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NNS140908-06. USS Ross Hosts Exercise Sea Breeze 2014 Opening Ceremony

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

BLACK SEA (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) hosted the opening ceremony of Exercise Sea Breaze 2014, a multinational maritime exercise in the Black Sea, Sept. 8.

The exercise is scheduled to take place, Sept. 8-10, with naval forces from Ukraine, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, Latvia, and the U.S., as well as three ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 Task Unit 02 (SNMG2 TU.02), the Canadian Halifax-class frigate HMCS Toronto (FFH 333), Spanish frigate ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbon and Romanian frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand.

"I believe exercise Sea Breeze will be the next step in increasing stability and building relationships and understanding with all of the participating nations and will be the hope for the future," said Vice Adm. Serhiy Hayduk, commander in chief Ukrainian navy.

Working together in order to strengthen interoperability, participants will focus on maritime interdiction operations as a primary means to enhance maritime security. Other key components of the exercise will focus on communications, search and rescue, force protection and navigation.

"We will remain focused on improving interoperability while promoting regional stability and maritime security; strengthening international military partnering; and fostering trust among our partners and allies," said Capt. James Aiken, exercise director.

This is the first time that the Ross has participated in Sea Breeze, with this year's exercise being the 17th iteration of what is considered the largest annual multinational maritime exercise held in the Black Sea.

"It's a great opportunity," said Cmdr. Tadd Gorman, commanding officer of the USS Ross. "We're looking forward to some excellent training and the chance to interact with our NATO allies and partners."

Gorman says the Ross plans to actively participate in the entire spectrum of surface, air and sub-surface evolutions during this exercise. These events, he said, will challenge the crew of Ross in their capabilities and level of knowledge.

"Anytime you exercise with warships of other countries, and deal with language barriers, you're going to be challenged," Gorman said. "That's the point of this exercise, overcoming these challenges and working together to become a team."

Ross, forward deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.

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

NNS140908-12. Seoul-based Sailors Pause to Reflect on SAPR, Bystander Intervention

By Lt. Arlo Abrahamson, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

SEOUL, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Sailors stationed at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, Korea paused from their daily routines Sept. 5 to discuss methods to help prevent and stop sexual assaults.

The engagement is part of an ongoing SAPR training program designed to inform and educate Sailors about the latest sexual assault prevention initiatives while providing venues for reflection in small group discussions.

"We wanted this training to be interactive and participatory," said Lt. Cmdr. Allen Grimes, SAPR coordinator for Navy Region Korea. "We presented a powerful video on bystander intervention and then followed with small group discussions. The goal was to encourage dialogue among our Sailors about how they can become active bystanders and help prevent sexual assault before it happens."

The training emphasized the importance of knowledge sharing among peers and shipmates on sexual assault prevention techniques.

"Your thoughts and input on how each of us can do our part to prevent sexual assaults is very important," said Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea, during opening remarks for the training session. "I challenge every person here today to take away something you didn't know about sexual assault prevention and response, and share that knowledge with your shipmates during the small group discussions."

At the end of the small group discussions, Sailors were provided the opportunity to sign a voluntary pledge to take an active role in sexual assault prevention.

"We view the voluntary pledge as an important personal commitment that every Sailor can make to themselves and to their shipmates," said Grimes. "We want Sailors to come away from this training with a greater understanding of their role in preventing sexual assaults."

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

NNS140908-10. Fallen Service Members Commemorated in Remembrance Run

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

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Active duty military service members, veterans, families and volunteers participated in the 2014 Tripler Fisher House 8K Hero & Remembrance Run, Walk or Roll Sept. 6, on Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The event honored fallen service members who lost their lives in combat, training or exercises, as well as suicides or accidents since the September 11, 2001 attacks. The run included boots, with attached photo identification, for each of more than 7,000 fallen service members.

These boots lined both sides of the road around the Ford Island historic runway as well as the Adm. Clarey Bridge (Ford Island Bridge).

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. James Rendon, director, Joint Interagency Task Force West, offered his words of support and appreciation as a guest speaker, the Marine Forces Pacific Band provided musical support and performed "Taps," and the U.S. Air Force rifle detail provided a gun salute prior to the run.

"It's all volunteers, it is not a funded event," said Theresa Johnson, a former Tripler Fisher House manager and military spouse. "These boots came from all over Oahu, all [military] branches and some were mailed in. The goal [being] one boot for each person."

The idea for such a run came to Johnson, as in many cases, through personal experiences. A childhood friend of her son was killed while on deployment. Keeping the family of the fallen in mind and, as her own son prepared for his deployment, Johnson thought "Everyone in Hawaii runs, so we wanted to do a run that is very unique. I didn't want to honor just Tim (family friend), if you honor one - you honor them all, and that is where idea started... I am so proud of the community that reached out to help us. Hundreds of people made this happen."

With determination and help of families who went through the loss of loved ones, the first run was organized in 2012. "We thought we will get these boots out here, and bring back the names and faces; because it's been so long since we've been at war, it [became] just another number," said Johnson. "We have spouses, moms and dads [who went through a loss], so you can't help but to know that behind that boot there is a picture that has a family."

According to Johnson, the run also helps raise awareness for Fisher Houses across the military bases.

"We wanted to raise awareness for Fisher Houses and let families know that we're here, who we serve and how we can help them," she said.

Motorcycle riders, including active duty service members, veterans and family members, opened the run with patriot guard style escort, and later greeted, motivated and handed out bottles of water to each runner as they were nearing the finishing line.

One of the riders was U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Atchley, who went through several deployments, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and suffered a loss of one of his best friends, Army Spc. Dennis Samson Jr., who lost his life in 2006 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"We came out to show support to the families of the fallen, and in remembrance of those who gave an ultimate sacrifice - their lives - for their country and for the brothers to their left and their right," said Atchley, as he adjusted a flag on a boot with his friend's photo. "It is nice to see that there are so many people that still care about what we are doing today in the military."

Among several military units that participated in the event, chief petty officer selects, graduates of the 2014 Battleship Missouri Memorial CPO Legacy Academy, and their mentors ran in formations in remembrance of the fellow Sailors.

"Running this event for the first time and doing it with my fellow selectees - is really an amazing experience," said Chief (select) Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Aneulena Candelaria. "With all the boots out here, instead of just a number, we see the names and the photos of all the people who gave their lives for our freedom."

Running in formation, Candelaria did not have a chance to stop and look for a boot representing Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Michael Strange, who died in a helicopter crash Aug. 6, 2011 in Afghanistan, and was hoping to locate it later among thousands of others.

Upon completion of the run, the boots where collected and lined up in rows on the runway field in order for everyone in attendance, and for the visitors to the island, to pay their respects and commemorate the fallen.

"The first year, you spend a lot of time 'choked up' but, as the years have passed, those tears of sadness have become tears of pride," said Johnson. "It is so amazing to have people stop, take a picture, talk and share their story."

The Tripler Fisher House is located behind the Tripler Army Medical Center. A Fisher House is "a home away from home" for veterans and military families of patients receiving treatment at military medical centers. The Tripler Fisher House is one of 65 Fisher Houses located on 23 military installations and 24 VA medical centers across the nation.

For more information on the Tripler Fisher House, visit

NNS140908-04. Halyburton is Decommissioned

By Lt. j.g. Stephanie Santarelli, USS Halyburton Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- Crew members, plankowners, family members and friends gathered Sept. 6 to bid farewell to USS Halyburton (FFG 40) during a decommissioning ceremony which capped more than 30 years of naval service.

Among the ceremony guests were retired Cmdr. Porter Halyburton, a Silver Star recipient who spent seven and a half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and is the nephew of the ship's namesake.

The keel of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate was laid Sept. 26, 1980, at the Todd Pacific Shipyards Co., Seattle Division, Seattle, Washington. She was launched Oct. 13, 1981, and commissioned on Jan. 7, 1984. The crew completed its final deployment June 4.

The ship was named for Pharmacist's Mate 2nd Class William David Halyburton, Jr. (Oct. 2, 1924 - May 10, 1945). He was a native of Canton, North Carolina and a graduate of New Hanover High School in Wilmington. His enrollment at Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina, where he planned to prepare himself for the ministry, was put aside to enter the United States Navy during World War II.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Halyburton was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism while serving with the Marine Rifle Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, during the Battle of Okinawa. He is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.

"It has been a tremendous privilege to be part of this incredible legacy and to honor her namesake," said Cmdr. David Fowler, Halyburton's commanding officer

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

NNS140907-01. Enabling Partnerships: Navy and Marine Corps partner with Malaysia for Amphibious Operations

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stacy M. Atkins Ricks, USS San Diego Public Affairs

SULU SEA (NNS) -- The amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22), the amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45) and the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit concluded the 2014 Malaysia - United States Amphibious Exercise in Malaysia, Sept. 2.

The nine-day long exercise, code-named MALUS AMPHEX, spanned from the Sulu Sea to the eastern beaches of Malaysia, aiming to help fortify the relationship between Malaysia and U.S. forces.

Leaders aboard San Diego emphasized the importance of building and enabling partnerships with nations such as Malaysia.

"Anytime you work with a foreign navy, whether it's right next door in Canada or over in the Sulu Sea, you are going to learn things from them that you wouldn't normally know," said Capt. John Menoni, San Diego's commanding officer. "We got to see how they do business and they see how we do business."

The integrated operation also provided Malaysian and U.S. forces an opportunity for bilateral training with a focus on amphibious force development.

"The Malaysians are interested in a Marine Corps like the U.S. and the development of a rapid response system," said Lt. j.g. Joshua Paulaitis, MALUS AMPHEX Navy Liaison for Commander, Amphibious Squadron Five.

MALUS AMPHEX consisted of combined security force training, civil engineering and construction, and humanitarian services such as the Medical and Dental Civic Action Program. Both teams trained side-by-side in an effort to enrich the local community and reinforce regional and international security.

Additionally, San Diego and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) showcased their land and sea capabilities during ship-to-shore amphibious demonstrations. San Diego's landing craft air cushion (LCAC) and rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIBs), offered the transportation of personnel and supplies while the MEU provided expertise on construction, engineering and force protection.

"This is the Marines' first time in a long time being on this side of Malaysia," said Paulaitis. "It provided great sustainment and ground training for the 11th MEU in a different environment."

Throughout MALUS AMPHEX the focal point remained on strengthening partnerships between the nations for a lasting effect. According to senior leaders, both Malaysian and U.S forces gained enhanced training capabilities, a strengthened security partnership and a better rapport between the two nations.

"This was a true example of Navy and Marine Corps amphibious capabilities and I believe it set the tone for future exercises with Malaysia," said Paulaitis. "I can see us doing a lot more exercises with the Malaysians and from the responses I received after the final demonstration they also had a positive experience."

San Diego, Comstock and the 11th MEU are currently on a deployment with the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group to promote peace and freedom of the seas by providing security and stability in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

For more news from USS Anchorage (LPD 23), visit

NNS140906-13. Navy Christens Submarine John Warner

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jymyaka Braden, Defense Media Activity

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John Warner (SSN 785), the first of the Virginia-class attack submarines to be homported in Naval Station Norfolk, was christened at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., Sept. 6.

"The christening of the future USS John Warner is not only a celebration of a dedicated Sailor, Marine and public servant, but also of what has been accomplished in building this powerful warship - of the hard work of the thousands of shipyard workers, engineers, and defense craftsmen who contributed, and of what the future holds for the USS John Warner and the crew who sail aboard her," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

John Warner is the 12th Virginia-class submarine to be built. It is named after John Warner, the five-term U.S. Senator from Virginia who also served as Secretary of the Navy from 1972 to 1974. His wife Jeanne is the ship's sponsor.

"Today is an exciting day," Mabus said. "This Virginia-class submarine, built in large degree in Virginia, by Virginians, named after a son and distinguished senator from Virginia, which has a sponsor of Virginia, will also be homeported in Norfolk, Virginia."

Virginia-class submarines are built to dominate the world's littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions.

Stealth and speed are standard in submarines, but this next generation of attack submarines offers an improved level of capabilities to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century.

The Virginia-class submarines are poised to meet the Navy's multi-mission requirements from open ocean anti-submarine warfare to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to projecting power ashore with Special Operation Forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.

John Warner will fall in with the 64 ships, 187 aircraft, 18 aircraft squadrons, and 326 tenant commands that are homeported or headquartered in Norfolk.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS140906-05. America Departs Peru, Sets Sail for Homeport

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John Scorza, USS America (LHA 6) Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The future amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) departed Callao, Peru, Sept. 3 after a three-day port visit.

This was the crew's final port visit on the ship's maiden transit, "America Visits the Americas" as the ship continues to make its way from Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. to its homeport of San Diego.

The crew visited Cartagena, Colombia; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Valparaiso, Chile before visiting Callao, Peru.

While in Peru, the ship hosted a reception in the ship's hangar bay for more than 300 guests. The distinguished guests included the Honorable Brian A. Nichols, U.S. Ambassador to Peru; Gen. John F. Kelly, commander, U.S. Southern Command; as well as senior Peruvian, U.S. government and military officials.

During the visit, the ship's military and civilian crew had the opportunity to experience their host nation and to serve as goodwill ambassadors.

While in port, 25 America Sailors participated in a community relations (COMREL) project with Peruvian Navy sailors at Immaculate Conception Municipal School. The volunteers teamed up with the Peruvian sailors to paint portions of the school and refurbish the lawn.

"It's impressive the impact that a group of Sailors and Marines can have in a community during a few short hours," said Rear Adm. Frank L. Ponds, Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 3, currently embarked on America. "They are great ambassadors for the U.S. because of their can-do spirit and desire to be of service to others during port visits."

America's soccer team also played a friendly match against the local Peruvian Navy team. After the game, members from both teams exchanged mementos and enjoyed a barbecue prepared by the Peruvian Navy. In addition, members of the America crew participated in rugby and basketball games with Peruvian Navy sailors.

"I am very proud of the Sailors and Marines serving on board America," said Capt. Robert A. Hall, Jr., America's commanding officer. "Throughout this maiden transit, the crew has far exceeded what the expectations typically are for a ship in this phase. From COMREL projects to meaningful exchanges with various countries, everyone on this journey has contributed to something much greater than the ship. They have contributed to the strong bond that exists between the U.S. Navy and navies throughout South America."

Following the ship's departure from anchorage, America conducted a series of formation drills with seven Peruvian naval ships. Hall described the experience as the prime example of partnership building and training.

"Safely performing complex evolutions with another Navy so soon after departing the shipyard is a testament to the quality of Sailors we have in America's bridge and combat information center watch teams," said Hall. "I was impressed with the flawless communication between the Peruvian Navy ships and our own watchstanders, as well as the professionalism of the Peruvian Navy shiphandlers."

America is now on the final leg of its journey to its homeport of San Diego and is expected to arrive mid-September. As the maiden transit comes to an end, the crew continues to strive toward refining its processes and preparing to join the fleet.

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 and build enduring partnerships to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

America is currently traveling through the U.S. Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility. America is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tarawa-class of amphibious assault ships. As the next generation "big-deck" amphibious assault 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

NNS140906-03. Forward Deployed Aircraft Carrier, Air Wing Team Continues 7th Fleet Patrol

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alonzo Archer, Task Force 70 Public Affairs

USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- The United States Navy's only forward deployed air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, flew aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) Sep. 5 to continue their 2014 patrol of U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations (AOR).

CVW-5 is composed of nine squadrons with approximately 1,900 Sailors and 67 aircraft, which complete the full capacity of operations and manning for George Washington.

"Carrier Air Wing 5 has been patrolling with the George Washington since 2008," said Cmdr. Brian Downey, CVW-5 Operations officer. "I look forward to the reintegration of our commands each time we're called upon. The respect we show each other during these patrols lends to the professionalism of both commands. They know their job, and we know ours, and we both trust each other to perform at the highest level."

During the first half of their 2014 patrol CVW-5 and George Washington completed exercise Malabar 2014, a multinational maritime event including the Indian Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), a bilateral operation with JMSDF, four goodwill port visits and two air power demonstrations for Independence Day and a Tiger Cruise respectively.

"This is my first deployment with Carrier Air Wing 5 and the George Washington," said Lt. Andrew Ginnetti, an EA-18G Growler pilot with the "Shadowhawks" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141. "It's great to finally be in the fleet, applying the skills I've learned in flight school. I personally feel I'm a part of the most mission ready air wing in the Navy."

The aircraft carrier and air wing relationship is symbiotic in more ways than one; both units need each other to complete vital carrier qualifications and maintain pilot currency.

"By instruction, all fixed wing carrier pilots have to maintain periodic currency," said Cmdr. William Berryman, George Washington air operations officer. "We as a ship must also maintain certain qualifications by operating with aircraft. We work together to accomplish these qualifications across the board in order to keep the air wing-ship team combat ready."

CVW-5's squadrons are a collection of aircraft designed to perform various functions and missions. The aircraft are attached to: the "Diamondbacks" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102 flying the F/A-18F Super Hornet; the "Royal Maces" of VFA-27, the "Eagles" of VFA-115 and the "Dambusters" VFA-195 each flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet; VAQ-141 flying the EA-18G Growler; VAW-115 flying the E-2C Hawkeye; the "Providers" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30, Detachment 5, flying the C-2A Greyhound; the "Golden Flacons" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12 flying the MH-60S Seahawk; and the "Saberhawks" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77 flying the MH-60R Seahawk.

CVW-5 is on patrol in the 7th Fleet AOR supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia- Pacific region.

For more news from commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS140906-11. Carl Vinson Completes USWEX

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman James P. Bleyle, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

USS CARL VINSON, At Sea (NNS) -- Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, and Combined Task Forces (CTF) 32 and 34 completed an Undersea Warfare Exercise (USWEX), Sept. 3.

The USWEX lasted 96 hours and assessed the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities of the strike group while it was engaged in various warfare tasks.

"During the exercise, we performed close-air support for a simulated allied country while enemy submarines attempted to gather intelligence on our strike group," said Cmdr. Ken Monfore, future plans and submarine operations officer for CSG-1.

During the exercise, the strike group simulated use of an assortment of anti-submarine warfare defensive and offensive capabilities, including surface and air-launched torpedoes and state-of-the-art equipment to locate and track enemy submarines.

"This exercise allowed us to test our ASW capabilities more intensely than we have been able to in previous exercises by providing a high submarine density training environment," Monfore said. "Carl Vinson coordinated well with Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 to determine maneuvering plans in order to provide a hard target for our adversary."

Combined Task Force 32 also participated in the exercise and provided Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance assets during the exercise which also included Australian and Canadian P-3s. CTF 34 coordinated and served as the Theater ASW commander throughout the training.

"The Strike Group, CTFs 32 and 34 and aviation assets from Australia and Canada, worked effectively as a team and demonstrated a high level of ASW performance," said Capt. Patrick Keyes, deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Training and Readiness at U.S. 3rd Fleet. "The exercise was designed to stress all aspects of this critical warfare area and it was the Strike Group's last chance to hone their ASW warfighting skills prior to arriving in the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility."

CSG 1 deployed from San Diego, Aug. 22 with approximately 6,200 Sailors and includes the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, Destroyer Squadron 1 , 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).

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

For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit

NNS140906-10. NAVSTA Newport Energy Management Succeses Showcased at Energy Leaders Forum

By Lisa Woodbury Rama, NAVSTA Newport Public Affairs Officer

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (NNS) -- For the fifth year in a row, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse invited Ocean State leaders from the public and private sectors to participate in a day-long forum focused on the challenges and opportunities faced in protecting our environment.

Naval Station (NAVSTA) Newport, a regular attendee at these events, took the opportunity to showcase the many accomplishments the installation has achieved over the years in its pursuit to lessen the Navy's reliance on fossil fuels, reduce energy consumption rate and seek alternative energy solutions to ever increasing energy needs.

The day began with welcome remarks by Sen. Whitehouse who introduced Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee (D), one of the many political leaders at the forum.

"Rhode Island is one of the national leaders in efficiency programs," Chafee said. "I am a little bit alarmed that we are not using all of the tools in our tool belts to do what we can to protect our planet."

Chafee highlighted some of the incentives and programs that exist within the state and federal government to help in the pursuit of reducing reliance on fossil fuels, improving efficiency and reducing energy costs.

Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence since 1998, was a key note speaker for the event and is passionate about her life pursuit of protecting the oceans.

"We have to fundamentally make peace with the planet," said Earle. "Earth is where the action is for us. There are probably other possibilities out there (in the universe) but for now this is home - we have to take care of the natural world that takes care of us. We must protect what is vital to our existence."

Also speaking at the event was the Honorable Gina McCarthy, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, and Jeff Goodell, author of "Big Coal: The Dirty Secret behind America's Energy Future" and contributing editor to Rolling Stone Magazine.

The Navy's approach to shore energy has three pillars: energy efficiency; culture and behavior; and renewable energy and sustainability.

John Reichert, NAVSTA Newport's Energy Manager and Lt.j.g. Olive Oliveros, Assistant Public Works Officer, participated in the exhibitor showcase and discussed some of the many initiatives taking place on the base helping to enforce the installation's pillars.

Initiatives include a recently undertaken environmental assessment to study the feasibility of a photo voltaic project for the installation to augment electricity consumption; and Energy Saving Performance Contracts with Honeywell, Siemens, Central Maine Power and National Grid that have improved monitoring and efficiency throughout the installation saving millions of dollars annually.

Other initiatives include five major projects aimed at improving water distribution; and replacing 90 percent of the entire steam distribution system over the last seven years.

The installation was awarded the 2013 SECNAV award for Energy Conservation and Management and is home to 50 Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Coast Guard and NOAA commands with approximately 12,000 plus military and civilian personnel working and training on the station daily.

"Our energy needs are immense," said Capt. Douglas Mikatarian, commanding officer, Naval Station Newport. "We have been making great strides towards becoming more efficient, changing our culture and reducing our costs."

"It's great to be able to participate in events like the one held today so that we can showcase our accomplishments and learn more about opportunities for further improvements," he said.

NAVSTA Newport is the Navy's Center of Excellence for Officer and Senior Enlisted Education and Training and home to such prestigious commands as the Naval War College; Naval Undersea Warfare Center; Naval Justice School; Officer Training Command Newport, and the Senior Enlisted Academy.

For more information about the Navy in Rhode Island, follow us at

For more news from Naval Station Newport, visit

NNS140906-09. Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Holds Change of Command Ceremony

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin R. DiNiro, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Members of Navy's Mid-Atlantic region and the Hampton Roads community said farewell to Rear Adm. Dixon Smith and welcomed new commander, Rear Adm. Rick Williamson, during a change of command ceremony, Sept. 4.

The ceremony was hosted by Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125 (VAW-125), home of the "World Famous Tigertails," in memory of the late Capt. James E. Connerton, Jr., who was Smith's father-in-law and a former commanding officer of VAW-125 from July 1977 to October 1978.

On hand for the ceremony was Vice Adm. William D. French, Commander, Navy Installations Command and Adm. Bill Gortney, Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, who served as guest speakers.

The audience of hundreds ranged from local government and community officials, fellow flag and commanding officers, to regional staff, family and friends.

Capt. Robert Geis, chief of staff, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, served as master of ceremonies and Capt. Raymond Houk, regional chaplain, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, provided the invocation and benediction.

The Naval Station Norfolk Color Guard executed the presentation of colors and U.S. Fleet Forces Band provided ceremonial music, with the national anthem sung by Cmdr. Colleen Shook of the Judge Advocate General Corps.

"Dixon and Rick are both passionate and energetic leaders," said French. "Rick is absolutely the right officer to be here to take over the largest region ... we have to build upon the success that Dixon and his predecessors have established."

French introduced Gortney, who said, "It is a pleasure and a privilege to be the guest speaker for these two amazing gentlemen. Both Dixon and Rick have achieved outstanding accomplishments during their individual careers and they have each received numerous presidential awards. Seeing this, there is no way better to relieve the outgoing commander, letting them know the work to come is in good hands."

French then presented Smith with the Legion of Merit award "for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic from July 2013 to September 2014."

"Some of the best advice I've ever received is to surround yourself with people smarter than you," said Smith. "My Navy Region Mid-Atlantic team is just exactly that in spades. Whether in my headquarters or out in the field, this team runs the most streamlined, efficient, smooth business operations of any of the 11 regions across the Navy."

Smith went on to welcome Williamson by saying he cannot think of a better officer to run the command and reassured the command they are in good hands.

"We are very excited to be back in Norfolk," said Williamson. "I've served here before and absolutely love this location. We will continue to make our support the top priority for our Sailors and family members that serve in this area."

Williamson, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various other unit and campaign awards.

Smith is scheduled to report to the office of the Chief of Naval operations for duties as assigned.

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

NNS140908-03. USS Greeneville Changes Command

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Swink, Submarine Force Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine.
USS Greeneville (SSN 772) held a change of command ceremony Sept. 4.

Cmdr. Gabriel Anseeeuw relieved Cmdr. Martin Muckian as commanding officer.

Muckian expressed how proud he is of having had the opportunity to be in command of the submarine for the last 31 months.

"It has been the greatest honor and privilege of my professional life to have served as your captain," said Muckian to his crew.

"During my time in command this crew has sailed all over the Pacific, from San Diego to Singapore. They have conducted to very successful deployments to the western Pacific," said Muckian. "They were assigned some of the most difficult missions and executed them superbly."

In command since Feb. 3, 2012, Muckian led his submarine to complete almost back to back six month Western Pacific deployments, carrying out special one of a kind projects using new technologies and operating in challenging environments.

The ceremony's guest speaker, Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, deputy commander for Undersea Warfare Naval Sea Systems Command, praised Muckian and his crew.

"I congratulate you and your crew on the outstanding successes you have racked up over the last three years," said Jabaley.

Jabaley attributed the Greeneville's successes to their maintenance expertise, grace under pressure and ingenuity.

"When you are, as we say, at the pointy end of the spear, you have no support. When something breaks, you have to fix it and that's what they did," said Jabaley. "The crew surmounted every challenge and kept the submarine on station, allowing her to do the missions she was sent to do."

During the ceremony, Muckian was awarded the Legion of Merit for his successes in command of Greeneville from January 2012 to September 2014.

"A professional, motivated and highly competent crew, Greeneville is clearly ready for any challenge that may come her way," said Anseeuw.

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

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

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

NNS140907-02. SUPSHIP Bath Change of Command Held

From Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Bath public affairs office

BATH, Maine (NNS) -- Capt. Michael Taylor relieved Capt. Robert Crowe as commanding officer, Supervisor of Shipbuilding (SUPSHIP), Bath, during a ceremony today at Bath Waterfront Park.

As the 30th commanding officer, Taylor reports to SUPSHIP Bath after serving most recently as the test and evaluation director for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program Office.

Over the course of his 21-year career, he also served assignments with the Programming Division of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV N80), the Arleigh Burke-class Program Office, and the Personnel Exchange Program in Ottawa, Canada.

A graduate of the University of South Carolina, he has also served aboard USS Anzio (CG 68). Taylor obtained dual master's degrees of naval engineer and mechanical engineering in 2000 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"I have full confidence that we've picked the right person for this critically important job," said Vice Adm. William Hilarides, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, during the event's keynote address. "Mike comes to us from the LCS Program Office...where he demonstrated that he's a leader who knows how to get the job done."

Following the change of command, Vice Adm. Hilarides, presented Crowe with a Legion of Merit Medal for his professional accomplishment since assuming command of SUPSHIP Bath in July 2011.

Crowe is retiring after a 27-year career serving the Navy. As the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, he oversaw the delivery of seven ships to the Navy, including one Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, three Lewis & Clark-class auxiliary support ships, one Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship, and two Mobile Landing Platforms.

"All told, Rob accepted delivery of seven ships across four classes and in three time zones during his three years as commander," said Hilarides.

He commended Crowe by adding, "Your ability to support the Navy of today, while looking forward and planning for the Navy of tomorrow has been superb."

SUPSHIP Bath is a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command. SUPSHIP Bath oversees the design and construction of five Navy ship classes at private shipyards in Bath, Maine, San Diego, California, Marinette, Wisconsin, and Anacortes, Washington.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS140906-12. Lovell FHCC Holds Change of Command

By Jayna Legg, Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center Public Affairs

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (NNS) -- NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. - Hundreds gathered today at the nation's first and only federal health care center (FHCC) to witness the change of command from Navy Capt. Jose A. Acosta to Capt. Robert G. Buckley.

Captain James A. Lovell FHCC civilian staff and uniformed Sailors formed a stunning view for the time-honored change of command ceremony, as they lined the rails of the upper floors overlooking the atrium of the ambulatory care clinic, where Acosta and Buckley formally transferred duties of command in front of a towering American flag.

"Your support has meant the world to me and the FHCC," Acosta said in his remarks, as he said the names of every senior civilian and active duty member of the FHCC leadership team, and thanked all employees.

Remarking on the pride he feels when he sees new Sailors marching in formation to and from their classes at Naval Station Great Lakes Recruit Training Command, Acosta said, "Our mission is a sacred one, to prepare our warriors to take care of their families, and after they leave the service, to take care of our Veterans to their last breath."

Acosta took over duties as the deputy director and commanding officer in Aug. 2012. He was named acting director in the spring of this year.

During his tenure, he championed the integration of the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities at Great Lakes Naval Station and in North Chicago, Illinois, that resulted in the creation of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in 2010.

Acosta and Buckley both gave special recognition to the facility's namesake and honored guest, Ret. Navy Capt. and NASA astronaut James Lovell, who was in the audience with his wife, Marilyn.

Repeating a favorite quote from Gene Kranz, NASA Apollo 13 lead flight director, about the miraculous mission Lovell commanded in 1970, Buckley said, "We were living on the ragged edge of all knowledge, but the culture in the room was literally miraculous ... it seemed that whatever happened, we were better as a total team than the sum of the parts."

Admittedly, Buckley said, comparing command of Lovell FHCC to leading a NASA mission might be a stretch, but the Lovell FHCC team of civilian, active duty and contracted staff, and dedicated volunteers, also is greater when melded together.

"Men and women of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, I believe with all of my heart that we can meld together a single team in our hospital that will surpass the sum of the parts, a team that will continue to bring the very best that Navy Medicine and VA healthcare has to offer," Buckley said.

"I am honored to stand here today to take over the responsibility as deputy director and commanding officer, to lead and devote myself to all Sailors and civilian staff, as all of us - together - continue the good work of assuring that the Lovell Federal Health Care Center continues to provide the very best patient-centered health care that Navy and VA medicine bring to bear, both for our heroes, our Veterans - who, at a crucial moment of truth in their lives, stepped up to give the best they had to offer for their country - and for our Active Duty warfighters and their families who continue to offer up the same level of commitment each and every day."

Acosta was presented several awards and citations including the Legion of Merit, gold star in lieu of second award, in recognition of his outstanding service.

"Captain Acosta's inspirational leadership, total dedication and superb communication skills produced unparalleled success in the new frontier of the Department of Defense and VA integration," read Lovell FHCC Executive Officer Capt. David Jones from the award certificate. "While courageously leading one of the most challenging commands in Navy Medicine, he steadfastly ensured the quality of health care for 85,000 beneficiaries, including 44,000 Navy recruits annually," Jones continued.

Rear Adm. Terry Moulton, commander of Navy Medicine East and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va., praised the accomplishments of the FHCC team under Acosta's leadership, including leading the nation for the past two years with the shortest wait time for Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) processing and partnering with Military Entrance Processing Command to decrease the number of recruit waivers by 20 percent.

"You have made a mark on this command, and you can be proud of the lives you've touched," Moulton said.

Moulton also praised the experience and record of Buckley, who comes to Lovell FHCC after serving as the Force Surgeon for Commander of Naval Forces, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Fifth Fleet in Bahrain.

"His reputation is stellar," Moulton said, "and he is inheriting a motivated crew that will take Lovell FHCC to the next level."

Acosta's next assignment is commander of Naval Medical Center San Diego.

For more news from Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center , visit

NNS140906-02. USS Connecticut Holds Change of Command

By Lt. j.g. Robert Ford, USS Connecticut Public Affairs

KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- USS Connecticut (SSN 22) bid farewell to their commanding officer, Cmdr. Ian Johnson, during a change of command ceremony at the Naval Undersea Museum, Sept. 5.

With the traditional reading of orders and a motivational battle cry "Hooyah Two Two" from the Sailors he commanded, Johnson turned over his boat and crew to Cmdr. Brian Taddiken.

Johnson said he is proud he had the opportunity to be in command of Connecticut and working with a fantastic team of Sailors.

"Leading you all has been the most rewarding and humbling honor of my career," said Johnson. "You are all heroes in my book. You are the best there is. You kept us at sea when we had a job to do and you continued to touch excellence, and to display grit, determination, and resiliency everyday, for two years, in a challenging shipyard environment. I cannot thank you enough. I want you to know that what you do everyday matters and has been of tremendous value to aiding in our national security. Thank you for what you do."

Taddiken said of his new crew, "I am humbled by the sacrifices you and your families make at work and at home. You should be proud of these sacrifices and yourselves. Because of you, Connecticut has a tremendously positive reputation for high performance in the face of adversity."

Taddiken, a native of Tacoma, Wash. and a United States Naval Academy graduate, most recently served as the Deputy Commander for Readiness on the staffs of Commander, Submarine Squadrons 1 and 7. He is looking forward to the challenge of getting Connecticut back to sea once they complete the Depot Modernization Period.

Johnson's next assignment will be at U.S. Pacific Command in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

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

NNS140906-08. Naval War College Students Graduate MAWS: Operational-Level Planning Course

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist James E. Foehl, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Thirty-five students from the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force graduated from the U.S. Naval War College's (NWC) joint service Maritime Advanced Warfighting School (MAWS), Sept. 5.

MAWS, a 13-month program that begins in August, is leveraged around the core curriculum of the intermediate-level course (ILC) and focuses on operational art-of-war and the Navy and Joint planning processes.

"This school is important, not just to the Navy, but our country as a whole, because it teaches and gives a specific tool set to our military that helps us excel," said Capt. Richard LaBranche, NWC's MAWS program director.

Students who graduate from the MAWS program receive a Joint Planner-ONE (JP1) Additional Qualification Designator and normally go on to serve in operational-planning billets.

"Operational-level planning ensures that when you have a strategy and national policy that all the tactical actions that take place are in alignment with those higher level objectives," said LaBranche. "What the MAWS graduate is able to do is come up with a plan to use joint and maritime power in order to achieve the commander's objectives."

MAWS also serves as an integral component of the NWC educational mission to develop strategic and operational leaders with the skills required to plan, execute, and assess combined, joint, and naval operations.

Over the course of the academic school year, MAWS students complete 120 hours of electives in the first two trimesters, all focused on operational art-of-war and the Navy and joint planning processes. Their final trimester is Joint Military Operations (JMO), completed with MAWS in order to fulfill case study and planning process requirements for the course.

"We teach the JMO course, tailored to operational planning," said LaBranche. "We go over case studies of past operations, have students dissect the plan for the operation pertaining to the case study, find out where it was planned well and where it could've been planned better."

"Students then re-plan [the operation], do a staff-ride to the location of where that plan took place and look at the operational environment," said LaBranche. "They study the terrain and the environment so that they can apply their knowledge in actuality."

Following completion of the core-curriculum trimesters, students graduate from NWC but continue on with a three-month capstone project before completing MAWS and earning their JP1 designator.

During the capstone, students participate in a real-world planning problem for a combatant commander, fleet commander, or a numbered fleet commander.

"We were tasked with providing a concept of operations to Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)," said 16-year Navy veteran, Cmdr. Spencer P. Austin, a MAWS program graduate. "They gave us an area they're looking to develop ideas about to work with."

The students worked together over the course of the summer to provide valuable inputs and ideas to influence real-world situations.

"We were able to apply that planning process, start to finish, as if we were out there in the fleet, go through the entire process without distractions, and provide a full brief and several white-papers to the maritime operations center director at COMPACFLT," said Austin.

Austin also noted the significance that comes with the preparation and delivery of briefing the commander.

"There's some maturation that happens when you do that. It also gave some of the students that are going to work out there an opportunity to talk with their future bosses and get a feel for what they're going to be doing."

"Anybody who's serious about their profession should consider attending this school. There's an educational opportunity here that you won't get anywhere else," said Austin. "This is the first time in my career I learned how to do planning properly. The operational-level of war requires a very detailed, structured approach to planning and the MAWS course teaches that."

For more news from Naval War College, visit

NNS140906-07. U.S. Naval Academy Hosts Judo Champion

By Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Tyler Caswell

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- The United States Naval Academy (USNA) Judo Club hosted Asian Judo Championship gold medalist, Mr. Gaku Fujii, Sept. 5.

Fujii was invited to the USNA as part of Judo education solidarity foundation sponsor program organized by Sensei Yashuharo Yamashita. The USNA Judo Club sponsors recognized Judo martial artists, and holds martial arts training throughout the academic year.

"Over the last 40 years, the program has been gaining momentum to what it is now," said Fujii. "I am grateful to be sponsored as the 4th Judo representative from Japan to help to instruct these students."

Established prior to World War II, the Judo club has a long-standing history at the academy.

"Over a hundred years ago, Judo was brought to the United States and it was brought here to the Naval Academy," said Fujii.

The history of judo in the Navy goes back to 1905 when Yoshitsugu Yamashita, a pioneer of judo in the United States, having taught President Theodore Roosevelt in the White House, arrived at the Naval Academy to perform a demonstration. The academy was so impressed with the display, that Yamashita was hired to teach judo classes to Midshipmen, making it one of the oldest sports at the academy.

"Between then and now there was war and the Judo program slipped to the side," said Fujii.

Years after WWII, Judo was brought back to USNA and helped to mend relations between the US and Japan. International relations are beneficial for both countries, but the Midshipmen gain experience and knowledge they can carry with them for rest of their lives.

"The sponsored guests usually have more experience than even our highest belt holders," said Midshipman 2nd Class Angela Carandang, Judo club member. "We get training that we don't normally get. We are shown tips and tricks that build basic techniques that we can develop to advanced forms of those techniques and hopefully master."

Fujii's two weeks as a guest instructor has shown him the potential and drive of Midshipmen to learn and excel.

"I know some of the students are new to Judo, but they are strong and learning quickly," said Fujii. "I really want to see them continue training and succeed in whatever they do. I feel like they are my own students."

Starting Judo is hard at first but the training can be a Midshipman's highlight to their day.

"I fell in love with Judo very quickly," said Carandang. "It is my first contact sport, and during days when I'm stressed, it really helps me relieve that stress. Judo has really helped me step out of my shell. I wouldn't have imagined myself holding my own against a 250-pound man. It really helped me look at myself in a way I hadn't before."

The final training session ended with a presentation by the Judo club to Fujii. He plans to return to Japan to train for upcoming competitions and takes with him his experience at the USNA.

"I'm honored to have been able to come instruct," said Fujii. "I would like to come back and see how much the students have grown."

The Judo club's first completion was the Shufu Eastern open, August 30, where Mishipmen 1st Class, Dane Oshiro, took 1st place in the 170 pound weight class. The Judo Club's next competition is against Air Force, Sept 19.

NNS020708-16. This Day in Naval History - Sept. 08

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1775 - During the American Revolution, the British supply ship Unity is taken by the Continental schooner, Hannah. It is the first prize taken by a Continental vessel.

1858 - The sloop-of-war USS Marion captures the American slave ship Brothers off the southeast coast of Africa.

1923 - In a disaster at Honda Point, Calif., seven destroyers are run aground through bad weather, strong currents, and faulty navigation. Twenty-three lives are lost during the disaster.

1933 - Six consolidated P2Y 1 flying boats of Patrol Squadron 5, under the command of Lt. Cmdr. Herman E Halland, make a record formation distance flight of 2.059 miles from Norfolk, Va. to Coco Solo, Canal Zone in 25 hours and 19 minutes.

1939 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaims limited national emergency and increases enlisted strength in the Navy and Marine Corps; also authorizes the recall to active duty of officer, men and nurses on the retired lists of the Navy and Marine Corps.

1944 - On a daring night attack, USS Spadefish (SS 411) attacks a Japanese convoy off Sakishima Gunto and sinks four Japanese vessels.

1954 - The United States signs the Manila Treaty forming the Southeast Asia Treaty (SEATO), which created to block further communist gains and to be a Southeast Asian version of NATO, in which the military forces of each member would be coordinated to provide for the collective defense of the members' country.

1958 - Lt. R. H. Tabor, wearing a Navy-developed pressure suit, completes a 72-hour simulated flight at altitudes as high as 139,000 feet. It was another step in the development of the Navy spacesuit, which NASA accepted in 1959 for use by Mercury astronauts.

NNS140909-05. Hampton Roads Sailors Walk Out of Darkness for Suicide Prevention

From U.S. Fleet Forces Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Service members from more than 20 Virginia commands participated in the largest suicide prevention walk in the nation during the ninth annual Walk Out of Darkness in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Sept. 6.

Sponsored by the Hampton Roads Survivors of Suicide Support Group, the event aimed to raise awareness for depression and suicide, to promote good physical and mental health and to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

Commander Surface Forces Atlantic, Rear Adm. Peter A. Gumataotao, along with Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms, served as guest speakers and addressed a crowd of more than 5,000 people.

Gumataotao spoke to the unifying efforts from community leadership, mental health professionals, volunteers, and the Hampton Roads military family that makes this area's Walk Out of Darkness event the largest in the nation.

"When I look out over this crowd of people I see a lot of diversity. I see families and social workers, civic leaders, retired and active duty military; but I also see unity of effort. That's important for all of us to remember because the disease of depression is a solitary disease," said Gumataotao. "If a community rallies around an individual, they will find their way out of the darkness."

The Walk Out of Darkness events are held throughout the country to raise awareness and to benefit the AFSP. It is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide, research, education and advocacy.

Louanne Ellingson, a retired chief petty officer spoke to the crowd about the loss of her husband, a master chief petty officer. She said that admitting there was a problem was not an option for him.

"He would never allow another human being to know that there was something wrong with him," said Ellingson. "He didn't want the stigma attached to him. But there is no mind-over-matter when it comes to depression," said Ellingson. "If he understood that depression is a treatable illness, I know he would be here today."

Event volunteer Sheila Gosey said she believes that there is a change in the way the public views suicide.

"I can only speak for myself and what I've been seeing, but this last year is the first that we haven't lost anyone to suicide at my church," said Gosey. "I believe that is because we've recognized suicide as a treatable disease and we can address it out in the open."

For others the ability to be surrounded by thousands of people who've shared the loss of a loved one to suicide helps them manage their grief.

Suffolk resident Susan Scott lost her son, Ben in 2010. She's attended the Walk Out of Darkness every year since.

"There is no celebration of someone's life when they commit suicide, no big remembrance. If it were cancer your friends and coworkers would know how to react, but that's not what happens for those of us left behind. I know I felt like a leper," said Scott. "When I come here I get to be with my people, people who understand what I've gone through, people who know that my son was sick. He had a disease and he was taken from me."

U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) was one of many Hampton Roads military commands that had teams of service members volunteering at the event, and for the past three years, have assumed greater responsibilities for organizing the event.

"This is the fifth year that the Navy has had a major presence at this event, and I am overwhelmed with the response we had from Navy commands and senior leadership," said Jennifer Dolehite, USFF suicide prevention program manager.

USFF suicide prevention coordinators have assembled in collaboration with Commissaries on board Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Naval Air Station Oceana, Naval Station Norfolk, and the Norfolk Naval Shipyard Portsmouth to distribute brochures to help publicize the symptoms for depression and the warning signs of suicide with service members.

"Just the presence in our community Saturday, will raise awareness of the disease of depression to prevent the tragedy of another suicide. We want our Sailors, our shipmates, to know life is worth living," said Dolehite. "We do not want another command to experience a death by suicide. We all can make a difference."

Information on suicide prevention is available from the following agencies: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255); National Community Walks,; International Association For Suicide Prevention (IASP); and at the Navy Suicide Prevention Program Webpage:

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

NNS140909-13. Navy Announces 2014 Stockdale Recipients

From Chief of Naval Personnel

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The 2014 recipients of the Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award were announced in NAVADMIN 208/14 released Sept. 9.

The award was established in honor of Vice Adm. Stockdale whose distinguished naval career symbolized the highest standards of excellence in both personal conduct and leadership. It is presented annually to two commissioned officers on active duty in the grade of commander or below who are serving in command of a single unit and who serve as examples of excellence in leadership and conspicuous contribution to the improvement of leadership in the Navy.

Cmdr. David G. Duff, former commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) is the Pacific Fleet recipient and now is at the Nuclear Power School in Charleston, South Carolina, on track to be the executive officer for USS George H. W. Bush next year.

Cmdr. Thomas J. Dickinson, former commanding officer of USS Barry (DDG 52), is the Fleet Forces Command recipient and is a professor at the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center, Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.

Nominations for the award come only from commanding officers in command and who are themselves eligible for the award. The two commanders were chosen from among eight finalists to receive the award.

Duff was nominated by Cmdr. Tommy Locke, commanding officer VFA-14, for his commitment to warfighting and firm, fair and consistence leadership style according to his nomination letter.

Locke wrote, "Commander Duff's servant leadership, unsurpassed tactical ability and pursuit of excellence were pivotal to the Tophatters' resounding success as a critical warfighting element of the United States Navy. During his time as Skipper, the command deployed to 5th Fleet and emerged as the preeminent Strike Fighter Squadron in the Navy, winning the 2013 commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific Battle "E" award. He shaped a culture dedicated to lethal effectiveness in combat, professional stewardship of resources and expectations of the highest personal standards. A true warrior in every sense of the word, Commander Duff served with honor, courage and commitment."

Dickinson was nominated by Cmdr. Kevin Kennedy, commander USS Gravely as a "focused, determined leader who has the innate ability to make difficult decisions under stressful conditions," according to his nomination letter.

Kennedy wrote about the USS Barry's 2013 deployment originally scheduled for six months that became a nine-plus month deployment in "the highly charged eastern Mediterranean tactical environment dominated by instability in Syria."

Dickinson's "positive attitude, frankness, and sincere compassion resonated deeply and continued to motivate his outstanding crew," wrote Kennedy.

Duff and Dickenson will receive their awards from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert at a ceremony later this year.

Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale, for whom the Stockdale Award is named, articulated five roles for a leader - moralist, jurist, teacher, steward and philosopher.

A Naval Academy graduate and pilot, Stockdale ejected from his A-4E Skyhawk over North Vietnam in September 1965 and was held prisoner and frequently tortured until February 1973. He received the Medal of Honor in 1976 and served as president of the Naval War College from October 1977 until August 1979.

He died in 2005 and is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He is survived by his wife Sybil of Coronado, California, his four sons and eight grandchildren.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS140909-14. Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group Arrives in 7th Fleet AOR

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Travis Alston, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group arrived in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) Sept. 9.

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, consists of aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) with embarked Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 and Destroyer Squadron 1, guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), along with guided-missile destroyers USS Gridley (DDG 101), USS Sterett (DDG 104), USS Dewey (DDG 105), and elements of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3

Commanded by Rear Adm. Christopher Grady, the strike group will participate in routine scheduled exercises and engagements with coalition and regional partners while in 7th Fleet. The planned exercises will demonstrate and test months of preparation and planning by the strike group team.

"This strike group represents a flexible force, that is prepared to respond to a variety of crises - from humanitarian assistance to combat operations - at a moment's notice," said Grady. "We are looking forward to operating, and promoting peace and stability in this vast region."

The 7th Fleet AOR covers more than 48 million square miles (124 million square kilometers) and spans from west of the international date line to the western coast of India. Vice Adm. Robert Thomas, Jr., commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, is responsible for more than 45,000 Sailors, 100 ships and submarines, and more than 200 aircraft in the largest naval area of responsibility.

CVW-17 consists of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, VFA-81, VFA-113, VFA-94, Electronic Attack Squadron 139, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 116, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73 and Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30.

The more than 6,000 Sailors in the strike group left its homeport of San Diego, California, Aug. 22 for this deployment. This is Carl Vinson's 15th deployment in the ship's 32-year history.

For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit

NNS140909-16. Ready Now, Anytime, Anywhere

By Ensign Egdanis Torres-Dominicci, Commander, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The month of September was proclaimed by President Barack Obama as the National Preparedness Month.

This culminates in a day of action Sept. 30, when we are all called to act. On this day of action we are challenged to prepare for six specific hazards: earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and winter storms.

In support of this initiative Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) has launched an Emergency Preparedness campaign under the motto "Navy Ready."

"I want to see the National Day of Action, September 30th, become a Navy Day of Action where every member of the Navy is able to say 'YES' to the challenge, Are You Ready?" said Vice Adm. William French, commander, Navy Installations Command.

To be informed, Ready Navy is the "must go" link to Emergency Preparedness Resources. Navy Personnel and families are encouraged to visit to gain information, tools, and resources that enhance the Navy family to prepare, react, and recover when confronted with any emergency, with or without warning.

"Throughout the month of September, installation emergency managers will also be educating the community about emergency preparedness, and each day during the second week of National Preparedness Month, Ready Navy will highlight resources to meet a variety of emergency preparedness needs through Facebook and Twitter," said Jeff Sanford, CNIC emergency management specialist.

Navy personnel can take advantage of presentations, information fairs, and displays that may be present at installations taking place throughout the month. The schedule of resources and events are as follows:

Week 1: (Sept. 1-7): Plan How to Reconnect and Reunite with Family Following a Disaster. Emphasis will be placed on making a family emergency communication plan.

Week 2: (Sept. 8-14): Be Informed. Know Your Resources. Emphasis will be placed on making individuals aware of the resources that most closely align with individual planning needs.

Week 3: (Sept. 15-21): How to Build a Kit and Have What you Need. Emphasis will be placed on having the emergency supplies needed for individuals and families.

Week 4/5 (Sept. 22-30): How to be prepared Through Practice. Emphasis is focused on registering to participate in America's PrepareAthon by taking an action to practice preparedness, finding and participating in a posted readiness event, or sponsoring an event.

"Preparedness is the key to survival in any type of disaster," said Director of Operations for Navy Installations Command, Capt. Anthony Calandra. "Throughout the year personnel at our regions and installations participate in and/or conduct exercises like Citadel Gale, HURREX, Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield, and Citadel Rumble to put into practice the necessary actions when an incident occurs aboard an installation."

For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit

NNS140909-09. USNA Glee Club Performs at NFL Monday Night Opener

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

DETROIT (NNS) -- The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) Men's and Women's Glee Club performed during the opening ceremonies of the first Monday Night Football game of the 2014 National Football League season at Ford Field in Detroit, Sept 8.

The choir, composed of more than 50 midshipmen, sang several musical selections including the Navy and Marine Corps hymn and the "Star Spangled Banner" during the performance.

Opening ceremonies of the game honored the late owner of the Lions, William Clay Ford Sr. and were led by actor, Jeff Daniels. Midshipmen were joined by members of the Ford family and Lions players representing the five decades during which Ford owned the team: Joe Schmidt, Charlie Sanders, Doug English, Barry Sanders and Jason Hanson.

Ford, 88, died of pneumonia earlier this year at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. He was the last surviving grandchild of Henry Ford and served in the U.S. Navy's Air Corps during World War II.

"It is certainly always an honor to be able to sing the anthem and honor a great American," said Cmdr. Rob Calhoun, USNA Glee Club officer representative and chemistry professor. "His connection to the Navy makes it certainly more special for us and to do it on the first game of Monday Night Football of the season is fantastic."

The USNA Men's Glee Club performs masterpieces of choral-orchestral literature with many of the nation's leading orchestras including the Annapolis Symphony and the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra. The choir has also performed at presidential inaugurations and ship commissioning ceremonies.

For more information about the Naval Academy, visit, or our Facebook page.

NNS140908-16. CNO's Navy Global War Game 2014 Kicks Off

From U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Over 80 service members from across the Department of Defense, as well as Australia, Canada, Japan and United Kingdom, are participating in the CNO's Navy Global War Game 2014 in Newport, R.I., Sept. 8-12.

Global '14 is hosted by the Naval War College, and is the third in a series of the Chief of Naval Operations' Title 10 war games that focuses on assuring access for the joint force.

"This War Game provides the opportunity for Commanders to hone their skills and employ capabilities in defeating anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) strategies. The scenario will enhance overall synergy across multiple domains," said Rear Adm. James G. Foggo III, assistant deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans and strategy. "This is the time to identify the seams and remove any daylight between us. We integrate, coordinate, and align how we gain and maintain access in a variety of scenarios."

This year's effort is intended to contribute to the continued improvement of Command and Control (C2) of joint operations in a contested and cross-domain environments. Global '14 is focused on examining how a C2 system is organized to plan, direct, monitor and assess operations at the operational level of war. "Global '14 is all about the C2 system - the processes and authorities - that a commander utilizes to effectively command and control assigned forces in order to achieve a desired operational outcome," said Prof Don Marrin, Navy Global War Game Director. "While combat capabilities play a key role in combat outcomes, so does the C2 system that a commander utilizes, and we're working to provide future commanders with a system that is better-suited to address emerging operational challenges."

Title 10 war games refer to a series of major Service Chief sponsored war games that address future concepts and capabilities in the context of the Services' Title 10 responsibilities to organize, train, and equip their forces in order to carry out their roles and functions as a component of the national instrument of military power.

The Global '13 War Game investigated Command and Control informed by the Joint Operational Access Concept (JOAC) and the supporting multi-service Air-Sea Battle concept under JOAC. The project consisted of a number of pathway events, culminating in the Global'13 Capstone War Game, which was conducted in September 2013. Global '14 will explore key areas that were identified in the lessons learned from Global '13, which can be found in the 2013 game report.,

NNS140908-19. USS America Makes Final Port Visit in Peru

By Cpl. Donald Holbert, USS America (LHA 6) Public Affairs

CALLAO, Peru (NNS) -- The future amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) anchored off of the coast of Peru for the final port visit of the ships maiden transit,"America Visits the Americas", Aug. 31.

During the port visit, Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force South (SPMAGTF-South) conducted a theater security cooperation event ashore with the Peruvian Marine Corps while distinguished visitors were hosted aboard the ship for a press conference and reception.

Marines with SPMAGTF-South were transported ashore via MV-22 Ospreys with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22 (VMX-22) to conduct the scheduled TSC. The TSC was made up of multiple bi-lateral exchanges on marksmanship, martial arts, medical aid and explosive ordnance disposal.

"The past few days we have been working with the Peruvian Marine Corps, exchanging ideas and training techniques with them," said Capt. Blaine Barby, commanding officer of the Ground Combat Element of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force South, and a native of Beaver, Okla. "The main purpose of these exchanges is to build relationships, to get both our Marines some experience with one another and learn the best takeaways that both our services can benefit from."

The press conference was held on the flight deck of the ship with the Peruvian media. It provided the media with the opportunity to hear from U.S. Southern Command's leadership, the ship's command and Peruvian officials.

"This is USS AMERICA's last port stop before it returns to the United States. I specifically wanted the America to stop here in Peru to really demonstrate our great admiration for this country," said Gen. John Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command. "When I think of close partners, one of the very first countries that comes to mind is Peru."

An evening reception was held in the hangar bay of the ship for distinguished Peruvian Guests. The reception was hosted by the Marines and Sailors aboard the ship and the U.S. Ambassador to Peru Brian A. Nichols. The night was meant to honor the valued relationship between our two nations.

"As I stood here listening to our national anthems, I am reminded about how much history we have in common," said Rear Adm. Frank L. Ponds, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3. "And to celebrate our last and final port visit, I can think of no other place we would rather spend it at than here, in Peru. Most people see our countries as being separated by water, but for me it signifies what joins us together."

Ship tours were also provided daily for Peruvian officials and guests. The tours included multiple static displays showcasing the assets and capabilities of SPMAGTF-South.

The Marines and Sailors of SPMAGTF-South have been embarked aboard USS America in support of all five of her port visits during her transit. A SPMAGTF is a balanced air, ground and logistics force that can be tailored to accomplish missions across a wide range of crises. SPMAGTF-South has demonstrated the flexibility, utility and unparalleled expeditionary capability the Navy-Marine Corps team provides our nation and partners.

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

NNS140908-17. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Visits Naval Station Great Lakes

From Naval Service Training Command Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U. S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, visited Naval Station Great Lakes to participate in a town hall meeting with military and civilian staff and family members here, Sept. 5.

The visit was hosted by Rear Adm. Rich Brown, commander of Naval Training Service Command (NSTC).

At the town hall meeting America's top general was met by U.S. Army Major Gen. Daniel Krumrei, Adjutant General of the State of Illinois; U. S. Army Brig. Gen. Richard J. Hayes, Jr., Assistant Adjutant General-Army of the Illinois National Guard; and U. S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Clayton W. Moushon, Illinois Air National Guard's Chief of Staff. Capt. William Bullis, commanding officer of Naval Station Great Lakes, introduced the chairman and his wife to a very large Ross Auditorium audience.

Dempsey discussed a number of issues facing today's Armed Forces. He discussed current operational tempo and current hot spots around the world - from China and Russia to Iraq and Afghanistan. He answered numerous questions from the Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen in attendance.

"We've talked about a lot of problems here today but as long as America's has it's best and brightest serving in its military and when we get the future wrong you'll probably be able to pull our fat out of the fire," said Dempsey.

The town hall meeting was attended by more than 800 Sailors, government civilians, and contractors working at Great Lakes. The naval station is the home of Recruit Training Command, the Navy's only boot camp and Training Support Center Great Lakes.

"I was impressed with the questions from some of the younger Sailors," said retired Master Chief Electronics Technician Pamela Jacobsen, an electronics instructor at the Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit Great Lakes (CSCSUGL). "(Our leadership) needs to see how bright and patriotic our Sailors are. I think it helps them get refreshed and I think it's really important for these generals and admirals that visit to see America's best and brightest that are right here in Great Lakes."

Jacobsen was one of many audience members to ask the general a question. Hers was about the budget. Others asked the Joint Chiefs chairman about the downsizing of the military, retirement incentives, the reserve force, Navy contractors and the current situation with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Many at the town hall meeting said it was great to have one of the nation's top military leaders visit the Naval Station.

"I found the chairman to be refreshingly relatable in his delivery and 'plain talk' approach to some of our biggest concerns as service members and Americans," said Senior Chief Yeoman Matt Brennick, a staff member at the Reserve Readiness Center (RCC) Midwest.

"I thought there were a lot of questions on everyone's minds," said Seaman Sierra Grassman, 20, from Ponca City, Okla., and a staff member for Naval Station Great Lakes. "It was good to finally get some official perspective instead of rumors."

Jacobsen also thought it was very important to have the military top leadership visit Great Leaders and see how today's young Sailors are inspiring and dedicated.

"It's on the front gate its 'The Quarterdeck of the Navy' and I think our leaders need to see from the ground up how impressive the kids that are volunteering for military service," said Jacobsen. "I think (the general) did a great job answering the questions. I sense he felt at home. He was able to share with us what he goes through on a daily basis and I think he has one of the toughest jobs in the country."

Before the town hall meeting, Dempsey had lunch in the USS Arizona recruit barracks galley at Recruit Training Command (RTC) and toured facilities on RTC and Training Support Center (TSC).

At the lunch Dempsey was met by Capt. W. Douglas Pfeifle, RTC commanding officer and discussed command operations with Brown and 11 staff members from RTC. According to Gunner's Mate 1st Class William Ferenczy, a small arms marksmanship trainer (SAMT) instructor at RTC, it was an honor to sit and have lunch with Dempsey.

"It's not every day you get to have lunch with the top ranking officer in the military," said Ferenczy. "He gave us a unique perspective on everything from how other services conduct their basic training to global conflicts around the world."

He then visited the Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Diving Learning Site, on Naval Station Great Lakes.

The Center provides preparatory training for all EOD, Navy Diver, and Dive Med Tech Candidates through an introduction to ORM, CPR, Dive Physics, Physiology, Charting, Physical Fitness, and Aquatic Adaptability Training to promote success in Apprentice School pipelines.

"General Dempsey's visit to CEODD Prep was a great opportunity to showcase the Preparatory Course's unique curriculum and to show the general the degree of physical and mental toughness required of an EOD Technician or Navy Diver," said Master Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Paul Canen, officer in charge at the center where prospective Navy Divers and EOD Sailors learn the basics of their future ratings, or jobs, as they prepare for EOD and Dive Schools in Florida.

"His visit allowed the prospective candidates to put a face on the highest levels of the chain of command, and his question and answer time with the students showed the regard those at the very top, who have already passed through a SPECOPS training pipeline, look upon those just beginning the journey."

Dempsey also met and was welcomed by Capt. John Vliet, commanding officer of Training Support Center (TSC). Vliet briefed the general on the role of TSC and how they provide 24 hour supervision, training and mentorship to over 3,000 18-25 year old new accession Sailors. TSC also provides functional support to Naval Education and Training Command's five Learning Centers on Naval Station Great Lakes.

Naval Station Great Lakes, the largest military installation in Illinois and the largest training station in the Navy, hosts the Navy's only Recruit Training Command. Each year approximately 37,000 men and women complete the requirements to become enlisted Navy Sailors at the Navy's only boot camp. Naval Station Great Lakes is also home to the Navy's technical training schools for surface warfare excellence supported by Training Support Center Great Lakes. Yearly, more than 13,000 students attend these initial and advanced training schools where they learn the basic skills of their Navy jobs.

For more news on Naval Station Great Lakes go to

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NNS140908-15. Naval Station Everett Commanding Officer Reassigned

From Commander, Navy Region Northwest Public Affairs

SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Region Northwest, Rear. Adm. Jeff Ruth, will convene a Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) Article 32 hearing to determine the disposition of a criminal court-martial charge against Capt. James Duke, commanding officer of Naval Station Everett, arising from a sexual assault allegation.

During the UCMJ Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding, the charges and information collected will be considered by a senior Navy Judge Advocate who will make a recommendation to Ruth.

Cmdr. Jeff Caulk, the executive officer of Naval Station Everett, has temporarily assumed the duties as commanding officer. Duke has been reassigned to Commander, Navy Region Northwest for the duration of the military justice proceedings. The administrative reassignment of Duke is not an indication of guilt, however it does allow for continuous and unfettered leadership at Naval Station Everett.

Naval Station Everett's mission is to provide superior shore station support to United States Naval and Coast Guard forces, while ensuring readiness and quality of life for Sailors, civilians and their families.

NNS020710-11. This Day in Naval History - Sept. 09

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1841 - Congress authorizes the first iron-hulled warship. Designed by Samuel Hart, USS Michigan launches in December 1843 and serves to protect the Great Lakes.

1943 - Operation Avalanche, Task Force 80 (Western Naval Task Force) under Vice Adm. Henry K. Hewitt, lands the Allied Fifth Army on the assault beaches in the Gulf of Salerno, Italy. Naval gunfire eventually grows in effectiveness as Operation Avalanche proceeds and delivers a great volume of counter-battery, interdiction, and neutralization fire m becoming one of the decisive factors in holding the Salerno beachhead.

1944 - USS Bang (SS 385) attacks a Japanese convoy 3905, en route from Tokyo Bay to Chichi Jima, and sinks transport Tokiwasan Maru, and freighter Shoryu Maru.

1945 - Japanese forces in the southern part of Korea surrender in ceremonies held in Seoul, marking the end of three and a half decades of Japanese rule in Korea.

1947 - Grace Hopper is part of a team that finds a moth in the Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator at Harvard. Affixing it to the computer log, the team enters: "First actual case of bug being found." The words "bug" and "debug" soon became standard computer-programmer language. Grace Hopper later attains the rank of rear admiral.

1961 - USS Long Beach (CG(N)9) is commissioned as the first nuclear power surface warship in history and is assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and home ported at Norfolk, Va.

NNS140910-03. CNO speaks at Sea Service Diversity Conference

By Chief of Naval Operations Public Affiars

FORT BELVOIR, Va. (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert spoke Tuesday at the Association of Naval Services Officers (ANSO) Eastern Region Symposium at Fort Belvoir Officers' Club.

"There are exhaustive studies that say if you have a diverse organization, in thought, makeup and gender, you're the stronger organization," said Greenert. "Our people need to be diverse in background, experience and ideas. It's not just about the numbers; it's about getting to peak performance."

The three-day conference hosted approximately 125 sea-based armed services members, officers, enlisted, active reserve and retired. The annual conference's theme this year was "Education, Take a Step Forward!"

"I think what you do is noble and adds great value," said Greenert. "The Chief of Naval Personnel and I will work with organizations like yours to keep bringing people together, in a judicious and sensible way."

Backing this statement up, Greenert recently asked his staff to take a look at aligning affinity group events with other events taking place within the Navy to strategically and better coordinate support for significant affinity gatherings.

ANSO's Mission is to assist the Sea Services Chiefs' efforts in Hispanic workforce recruitment and retention by fostering the personal growth and professional development of officers, enlisted, and civilians; providing mentoring, networking, training, and educational opportunities; and engaging the Hispanic community through outreach initiatives.

"We've got to get involved to help people meet their milestones, so the right people can become leaders," said Greenert. "That way we can have leadership that is diverse, and eventually I can have a flag wardroom that is even more diverse. That way we can mine the talent, but also so people can look up to these role models and see that they have a future in the military."

Greenert stressed the importance diversity's role plays in the sea services' mission accomplishment amidst challenging global issues.

"Diversity is the strength of our Navy," said Greenert. "Sailors, Coastguardsmen and Marines operating together where it matters, when it matters."

For more news from Chief of Naval Operations, visit

NNS140910-05. Wounded Warriors Arrive in London for the Invictus Games

By Patty Babb, Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor Public Affairs

LONDON, U.K. (NNS) -- Twenty-two Navy and Coast Guard wounded warrior athletes competing at the Invictus Games attended a welcome reception Sept. 9 at U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun's residence in Regent's Park in London.

They were joined by family and friends, their U.S. teammates, and competitors from other nations. The opening ceremony for the Invictus Games will take place Sept. 10 in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, kicking off four days of adaptive athletics competitions.

"It gives me great pleasure to welcome all the competitors to London for the first Invictus Games. Thanks you for embracing the concept so enthusiastically and coming all this way," said Prince Harry, who attended the reception and posed for photos with athletes and their families.

"We hope that Invictus will take this concept to a wider platform, and engage more servicemen and women to harness the power of sport," he added.

The reception also featured a video message from President Barack Obama, who said: "Go Team U.S.A.!"

Wounded warrior advocate and news reporter Bob Woodruff also addressed the crowd. The reception also included a performance by the Foo Fighters, an award-winning band.

"Making the team and coming here to the U.K. has been an incredible experience so far," said retired Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Jaime Garza, who was injured in a training accident in 2010. "I love to see all the support we have, and the staff has been amazing."

"The events they have lined up are incredible. My family is really happy to be here, and to see me compete," he said.

Earlier in the day, Garza and his teammate, retired Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jacob Emmott, participated in the Land Rover Jaguar driving competition, which served as a curtain-raiser for the Invictus Games. Their team placed fifth, and Emmott drove Prince Harry around an off-road Land Rover driving course.

The wounded warrior athletes departed the U.S. for London on Sept. 6, and they have been training as a team since they arrived. On Sept. 9, the U.S. sitting volleyball team went 3-0 against competing nations in preliminary competitions, ensuring their place in the final matches on Sept. 14.

"The opportunity to mingle with my fellow service members is just a huge bonding experience," said retired Coast Guard Electrician's Mate 1st Class Paul Johnson, who was injured in a shipboard accident. "I've met guys from France and Italy - it doesn't matter. We're all the same. It's just been fun doing that, besides anything else. I consider myself a winner, just being here."

Before the athletes departed, they attended a pep rally hosted by United Service Organizations (USO) Sept. 5 in Herndon, Virginia. The event featured American Olympic swimmer Kate Ziegler, as well as video messages from NBA Hall-of-Famer and Naval Academy graduate David Robinson and U.S. Olympic swimming gold medalist Natalie Coughlin.

Several Navy and Coast Guard wounded warrior athletes also attended a reception hosted by Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden Sept. 4 in Washington, D.C. During the send-off event, they spoke and took photos with the all of the athletes, and they wished them luck in London.

Prince Harry announced the launch of the Invictus Games on March 6. The Royal Foundation, with the direct oversight of Prince Harry and the Defense Secretary Philip Hammond, are hosting the event, which brings together wounded warriors from 13 nations. The athletes are competing in archery, cycling, powerlifting, rowing, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair rugby.

All of the Navy and Coast Guard athletes participating in the Invictus Games are enrolled in Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor, the Navy's sole wounded warrior support program. NWW does not only assist those wounded in combat; it also help those battling serious illnesses or who are injured in accidents - on a ship, in training or on liberty.

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

Follow NWW on Facebook ( and Twitter (@navysafeharbor) for the latest news from London.

For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit

NNS140910-06. Ceremony Announced for the First Anniversary of the Washington Navy Yard Shootings

From the Navy Office of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will host a remembrance ceremony Sept. 16 at 8 a.m. on the Washington Navy Yard to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the shooting tragedy here.

The ceremony is scheduled for a half hour and will include remarks by Mabus, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert, and Vice Adm. William Hilarides, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command. Hilarides will read the names and a bell will toll for each of those killed near the ceremony's conclusion.

For more information on the anniversary, please visit:

NNS140910-10. USS Texas Changes Command

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Swink,
Submarine Force Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The command of USS Texas (SSN 775) was passed, Sept. 9, as Cmdr. Andrew Hertel was relieved by Cmdr. Todd Nethercott as commanding officer at a time-honored change of command ceremony held aboard the Virginia-class fast attack submarine at the submarine piers on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Hertel expressed how proud he is of having had the opportunity to be in command of the submarine for the last 32 months.

"It was the privilege of a lifetime to be your Commanding Officer. Thank you for giving your best every day," said Hertel to his crew. "With Sailor's like you manning such a vessel, it is no wonder everyone knows, you don't mess with Texas."

In command since Feb. 1, 2012, Hertel led his submarine through a 26 month maintenance availability period at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyards (PHNSY).

The ceremony's guest speaker, Capt. Brian Osgood, commander of PHNSY praised Hertel and his crew for a job well done.

"Andy spent much of his command tour in a mission that by no means was glamorous, but in many ways was vitally important to the future of the submarine fleet in the Pacific." said Osgood.

The first Virginia-class submarine to execute a major depot level maintenance availability and modernization in the pacific provided extra challenges which Osgood said the crew exceeded expectations.

"Texas is now one of the most advanced submarines on the planet, and the crew can testify to its capabilities," said Osgood.

During the ceremony, Hertel was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his leadership during the first-of-a-kind dry-dock selected availability demonstrating exceptional leadership and superb judgment during his command of Texas from Dec. 2011 to Sept. 2014.

As Nethercott assumed command of Texas, he thanked Hertel for the ready state of Texas and her crew.

"You should be justifiably proud of the outstanding job you have done bringing the ship, its crew and the families through a complex 26 month shipyard period," said Nethercott. "I want to thank the crew for all the hard work that went in to getting out of the shipyard and back to sea."

Commissioned Sept. 9, 2006, Texas was the second Virginia-class fast attack submarine constructed and the first submarine to be named after the Lone Star State.

The state-of-the-art submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare involving special operations forces, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

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

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

NNS140910-07. Nominations Sought for CNO Environmental Awards

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

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Kevin Slates, director of Navy's Energy and Environmental Readiness Division (OPNAV N45), issued a formal call for nominations to Echelon II commands Sept. 10 to solicit nominations for the fiscal year (FY) 2014 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Environmental Awards competition.

Each year the CNO honors Navy ships, installations, teams, and individuals for outstanding work in Navy environmental programs. Awards categories alternate annually based on a two-year cycle (between odd and even fiscal years). The achievement period for the FY 2014 competition is Oct. 1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2014.

Award nominations must be sent via command channels/Echelon II commands to OPNAV N45. The deadline to submit nominations is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) Jan. 9, 2015.

Echelon II commands may submit nominations for each of the following 11 award categories:
* Natural Resources, Large Installation
* Environmental Quality, Industrial Installation
* Environmental Quality, Overseas Installation
* Sustainability, Non-industrial Installation
* Sustainability, Individual/Team
* Environmental Restoration, Installation
* Cultural Resources Management, Small Installation
* Cultural Resources Management, Individual/Team
* Environmental Excellence in Weapon System Acquisition, Small Program, Individual/Team
* Environmental Planning, Team
* Afloat (includes five competitive sub-categories)

Environmental experts from the government and private sector will evaluate nominations and determine winners at the CNO level of competition. CNO winners will advance to the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Environmental Awards competition. Likewise, with the exception of winners in the Environmental Afloat and Environmental Planning categories-which are unique to the CNO and SECNAV levels of competition-eligible SECNAV winners will advance to the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards competition.

For more information about the CNO Environmental Awards program and a list of past winners, visit

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

NNS140909-22. Erick Abbot Is First Graduate from NAVFAC Southwest Apprenticeship Program

By Mario Icari, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Public Affairs

MONTEREY, Calif. (NNS) -- Erick Abbott became the first Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest apprentice to complete the NAVFAC Southwest Apprenticeship program and receive a certificate of completion Sept. 3 during an all hands meeting at Public Works Department (PWD) Monterey.

"Erik Abbott has been a stellar performer as an apprentice and will become a fine journeyman for NAVFAC Southwest," said Jerry Thomas, NAVFAC Southwest Human Resources specialist and Apprentice program administrator.

Abbott completed the program as an air conditioning equipment mechanic apprentice Aug. 23 in accordance with the basic standards of apprenticeship established by the Secretary of Labor and NAVFAC Southwest. Abbott completed over 584 hours of education over a period of three years at San Jose Community College with a cumulative grade point average of 4.0 in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning trade. Abbott also worked more than 6,000 hours in on-the-job training.

The certificate of completion came from the Department of Labor (DOL). Lt. Cmdr. Oscar Antillon, NAVFAC Southwest public works officer at PWD Monterey, presented the certificate.

The apprenticeship program has prepared Abbott for successful performance in his career field. Abbott is the first of many apprentices to graduate from the NAVFAC Southwest program.

"The apprenticeship program at NAVFAC Southwest is revolutionizing the way work is being performed at NAVFAC Southwest," said Thomas. "The utilization of the apprenticeship program by NAVFAC Southwest is demonstrating to be an effective method for replacing lost workforce with well trained, capable employees who could accomplish the workload while keeping up to speed with the latest in technological changes."

NAVFAC Southwest started hiring apprentices in January 2011 and has hired 113 apprentices to date in 12 different trades. NAVFAC Southwest has apprentices working at PWDs in San Diego, China Lake, Ventura, Lemoore, and Monterey.

Participants who successfully complete all program requirements will be issued a nationally recognized certificate from the Department of Labor (DOL) as skilled journeyman in their respective field.

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit

NNS140909-21. NRD San Antonio Provides South Texas Educators with Insight Into The Navy

By Burrell Parmer, Navy Recruiting District San Antonio Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Navy Awareness is an important element in recruiting America's best and brightest for naval service. To assist the recruiting effort in south Texas, nine educators along with support personnel from Navy Recruiting District (NRD) San Antonio visited several naval commands in support of an Educator Orientation Visit, Aug. 11 - 15.

The EOV is a Navy Recruiting Command program with a main focus of showing educators the various facets of the Navy and the many career paths available to students.

According Lt. Sasha Smith, a medical officer recruiter with the NRD, the EOV provided educators, principals, and centers of influence (COI) the opportunity to observe the various aspects of the Navy.

"It is very important for them to receive a close-up view of today's Navy," said Smith, a native of Puerto Rico. "It provides the educators a glimpse of the various types of jobs, facilities, and relationships that exist in the Navy. It also assists them in becoming advocates for Navy Recruiting."

During the visit, the group boarded and received tours on three vessels: USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), USS Pasadena (SSN-752), and a craft from Assault Craft Unit-1.

Additionally, the group visited Navy Medical Center San Diego, Naval Base San Diego, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron-75, Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, Undersea Rescue Command, Naval Surface Warfare Command, the Pacific Beacon Navy Billeting, and the Navy Exchange.

They also toured a ship simulator and participated in a Landing Aircraft Air-Cushion (LCAC) simulator exercise.

Participants showed much interest in learning more about the Navy and making it available in their schools.

"My knowledge of the Navy was very limited before this trip," said Michelle Gonzales, the college and career advisor of Smithson Valley High School located in Spring Branch. "I only knew about the Navy through our Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps instructors here at school and through my uncle who had served in the Navy for over 20 years."

Gonzalez, who is in her 21st year of education, said that the EOV was extremely beneficial.

"I was blown away at the endless opportunities that the Navy has and at the top caliber of education our Sailors receive during their training and schooling," said Gonzalez. "There was not one person that did not take pride in what they were doing for the Navy whether it was a doctor, a pilot, a submarine operator, a technician, a dog trainer etc. They all enjoy what they do and took pride in what they do."

According to John Graham, principal of Rouse High School in Leander, due to his experience at the EOV he is speaking with other educators within his school district to help build a better relationship with recruiters.

"I will be a strong advocate for the Navy and I will be glad to encourage more students to learn about the college and career opportunities the Navy provides," said Graham, who has served as school principal for the past six years. "Some people believe this generation of young people does not possess a strong work ethic and the skills to carry our country into the future, but as an educator I know they do and the trip reaffirmed my beliefs."

For more news from Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, visit

NNS140909-20. Navy Oceanography Signs Three-Year Agreement with Geographic Software Leader Esri

From Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command Public Affairs

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet, commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NAVMETOCCOM), signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) Sept. 3 with Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. (Esri), the geographic information systems company.

"This CRADA will be a key enabler for our mission and top priority -- providing unmatched battlespace awareness and environmental information to the warfighters that yield better decisions made faster than the adversary," Gallaudet said.

The Esri software and system allows detailed geospatial data to be analyzed with all its time and geographic references. Strong spatial analytics and enterprise collaboration capability link Navy METOC resources with Navy commanders at sea. This marriage of analytics with METOC data help achieve the NAVMETOCCOM goal of Battlespace on Demand. With it, operational Navy commanders can make faster decisions, better incorporating weather and ocean conditions directly into their operational plans.

The three-year CRADA establishes a working relationship between Esri and NAVMETOCCOM, which has been an Esri software customer for more than a decade.

With the new CRADA, Esri personnel will see Naval Oceanography work first-hand and potentially develop additional applications as they collaborate with Navy operational oceanography modeling experts at the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO), NAVMETOCCOM's largest subordinate activity.

Navy oceanographers and Esri's Defense Solutions Team will cooperate on 10 objectives that will improve Esri's commercial off-the-shelf systems while also serving to improve geospatial reasoning in the oceans in support of naval warfare.

Esri software is used in more than 350,000 organizations worldwide, providing integrated technical solutions across an enterprise, integrating desktop, mobile, server, and internet platforms. Over 50 U.S. Naval commands use Esri software to enable their geospatial capabilities and decision-making.

NAVMETOCCOM, part of the Navy's Information Dominance Corps, is comprised of approximately 2,500 officer, enlisted and civilian personnel stationed around the world. Naval Oceanography is the Navy's physical maritime battlespace authority, a critical partner across the full range of Department of Defense operations, delivering decision superiority, operational effectiveness and safety to our operational forces.

For more news from Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, visit

NNS020711-09. This Day in Naval History - Sept. 10

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1813 - During the War of 1812, Commodore Oliver H. Perry leads his fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie, flying his "Don't give up the ship" flag on the brig Lawrence, which is destroyed during battle. Rowing in open boat to Niagara with survivors, Perry brings the fleet into action and wins the engagement. Reporting on British squadron defeat, he writes: "We have met the enemy and they are ours...."

1846 - John V. Mason becomes the 18th Secretary of the Navy, serving until March 1849. This term is marked by efforts to sustain the Navy's force in the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific coast, to construct new steamers and an effort to obtain warships thorough the subsidization of civilian mail steamships.

1851 - The paddle frigate USS Mississippi carries Gov. Louis Kossuth and the other refugees of the overthrown government of the "Hungarian Republic" from Dardanelles to Gibraltar.

1861 - During the Civil War, USS Lexington and USS Conestoga support an armed advance at Lucas Bend, Mo. While supporting the advance, the vessels damage the Confederate gunboat, CSS Jackson, and silence a Confederate battery.

1944 - Submarine USS Sunfish (SS 281) torpedoes and sinks Japanese merchant tanker, Chihaya Maru, east of Quelpart Island.

1945 - USS Midway (CVB/CVA/CV-41) is commissioned as the lead ship of its class. USS Midway is the largest ship in the world until 1955. USS Midway serves for 47 years during the Vietnam War and as the Persian Gulf flagship in 1991's Operation Desert Storm. In 1992, USS Midway is decommissioned and is now a museum ship at the USS Midway Museum, in San Diego, Calif.

NNS140911-06. USNS Choctaw County Sails to Baltimore for Star-Spangled Banner Celebration

From Military Sealift Command Public Affairs

BALTIMORE (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's second joint high-speed vessel entered Baltimore's Inner Harbor yesterday with other Navy ships to celebrate the Star-Spangled Spectacular, the 200th anniversary of the poem penned by Francis Scott Key that later became the national anthem.

USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) sailed from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia, and hosted Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and other distinguished guests for the last leg of the voyage.

"The fact that Choctaw County is going to be one of the representatives of the Navy, showing the people of Baltimore and the people of America the new capabilities, showing them just how good our ships and our MSC mariners and our Sailors and Marines are, I think it's going to be wonderful," said Mabus.

The ship's 20,000-square foot mission bay holds a Riverine Patrol Boat, land-based vehicles, a diving chamber and a variety of other displays from Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Coast Guard. These displays will be open to the public and media Sept. 11-14, noon to 5 p.m.

Choctaw County will also host 189 service members and their families, courtesy of the USO, to watch Saturday night's concert and fireworks from the ship.

Joint high-speed vessels are fast, flexible and maneuverable, and the planned class of 10 ships is designed to enable rapid intra-theater transport.

Mission bay spaces can quickly be reconfigured for multiple mission types, from humanitarian aid and disaster relief to safely delivering vehicles and personnel. The flight deck is certified for aircraft up to and including a CH-53 Super Stallion.

Although the ship's designated mission is for high-speed transport - 1,200 nautical miles at an average of 35 knots - other possible capabilities and missions are being explored for the JHSV class. These might include theater security cooperation, non-combatant evacuations and counter-illicit trafficking detection and monitoring.

The joint high-speed vessel class "brings all sorts of capabilities," said Mabus. "So it's one of these game-changing technologies and it's going to be important for a long time for the Navy."

For more news from Military Sealift Command, visit

NNS140911-01. SECNAV Visits Baltimore for Navy Week

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jerry Foltz, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

BALTIMORE (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus arrived in Baltimore Sept. 10 aboard the U.S. Naval Ship Choctaw County (JHSV 2) for the beginning of the Baltimore Navy Week and the Star Spangled Spectacular.

The Choctaw County is named after Choctaw County, Mississippi, where Secretary Mabus served as the state's governor for four years from 1988-1992. The ship's sponsors were in fact classmates of Secretary Mabus in high school.

Secretary Mabus encouraged local residents to take advantage of the week's celebration to immerse themselves into the naval history and tradition that Baltimore and Sailors played in the foundation of our country, and the Sailors who currently serve.

"When you talk to these Sailors, get to know more about them. Get to know where they are from and what they do on in the Navy," Mabus said.

Mabus also reminded the community to ask, take and post 'Selfies with a Sailor'. Images can be uploaded to all social media sites using #selfiewithasailor.

Baltimore Navy Week runs from September 10-16, 2014 and is part of the city of Baltimore's Star Spangled Spectacular. This event celebrates the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore which provided the backdrop of Francis Scott Key's famous poem, "The Defence of Fort McHenry," which later became America's national anthem. Along with more than 30 ships from the U.S. and foreign nations, the U.S. Navy's Blue Angles will be on display and accessible to the public.

To learn more about Baltimore Navy Week, visit and to learn more about the Star Spangled Spectacular, visit

NNS140911-09. USS Annapolis Returns from Deployment

By Kevin Copeland, Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Annapolis (SSN 760) returned to its homeport at U.S. Naval Submarine Base, New London from a regularly scheduled deployment on Thursday, Sept. 11.

Under the command of Cmdr. Chester T. Parks, Annapolis is returning from the European and Central Command areas of responsibility where the crew executed the Chief of Naval Operation's Maritime Strategy in supporting national security interests and Maritime Security Operations.

"The crew of Annapolis performed superbly over the course of the six-month deployment," said Parks. "During this time Annapolis completed four missions vital to national security and participated in one multi-national exercise. The hard work from each member of Annapolis was greatly appreciated by and has been recognized by Commander, Submarine Development Squadron Twelve, Commander, Submarine Group Seven and Commander, Submarine Group Eight, and Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic."

Annapolis left its homeport in March, and during the deployment steamed more than 34,000 nautical miles. Port visits were conducted in Lisbon, Portugal; Rota, Spain; Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain; and Gibraltar, United Kingdom.

"We established three goals at the beginning of the deployment and the crew met or exceeded every metric established," said Parks. "We had 40 Annapolis Sailors earn their submarine dolphins, more than 150 watch station qualifications completed, and two were selected for chief petty officer. Additionally, 17 Sailors decided to continue their Naval careers and reenlisted.

"I would like to thank the families of Annapolis crewmembers, who without their terrific support and selfless sacrifice, none of these accomplishments would have been possible. Now the crew is looking forward to a well-deserved stand-down period to spend some quality time with family and friends."

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

USS Annapolis is the fourth ship to be named for Annapolis, Maryland, site of the U. S. Naval Academy. The boat was built by Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut, and the keel was laid down on June 15, 1988. The submarine was christened and launched on May 18, 1991, and commissioned April 11, 1992. The crew complement includes 14 officers and 138 enlisted Sailors.

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

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

NNS140911-17. CNAL Releases Investigation Results of MH-53E Crash

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ernest R. Scott, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic (CNAL) released the results today of the Judge Advocate General Manual (JAGMAN) investigation in to the crash of an MH-53E Sea Dragon off the coast of Virginia January 8, that resulted in the death of three Sailors.

The MH-53E, assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Fourteen (HM-14) and based at Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field, was conducting a routine training exercise when the accident happened.

"Lt. Sean Snyder, Lt. Wes Van Dorn, and Petty Officer Brian Collins were outstanding Sailors, sons, brothers, and fathers," said Capt. Todd Flannery, Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic (HSCWL). "We continue to keep their families in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers."

The Navy has spent the past several months conducting a detailed investigation into the crash to learn what went wrong and how to minimize the chance of such an event from happening in the future.

"The investigation has found that these deaths were incurred in the line of duty and not due to misconduct," said Flannery. "These Sailors are true American heroes who loved doing what they did. They are missed and remembered, not only by their families, but by their Shipmates as well."

The JAGMAN investigation found that the crash occurred as a result of a fire that erupted in the upper left side wall of the crew cabin, resulting in a thick smoke that filled the cabin and cockpit. This caused the aircrew to lose spatial awareness and become disoriented, resulting in the aircraft crashing into the ocean.

"Chafing between insulation covering electrical wires and the surface of an aluminum fuel transfer tube had likely enabled an electrical arc from a wire to breach the transfer tube, igniting the fuel that was inside," said Flannery.

Post-mishap analyses revealed two small holes in an aluminum fuel transfer tube. It is likely that the chafing breached through the insulation of a conductive wire, allowing shorting/arching to the aluminum surface.

"The wire bundling near the breach was not recovered," said Flannery. "While a short/arc event localized to the wiring within the bundle was possible, it could not be conclusively determined."

In the weeks following the crash, the Navy directed a one-time inspection of all CH/MH-53 cabin fuel tubes and electrical wiring within 12 inches of each other for signs of chaffing. A periodic inspection schedule is currently being developed. It is anticipated that this new requirement will be released in approximately three to four months.

"The MH-53 and its Marine Corps CH-53 version is a safe and dependable aircraft to operate," said Flannery. "It continues to perform a vital mission which no other helicopter currently in the Navy - Marine Corps inventory can accomplish. The outstanding determination and dedication of our aircrews and maintainers are testimony to the confidence we all have in this aircraft."

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

NNS140911-16. Distinguished Visitors from El Salvador visit USS America

By 1st Lt. Joshua Pena, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

FUTURE USS AMERICA, At Sea (NNS) -- The sounds of MV-22 Osprey engines roared in the background as the future amphibious assault ship future USS America (LHA 6) welcomed distinguished visitors from El Salvador aboard for a key leader engagement (KLE) Sept. 8.

The KLE consisted of a tour of the ship, a formal lunch with the ship's command and a leadership conference.

After coming aboard, guests, including U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Mari Carmen Aponte, Vice-President of El Salvador Oscar Ortiz, along with key Salvadoran military leaders, were escorted to a meet-and-greet with the ships leadership and crew.

"We only have a little time together," said Rear Adm. Frank L. Ponds, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3. "We are going to make valuable use of that time. We are going to show you the ship's capabilities, but what will impress you most are our Sailors and our Marines."

Ambassador Aponte expressed her gratitude and respect for the Marines and Sailors aboard, setting the tone for the rest of the visit.

"We are really happy to be here," said Ambassador Aponte. "This really is the United States at its finest, and I thank you for giving us the opportunity."

A tour was provided for the guests following the welcoming. The tour was made up of multiple static displays showcasing the assets and capabilities that the Marines of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force South bring to the ship. The displays were manned by Marines who spoke about their gear and occupations.

"Today I explained infantry organic weapons systems," said LCpl. Matthew Petty, an assistant gunner with SPMAGTF-South, and a native of Leon, Iowa. "This was one of my favorites because of the vice president and higher-ups. It was very enlightening to be able to explain what we do and what we use."

The time aboard the ship was concluded with a leadership conference held in the ship's wardroom. The conference emphasized the importance of partnership between the U.S and El Salvador, specifically addressing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief concerns in the region.

"These missions are very difficult," Ponds said. "It takes a whole government as well as a community to make it work. It is about unity of effort. It is about relationships. It is about trust and transparency, and this is where it starts."

Captain Robert Hall Jr., commanding officer of America, spoke about the capabilities that the ship brings to our Salvadoran partners. Hall spoke about America's design as well as other ships that will accompany her in future missions.

"Our motto is 'prepared in war and in peace,'" said Hall. "This ship is very capable during war time, but it is also very capable during peace time in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions."

In addition to the ship's mechanical capabilities, the Marines and Sailors aboard play a major role in addressing HA/DR missions.

"The Navy and Marine Corps team off the coast comes with a great capability," said Lt. Col. Terence Connelly, executive officer of SPMAGTF-South. "Like the ship, we are prepared in peace and war. The primary operations that we support are those first-actions that help to relieve human suffering and bring humanity back to those who are affected."

The conference ended with words of gratitude and the exchanging of gifts between the two groups. The short visit from the distinguished guests was a reflection of the admiration that our have nations for each other.

"There are days that fill ones heart with pride," said Ambassador Aponte. "This is one of those days for me. I have pride in my people (The United States) extending a hand to Salvadorans telling them 'We are here!'"

America is now bound for her home port in San Diego. After five port visits, the ship possesses lasting relationships and memories from our partners in the region. The SPMAGTF is embarked aboard America in support of her maiden transit, "America Visits the Americas." The transit has demonstrated the unparalleled capabilities that the Navy-Marine Corps team provides our nation and partners.

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

NNS140911-10. Eurasia Partnership Non-Commissioned Officer Development Course Concludes in Naples, Italy

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston Jones

Navy Public Affairs Support Element East Detachment Europe

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Senior Non-Commissioned Officers from the U.S. Navy with allied and partner nations in Eastern Europe concluded the Eurasian Partnership Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Development Training workshop at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples, Sept. 11.

In her welcoming remarks, Fleet Master Chief Joann Ortloff said the concept was to promote and share ideas with NCOs from Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan; and better understand how each nation instills leadership qualities in its service members.

"These types of NCO development workshops are important to bring our allied and partner nations together so we learn about each other's mission, ideals, and enlisted and officer structure," said Ortloff. "We understand that we each have great navies for our great countries. No one navy is better than the other and when we work together and learn from one another we all become a more proficient and professional force."

On the first day of the workshop, the NCOs received a tour of Naval Support Activity Naples Capodichino. They then received briefs on the recruiting process for the U.S. Navy and Recruit Training Command (RTC), and participated in the Navy's Enlisted Learning and Development Roadmap (LaDR) interactive exercise.

Day two focused on disaster preparedness, training that concluded with an interactive disaster preparedness practical application at Herculaneum, an archeological site of a town that was devastated by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. They also had lunch with their counterparts in the NSA Naples' Chief's Mess with Chiefs and Chief Petty Officer Selectees.

"The importance of this workshop is that it's NCO to NCO development," said Senior Chief Information Systems Technician Jason Boggs. "For them to be able to come to this workshop and see how we, as chief petty officers in the United States Navy, do business is beneficial for all involved."

The third day of the workshop consisted of briefs about the NCO structure of each country in attendance.

"The most important benefit for us is we can share our experiences," said Command Sergeant Major of Bulgarian Joint Forces Command Ivo Indzhov. "We can gain the experiences of the U.S. Navy and other members of NATO."

The final day wrapped up with a ceremony marking the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Afterwards the NCOs discussed the Sailor evaluation process; the Navy's guiding principles: Honor, Courage and Commitment, followed by the Sailor's Creed, Navy Ethos and the CPO mission.

"This was very valuable to gain knowledge about the United Sates Navy NCO program," said Matyq Mirzayev, Warrant Officer in the Azerbaijani Navy.

With four days of activities and discussions covering various topics such as recruitment and training to the NCO structure of our navies, the annual Eurasia Partnership NCO development workshop continues to provide valuable multi-national training while building stronger working relationships with our allies and partners in the region.

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

NNS140911-07. Peninsula Chief Petty Officers, Chief Selectees Run Through Historic Yorktown

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

YORKTOWN, Va. (NNS) -- Chief Petty Officers (CPO) and CPO selectees from Naval Weapons Station Yorktown (WPNSTA Yorktown) and its tenant commands took a step back in history together to learn more about their community and where our nation began.

The officers, CPOs and CPO selectees ran in formation through historic Yorktown, Sept. 5, as part of the CPO 365 Phase II training.

"We work and live here in Yorktown and a lot of our junior Sailors don't know anything about the battle of Yorktown or its significance in our nation's history," CMDCM(SW/AW) Steven Seals, WPNSTA Yorktown Command Master Chief, told them. "You need to bring your Sailors out here and show them what you've learned today."

"To be on the same grounds as those who fought on the battlefields was humbling," said BMC(EXW/SW/SCW)(Sel) Krista Park from Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG). "I learned a lot about the area and have a new-found respect for it. It made me proud and was a great adventure to participate in."

The CPOs and CPO selectees were joined by some of their command leadership on a five-mile formation run circling the Yorktown Battlefield; from Surrender Field to Redoubts 9 and 10, ending at the Yorktown Victory Monument. The CPO Selectees researched various elements of the battle and its commanders, including Major General Benjamin Lincoln and the Marquis de Lafayette.

"None of us would be here today, in this great country of ours, if not for the patriots who won the battle that day, October 19, 1781," proclaimed ETC(EXW/SW)(Sel) Jon Bedford, Coastal Riverine Squadron THREE (Detachment Yorktown) at the final stop on the run, the Yorktown Victory Monument. "When word of the British surrender reached the Congress, they immediately ordered the construction of a monument to recognize the victory of General George Washington and our French allies. It took more than 100 years for this monument to be erected," he concluded.

"The Yorktown Pride Run really helped to tie in the surrounding area with the massive amount of history and sacrifices that went into the birth of our country," said EODC(EWS/SW)(Sel) Clay Middlebrook, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 2 (EODMU2) Detachment Yorktown.

"Though the majority of our nation celebrates the 4th of July as our Independence Day, here in Yorktown, we celebrate our nation's birthday on October 19," Seals added.

For more news from Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, visit

NNS140911-05. GW 'Ultra' Sailors Complete ULTRA-S

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Beverly J. Lesonik, USS George Washington Public Affairs

WATERS NEAR GUAM (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) completed Unit Level Training Sustainment (ULTRA-S), Sept. 10.

Thirty-one Afloat Training Group (ATG) personnel came aboard the ship to evaluate the ship's training teams and watch standers by conducting a thorough review of the ship's material and administrative readiness to conduct training which included an assessment of the ship's ongoing training programs and watch team replacement plans.

"The entire crew was involved in the successful completion of the ship's evaluation that consisted of a plethora of drills and two general quarters, including a Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) drill that we did extremely well on," said Lt. Cmdr Nicholas Long, George Washington's training officer. "Among the many drills we completed, we did Combat System drills, Damage Control events, Weapons events and Security's antiterrorism force protection event."

ULTRA-S is a four-to-five-day annual graded event that concluded the Forward Deployed Naval Forces carrier Unit Level Training. ULTRA-S serves as the primary assessment event to ensure George Washington's standardization of Type Commander and Commander, Seventh Fleet requirements.

"We follow checklists and grade Sailors on their actions," said Lt. Ernesto Villanueva, an ATG member. "The week was very productive and the ship's crew was very cooperative. There is always room for improvement and we challenge Sailors to keep reading through training manuals and checklists to stay proficient."

ULTRA-S acts as the final evaluation period of George Washington's training cycle that began in March 2014, and consisted of five major training assessments.

"The training teams did a good job in previous assessments, and I believe it allowed us to be prepared for ULTRA-S," said Long. "The ship, as a whole, had excellent scores and a majority of our graded events were above 90%. Our success is a testament of the hard work and effort of the training teams, watch standers and the rest of the crew."

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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

NNS140911-19. NEXCOM Celebrates the Differences That Make Them One

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

Virginia Beach, VA (NNS) -- The Navy Exchange Service Command's (NEXCOM) annual Diversity Day coincided with Patriot Day this year, Sept 11.

In addition to remembering those lives lost 13 years ago, the event included a number of guest speakers and entertainment for the 900 associates who work at the NEXCOM headquarters buildings. The theme for this year's event was 'Diversity: Celebrating Differences That Make Us One.'

"This year's theme highlights that it is our collective spirit and our commitment to recognize and celebrate each other which makes our organization stronger, more productive and more dynamic," said Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi (Ret), Chief Executive Officer, NEXCOM. "Here in our organization, we must ensure we create an environment in which associates are comfortable, confident and valued; an environment which encourages the highest level of contribution from our entire workforce."

Guest speakers for the morning included the Honorable Alan P. Krasnoff, Mayor of Chesapeake, Virginia; Debra Dandridge, Co-founder and Executive Director, Dress for Success; and Ed Gomez, Associate Professor, Human Movement Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. Each speaker highlighted the importance of diversity in the workforce and how it had impacted them personally. Several NEXCOM senior leaders also gave their thoughts on diversity.

Throughout the morning, NEXCOM associates were also treated to entertainment by the Youghtanund Drummers and Singers, Richmond, Virginia, and the Panamanian Folklore Dance Group from Newport News, Virginia. NEXCOM associate, Richard Arnold, also performed a musical number.

NEXCOM's continuing focus on embracing diversity in the workforce has led it to be named as one of the LATINA Style Magazine's top 50 companies that provide the best career opportunities for Latinas in the U.S. This is the third year in a row NEXCOM has won this award. Of NEXCOM's nearly 13,000 associates worldwide, 10 percent are Latina and nearly seven percent are Latina women.

For more news from Navy Exchange Service Command, visit

NNS140911-04. GW Sailor Recieves Lt. Cmdr Regina P. Mills Leadership Award

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Beverly J. Lesonik, USS George Washington Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- A Sailor assigned to the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) was awarded the 2014 Lt. Cmdr. Regina P. Mills Leadership Award, Aug. 10.

The Aviation Boatswain's Mate Association recognized Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Brian Haynes, from Walterboro, South Carolina, as one of this year's recipient.

Since 2012, the award is presented annually to aviation boatswain's mates in honor of the first female aviation handler, who died when she was hit by a truck while assisting a state trooper with a motorcycle accident. Two junior enlisted aviation boatswain's mates are chosen annually, each from the Pacific and Atlantic fleets.

"The winners are chosen from among all of the Navy's second and third class petty officers who work as aviation boatswain's mates (handling, fueling and equipment)," said Haynes, a 2008 graduate of Colleton County High School.

The Mills award was created by the Aviation Boatswain's Mates Association (ABMA) in honor of Lt. Cmdr Mills and to recognize Sailors who show exemplary leadership.

Haynes was nominated by his chain of command based upon his record of sustained superior performance. According to his award package, Haynes' impeccable military bearing, demeanor, technical expertise and deckplate leadership have warranted his nomination from a field of exceptionally qualified candidates.

His chain of command also stated that Haynes is a hard working and extremely reliable Sailor whose attitude and willingness to perform tasks sets the standard for his peers to emulate.

"I just advise other Sailors to never quit," said Haynes. "Even when you feel like you are working hard and the work is unnoticed, you should keep going. Just make it through the tough times and know that someone is always watching. You might not get a 'good job' or a pat on the back right then and there, but you don't know what is brewing for you in the future."

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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

NNS140911-03. Sailors on Guam Commemorate Patriot Day

By Shaina Marie Santos, Naval Base Guam Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- Sailors on Guam remembered the events of 9/11 with the raising of the colors and a memorial service on U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) today.

The events marked the 13th anniversary of the day when four terrorist-hijacked airliners crashed into the World Trade Center's North and South towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The attacks killed nearly 3,000 Americans.

Capt. Andy Anderson, commanding officer, U.S. Naval Base Guam served as guest speaker during the memorial service held at The Big Screen theater. He recalled his thoughts of the attacks and talked about the way the events changed America.

"While our resolve and commitment to fight for freedom holds steadfast, there is no denying that 9/11 changed the United States of America and all of us forever," he said. "Obvious changes exist in the landscapes and structures of New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The most significant changes, however, occurred within the American people."

Anderson also talked about how the attacks forced America to look at its vulnerabilities and impacted the nation's military.

"As American service members, we continue to fight and die to defend the nation and freedom and democracy we hold dear," he said. "As we gather this afternoon, your Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Air Force are defending America on the world's oceans and lands across this world. Tens and thousands of young American citizens are deployed to defend our freedom. They are now, they forever will be on watch."

During the memorial service, attendees listened to a timeline of the attacks followed by a moment of silence for all those who perished as a result.

Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Guam Chief Information Systems Technician (SW) Veronica McCoy, who nearly lost her brother when one of the planes crashed into the Pentagon, shared that the memorial service was an emotional one for her every year.

"To me it was the longest day," she said. "So I always make sure I attend the 9/11 memorial service. It's something we should never forget."

McCoy added that she felt proud of the chiefs for their efforts in coordinating this year's event.

"I feel proud of the chief selects putting on this 9/11 event because they took the time to remind us, and to me it was a very moving ceremony," she said.

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

NNS140911-12. Navy and Marine Corps take home half of the Department of Defense's 2013 Fire and Emergency Services Awards

By the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Safety

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy and Marine Corps firefighters and fire and emergency services departments won six of the twelve Department of Defense Fire and Emergency Services of the Year Awards for 2013. The Department of Defense's Annual Fire and Emergency Services Awards are presented by the Secretary of Defense to Department of Defense firefighters and fire and emergency services departments that go above and beyond the call of duty.

From fighting fires, to delivering babies, to raising fire safety awareness, to responding to emergencies, these individuals and teams demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the safety of Department of the Navy personnel and resources.

The 2013 Navy and Marine Corps winners are as follows:

* The Award for Heroism is presented to Naval District Washington Fire and Emergency Services, under the leadership of Chief Charles Miedzinkski.

* The Civilian Firefighter of the Year Award is presented to Firefighter David Lewis from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

* The Civilian Fire Officer of the Year Award is presented to Chief Peter Sorensen, the Commander of Navy Region Japan Fire and Emergency Services.

* The Fire Prevention Program of the Year Award is presented to Navy Region Southwest, under the leadership of Chief Ernst Piercy and Chief Frank Montone.

* The Medium Fire Department of the Year Award is presented to Naval Station Rota, Spain, under the leadership of Chief Cort Jamison and Chief William Shanholtzer.

* The Large Fire Department of the Year Award is presented to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, under the leadership of Chief Thomas C. Thompson.

For additional information contact: The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Safety at

NNS020711-13. This Day in Naval History - Sept. 11

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1813 - During the War of 1812, Commodore Oliver H. Perry leads his fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie, flying his "Don't give up the ship" flag on the brig Lawrence, which is destroyed during battle. Rowing in open boat to Niagara with survivors, Perry brings the fleet into action and wins the engagement.

1814 - During the Battle of Lake Champlain, Commodore Thomas Macdonough anchors his ships in a position that the British squadron attacks head on, using only a few guns at a time. The British squadron is defeated, ending the final invasion of the British in the northern states. USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), a guided missile cruiser, is named after the famous battle.

1942 - Pharmacist's Mate First Class Wheeler B. Lipes performs an emergency appendectomy on Seaman 1st Class Darrell D. Rector on board USS Seadragon (SS 194) on patrol in the South China Sea.

1943 - During the Salerno, Italy operations, USS Savannah (CL 42) is hit by a German guided bomb, killing nearly 200 crewmembers.

1944 - USS Albacore (SS 218) torpedoes and sinks the Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser (Cha 165) off Kyushu, Japan, while USS Finback (SS 230) sinks Japanese army cargo ship, Hassho Maru, and merchant cargo ship, No. 2, Hakuun Maru, north of Chichi Jima. Also on this date, USS Pargo (SS 264) sinks Japanese auxiliary netlayer, Hinoki Maru, in Java Sea.

2001 - American Airlines Flight 77 is hijacked by terrorists and hits the Pentagon, causing 184 fatalities. Specific to DON, the fatalities are: 33 military personnel, six civilians, and three contractors. American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 hit the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center, New York City. United Airlines Flight 93 goes down in Shanksville, Pa., after passengers engaged the hijackers.

NNS140912-15. UPDATED: Navy F/A-18 Hornets Crash in Pacific Ocean

From U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Updated 0100, Japan Standard Time, Sept. 13, 2014.

The pilot of one of two F/A-18 Hornets that crashed Sept. 12 while operating from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is in fair condition and receiving medical treatment aboard the ship. Search efforts continue for the missing pilot.

At the time of the incident, USS Carl Vinson was operating in the Western Pacific Ocean approximately 250 nautical miles west of Wake Island. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The ships of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, USS Carl Vinson, USS Bunker Hill, USS Gridley, USS Sterett, and USS Dewey, along with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 15 and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73 (HSM 73) are providing continuing search and rescue efforts.

For more information, visit

NNS140912-06. USS Ross to Exit Black Sea

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

BLACK SEA (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) transited the Bosphorus Strait departing the Black Sea, Sept. 12, after conducting a series of engagements designed to promote peace and stability in the region.

Ross' presence in the Black Sea served to demonstrate the United States' commitment to strengthening the collective security of NATO allies and regional partners while also working alongside them to enhance interoperability and improve regional security.

Ross joined several Black Sea nations to participate in Sea Breeze 2014. Now in its 13th iteration, this multinational maritime exercise involved naval forces from Ukraine, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, Latvia and the U.S., as well as ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 Task Unit 02.

"I believe exercise Sea Breeze will be the next step in increasing stability, building relationships and understanding with all of the participating nations and will be the hope for the future," Vice Adm. Serhiy Hayduk, commander in chief Ukrainian navy, said during the opening ceremony aboard Ross.

The goal of the exercise was to have participating nations work together in order to strengthen interoperability. Focus was on maritime interdiction operations as a primary means to enhance maritime security. Other key components of the exercise focused on communications, search and rescue, force protection and navigation.

This is the ship's first patrol since being forward deployed to Naval Station Rota, Spain. Ross is the second of four guided-missile destroyers to be forward-deployed to Naval Station Rota, as well as the second forward-deployed guided-missile destroyer to operate in the Black Sea. USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) was in the Black Sea April 10-24.

Ross, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.

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

NNS140912-12. Annual UNITAS Naval Exercise Kicks Off In Peru

From 4th Fleet Public Affairs

Mayport, Fl. (NNS) -- Naval forces from Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and the United States kicked off UNITAS 2014, an annual multinational exercise, in Cartagena, Colombia, Sept. 12.

Personnel from Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Italy, Panama, United Kingdom and New Zealand are also participating in the exercise.

This year's exercise is hosted by the Peruvian navy and will include 20 warships that will conduct operations in the Southern Pacific through Sept. 26.

UNITAS is intended to train participating forces in a variety of maritime scenarios to test command and control of forces at sea, while operating as a multinational force to provide the maximum opportunity to improve interoperability.

"UNITAS develops and sustains relationships that improve the capacity of both U.S. forces and partner nation maritime forces through complex and comprehensive multinational training at sea," said Rear Adm. George Ballance, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, U.S. 4th Fleet.

The overall objectives of the intense training focus on developing coalition building, multilateral security cooperation, promoting tactical interoperability and promoting friendship, professionalism and mutual understanding among the participating partner nations.

"While the overarching goal of the exercise is to develop and test command and control of forces at sea, training in this exercise will address the spectrum of maritime operations," Ballance said. "Specifically, there will be high end warfare scenarios addressing electronic warfare, anti-air warfare and air defense, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and maritime interdiction operations."

UNITAS began in 1960. It is the U.S. Navy's longest running annual multinational maritime exercise. UNITAS, which means "unity" in Latin, is a demonstration of the U.S. commitment to the region and to the value of the strong relationships forged between our partner militaries.

The next UNITAS exercise is scheduled for spring 2015.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) employs maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to enhance interoperability, build enduring partnerships that foster regional security, and maintain access in the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility (AOR).

For additional information about UNITAS 2014, contact COMUSNAVSO/C4F Public Affairs Officer, Cmdr. Kathleen Kesler by email:; or by phone: (904) 270-4843.

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

NNS140912-03. Washington Based Frigate Honors Ship's Namesake While Forward Deployed

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

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The crew of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) held a ceremony Sept. 8 to pay tribute to the ship's namesake on the 47th anniversary of his passing.

Sgt. Rodney Maxwell Davis, from Macon, Georgia, was posthumously awarded the nation's highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for heroism during the Vietnam War.

"We gather together on this day to honor the memory of a fallen Marine and hero who gave his life so others could live," said Chief (select) Master-at-Arms Nicholaus Berg, the event's master of ceremonies, from Willows, California.

Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Brandon Sullivan, from Bozeman, Montana, opened the ceremony with a description of Davis' youth and military service.

After graduating from Peter G. Appling High School in 1961, Davis enlisted in the Marine Corps, serving as a rifleman and guard in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and London, England. In August 1967, Davis was a platoon guide with Company B, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division. While conducting a search and clear mission in the Quang Nam province during Operation Swift, Davis and his unit were attacked by North Vietnamese forces. Despite heavy automatic fire and repeated mortar launchings, Davis encouraged each of his men to keep fighting while continuing to fire back at the enemy. When an enemy grenade landed in the trench, he threw himself upon the grenade, sacrificing his life for his fellow Marines.

Personnel Specialist 1st Class Bobby Boyles, from Elko, Nevada, then explained the meaning of the ship's crest and motto, "By valor and arms." The crest features a heraldic pelican wounding her breast to feed her young, symbolizing Sgt. Davis's selfless act of heroism.

"We should feel pride and honor every time we wear our ship's ballcap or walk across our mess decks and see his uniform and the awards he received," said Boyles.

Chief Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) Scott Mcanally, from Medford, Oregon, then read Davis' Medal of Honor citation.

The ship's Executive Officer, Cmdr Shockey Snyder, addressed the crew.

"The best way that we can honor the memory of Sgt. Davis is to be out here, operating forward in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility, conducting the nation's business on the warship that bears his name," said Snyder.

Following a moment of silence, the playing of "Taps," and the "Marines' Hymn," Cmdr. Todd Whalen, the ship's commanding officer, provided closing remarks.

"Our command philosophy is a tribute to Sgt. Rodney M. Davis. It's all about RMD - Respect your shipmates, execute the Mission, and Do your best," said Whalen. "That's exactly what Sgt. Davis did, and we honor his memory by doing the same."

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

NNS140912-04. Navy Strikes Gold at the Invictus Games

By Patty Babb, Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor

LONDON (NNS) -- An aviation boatswain's mate won the U.S. team's first gold medal during track and field competitions Sept. 11 at the Invictus Games in London.

After placing well in the qualifying round, Aviation Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Donald Jackson outran his competition in the men's 100-meter sprint (open) with a time of 11.42 seconds. He teammate, retired Navy Lt. John Edmonston, clinched a bronze medal in the same race with a time of 12.33 seconds.

"It feels great to have won the gold medal, but, really, I don't think it's sunk in just yet," said Jackson, who was diagnosed with epiglottal cancer last fall. "Sports have made a big difference in my life. They have given me something to do, instead of just sitting at home on the couch feeling depressed."

Jackson wasn't the only Navy athlete to strike gold. Edmonston won a gold medal in the men's 200-meter sprint (open), and both athletes were part of the U.S. men's 4x100-meter relay team, which captured gold during the final race of the day.

On the field, retired Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Max Rohn and retired Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Jaime Garza won three gold and one silver medal in discus and shot put competitions.

Additionally, retired Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Redmond Ramos and Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Angelo Anderson earned bronze medals in 400-meter sprints. Two active-duty female Sailors, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Maria Gomez-Mannix and Navy Chief Career Counselor Ching Dressel took home bronze medals, as well.

"I'm excited to be at the Invictus Games because it's time for wounded warriors from other nations to meet," said Dressel, who was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome in 2009. "The therapeutic power of sports for wounded warriors - not just combat-wounded service members, but medically wounded, too - is important to recognize and share."

At the end of the day, the U.S. Team led the overall medal count with 37 medals, 12 of which are gold medals. The U.K. Team, which enjoyed the support of a robust crowd of spectators, clinched 16 gold medals - more than any other team.

Before the track and field finals commenced, a drumhead service - a longstanding tradition during which a makeshift altar is constructed by drums - commemorated the 13th anniversary of the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Athletes and audience members looked on as hymnals were sung and prayers communicating a desire for peace were recited.

"The Invictus Games is not really about medals; it's about connecting with seriously wounded, ill and injured service members from other nations," said retired Navy Lt. j.g. Laura Root, who was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy in 2011. "I've met other people here with Muscular Dystrophy - people like me. I have been using all of the other languages I know! It has been amazing to connect with these athletes."

On Sept. 10, the Invictus Games kicked off during an elaborate opening ceremony that was attended by the royal family and included Red Arrow and Apache attack helicopter fly-overs. A video message from U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama was played, and she told the athletes: "You're inspiring to all of us, especially our young people."

Actor Idris Elba read from the poem that inspired the name of the games: "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley. The stanzas of the poem - which conclude with the declaration, "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul" - also were put to song, and the anthem has been played during each medal ceremony.

Prince Harry announced the launch of the Invictus Games March 6. The Royal Foundation, with the direct oversight of the prince and the Defense Secretary Philip Hammond, are hosting the event, which brings together wounded warriors from 13 nations. The athletes are competing in archery, cycling, powerlifting, rowing, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair rugby.

All of the Navy and Coast Guard athletes participating in the Invictus Games are enrolled in Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor, the Navy's sole wounded warrior support program. NWW supports more than 3,150 Sailors and Coast Guardsmen.

To learn more about NWW, the Invictus Games and adaptive athletics, visit; call 855-NAVY WWP (628-9997) or email Follow NWW on Facebook ( and Twitter (@navysafeharbor) for the latest news from London.

For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit

NNS140912-10. DON SAPRO Visits Bahrain

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Danielle Brandt, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN (NNS) -- Director, Department of the Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (DoN SAPRO), met with members of the SAPR program and leadership during her visit to Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Sept. 9-11.

Jill Loftus, while conducting a periodic visit to oversee the SAPR program in 5th Fleet's AOR. introduced the InterACT performance group, a nationally renowned social justice performance troupe that provides sexual assault intervention programs. The group was contracted this year to teach all levels of the military and DoD how to intervene in dangerous situations. Previous touring groups performed skits that taught awareness and how to recognize dangerous situations and when to intervene.

Loftus said that Sailors and Marines have told her that they understand awareness and how to recognize a dangerous situation but don't know how to properly intervene.

"So this is really an interactive stage presentation that uses audience participation to teach Sailors and Marines how to intervene in situations that may end up in DUI, domestic violence, partner violence or sexual assault," said Loftus.

Loftus said she thinks the bystander intervention training from InterACT recognizes the difficulties when it comes to intervening in tense situations and gives Sailors and Marines a way to practice intervention techniques so that when faced with a real situation they are more confident in their ability to create a positive outcome.

Along with the InterACT performances, a number of focus groups were also held to provide feedback from Sailors and Marines on the best way to communicate with a variety of peer groups. Feedback gained in previous focus groups was used to update SAPR training.

"When they say we like the scenario based rather than the SAPR Fleet [video]; we've completely changed our whole method of teaching so we do listen to them and their voice does matter," said Loftus.

The improved training includes a new round of videos which include interviews with seven victims who have come forward to talk about their experiences, including the circumstances, their command response, how their peers treated them, and how they were supported. In addition, training will be provided at the senior enlisted academy, the Navy Leadership and Ethics Center, University ROTC programs, Delayed Entry Program (DEP) and at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS).

Along with training Loftus said they are creating short videos that will be posted on social media sites, to address specific topics such as consent or incapacitation during sexual assault.

NAVCENT is responsible for approximately 2.5 million square miles of area including the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea. NAVCENT's mission is to conduct maritime security operations, theatre security cooperation efforts, and strengthen partner nations' maritime capabilities in order to promote security and stability in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit

NNS140912-18. Navy's Energy & Environmental Programs Visit Baltimore for Star Spangled Spectacular During Navy Week

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

BALTIMORE (NNS) -- The Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division (N45) is helping the Navy celebrate the Bicentennial of the Star-Spangled Banner and the War of 1812 during Baltimore Navy Week, Sept. 10-14, with energy and environmental exhibits at Bicentennial Plaza in the Inner Harbor and onboard the USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) at North Locus Point.

The N45 exhibits highlight the Navy's efforts to become more energy efficient and combat capable through technology and workforce training, and to explore domestically produced sources of alternative fuel. The displays also describe Navy environmental initiatives such as marine mammal research, shipboard management of plastics and other materials at sea, and using technology and best practices to keep oil out of the ocean and manage chemicals for ship maintenance.

In conjunction with the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, Baltimore Navy Week features flight demonstrations by the Blue Angels and includes more than 30 naval vessels and tall ships from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, Germany, Spain, and Turkey. Free public ship tours and exhibits are open through the weekend.

Be on the lookout for Navy energy and environmental exhibits at upcoming events such as the Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show (Sept. 19-21) and San Francisco Fleet Week (Oct. 9-14).

To learn more about the Navy's energy and environmental programs, visit

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

NNS140912-08. Fort McHenry Commemorates 9/11

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amy Kirk, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

FORT MCHENRY, Md. (NNS) -- Service members, civilians and first responders from New York and Baltimore gathered Sept. 11 at Fort McHenry for a ceremony in remembrance of the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

The event, held to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, included a wreath-laying ceremony, live music, and a display featuring the 9-11 Flag that was salvaged from the ruins of the World Trade Center. This is the first time the flag has been displayed at the birthplace of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

"The Star-Spangled Banner is a true American icon that forever remains constant in our lives in the face of disaster," said Tina Cappetta, Fort McHenry National Park Service superintendent. "Where more appropriate than Fort McHenry to bring a tremendously powerful symbol of American resolve."

Park rangers and living historians also made remarks relating the Battle of Baltimore with the events of 9/11.

"When I began my career at Fort McHenry in 1999, it was a challenge to help visitors to understand and connect to the level of fear and anxiety Americans experienced in 1814 after the burning Washington and the bombardment of Fort McHenry and Baltimore," said Ranger Jim Bailey. "The War of 1812 was remote and disconnected from our modern life, but 2001 changed all of that. In an instant, we all can now understand how one moment can not only change our lives forever, but could wound deeply the heart and soul of our nation."

Bailey added that the patriotism experienced during the aftermath of the terrorist attacks could also be seen and felt 200 year ago when a different generation of men and women feared for the future of their nation in the face of adversity.

"When we are truly tested, our nation and our people stand together and stand strong," said Bailey. "This is the feeling that [Francis Scott] Key captured in our national anthem. The feeling he saw wrapped in the flag that morning was over these very ramparts. And it was his hope that it would always be so."

The ceremony ended with the playing of Taps and the reading of the Baltimore residents killed on 9/11 and during the 1814 defense of Baltimore.

The event was held in conjunction with Baltimore Navy Week, Sept.10-16, and is part of the city of Baltimore's Star Spangled Spectacular. This event celebrates the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore that provided the backdrop of Francis Scott Key's famous poem, "The Defence of Fort McHenry," which later became America's national anthem. Along with more than 30 ships from the U.S. and foreign nations, the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels will be on display and accessible to the public.

To learn more about Baltimore Navy Week, visit and to learn more about the Star Spangled Spectacular, visit

NNS140912-16. Students Benefit from Navy Science In Baltimore

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class William Mosley, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

BALTIMORE (NNS) -- Visitors and area students have the opportunity to learn about Navy medicine and technology while walking around the Inner Harbor during the Star Spangled Spectacular, Sept. 10-16.

Recent visitors interacted with simulations of aircraft carrier catapult operation, laparascopic surgery, standard robotics, explosive ordinance disposal robots and displays, and some asked questions about Navy careers.

The displays were organized through Navy Recruiting District Philadelphia and Navy Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to inform the public, specifically students, of what technological improvements have been made to meet the Navy's mission and to show them examples of Navy careers.

The Department of the Navy's (STEM) program aims to increase, inspire and support the talent pool from which the next-generation of great Sailors, naval engineers and scientists will come. It seeks to engage students and build their STEM confidence and skill through hands-on learning activities that incorporate naval-relevant content.

"We're looking for people to excel on the technology side," said Commander Michael Thomas, executive officer of Navy Recruiting District Philadelphia. "We seek those who are already good in science and math so that we can put them in the jobs and this creates awareness of what the Navy's technical capabilities are."

The Navy is engaging in efforts to improve STEM education in the United States over the next decade. It's recognized that a workforce proficient in STEM is critical in meeting the Navy and Marine Corps' greatest challenges.

"The bomb suits and the robots are interesting," replied Isaiah Holland, a student of Digital Harbor High of Baltimore. "It opened my eyes to things I didn't know about, like, what the Navy is really about."

By introducing exciting and interactive science programs into classrooms and community learning centers, the Navy aims to encourage more students into the STEM pipeline. It seeks to become involved with a strong emphasis on K-12 engagement and collaboration, opportunities to motivate students into STEM disciplines, and educational research

"What we're showing here is what their money is going towards," said Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician 2nd Class Jeffrey Gansmann of Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit Two, of Little Creek, Virginia, as he walked through the Inner Harbor crowd, with an iRobot PickBot 310 Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SUGV), using it to interact with children and take pictures with bystanders "This is definitely modern technology that is continually upgrading and upgrading, to save many of our lives."

Baltimore Navy Week runs September 10-16, 2014 and is part of the City of Baltimore's Star Spangled Spectacular. This event celebrates the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore which provided the backdrop for Francis Scott Key's famous poem, "Defence of Fort McHenry," which later became America's national anthem. Along with more than 30 ships from the U.S. and foreign nations, the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels aircraft will be on display and open to the public.

To learn more about Baltimore Navy Week, visit and to learn more about the Star Spangled Spectacular, visit

NNS140912-09. Star Spangled Spectacular Navy Week Commences

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Lacordrick Wilson, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

BALTIMORE (NNS) -- Three U.S. Navy ships, one U.S. Coast Guard cutter and 28 coalition ships from various parts of the world sailed into the Baltimore Harbor, commencing the 2014 Baltimore Navy Week, Sept. 10.

Throughout the week, more than 2,000 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen are to attend and celebrate this year's Navy Week, taking place Sept. 10-16.

Baltimore Navy Week, themed "Star Spangled Spectacular", is a 6-day free festival that celebrates the 200th birthday of the national anthem. The landside celebration includes live history demonstrations, a family fun-zone, live musical performances, Chesapeake food and beverage, and ship tours.

"The U.S. Navy ships here this week represent the proud history of service to our great nation that was born from the War of 1812 and that continue today," said Rear Adm. Victorino Mercado, commander, Carrier Strike Group Eight (ESG 8). "The Navy is proud to be a partner of the state of Maryland, while celebrating the birth of our national anthem."

U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships participating in this year's Star Spangled Spectacular include amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), joint high-speed vessel USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) and U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Eagle (WIX 327).

This week is an opportunity for citizens in Baltimore and the surrounding area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, and to see firsthand the latest capabilities of today's maritime services.

"I feel that this is a great opportunity for us Sailors to visit the Inner Harbor area," said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Quinyon Davenport. "Events like these open up the door to the public to see what the U.S. Navy does along with our coalition partners."

Oak Hill and Leyte Gulf will dock in North Locust Point at pier 4 and 5. Choctaw County and the U.S. Coast Guard signature ship, Eagle, will dock in the Inner Harbor at pier 5 and west wall.

Public visitations of the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships will commence Sept. 11 and conclude Sept.15. North Locust Point ships at piers 4 and 5, as well as Inner Harbor ships are open every day from 12 a.m. to 5 p.m. along with coalition ships located at the Inner Harbor, Fells Point, and North Locust Point piers.

The signature events crescendo on September 13 with two star-studded patriotic concerts and extraordinary fireworks display over Fort McHenry and the Baltimore harbor, which will broadcast live on PBS.

Baltimore Navy Week runs September 10-16, 2014 and is part of the City of Baltimore's Star Spangled Spectacular. This event celebrates the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore which provided the backdrop for Francis Scott Key's famous poem, "Defence of Fort McHenry," which later became America's national anthem. More than 30 ships from the U.S. and foreign nations, and the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels aircraft will be on display and open to the public.

For more information, visit the official Baltimore Navy Week Web site at or find "Navy in Baltimore 2014" on Facebook.

NNS140911-22. USS Germantown Embarks 31st MEU

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Raul Moreno Jr., Commander, Amphibious Squadron 11 Public Affairs

OKINAWA, Japan (NNS) -- Marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) embarked forward-deployed amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) to support patrol with the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (PEL ARG), Sept. 6-8.

The 538 Marines embarked with a variety of equipment to support amphibious operations including seven-ton trucks, humvees, logistics vehicle systems, heavy cargo trucks and three landing craft air cushion.

Germantown and the 31st MEU will play an important role in the PEL ARG Amphibious Integration Training, Certification Exercise joint forces exercises with partner nations and supporting security and stability operations in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

"The final on-load of equipment and stores as well as the embark of Marines from the 31st MEU was very smooth and well orchestrated," said Cmdr. Gary Harrington, Germantown's executive officer. "We also welcomed family members of the MEU who received a tour of the ship and had the unique opportunity to observe LCAC launch operations. Everything was completed ahead of schedule and the ship departed for deployment on time. This amazing crew continues to impress me and I am very proud of their performance."

Before departing White Beach, Germantown's crew hosted a United States Marine Corps Family Day, allowing Marines to show their families where they would be living during this patrol.

"The Combat Logistics Battalion 31st MEU deploys a lot, so my family members always want to know what we are doing, where we are staying, and more about what happens when we are gone," said Staff Sgt. Mikal Bowman. "Allowing our family members to come aboard Germantown helps them understand what we do and become a part of the process."

Germantown is currently underway conducting joint forces exercises with the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

For more information, visit and

NNS140911-25. At Sea, USS Arlington Remembers September 11th

By Lt.j.g. Laura Price, USS Arlington Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- USS Arlington (LPD 24) Sailors and Marines held a remembrance ceremony honoring the 13th anniversary of September 11th while underway off the Atlantic coast.

The morning of September 11, 2001, five hijackers on American Airlines Flight 77 forcibly commandeered the controls of the plane and at 9:37 a.m., crashed into the west wall of the Pentagon, in Arlington County, Va. This deliberate attack was the second of three that occurred, the first at the World Trade Center in New York and the third in Somerset County, Pa.

USS Arlington was named in remembrance of the attack on the Pentagon.

The ship's commemorative ceremony began at 8:47 a.m. with an announcement denoting the time of the first strike on the World Trade Center in New York City. The event was organized and executed by the ship's nine Chief Petty Officer selectees.

"The Arlington's Chief selectees feel privileged and honored to be able to host this year's 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony," explained Chief Petty Officer (select) Travis McCarthy. "All nine of us are Plank Owners and have been with Arlington since early pre-commissioning; we feel a deep commitment to the ship and her namesake and really wanted to provide the crew with something memorable. Being able to honor the lives lost on September 11th, 2001 has been a humbling experience and one that none of us could be more proud of."

The hand carried boxes (vessels) that Arlington's Chief Petty Officer selectees carry with them throughout CPO 365 Phase II, bear the names of the 184 people who perished in the attack on the Pentagon. The vessels, when adjoined, create the emblem of the Pentagon.

"9/11 is a day in history that I will never forget," Chief Petty Officer (select) Bruce White explained. "I will never forget the feeling of emptiness and selflessness for the victims and heroes of that great day. I recently had the opportunity to visit Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon Memorial. It was a humbling experience to pay my respects for the fallen. I am truly honored to be a part of this ceremony on 1 of the 3 warships named in remembrance of the 9/11 attacks."

Events of the ceremony included performances of the National Anthem and the command's Color Guard. White and Chief Petty Officer (select) Grace Britos shared their experiences as junior Sailors in the Navy at the time of the terrorist attacks and how those events molded the beginning of their careers in naval service.

"It's unfortunate that 9/11 happened, nonetheless I am fortunate to be able to represent the 184 lives that have fallen," said Britos. "A major change that I have witnessed is the additional security measures each base has encountered. Standing watch may be tedious at times, but let us challenge ourselves to never forget why our presence is of importance."

At 9:37 a.m., the time Flight 77 struck the Pentagon, the names of the fallen were read as a bell was rung for each of the 184 fallen from youngest to oldest, just as they appear at the Pentagon Memorial in Washington D.C.

Executive Officer, Lt.Cmdr. Emily Bassett addressed the crew, explaining the significance of the events and America's response to the tragedy.

"Today is a somber day of reflection and a day to remember those horrific and unprovoked attacks on American soil," said Bassett. "This is a day to reaffirm our vows to ourselves and our Nation. This has become a day of action, to consider not 'what if' or even 'why,' but 'what now?' 9/11 has become a day of resolution and of rekindling the reasons for why we do what we do. Arlington was named as part of a triumvirate dedicated to spirit of action and resolve. We on Arlington take today to think about the spirit of the ship and how as a crew we are upholding the spirit of our namesake."

The ceremony concluded with a moment of silence for the final attack and a reception on the Mess Decks. The crew then dispersed to resume normal underway operations in support of their daily missions.

"American service members hold September 11th as a day of reflection," said Command Master Chief Brian McDonough. "Those who were on active or reserve duty in 2001 automatically remember exactly where and what they were doing on September 11th. Many Americans who were not in the military on that tragic day, soon joined out of sheer patriotism, and many of our newest service members continue to join based on a loyalty born from the carnage of September 11th. I am very honored to serve aboard USS Arlington with my shipmates, as we continue to protect our nation, every day. I am also honored to witness this ceremony as planned and executed by our newest enlisted leaders."

USS Arlington (LPD 24) is the eighth in Navy's San Antonio class of ships, designed to be the most survivable amphibious vessels ever put to sea. The third in the U.S. fleet to bear the name, USS Arlington combines 21st century amphibious shipbuilding and war fighting technologies to support current and future Marine Corps aircraft and landing craft. She is capable of taking nearly 1,200 Sailors and Marines to act on behalf of the nation.

For more news from Expeditionary Strike Group 2, visit

NNS140911-24. USS New York Commemorates 9/11

By Lt. j.g. Timothy Pietrack, Commander, Amphibious Squadron 8, Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS New York (LPD 21) held a remembrance ceremony commemorating the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The New York is a floating memorial dedicated to the men and women who lost their lives that day and a steadfast symbol of American resolve.

The ship is underway preparing for an upcoming deployment, where she will bring seven-and-a-half tons of World Trade Center steel across the globe in support of national security.

The ceremony included three volleys, followed by taps and a moment of silence, remarks from the ships Commanding Officer, and remarks from the 24th MEU's Commander of Troops. In conclusion, Chaplain Justin Bernard offered words of hope to all who suffered loss on 9/11. "This ship that we serve on today is a beacon of light, one that reminds our nation and the world that by God's grace we can and will rise."

"Today, once again, Sailors and Marines stand shoulder to shoulder on this great warship, to pay homage to the past and contemplate the challenges of the future. We are strengthened by a profound sense of duty, brought into sharp focus by the memory of those who have gone before us. It is our sacred duty to our nation, our sacred duty to our fellow countrymen, and our sacred duty to those who perished thirteen years ago," said Capt. Christopher Brunett, Commanding Officer of USS New York.

Nearly 1,100 Sailors and Marines currently call USS New York "home." A select few of those dedicated service members have the unique opportunity to serve on a ship dedicated to their hometown. "Being a native New Yorker and a part of this ship's crew, I feel I have come full circle in my 22 year career," said Aviation Boatswains Mate Fuels Chief Hector Respetto. "The feeling I get from being privileged enough to still be able to touch the steel of the Twin Towers like I did as a kid sends chills through me. I truly believe that I'm here for those families, including my own, that have suffered the loss of fallen heroes on 9/11."

The Sailors and Marines on board have a profound sense of what this ship truly means to the citizens of New York City and the State of New York. Corporal Michael Scuderi, whose uncle was a dedicated NYPD officer and first responder on 9/11, said "As a native New Yorker it is an incredible honor to serve on this ship. From the nightly prayers dedicated to the fallen first responders, to the countless memorials spread throughout New York, there isn't a minute that passes where I don't find myself thinking about the selfless dedication of the fallen first responders."

The USS New York's motto "Strength Forged Through Sacrifice...Never Forget," coupled with the steadfast devotion displayed by the men and women who serve aboard New York, reaffirm that the heroes of that day will never be forgotten.

USS New York is underway as part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (IWO ARG) and is underway conducting Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise with the 24th MEU.

Join the conversation with New York online at For more news from USS New York, visit

For more news from Commander, Amphibious Squadron 8 , visit

NNS140911-27. Seabees Show The Flag For Local Schoolchildren

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Lowell Whitman, NCG 1 Public Affairs

CAMARILLO, Calif. (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1 joined Ventura County first responders and fellow service members to recognize Patriot Day with students of the University Preparation School, Sept. 11.

Patriot Day, also known as the National Day of Service and Remembrance, is observed annually on Sept. 11th as a day to remember those lost in the terrorist attacks of 2001. The ceremony marked the school's 13th observance.

Airmen from the Air National Guard Band at Point Mugu performed as students gathered around the schools flagpole. Service members and first responders, past and present, were invited in front of the audience. Charmon Evans, director at the school, welcomed them to applause from students, parents, and faculty in attendance.

The NCG 1 color guard marched the colors to the flag pole and color guard member, Steelworker 2nd Class Troy Franklin, from Cathedral City, Calif., ceremoniously unfurled the national ensign as attendees observed a moment of silence. As the flag was raised, Builder 2nd Class Marie Tauai, from Apia, Samoa, sang a duet of the national anthem with her brother Moses Failautusi. The poem, "My Name Is Old Glory" was read as the flag was set at half mast.

The event's guest speaker, Lt. Col. Constance Poulsen, assigned to the Air National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing, took to the podium to deliver her remarks.

"The attacks of 9/11 showed us the worst in people. But it was also a time when many wonderful, compassionate and heroic deeds happened," said Poulsen. "We do not forget the innocent people who lost their lives that day. Each person was a friend, a family member, a coworker. Every person is missed."

Poulsen spoke about her experiences working as a navigator on C-130 aircraft supporting Operation Noble Eagle, the initial support response that began 3 days after the 9/11 attacks. In conclusion, she offered a challenge to the students.

"The American military, police officers, firefighters, teachers and parents have your back. Now it's your turn," said Poulsen. "Stand up when you see someone in trouble, being bullied, or being left out. No one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words. Make today the day you become a hero in someone's life."

Roberta Bramson, a member of the organizing committee, spoke about the importance of having the Seabees and other service members in attendance.

"I think it's outstanding that they would give their time for this," said Bramson. "I hope that [service members] will be able to explain to the children and give them the vision of who they are not just in war and times of need, but in everyday life."

For more news from Naval Construction Group 1, visit

NNS140911-20. 4th Fleet Staff Remembers Victims of Suicide

By Lt. Cdr. Tom Gordy, 4th Fleet Public Affairs

MAYPORT NAVAL STATION, Florida (NNS) -- Sailors and civilians of U.S. Fourth Fleet staff gathered to remember shipmates, family and friends who had fallen victim to suicide in a ceremony on Sept. 11.

"Since the beginning of the year, fifty of our shipmates have fallen to suicide. That is fifty too many," said Yeoman Chief Petty Officer Yvonne Rodriguez, the Command's Suicide Prevention Coordinator who organized the ceremony. "We all know someone who was a victim, so we must remember to act."

The ceremony included a moment of silence followed by a prayer offered by Surface Forces Atlantic Staff Chaplain Lt. Cdr. Alan Cameron, and comments by 4th Fleet's Deputy Chief of Staff, Lt. Cdr. John Liddle.

Liddle reflected on the significance of Sept. 11 for all citizens as well as the imperative everyone has to ACT (Ask, Care, Treat) if a shipmate is perceived to be enduring personal struggle or difficulty.

"We need to care enough to ask and we need to care enough get help for our shipmates." said Liddle. "Suicide shouldn't be a permanent solution for problems or issues that could be transient with appropriate care, counseling and treatment."

Participants signed a banner with 50 yellow ribbons in remembrance of victims of suicide. The banner was placed on a tree outside 4th Fleet headquarters as a reminder to command staff to ask, care and seek treatment for shipmates who may be contemplating suicide.

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

NNS140911-21. 3 Things to Know about the RAND Military Workplace Study

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- On behalf of the Department of Defense (DOD), the RAND Corporation is conducting a Military Workplace Study that includes a survey of Sailors that is projected to conclude Sept. 24.

The Military Workplace Study is critical to helping DOD better understand workplace conditions and act to ensure a safe and professional work environment. This is a chance for Sailors to be heard by senior leaders.

Here are three things you need to know about the RAND Military Workplace Study:

1. Invitations to take a survey in support of this study were sent to 100% of female active duty Sailors, E-1 to O-6 (with more than 6 months of service), and a quarter of randomly selected active duty males. If invited, Sailors are encouraged to participate in the survey. Sailors who have not received an invitation, but think they should, may contact the RAND Corporation by calling the survey help desk at 1-855-365-5914 (OCONUS call collect 240-453-2620). Once your identity is verified, you will be emailed the survey information and passcode. You can also email the help desk at, stating you have not received the survey, including your telephone number and the best time to call you. The help desk will call to verify your information and make the necessary arrangements for your participation in the survey.

2. Results from this study will help senior leadership evaluate current military workplace relations, professionalism and personal safety to determine future policies, programs and training.

3. The survey is voluntary and confidential. No one in DOD will see any individual Sailor responses.

The survey opened on Aug. 14 and is projected to close Sept. 24.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS140911-26. Navy to Add iPhone and Android options for Mobile Users

From Naval Enterprise Networks Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- By the end of 2014 the Naval Enterprise Networks (NEN) program office (PMW-205) expects to provide current approved mobile cellular device users with the option of utilizing iOS and Android devices.

This decision resulted from limited pilots to test alternative mobile cellular devices. Capt. Michael Abreu, program manager for Naval Enterprise Networks Program Management Office (PMW 205) indicated these iOS and Android devices have been evaluated and certified by the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA) for use on the Navy Marine Corps Intranet. "We want to take advantage of these commercial devices while maintaining security," Abreu said.

The DISA-approved devices include iPhone 5c and 5s, the iPad Air, and Samsung Galaxy S4. Other devices will be added to the "approved for use" list once they are certified for use on the network by DISA and the Navy accreditation authority.

This plan applies to users that are approved by their local command organization to have a mobile cellular device to conduct official business on NMCI. iOS and Android devices will be available through the DON wireless contract. NMCI email and other services will be available for order by the end of the year. Current mobile cellular device users are not required to move to a new device at the present time.

In addition to the same voice and NMCI email capability available today, the initial capability offering for the new devices will include access to some native phone applications as approved by the Navy certification authority. The NEN program office is working with a number of other Navy organizations as well as DISA to review Navy and Department of Defense (DoD) "apps" that will be available through approved distribution processes as they are solidified.

Additional information about the NEN mobile cellular device plan will be made available via NMCI Homeport (, including details on how to request iOS, Android and other devices, as developments occur.

For more news from PEO for Enterprise Information Systems Command, visit

NNS140912-07. TransCom Officials See Improvement in Vehicle Deliveries

From U.S. Transportation Command

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (NNS) -- U.S. Transportation Command's privately owned vehicle fusion cell has recognized that deliveries of vehicles shipped from overseas bases are improving, based on site surveys and a sampling of shipment records, TransCom officials said.

Many vehicles that service members and Defense Department civilian employees had shipped as part of their moves to new assignments in the United States did not arrive when promised, and TransCom officials have been working to resolve the issue.

Representatives from International Auto Logistics, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, or SDDC, as well as from Army transportation brigades and TransCom completed the site surveys in August at vehicle processing centers and vehicle staging facilities worldwide and identified potential weaknesses in IAL's supply chain.

International Auto Logistics and SDDC representatives also took a random sample of records for vehicles turned in and delivered in August to evaluate improvements to the system.

*Validating inventories and supply chain constraints*

"The surveys and sampling were successful in helping to validate inventories and validate supply chain constraints," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul Guemmer, who leads the fusion cell.

TransCom "absolutely needed" to take this approach as part of its continued contract oversight and to reinforce its commitment to service members and their families, the general said. "We are doing our job, not IAL's," he added.

Guemmer noted on-time delivery improved dramatically in August, based on a random sample of 500 vehicles turned in by service members since Aug. 1. The sample was drawn from inventoried vehicles, with more than 95 percent of the sample delivered on time. However, Guemmer was quick to caution this improved on-time delivery rate is only for vehicles turned in after Aug. 1.

"The on-time delivery rate for vehicles through July was completely unacceptable," Guemmer said. Federal acquisition regulations restrict TransCom from releasing specific contract performance data, officials said, adding that on-time delivery rates for vehicles scheduled for delivery in September or later cannot yet be determined.

International Auto Logistics reports that within the supply chain of the 31,528 vehicles that have entered the system, 13,760 have been delivered, with an additional 2,350 ready for pickup at vehicle processing centers.

The increased volume of deliveries in August also indicates IAL has more reliable data tracking and that the company has improved its customs clearance procedures, Guemmer said. The rate of vehicle delivery in August was nearly three times higher than the rate of delivery in previous months.

*Quick payment of claims*

While acknowledging some service members are experiencing challenges contacting IAL, Guemmer said one positive note is IAL's willingness to pay service member claims quickly.

"They are living up to their promise and liability by making good-faith efforts to resolve service member claims for compensation quickly, well before the 90 days required under the contract," he said. "We will continue to work with IAL to provide timely support to service members who have been inconvenienced in this process."

Guemmer said that service members need to be aware of their entitlements to compensation under the contract for rental cars or inconvenience. 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. Regulations cap reimbursement at $30 daily.

If rental car rates exceed $30 a day for days one through seven, an inconvenience claim can be submitted to IAL that will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis for possible payment. DoD civilians can get rental car reimbursement by filing an inconvenience claim with IAL, because they do not have the same entitlement under the travel regulations.

"Commitment to our people is Job One - service members want vehicles delivered on time and without damage, but when that doesn't happen, they deserve answers, and they deserve to be fairly compensated," Guemmer said. "We approach each service member's concern as though it came from our own family."

For claims information for International Auto Logistics, call 855-389-9499, Option 3, or email: The email address for Transcom's inspector general privately owned vehicle customer support team is

NNS140911-29. TTGP Conducts Change of Command Ceremony

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse L. Gonzalez, Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

Commander, U.S. Third Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Tactical Training Group Pacific (TTGP) held a change of command and retirement ceremony at Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet headquarters Sept. 11.

Capt. John Nolan assumed command from Capt. John Miley, who retired from 29 years of honorable service.

"John Miley is a very humble guy as most of the best officers tend to be," said Rear Adm. Joseph W. Kuzmick, Commander, Carrier Strike Group Fifteen. "The key point is some of the synthetic work they do here. This is the only environment we can do the kind of training we need to do for the very highest end of warfare."

During his farewell address, Miley expressed his excitement in being able to turn over TTGP to his executive officer and a fellow U.S. Naval Academy graduate from the class of 1985.

"It's been a true honor serving with you, calling you friend and I couldn't think of a better naval officer to turn this command over to," said Capt. John Miley. "In the current and expected fiscal environment the Navy's reliance on synthetic training will only continue to expand. Tactical Training Group Pacific will continue to play a leading role in new synthetic training initiatives and in training strike groups in preparation for deployment well into the future."

Miley is a native of San Francisco and received his commission upon graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He was designated a Naval Aviator in 1986. Highlights from Miley's career include commander of Amphibious Squadron 1 and an extended overseas deployment as Commander, Tarawa Expeditionary Strike Group. He also commanded HC-8, the Navy's last east coast operational H-46 squadron and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 3 (HSC-3), the Navy's west coast MH-60S Fleet Replacement Squadron.

Miley began his current command tour in March 2012 as commanding officer of TTGP and Nolan served as the executive officer of TTGP before taking command.

"It has been an honor to be the Tactical Training Group Pacific executive officer for the past two and a half years for skipper Miley and even a greater honor to fleet up and replace him as commanding officer," said Capt. John Nolan.

Nolan's sea tours included USS William H. Standley (CG 32), USS Leftwich (DD 984) and USS Oldendorf (DD 972). During these tours, he participated in Operations Earnest Will, Desert Storm, Southern Watch and Desert Fox.

He also commanded USS Elliot (DD 967) during which Elliot earned the 2003 Battle Efficiency Award, James F. Chezek Memorial Gunnery Award for gunnery excellence and the Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific Golden Anchor Award for retention and assumed command of USS Fletcher (DD 992) in Perth, Australia in December 2003 as part of a sea-swap.

In addition Nolan served as the surface operations officer for Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group 1 embarked on USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Operations Officer of the Ronald Reagan Strike Group on the Commander, Carrier Strike Group 7 staff and commanding officer of USS Chancellorsville (CG 62).

TTGP provides advanced tactical training to warriors in order to improve their proficiency in war fighting and joint operations and also meets the unified commander's requirements.

U.S. Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line.

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

NNS140912-19. Sexual Assault Reports: Week of Sept. 1-7

From the Office of the Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- This week's overview of alleged sexual assaults was compiled based on 19 initial reports across the Navy from Sept. 1-7.

This timeframe reflects only the receipt of the initial reports; seven of the reported incidents occurred during this period, 11 occurred outside of the report period and one unknown. Each report will be fully investigated. Looking at this snapshot in time, we see the following:

* Ten reports were from events that occurred on-base, six from an event that occurred off-base and three unknown.

* Eighteen of the alleged offenders were male and one was female.

* Among the 19 alleged offenders, two were officers, two were chief petty officers, eight were petty officers, two were E3 and below, four were civilians and one was unknown.

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

* Among the alleged victims, one was an officer, one was a chief petty officer, five were petty officers, seven were E3 and below, four were civilians and one unknown. Of these reported, the alleged victims were 18 females and one male.

To contact a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator at the Department of Defense Safe Help Line, call (877) 995-5247.

To learn more about Navy's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, visit

NNS020724-10. This Day in Naval History - Sept. 12

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1804 - In the First Barbary War, the frigates USS Constellation and USS President capture two ships while attempting to enter the harbor during the blockade, while the brig, USS Argus, and USS Constellation later capture a third vessel attempting to enter.

1855 - Marines and Sailors from the sloop USS John Adams land at Nukulau, Fiji Islands to seek owed debt to Americans from the King of Fiji, Cakobau. Refusing, he appeals to the American Ambassador in Australia. After years of refusal, Fiji becomes a British possession in 1874 instead.

1942 - The Brazilian Navy is placed under operational control of the US Navy. The Navy is commanded by Vice Adm. Jonas H. Ingram as Commander, South Atlantic Force, Atlantic Fleet.

1944 - USS Growler (SS 215) torpedoes and sinks the Japanese destroyer Shikinami 240 miles south of Hong Kong, and escort vessel Hirado 250 miles east of Hainan Island.

1944 - USS Noa (APD 24) and USS Fullam (DD 474) collide off the Palau Islands. Despite this, USS Fullam, not only rescues all of USS Noa's men, but she also carries out daily shore bombardment and night harassing fire.

1966 - Gemini 11 is launched. Gemini 11's Commander is Charles Conrad Jr., Command Pilot. The mission lasts two days and 23 hours and includes 44 orbits at an altitude of 1368.9 km. An (HS 3) helicopter from USS Guam (LPH 9) recovers the crew.

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