURV was established 130 years ago to inspect the Navy's ships and to ensure their readiness. In 2013, the president of INSURV made changes to the inspection program mandating that every ship get inspected every 30 months verses every five years.

"The fact that this is a material inspection and not a personnel inspection, takes a little bit of the pressure off of the ship, because the only thing that they have to do is demonstrate how the equipment works," said Combs. "Our job is to make sure that the ship can actually perform as designed."

Some of the major INSURV inspection tests Germantown performed included the testing of the aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) sprinkler systems, anchoring equipment, a long range air search radar performance demonstration, engine inspections, and weapon system performance and capabilities.

"Our crew has assumed total ownership of their equipment and their ship," said Capt. Marvin Thompson, commanding officer of USS Germantown. "We have improved standards ship-wide and spent months conducting material checks in preparation for this inspection. I am tremendously proud of our crew and their professionalism."

Each department successfully completed their checks. This can be attributed to the crew's teamwork and dedication to the ship.

"The Germantown crew is phenomenal," said Lt. David Smith, 1st Lieutenant aboard Germantown. "In my 19 years of service I have never been through anything as strenuous as the last six months. We have completed multiple certifications, countless maintenance actions, and all the while we were preparing for the biggest inspection the Navy conducts. The crew has responded in outstanding fashion on all occasions and they continue to amaze me with their relentless efforts and excellent attitude."

Germantown is scheduled to depart Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo for a scheduled patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

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

NNS140828-27. Operation Shower Recognizes GHWB Wives

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ernest R. Scott

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Wives of deployed Sailors aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) were showered in recognition and gifts during a group baby shower, August 28 at Naval Station Norfolk.

The non-profit group Operation Shower partnered with the 41's First Mates to host the event for 36 military moms-to-be.

"Deployments can be tough, but this gives moms something to look forward to," said Melanie Adams, a military spouse and mother of four who assisted with the event. "It brightens their day and helps provide for their baby."

The shower included lunch, raffle prizes, and the presentation of a "Shower in a Box" to each of the mothers - a collection of products for mothers and babies that have been donated by various companies and individuals. In addition, the event provided mothers the opportunity to connect with other military families in their situation.

"Most of us continue to be friends long after the shower," said Adams. "We watch our kids grow up together, even when it's just through pictures."

U.S. Navy Sailors deploy around the world, answering the call to serve while away from their families. It's during these times that the military family shines -- managing assets, caring for children, and answering a call of their own.

"In the military, families serve too," said Judi Marchand, co-founder of the 41's First Mates. "We are excited about showing these amazing women how much we appreciate and admire everything they do at home that enables their loved ones to proudly serve abroad."

The 41's First Mates are a group of passionate women from Kennebunkport, Maine and Texas - the two "home states" of the 41st President George H.W. Bush - who have dedicated their time and energy to raising funds and giving back to the families of USS George H.W. Bush.

Operation Shower is a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and honoring military families by providing joyful baby showers for military moms-to-be to ease the stress of deployment, or in cases where spouses are seriously injured. Since the organization's inception in 2007, Operation Shower has showered more than 2,000 military moms from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and National Guard on military bases, during PGA TOUR tournaments, and at other locations.

CVN 77 is currently supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

For more news from Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, visit

NNS140829-03. NECC Participates in DSCA LOADEX

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lauren Booher, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors attached to Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) participated in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) load exercise (LOADEX) at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story Aug. 27.

The DSCA LOADEX is a "train like we fight" scenario that brought together NECC forces, Expeditionary Strike Group TWO (ESG 2), 2nd Marine Logistics Group, and the Fleet Weather Center. The exercise was designed to provide familiarization and training for amphibious landing operations related to DSCA and disaster response.

"We're prepared, if the request were to come from the Department of Defense, to provide support to civil authorities," said Rear Adm. Frank A. Morneau, commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (COMNECC) and designated commander, Navy Lead element for DSCA. "We will be able to load our gear and provide support in a quick and decisive manner as we respond to the scene of a hurricane, natural disaster or any kind of man-made disaster which could occur."

During the exercise, equipment was loaded on and off USS Arlington (LPD 24), USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41), and supporting landing craft platforms, and transported to the shore using the Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS). The INLS is a cargo transfer system in which sections lock together like building blocks to create a variety of floating structures. The INLS allows Navy ships to transport heavy equipment and cargo in order to provide aid to areas where moorings have been damaged or are unavailable.

"We have to determine what we want to stay on land when the ships go out and what we want to make sure is preserved in case what is left behind is damaged or inaccessible," said Lt. Cmdr. Torben Smith, exercise planning officer. "We are loading Marine Corps equipment, and our own equipment that can access channels, underwater clearance capability, and equipment to remove debris. We're getting a better idea of how our equipment fits onto the different ships and onto the INLS."

The DSCA LOADEX provided a perfect opportunity for military personnel to practice loading and unloading operations in a controlled environment so they can be ready for the real event when it happens.

"It's one thing to brainstorm it on paper, but to physically see the process is a hundred times better. It's a great way to see our capabilities," said Operations Specialist 1st Class Michael Diamond, mobility officer assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2.

For more news from Navy Expeditionary Combat Command , visit

NNS140829-18. TRANSCOM: Know Your POV Shipping Entitlements

From U.S. Transportation Command

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill (NNS) -- Many service members may not know of their entitlements when shipping personal vehicles as they move overseas or return stateside, according to U.S. Transportation Command officials.

"Our customers have reasonable expectations on the delivery of their vehicles," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul H. Guemmer. "I know I do."

Guemmer is the deputy director (military) for the Strategy, Capabilities, Policy, and Logistics Directorate at TRANSCOM, which is headquartered here. He is responsible for DoD's transportation strategy across the entire Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise, to include infrastructure, long-range programs, future requirements, coalition integration, and mobility partnerships with industry.

Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command is the Privately Owned Vehicle program manager and TRANSCOM is the global POV contract administrator. These two commands work closely together in managing and monitoring this critical quality of life contract.

*Addressing issues*

In August 2014, SDDC and TRANSCOM stood up a team of transportation experts to quickly address the most significant challenges and concerns military customers are facing when shipping their privately owned vehicles, known as POVs. International Auto Logistics, known as IAL, assumed responsibility for the Global Privately Owned Vehicle Contract, also known as GPCIII May 1. Under the terms of the contract, IAL is responsible for processing, transporting and storing vehicles owned by military personnel and Department of Defense civilian employees bound for, or returning from, overseas duty assignments.

SDDC officials have acknowledged that the transfer to the new POV contractor did not go as smoothly as it could have. They want customers to know that SDDC is aware of and understands the issues some of them have experienced while shipping their privately owned vehicle, adding that solving those issues is the command's No. 1 priority. They also want their customers to know what SDDC and TRANSCOM are doing to help resolve these issues and facilitate a smoother and more effective transition to the new contractor.

*Customer expectations*

Guemmer listed reasonable customer expectations as on-time delivery, professional and timely customer service, a damage-free vehicle and compensation for damages if they occur, and rental cars.

What happens when expectations aren't met?

"There is a system of recourse in place," Guemmer said. "For vehicles overdue fewer than seven days, the first step is for military members to contact the local personal property, personnel support detachment or finance office."

Guemmer, who also heads TRANSCOM's Privately Owned Vehicle Fusion Cell, explained that reimbursement for rental cars for military members for those first seven days is capped at $30 a day or $210 a week, based on DoD's Joint Travel Regulation. The government then deducts those charges from IAL's bill.

He pointed out that if rental car rates exceed that amount for days one through seven, an inconvenience claim can be submitted to the contractor, International Auto Logistics. The JTR entitlement does not apply to DoD civilians, but they can get rental car reimbursement by filing an inconvenience claim with IAL.

*Filing claims for reimbursement*

"Military members inconvenienced beyond seven days because of a missed delivery date can file a claim with IAL," Guemmer said. "They, and DoD civilians, can also file an inconvenience claim for temporary lodging if vehicle delivery is delayed."

IAL will consider reimbursement for amounts exceeding entitlements on a case-by-case basis and based on circumstances, provide reimbursement.

"Although IAL pays for inconvenience claims for lodging and rental car expenses, customers can file for other expenses with proper documentation and rationale for IAL's consideration," Guemmer said.

For vehicle damages, IAL provides customers an option for on-site settlement for claimed damage. Claims for additional damage can be reported within a reasonable period. The military claims office will not pay out for the same damages.

*Customers deserve best treatment*

"Our personnel deserve the best treatment from us and those we contract to serve with us," Guemmer said. "Customers who are not getting what they deserve when dealing directly with IAL can always get in touch with the contracting officer representative at the vehicle processing center or by emailing the USTRANSCOM POV Inspector General Customer Support Team."

He added, "Our assessment teams and contracting officer representatives have surveyed container freight sites and every vehicle at those facilities. We are reconciling our data with IAL's to ensure information on the IAL website is accurate and timely."

NNS140829-15. Navy Chief Selects Help Guam Residents

By Leah Eclavea, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

ASAN, Guam (NNS) -- Navy Guam chief selects partnered with a village mayor to clear land that will be used as a community garden and improve the living conditions of surrounding residents in Asan Aug. 29.

"The chief selectees from Big Navy, thanks to them they are helping me with this place, which is always flooded during the rainy season and it overflows to the residents because of the poor drainage, and also we are going to use it as a community garden," said Mayor of Asan-Maina Joanna Margaret Blas. "I am so grateful, and thank you is not enough."

One of the residents Elizabeth Untalan was watching the chief selects clear the land beside her mother's home. Untalan was happy knowing that her mother doesn't have to worry about flooding in the future.

"This morning my mother was crying with happiness," said Untalan.

The chief selects spent the day cutting down large trees and removing debris from the area.

"It's important to give back because the people of Guam have taken us in," said Chief (select) Logistics Specialist Kenneth Hughes, Military Sealift Command Ship Support Unit Guam. "They welcomed us and this is just a way to return the favor and say 'thank you.'"

The process to becoming a chief in the Navy is a long and challenging road. Enlisted Sailors go through the ranks from E-1 to E-5. Their years of service and leadership potential are carefully evaluated by the Navy Chief Selection Board.

"When you step into the ranks of the chief petty officer, your job is to take care of your Sailors, develop your Sailors, train your Sailors to make sure that we have a strong fleet," said Hughes. "The chiefs mess is basically where all knowledge, all the traditions and heritage of the Navy is kept and we are the keepers of tradition."

Hughes believes in helping out in the community and demonstrating strong leadership by being an example of service.

"If we come out here and represent the Navy and we work in the community, it is showing our junior Sailors it is okay to come out and do things that help the people around you, even though they are not in the military," said Hughes. "This is just us giving back and saying, 'hey we can do it.' As the chief selects out here this is us saying we are not above anything, just because we're chiefs doesn't mean you can't get down and can't get dirty."

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

NNS140829-02. Center for Service Support Writes the Book on Customer Service

From Center for Service Support Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Center for Service Support (CSS), located in Newport, Rhode Island, led a team of Sailors from six customer oriented ratings in updating and rewriting the Navy's Customer Service Manual, Aug. 25-28.

The Navy's Customer Service Manual is a Nonresident Training Course (NAVEDTRA) of instruction Sailors complete for professional growth. While most NAVEDTRAs are rating specific, the Customer Service Manual offers training to a broad spectrum of jobs across the Navy.

"This is the first time in over twenty years a collection of rates have gotten together to update this manual," said Senior Chief Logistics Specialist (LS) Chaddrick Lavallais, the LS training manager for CSS. "This most important aspect of our job is customer service and this is something we often take for granted until we are on the receiving end."

Senior Chief Culinary Specialist (CS) Derrick Cooper, the CS training manager for CSS, said the Customer Service Manual revision is necessary to keep the NAVEDTRA up to date with today's technology.

"We are updating and reviewing the old service manual to meet the needs of the new Navy," Cooper said. "Whether you are providing in person, telephone or online chat service, you will have to deal with all sorts of customers with all sorts of attitudes. Strong people skills not only mean smiling and providing warm remarks, it also means knowing not to take comments personally."

Once finalized, the new Customer Service Manual NAVEDTRA will be available online at the Navy's Non-Resident Training Course (NRTC) website,

CSS and its seven learning sites provide Sailors with the knowledge and skills required to support the fleet's warfighting mission. Each year, the nearly 250 staff and faculty members of CSS deliver training to more than 10,000 personnel serving in the Navy's administration, logistics and media communities.

For more news from Center for Service Support, visit

NNS020718-40. This Day in Naval History - Aug. 29

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1861 - During the Civil War, Seaman Benjamin Swearer lands with troops from the steam sloop of war, Pawnee, and takes part in the capture of Fort Clark, at Hatteras Inlet, N.C. He serves throughout the action and has the honor of being the first man to raise the flag on the captured fort. For his "gallant service" throughout the action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

1862 - The gunboat, USS Pittsburgh, supports Army troops landing at Eunice, Ark.

1915 - After pontoons are brought to Hawaii from the west coast, and following extensive additional diving work, the submarine USS (F 4), is raised from the bottom and taken into Honolulu Harbor for dry docking. Previously, in March 1915, during a routine dive a few miles off Honolulu, (F 4) sinks in 51 fathoms of water, with the loss of her 21 crew members.

1916 - High waves drives USS Memphis aground at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, killing 33 men. Lt. Claud A. Jones rescues crewmen from the dying ship's steam-filled engineering spaces. Years later, in Aug. 1932, Jones receives the Medal of Honor for his actions.

1944 - USS Jack (SS 259) attacks Japanese convoy H3 and sinks minesweeper W28 and army cargo ship, Mexico Maru, northwest of Menado, Celebes.

1944 - PBY aircraft sink Japanese sailing vessel, Toyokuni Maru, at the entrance to Ambon Bay.

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