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ur annual 2015 USS Constellation CVA/CV-64 Reunion, September 9-14, 2015 is drawing nearer each day and that means the deadline to reserve hotel rooms, at the special Connie rate, is August 7, 2015, no exceptions. You may still make reservations after the deadline at a much higher rate. We are staying at Sheraton Pentagon City, 900 South Orme Street, Arlington, VA 22204, 800-325-3535 ( Refer to your Starscope Newsletter dated June 2015 and below listed sources for more details.

The USS Constellation CVA/CV-64 Association Activity Registration Form must be in AFRI hands no later than August 07, 2015 showing your tours, hotel events and disability/dietary choices. Refer to your Starscope Newsletter dated June 2015 and below listed sources for more details.

If you wish to pre order souvenir Connie Tee shirts, fill out the order form found in the Starscope June 2015 Newsletter and mail to Tommy Best, 2005 Meadow Road, Durham, NC 27705. The order form must be in Tommy’s hand by August 01, 2015. Your shirts will be available for pickup at the ships store during the reunion.

We are anticipating a large turnout and encourage you to act quickly making plans to invite everyone to attend this reunion. You do not have to be a member to attend, you can come see what our reunions are like and then make an informed decision to join the USS Constellation CVA/CV-64 Association while attending the fun week. You must have served on board the “Connie” to join the Association.

Sources of information and forms: (web page)
ussconstellation (facebook page)
starscope newletter dated June 2015

2015 USS Constellation CVA/CV 64 Washington DC Reunion
Check in: Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Check out: Monday, September 14, 2015

Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel
900 South Orme Street
Arlington, Va. 22204

Guests must make own reservations by calling 1-800-325-3535 and identify themselves as member of USS Constellation group.

Single daily rate (includes breakfast for 1): $99.00 + tax
Double daily rate (includes breakfast for 2): $109.00 + tax

Room rates will be available three (3) days before and after the reunion
Cut-off date to reserve a room is Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Complimentary parking
Complimentary shuttle service to and from Metro
Complimentary shuttle service to and from Reagan National
Tours have not been set up yet


Parts of Connie on Ebay

Photos of the 2014 Branson Reunion

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

Important and Interesting USS Constellation Scrapping Links

USS Constellation Last Voyage Site

Voyage of the Carbon Foss

Brooklyn Navy Yard Tribute Wall

Click Here for our 2014 Memorial List Page


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Headline Military News

Recent Navy News:

NNS150726-02. Navy Chaplains Bring Church to Chattanooga Service Members

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael J. Lieberknecht, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (NNS) -- Navy chaplains from areas surrounding Tennessee held ministry services July 26 at the Air National Guard building for Sailors and Marines displaced from their offices after the shooting at Navy Operational Support Center Chattanooga July 16.

"We are here because we want to be here for the Sailors and Marines," said Lt. Cmdr. David Hicks, a Navy chaplain from Charleston, South Carolina. "They don't have the choice of going down the street to their regular church, so we come here to give them that which they cant have."

Services were offered in two different rooms for Catholic service and Protestant worship. The focus of the services was coming together for healing.

"The uniform of faith is not about our differences, but our unity as people," said Lt. Joel DeGraeve, Navy chaplain from Columbus, Ohio. "To reach out to each other and build each other up when we're having life struggles is the real church."

The supporting chaplains arrived in Chattanooga shortly after the shooting to provide any peace of mind to the service members.

"Through counseling, prayer, encouragement and good solid advice and being able to comfort them at a time like this are things we have been doing everyday," said Lt. Cmdr. Dan Reardon, Navy chaplain from Meridian, Mississippi.

The chaplains will continue to work 14- to 18-hour days with Sailors and Marines affected by the events on July 16.

"In this situation we're focused on supporting our families, Sailors and Marines in this community," said Reardon.

NNS150725-01. US 3rd Fleet Holds Change of Command Ceremony

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class K. Cecelia Engrums, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Vice Adm. Nora Tyson relieved Vice Adm. Kenny Floyd as commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet during a change of command and retirement ceremony held on Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) while pierside at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego July 24.

During the ceremony, Floyd retired from active duty after 35 years of honorable naval service. He assumed command of U.S. 3rd Fleet in May 2013.

Under Floyd's strategic vision, 3rd Fleet expanded its influence and contributions across all maritime lines of operations, theater security cooperation, experimentation, disaster relief, and joint operations.

At sea, Floyd served in several F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft squadrons, including tours with the Jolly Rogers of VF-84, the Grim Reapers of VF-101 as an instructor, and the Red Rippers of VF-11. He participated in Operation Desert Storm while serving as a department head with the Starfighters of VF-33. He served as the executive officer and subsequently the commanding officer of the VF-32 Swordsmen. Other sea tours include executive officer of USS Constellation (CV 64) and deputy commander of Carrier Air Wing 7 where he participated in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Ashore, Floyd served on the staff of Naval Space Command, as aide to the commander and subsequently as flag lieutenant, Commander, Carrier Group 8. He served as chief staff officer on the Fighter Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet staff and completed a tour on the staff of the U.S. military representative to the NATO Military Committee. He was the deputy operations officer on the staff of Joint Task Force Southwest Asia; chief of staff to Commander, Naval Air Forces; director, Aviation and Aircraft Carrier Plans and Requirements (OPNAV N880); deputy director, Air Warfare Division (OPNAV N88B); commander, Strike Force Training Pacific; director Air Warfare Division (OPNAV N88); director, Warfare Integration (OPNAV N88F); and as assistant deputy chief of naval operations, Warfare Systems (OPNAV N9B).

Floyd reflected on his career while thanking his peers and the men and women of the U.S. Navy.

"Without a doubt, it has been the greatest privilege of my life to lead the men and women who have volunteered to defend this country," said Floyd. "Debbie (Floyd's wife) and I continue to be humbled by the magnitude of the responsibility that you carry and strengthened by the willingness with which you carry it out."

Adm. Scott H. Swift, commander U.S. Pacific Fleet, served as the guest speaker.

"Floyd, in summary, you did it right," said Swift. "Sailors of both today's and tomorrow's Navy are better prepared by your contributions, example and leadership throughout your career than they have ever been. On their behalf, and on behalf of a grateful nation, thank you for your leadership and service."

Swift presented Floyd with his second Distinguished Service Medal as an end of career award, recognizing him for his exceptional meritorious service to the United States Navy.

"As Pink departs the pattern, there is no better officer to take the lead here at 3rd Fleet than Nora Tyson," said Swift. "When I travel around the theater, everywhere I go, I hear about the great work she has done leading operations and building partnerships in the Pacific Fleet AOR (area of responsibility)."

Tyson's most recent assignment was as deputy commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, where she reported in July 2013.

"I have to admit, it is a little intimidating relieving a legend and a rock star," said Tyson. "It is truly an honor to follow in your footsteps and I know those are big footsteps to fill."

Tyson's commands include commander, Task Force 73/commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific based in Singapore and, most recently, commander, Carrier Strike Group 2, where she led the USS George H.W. Bush Strike Group on its maiden deployment. She also commanded amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), leading the Navy's contributions to disaster relief efforts on the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She also deployed twice to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her shore tours include director of staff for Commander, Naval Forces Europe/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, and as executive assistant for the chief of naval operations.

"We are challenged to apply our very best efforts to ensure that we maximize the value of the resources that the American people give us," said Tyson. "Third Fleet will continue to be leaders in the innovative application of naval power."

U.S. 3rd Fleet was formed during World War II on March 15, 1943 under the command of Fleet Adm. William F. "Bull" Halsey. It 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

NNS150727-19. Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit 7 Receives Commissioning Pennant

From Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit 7 Public Affairs

ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- The Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit (NEPMU) 7 celebrated its first year of operations with a Commissioning Pennant and Plank Owner ceremony July 24.

The event celebrates the final stage in re-establishing the unit which had supported the U.S. 6th Fleet and European area of operations for almost 50 years before it was decommissioned in 2006. Rear Adm. Terry Moulton, commander, Navy Medicine East attended as guest of honor.

"You really are the force multiplier, just one of you deployed in support of operations can support a population of 10 to 20 thousand just by fixing a water system or spraying for different vectors. You really wasted no time getting established and making a difference and can be very proud of all that you have accomplished over the year," said Moulton. "I look forward to hearing the great stories and accomplishments of your support to the fleet as we go forward, I thank you for what you do each and every day and truly appreciate the partnership that you have here with the hospital and the rest of Navy Medicine in supporting the fleet."

The unit was officially re-commissioned by Vice Adm. Matthew Nathan, Navy Surgeon General, on June 20, 2014 in a ribbon cutting and commissioning ceremony. Only six personnel had been assigned to NEPMU-7 at the time of the re-commissioning. Now fully manned and operationally capable, the officers and enlisted personnel of NEPMU-7 formally recognized this achievement by encasing their commissioning pennant for display and presenting each member with a framed certificate granting them the entitlements of plank owner.

"Most people go through their entire military careers and never have a chance to do this, a chance to stand up a unit from scratch, to become a plank owner," said Capt. Juliann Althoff, NEPMU-7 officer in charge. "This ceremony is designed to celebrate and recognize our NEPMU-7 plank owners who got our unit where it is today - fully manned and mission capable in an amazingly short period of time."

The NEPMU-7 officers and crew presented U.S. Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota and U.S. Naval Hospital Rota with honorary Plank Owner certificates in appreciation and acknowledgment of the critical support they played in the unit's standup. Rear Adm. Moulton was also presented with a replica commissioning pennant and an honorary Plank Owner certificate.

The unit commemorated several important milestones including a christening ceremony on May 28, 2014 when they moved from a temporary office space inside U.S. Naval Hospital Rota and into their current building. This symbolic move from "dry-dock" was followed by the unit's official commissioning ceremony.

Over the last year the unit has taken on its full complement of active duty staff, nearly tripling in size. This event marks the end of the unit's "sea trials" as it has proved itself self-sufficient and fully operationally capable.

"NEPMU-7 has now written another chapter in our rich history by getting this proud unit delivered back online (and once again) providing services to the fleet and expeditionary forces, I look forward to great things in our future as we begin the next chapter in our history." said Althoff.

As is the nature of comradery aboard NAVSTA Rota, the unit's ceremony was supported by enlisted personnel from various tenant commands, including the return of Pako, the military working dog who served as one of Vice Adm. Nathan's sideboys last year.

NEPMU-7 provides public health support to Navy and Marine Corps forces throughout Europe and Africa. For more information on NEPMU-7 products and services: .

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

NNS150727-18. New Chiefs' Names to be Release Next Week

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Names of Sailors selected to advance to chief petty officer by the fiscal year 2016 E-7 selection board are scheduled to be posted to commands' BUPERS Online (BOL) accounts Wednesday, Aug. 5, with public release via NAVADMIN Thursday, Aug. 6 at 11:00 a.m. eastern time.

Approximately 4,100 quotas were announced in June with an overall advancement opportunity of 23.64 percent for this cycle, just a .45 point drop from last cycle and above the 10-year average of 21.94 percent.

The selection board is not required to fill all quotas; only the best and most fully qualified candidates are selected for advancement to chief.

Because the Navy advances to vacancies, opportunity varies by rating, though advancement planners work to smooth overall opportunity across cycles.

NNS150727-17. Fargo Navy Week Visits Fargo Boy Scouts

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew Jandik, Navy Recruiting District Minneapolis

FARGO, N.D. (NNS) -- Boy Scouts from the Northern Lights Council and their families spent the morning with Rear Adm. Stuart B. Munsch, senior military assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense and members of various Navy commands as part of Fargo Navy Week.

The event was organized to give the local Boy Scouts time with Navy personnel so that they could interact with the Sailors and their equipment.

The first event was a re-enlistment of a local Fargo Sailor by Munsch. Following the ceremony, Munsch talked with the Boy Scouts about the importance of ceremonies and traditions. Munsch also told the Boy Scouts his story about growing up in nearby Oakes, North Dakota.

"The Scouts can relate to what Adm. Munsch talked to them about because we have a lot of our own ceremonies as well," said Ryan Courneya, Senior District Executive for the Fargo Northern Lights Council. "I really appreciate the Navy coming out to help further our Scout's knowledge and doing so in a relatable way.

Some of the other Navy personnel in attendance were Navy Diver 2nd Class Ronald Baker II, from Coatsville, Pennsylvania, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician 3rd Class Juan Ramirez, from Houston, Texas. Both Baker and Ramirez are assigned to EOD Mobile Unit 3.

"The robots are awesome," said Alex, a young Boy Scout. "It was really cool to get to drive it around with the Navy guys who use it."

"The Boy Scouts have been awesome," Ramirez said. "They are really into what we have to say."

Ramirez and Baker brought robots and dive gear with them to show people what they use out in the field. It gave the kids a chance to see first hand what capabilities they have.

"I thought it was really cool that the robot gave me a water bottle," a young Cub Scout said.

For new information on all Fargo Navy Week events, visit the official Fargo Navy Week gallery at or "Follow" @NavyOutreach on Twitter. Join the conversation on social media by using #NavyWeek.

NNS150727-16. Pacific Partnership Concludes Successful Visit to Solomon Islands

By Sgt. James Gulliver, USMC, Pacific Partnership Public Affairs

HONIARA, Guadalcanal (NNS) -- The people of the Solomon Islands and members of Pacific Partnership 2015 celebrated the completion of a successful two-week mission by the Military Sealift Command joint high speed vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) July 24.

Millinocket and embarked Task Forager provided medical, engineering, veterinary and dental support to Guadalcanal and Maliata citizens.

"Just two weeks ago we began our mission in the Solomon Islands and today we stand proud of what we achieved together as a team," said Commodore, Task Force Forager, Capt. James Meyer, during a reception celebrating the completion of work in the Solomon Islands. "This mission could not have been accomplished without the joint efforts of everyone here tonight."

The leadership of the Solomon Islands expressed their gratitude for all the assistance brought by Pacific Partnership 2015 personnel.

"We thank you so much for everything you have done for this country," said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honorable Milner Tozaka. "What you have done will continue to improve the lives of our people even after you have left our shores."

Seabees and Marines spent 12 days renovating Vura Primary School to improve the learning environment for the 450 students who attend the school.

The medical teams trained more than 160 Solomon Island medical professionals, famers, and police. They saw more than 560 patients, 51 animals and distributed more than 420 spectacles.

"The accomplishment of our medical team has been spectacular as they built capacity and capability in both Auki, Maliata and here in Honiara," Meyer said.

Meyer also spoke of the warm welcome they received in the Solomon Islands and how the youth of the nation left an impression on him.

"I've noticed that what sets the Solomon Islands apart from the other countries we have visited on Pacific Partnership is the youth's eagerness to learn, the adult's enthusiasm to hone their skills and use our training after we leave," he said. "Your kindness and hospitality has touched everyone on our team."

Millinocket departed the Solomon Islands July 26 and is en route to the Philippines to continue the Pacific Partnership 2015 mission.

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

Now in its 10th iteration, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region. While training for crisis conditions, Pacific Partnership missions have provided medical care to approximately 270,000 patients and veterinary services to more than 38,000 animals. Additionally, the mission has provided critical infrastructure developments to host nations through the completion of more than 180 engineering projects.

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

NNS150727-15. Fargo Navy Week Goes to Kids Camp

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Greg Badger, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

FARGO, N.D. (NNS) -- Fargo Navy Week Sailors participated in the Minnesota State University Moorhead's College for Kids and Teens camp on July 23 in Moorhead, Minnesota.

Sailors shared their Navy experiences in the functional areas of robotics, grossology, graphic arts and rocket building.

"Having someone that has flown before, and has that knowledge and expertise was awesome for them [students]," said Marissa Van Vleet, College for Kids NASA Space Camp teacher. "Just watching them ask questions like what type wings will work best, are propellers good, should the nose be long or short?"

The wide range of classes offered by College for Kids and Teens allowed Sailors of several skill sets to provide assistance in their field of expertise.

"I worked in the visual arts section, helping provide instruction for students on the basics of raster based animation," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Jandik, Navy Recruiting District Minneapolis.

The students were interested to learn skills in areas not normally offered in their regular classes.

"It is pretty fun, my Grandma is a graphic designer and she wants me to know how to use Photoshop, " said Machenzie, a College for Kids and Teens student.

The Photoshop classes taught were not the run-of-the-mill, basic blemish touch ups or fixing a crooked horizon line.

"We are creating animations using Photoshop," said Alana Wilhelm, College for Kids and Teens Graphic Design and Creative Animation teacher. "The main reason is so the students can learn the short cut keys, rotation, moving text and how animations happen."

At lunchtime the grills were lit and Navy Band Great Lakes put on a show providing entertainment for all those in attendance. The Navy science, technology, engineering and mathematics truck was also on display allowing students to get a hands-on preview of how the Navy makes use of those disciplines.

With stomachs full it was time for students to get back to their classes and for the NASA Space Camp students to fine-tune their rockets.

"I was part of the NASA Space Camp and we actually built water rockets out of two liter bottles using construction paper, cardboard, paint and a lot of duct tape," said Cmdr. Tim Oswalt, Commanding Officer Navy Recruiting District Minneapolis. "The kids did great, they had a lot of creative designs."

Once the rockets were complete the true test was awaiting the young engineers.

"We made rockets and walked down to the baseball diamond to launch the rockets," said Carter, a College for Kids student. "He [Oswalt] was really fun and he helped me with my rocket, he taught me how to make it right."

From students to teachers the Sailors had made an impact on those they were able to help.

"They [Sailors] were really involved in making the rockets as aerodynamic as possible," said Van Vleet. "We had a rocket go farther then we have ever had it go in the last three years we taught this class!"

NNS150727-14. Solomon Islands Celebrates Completion of School Renovations With Seabees

By Sgt. James Gulliver, USMC, Pacific Partnership Public Affairs

HONIARA, Guadalcanal (NNS) -- Pacific Partnership 2015 personnel celebrated the completion of Vura Primary School during a ribbon cutting ceremony July 23 in the Solomon Islands.

Allen Ketei, the principal of Vura Primary School, personally thanked the service members involved in the project for their hard work.

"Because of everything you have done for us, now we can instruct more students and provide them with the resources they need to be successful," said Ketei. "We could not have completed this without you."

U.S. Seabees and Marines assigned to Task Force Forager embarked aboard the Military Sealift Command joint high speed vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) began renovations of the school July 11. In 12 days the Seabees and Marines put new roofing on a building, poured concrete sidewalks and painted the entire complex. Because of their work, Vura Primary School can now hold up to 450 additional students.

Deputy Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, the Honorable Douglas Ete praised the Pacific Partnership team, saying they left their mark on the Solomon Islands and his country will not forget what they have done for them.

"Education is very important to the people of the Solomon Islands," he said. "This kind act will give us a push to put our focus on education."

The day also held special meaning for the U.S. Marines and Seabees in attendance as they remembered those who went before, fighting on the island 73 years ago during the Battle of Guadalcanal.

"Seventy-three years later, we are not fighting in the Solomon Islands, we are here with great compassion and continue to build for peace with freedom," said Commodore, Task Force Forager, Capt. James Meyer.

Meyer quoted a famous Seabee inscription, "'With willing hearts and skillful hands, the difficult we do at once. The impossible takes a bit longer.' The engineering team completed the near impossible in two weeks with their work," he said.

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

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

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

NNS150727-12. USNS Mercy Crew Participate in Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief Seminar in Philippines

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Christopher E. Tucker, Pacific Partnership 2015 Public Affairs

ROXAS CITY, Philippines (NNS) -- Multinational crew members of the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) wrapped up participation in a humanitarian assistance disaster relief (HADR) seminar July 24 hosted by Philippine government agencies at Capiz State University.

Dozens of stakeholders representing a diverse makeup of countries and organizations attended the weeklong event to better prepare all involved in responding to a natural disaster in the region.

"This was the first time that something like this has been done in the Philippines, where a whole region came together [to work on disaster response,]" said U.S. Army Capt. John Karlsson, a civil affairs team leader. Representatives from six provinces and ten agencies from the Philippines were in attendance, including the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard, and multiple government agencies.

The seminar featured discussions from subject matter experts on lessons learned from HADR operations during the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines), a category 5 super typhoon, which cut across the central Philippines in 2013. The storm killed more than 6,000 people and caused more than $2 billion in damage.

"We cannot work alone as first responders. We need help in [the province of] Antique," said Leoderrick Benitez, a first responder who works for the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) for Antique. "For instance, in Typhoon Yolanda, we were very overwhelmed during that typhoon. We need some logistics resources and a network [we can call upon.] That's why we are very grateful to work with people from all of these other countries."

Filipino first responders were taught how to use a vehicle extrication tool to safely remove crash victims from crushed vehicles. Through donations made by Project Handclasp, 10 extrication tool sets were distributed to PDRRMO teams.

"We were able to distribute this equipment, show some people some online videos, and give some hands-on training. We know that this is now going to save lives," said Karlsson.

Members of the Japan Self-Defense Force also provided a briefing on the disaster response efforts following the Great East Earthquake of Japan in March 2011.

"It was apparent during the workshop that our Japanese friends wanted to share their experiences. The one thing that they expressed was the difficulties that they had during the earthquake and tsunami," said Giselle Grace Gerial, a representative from the Philippine Department of the Interior. "If I hadn't interacted with them, I might have thought that the Philippines is behind compared to the things other countries are doing. But, after interacting with them I realized that we are actually on par in terms of planning, but our challenges lie in implementation of our plan."

Pilots and air crewmen from U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21, "Blackjacks," provided training on how to find and mark helicopter landing zones in the field. Also, the aircrew provided a take-off and landing demonstration, as well as familiarization flights at Capiz State University's sports stadium.

"What we saw during the relief efforts after Typhoon Yolanda, was when a helicopter tries to land, so many people flocked to the helicopter landing zone," said Karlsson. "It's a problem across multiple agencies... What we were able to do is bring everyone together and talk about roles and responsibilities, and actually practice that."

U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy medical personnel also provided training on how to respond to crushing injuries during a disaster scenario. However, probably the most valuable lesson learned during the seminar was learning to work together across multiple countries and agencies, said Karlsson.

"What we really did was get people to solve problems together," he said. "The region was very interested in collaborating together as a whole. Just by putting all the right people in the room together, there were new ideas, and it showed people how to work together."

Now in its tenth iteration, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region.

Mercy arrived in Roxas City July 18 and will depart Aug. 4 to transit to Subic Bay and continue its mission in the Philippines.

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

NNS150727-10. Navy Medicine Ambassadors Raise Awareness at Fargo Navy Week

By Steve Van Der Werff, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

FARGO, N.D. (NNS) -- Navy Medicine personnel traveled to Fargo to raise awareness about Navy Medicine's mission during Fargo Navy Week July 20-21.

While in Fargo, the personnel - known as Navy Medicine ambassadors - interacted with local community members to foster ties and inform audiences of career opportunities in Navy Medicine.

Navy dentist Capt. Jonathan Haun, Navy physician Lt. Cmdr. Jami Peterson and Chief Hospital Corpsman Brian Belk visited with local Boys and Girls Clubs, attended Fargo Public Library's Navy science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fair, met with the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and participated in the city's "Party in the Park" at Rabanus Park.

During each engagement, the trio discussed dental hygiene, basic first aid, good nutrition and exercise habits, as well as personal experiences about their careers in Navy Medicine.

"Most people don't have a lot of information or knowledge about Navy Medicine so this was an important opportunity to demonstrate to the people of Fargo how Navy Medicine provides world-class care to Sailors, Marines and their families around the world," said Belk.

The Navy Medicine ambassadors also utilized medical equipment such as stethoscopes, wound dressings, airway devices and trauma pack to facilitate questions and discussions about their careers.

"Because some of the items were very recognizable, such as the stethoscope and bandages, and some not so easy to identify, the children were engaged, curious and full of detailed questions. The amount of insight and curiosity they displayed was truly amazing," said Peterson.

"It was the interactive nature of these sessions that provided the most value. It created a comfortable environment where the ambassadors were approachable and engaging and the information was enriching for the children. Additionally, our uniforms were an endless source of curiosity and questions for the participants," she said.

Peterson also said she hopes the local citizenry saw the valuable role Navy Medicine has in humanitarian missions, supporting the warfighter and their families, and providing medical care in dangerous and austere conditions. Most importantly, she hopes they recognized the potential career opportunities that exist for their children to serve in the world's largest Navy because they saw someone just like them.

"I'm a small-town girl from a landlocked state representing both the Navy and the people of Fargo. I know the citizens of Fargo and the Fargo area appreciated our presence because we were met with questions, discussion and warm greetings at every turn," Peterson said.

"It was amazing to be in a position to share Navy life with the people of Fargo. When I was growing up in the area, I never thought of the Navy or the opportunities that existed with the Navy because it was not the most visible of the armed forces in the region."

The Navy Week program is designed to raise awareness about the Navy in areas that traditionally do not have a naval presence and include community relations projects, speaking engagements, and media interviews with flag hosts and area Sailors.

Navy Medicine is a global healthcare network of 63,000 personnel that provides health care support to the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, their families and veterans, in high operational-tempo environments, at expeditionary medical facilities, medical treatment facilities, hospitals, clinics, hospital ships and research units around the world.

For more news from Navy Medicine, visit

NNS150727-09. Prep Work to Testify for Navy Medicine Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examiners

By Douglas H Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- From the clinical to the courtroom, the initial Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examiner (SAMFE) training held at Naval Hospital Bremerton switched to the military justice process for the final day on July 24.

Several members of the Navy Judge Advocate General Corps' were on hand to share their professional experience, insight and information with the examiners and their specific role at trial. The goal was to educate, inform and perhaps even alleviate any pre-trial jitters that could arise if and when any of them gets called upon to testify.

"There is a reason why some in Navy Medicine don't want to do SAMFE and that's because of nervousness from having to go into court and testify. This training today gives us the opportunity to go through a mock direct examination and cross examination process. We're learning hints and tips from Navy legal experts in going to court," said Lt. Cmdr. Lacy L. Gee, Nurse Corps, Certified Nurse Operating Room, Main Operating Room division officer, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and organizer of the SAMFE training at NHB.

Naval Hospital Bremerton's Judge Advocate General, Lt. Keleigh Anderson, opened the military justice brief by going over Uniformed Code of Military Justice articles, the difference between rape and sexual assault, the step-by-step process of how an allegation becomes a case and where a SAMFE fits in the judicial scheme of things.

"As a SAMFE you are there to teach the judge and jury what you know. You are an educator. You are not there to determine if the case happened but to help make an informed decision," said Anderson, adding that the examiner's priority is always the health and well-being of the patient since a SAMFE is a medical provider and not a law enforcement agent.

The bottom line, according to Anderson, is that any SAMFE who does get called to testify has got to realize that not only is their credibility at stake, but also that of the official evidence. There are several common-sense steps to follow when testifying. They are,

Be prepared. Review the medical records and all documentation and photos (if applicable).

Be precise. Use terminology correctly. Sloppy wording can be problematic on a cross examination.

Be concise. Only answer the question asked.

Be plain-spoken. Medical jargon gets lost in the dialogue.

"A SAMFE is supported by medical experience, science and practice. They are not there to make the case. The medical testimony is only one aspect of a sexual assault case," stressed Anderson.

A viable resource that the Navy established to help those dealing with the traumatic effects of sexual assault is the Victims' Legal Counsel Program that was started in 2013.

The program offers attorney-client relationship with privileged communications and duty to represent the client. Active duty and reservists are assisted anytime and anywhere. Dependents, retirees and certain civilians when assaulted by active duty members are also helped.

"It's important to share that in my capacity as a victim legal counsel I don't work for the prosecutor, defense or command. I work solely for the victim and form that attorney-client relationship directly with victim(s) of sexual assault," explained Lt. Cmdr. Steven Meredith, Judge Advocate General Corps and victims' legal counsel assigned to Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, who covers all of the West Sound region/greater Kitsap Peninsula area.

Meredith provides legal advice, assistance and advocacy related to alleged sexual offense. He give clients a 'voice and choice,' protects a client's privacy, and advances and advocate a client's interests

"Any time there is any sexual assault case, the sooner I can meet with the victim the better," continued Meredith. "I can help with their concerns, such as explaining the process so they can make informed decisions. I also can advocate for them in court; be with them doing an interview with NCIS; and if they are worried about collateral misconduct, such as underage drinking, their sharing is confidential and (falls under) restricted reporting."

"One thing to also remember is that if a victim legal counsel is involved as soon as possible, it lessens the victim having to retell their story a million times," Anderson added.

Testimony strategy was then shared by Lt. Cmdr. Travis J. Owens, senior trial counsel assigned to Region Legal Service Office Northwest, and Lt. Julie Sherman-Dumais of the Military Justice Department, Region Legal Service Office Northwest.

"As a SAMFE, you are not there to give your personal opinion. You will be called upon to admit the sexual assault forensic exam (SAFE) report and to explain the report," stated Owens, sharing such practical strategies as reviewing documents, protocols, exam procedures and other issues all part of the process to make sure a SAMFE and counsel are on the same page.

Owens and Sherman-Dumais went through a mock filed report of a simulated sexual assault, peppering called-forth examiners with queries to test their response ability.

Lt. Matthew Landon from the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) calmly handled and explained every question from Owens.

"That's what we're looking for," commented Owens on Landon's performance, explaining that direct examinations rely on open-ended questions whereas cross-examination questions differ stylistically from direct by using leading questions that are usually answered by a 'yes' or 'no.'

"The long and short of it is that a SAMFE doesn't have to sweat it. We will prep beforehand. We're here today to show the concepts," Owens said.

According to Cmdr. Gregory Freitag, Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) Sexual Assault Medical Program manager, historically the sexual assault medical forensic examiner role has been seen as an arm of law enforcement.

"When a provider presented themselves as a law-enforcement proxy, a lot of the time their testimony would be discounted. We're going over the cross examination skills needed and refining how to be objective witnesses," Freitag said.

Judicial expertise and medical experience aside, there was one common assessment throughout the training scenario that linked everyone together in combatting sexual assault.

"Victims...look like everybody," stated Owens.

NHB held the SAMFE training for the week of July 20-24 for experienced Navy sexual assault medical forensic examiners.

The training featured enhanced curriculum to augment the command's response ability in preventing and eliminating sexual assault, as well as continuing to provide timely patient-centered care to any victim in need.

"This training is very important to the Navy. It has the attention, alignment and purpose of all the service surgeons general. Congress has called for the uniform training and this is our beginning. We will deliver patient-centered trauma support and care. The focus of the course is that the victim comes first," said Cmdr. Gregory Freitag, Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) Sexual Assault Medical Program manager.

Freitag is part of the BUMED team directing the advanced and enhanced training, with an emphasis on policy, headquarters oversight, and being able to address questions and provide insight to how the training relates to N

NNS150727-08. Navy Medicine Announces New Medical Career Opportunity for Enlisted Sailors

By Mariah Felipe, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy is offering a unique opportunity to all enlisted Sailors interested in a medical career with Navy Medicine.

Enlisted Sailors have the opportunity to pursue a medical degree through the Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program (EMDP2) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Science (USUHS) in Bethesda, Maryland.

The program, which convened in 2014 with a class of five soldiers and five airmen, is now seeking enlisted Navy applicants for the 2016 class.

Five slots are allotted for enlisted Sailors in the 2016 EMDP2 cohort. The application deadline is November 1 and selections will convene in December 2015.

EMDP2 is a two-year program that provides an opportunity for academically-promising enlisted service members to complete preparatory coursework that will make them competitive medical school applicants.

"I'm excited that the Navy is able to offer this kind of program to enlisted Sailors" said Lt. Cmdr. Peterson, Navy and Marine EMDP2 board president. "This program is a great addition to Navy Medicine and is a very unique opportunity for interested and qualified Sailors to play a vital role in supporting our warfighters."

EMDP2 is a partnership between the Uniformed Services University (USUHS) and the armed services. It is comprised of a 24-month, full-time academic program that includes intensive coursework, preparation, and mentoring for the student's medical school application. Once the program is completed, students will be eligible to compete for entrance into USUHS or any civilian medical school in the United States. Students are not guaranteed admission or commission upon successful completion of the program.

The program is open to all enlisted Sailors with less than 10 years of service. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited four year university. International bachelor degrees will be accepted only if the applicant has a master's degree obtained in the United States or Canada. Applicants must also be citizens and Sailors of good standing with no record of court-martial conviction, nonjudicial punishment, or civilian felony charges. For a full listing of application requirements reference NAVADMIN 174/15: .

The selection process is a collaborative approach between the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) and USUHS. Applications are vetted through a Navy and Marine Corps candidate selection board at BUMED, which carefully reviews each packet and applicant. After this review, the BUMED EMDP2 candidate selection board recommends the top candidates to USUHS, which ultimately determines who is accepted for the program. The applicants will remain on active duty while pursuing an Undergraduate Medical Certificate at George Mason University-Prince William Campus in Manassas, Virginia. Pay and benefits at current pay grade will still be allotted and all educational expenses including tuition and books are paid for by the program.

Navy Medicine is a global health care network of 63,000 personnel that provide health care support to the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, their families and veterans in high operational tempo environments, at expeditionary medical facilities, medical treatment facilities, hospitals, clinics, hospital ships and research units around the world.

For more news from Navy Medicine, visit

NNS150727-07. Navy's Senior Enlisted Visits Dahlgren Sailors

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Martin L. Carey, Office of the MCPON

DAHLGREN, Va. (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens spent the morning with leadership of the Center for Surface Combat Systems, toured the facilities innovative touch-screen simulation training systems and hosted an all-hands call at Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, Virginia.

"There are a lot of junior Sailors here who haven't been to a ship yet," said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Joshua George, a student attending C school. "Having MCPON come and listen to what they have to say gives a different view point, which I think is good."

During the call MCPON took pictures, expressed his thanks and answered questions from the 150 attendees.

"This is my first time visiting Dalhgren, and I am truly impressed by the quality of Sailors here," said Stevens. "The caliber of individuals who raise their hand in service of our Nation is exceptional."

MCPON stated to the audience that it was important for him to hear what thoughts, concerns or questions they had in order for him to know what the fleet is thinking. He then took questions from the audience on a range of topics from the safety of Navy recruiting stations to hair regulations.

Fire Controlman Seaman Allison Baker asked about changes to the Navy's Body Composition Assessment (BCA) standards.

"Changes within the Physical Fitness Assessment program are about ensuring total Sailor fitness, wellness and mission readiness," said Stevens. "What we are not doing is lowering the standard."

Before concluding the call, MCPON left the audience with his "Foundations to Success."

"The first thing is to work hard, every single day. The second is to stay out of trouble. All that hard work will quickly go away if you do something you're not supposed to," said Stevens. "The third, and I believe the most important thing, is to be a good and decent person."

For more news from the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, visit

NNS150727-06. NSA Mid-South Hosts Back-to-School Expo

From NSA Mid-South Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South hosted a back-to-school expo on July 24 to help personnel and their families get ready for the upcoming school year.

With most local schools starting back Aug. 10, the expo provided an opportunity for personnel on base to receive school supplies for their children in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Backpacks were donated by Operation Homefront, a national organization which provides assistance to service members and their families. Backpacks were available to all service members E6 and below for their school-aged kids.

The military sorority Kappa Epsilon Psi also had school supplies available for those who attended the expo.

"It's actually amazing," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Kelly Smith of Navy Recruiting Command who brought her kids to the expo. "It's really hard for parents, especially with multiple children, to get started with back to school supplies."

The expo is organized each year by School Liaison Officer (SLO) Jennifer Lundy to help parents and students shift gears in the final weeks of summer so they can begin to think about what they need to make going back to school a smooth transition.

"The sooner parents begin getting ready for the new school year, the sooner they know what challenges they may face...and the sooner they can come to me for help," said Lundy.

As SLO, Lundy has a close working relationship with the local schools and is familiar with local school rules for zoning, transfers, and required documentation. She is available to help parents as they navigate a new school and new schools districts.

Lundy said she was grateful for the support from the organizations that participated in the expo this year.

"I think the expo went very, very well," said Lundy. "Operation Homefront did a great job providing backpacks and I appreciate Kappa Epsilon Psi bringing in additional school supplies."

The expo also featured a fashion show by the Navy Exchange to show off the fashion trends that would be popular this school year.

For more information about the school liaison program at NSA Mid-South, call 901-874-5343.

NSA Mid-South hosts the Navy's human resources capital hosting Navy Personnel Command, Navy Recruiting Command, and Navy Manpower Analysis Center. For more information about NSA Mid-South, visit .

For more news from Naval Support Activity, Mid-South, visit

NNS150727-05. Fitzgerald Implements SECNAV's New Initiative During a Darwin Port Visit

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

DARWIN, Australia (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) implemented the Secretary of the Navy's (SECNAV) new initiative to pay husbanding service providers (HSP) during a port visit to Darwin, July 20-24 by using a new process, called Off-Ship Bill Pay (OSBP).

The new process was developed to simplify and address changes to the Navy's HSP procurement and bill paying, by removing the treasury check payment from the ship's disbursing officer during port visits, which will instead be paid via invoicing, receipt, acceptance, and property transfer (IRAPT).

The new OSBP process builds on the procure-to-pay (P2P) pilot program that was completed by the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82) and USS Mustin (DDG 89) in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility earlier this year.

"This was a tremendous opportunity to exercise SECNAV's initiative," said Cmdr. Christopher England, commanding officer of Fitzgerald. "This initiative allows for a better system of accountability for Navy ships in foreign ports and allows them to have further control over the quality of service they receive."

During Fitzgerald's port visit to Darwin, the ship met with representatives and contracting officers from Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP), Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka and U.S. Pacific Fleet who helped to provide guidance on the OSBP initiative that will be implemented fleet wide in the new 2016 fiscal year, Oct. 1.

"OSBP will be a great asset to the Navy as it will provide additional checks and balances to ensure all billing information is correct and that we are receiving the services we ordered," said Lt. Bryce Hicks, the Fitzgerald's supply officer. "In the long term it will help simplify the process and having the opportunity to go live this week gives the Navy the ability to learn how to use the system in the most effective ways possible before Oct. 1."

U.S. Navy ships will be able to use the new OSBP initiative in order to provide a flexible mechanism to remove HSP bill payments from ships that can be utilized by all ship classes to provide necessities such as water, food, transportation and supplies during visits to foreign ports.

"OSBP takes advantage of existing technologies that will help simplify procuring and paying for services while providing a level of accountability that did not exist before," said Cmdr. Robert Shu, the Fitzgerald's executive officer.

Fitzgerald, one of seven destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15, is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS150727-04. US Navy Increases Cooperation, Enhances Partnership With Timor Leste Defense Forces During CARAT

From Task Force 73 Public Affairs

DILI, Timor Leste (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy and Timor-Leste Defense Force (F-FDTL) will conduct the third Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise in Dili, Timor-Leste, and in the vicinity of Port Hera Naval Base, July 27-28.

CARAT Timor-Leste is part of an annual bilateral exercise series between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of nine partner nations, including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor-Leste. As a longstanding exercise series in Southeast Asia, CARAT enables regional navies to work together through cooperative training events, exchanges, and symposia.

"CARAT Timor-Leste provides an outstanding venue to broaden our partnership with the Timor-Leste Defense Force based on shared security interests," said Rear Adm. Charlie Williams, commander, Task Force (CTF) 73. "Through our bilateral training and exchanges, our Sailors are working side-by-side with their Timor-Leste counterparts, creating meaningful professional relationships and enhancing cooperation between our navies."

During this year's CARAT exercise, U.S. Navy Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 and security personnel assigned to Navy Coastal Riverine Group 1 will conduct civil-engineer exchanges and security training with Timor-Leste defense forces.

CARAT Timor-Leste also includes a community service and outreach project providing an opportunity for U.S. and Timor-Leste defense forces to interact with the local community. Approximately 400 service members from the two militaries will participate in this year's exercise.

CARAT is one aspect of the growing U.S. and Timor-Leste partnership, which has included annual port calls by U.S. Navy ships, visits by senior U.S. Navy and Marine Corps leaders, and ongoing civic action projects by U.S. Navy Seabees deployed to Timor-Leste, over the past decade.

"Both navies benefit from this training," said Lt. Luis Ortega, Timor-Leste desk officer and exercise coordinator for CTF 73. "Together we learn from each other and exchange cultural knowledge and military skillsets, which increases capacity of our forces and allows us to work more efficiently together."

Following CARAT Timor-Leste, additional bilateral phases of CARAT will occur from August through November 2015 with Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. The exercises will provide a regional venue to develop strong maritime partnerships that contribute to the greater peace and stability of the region.

As U.S. 7th Fleet's executive agent for theater security cooperation in South and Southeast Asia, CTF 73 conducts advanced planning, organizes resources, and directly supports the execution of maritime exercises, such as the bilateral CARAT series, the Naval Engagement Activity with Vietnam, and the multi-lateral Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

For more news from Commander, Task Force 73, visit

NNS150727-02. NAVSUP FLC Bahrain Tests Off-Ship Bill Pay for Husbanding Services

By Lt. Matthew Lorge, Navy Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Bahrain

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Navy Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Bahrain conducted the first test of Off-Ship Bill Pay (OSBP) procedures for aircraft carrier and cruiser port visits during the week ending July 25 at Khalifa Bin Salman Port, Bahrain.

The new procedures take the responsibility for the ordering and payment of husbanding services, such as tug boats, trash removal, crane support, and fresh water, off of the ship's Supply Department and places it at shore activities. This frees up shipboard personnel for other tasks and provides Navy leaders with more oversight of the husbanding process.

In order to conduct the OSBP test, Code 200, the contracting department of NAVSUP FLC Bahrain, executed a stand-alone husbanding service provider (HSP) contract and issued task orders valued at $672,000 for the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and $124,000 for the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60). While tests have been done on smaller units in the past year, this is the first time an aircraft carrier or cruiser has been tested.

Capt. Sean M. Egge, commanding officer of NAVSUP FLC Bahrain, discussed the importance of the OSBP test and what it means to the fleet.

"The new off-ship bill pay procedures will be a major change from how port visits are conducted fleet wide," said Egge. "Not only will the procedures relieve busy shipboard personnel of the administrative tasks associated with port visit costs, they will provide centralized oversight over the process and ensure the taxpayers are getting the best value for their money."

The new procedures require the ship and vendor to submit their final invoices into inventory, receipt, acceptance and property transfer (iRAPT), a secure web based system for electronic invoicing, receipt, and acceptance. A contracting officer's representative (COR) validates that the two sets of invoices match and submits the accepted invoices for electronic payment by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).

James Cutler, a COR for U.S. Naval Central Command (NAVCENT), explained how the test was being conducted.

"The test is going well so far," said Cutler. "The ships have been doing a great job validating the services they have received via the circle, sign, and date process. Once the port visits are completed, we will review the receipts and ensure they match the final invoices submitted by the vendor."

Upon completion of the tests in the NAVCENT area of responsibility (AOR), along with those in other regions around the world, the next step will be to modify the Navy's existing HSP contracts to allow for payment using this electronic process. This will standardize the way the Navy does business while at the same time making it easier for the vendor to receive payment for services they have provided.

"Executing the test contract for USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Normandy was an important milestone in the off-ship bill payment process" said Salah Hani, a contracting officer at Code 200. "We will review the results of these tests and incorporate any lessons learned into our HSP business processes."

NAVSUP FLC Bahrain has more than 160 military and civilian personnel providing logistics support in the region. The command is one of eight FLCs worldwide in the NAVSUP GLS enterprise.

NAVSUP FLC Bahrain is part of NAVSUP Global Logistics Support (GLS), which provides global logistics for a global Navy. The organization is made up of more than 6,500 military and civilian logistics professionals operating from 105 locations worldwide providing an extensive array of integrated global logistics and contracting services to Navy, Marine Corps, joint operational units, and allied forces across all warfare enterprises.

For more news on NAVSUP FLC Bahrain, visit: or

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit

NNS150727-01. Reserve Officers Participate in Surface Warfare Refresher Training

By Ensign Joey Seymour, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sixty Navy Reserve officers took part in the second annual Surface Warfare Refresher Training (SWRT) from July 24 to July 26. Combined, the fast-paced and in-depth training visited five ships, an active LCS training facility, an aviation familiarization which was set up exclusively for the weekend, the working site of Coastal Riverine Squadron 1, and lectures from high-profile presenters.

The purpose of the annual training is to provide reserve officers with a diverse and detailed overview of the future of surface warfare through hands-on experiences, unique site visits, and informative presentations.

The weekend kicked off on July 24 with an address from Rear Adm. Christopher J. Paul, deputy commander, Naval Surface Force (Pacific Fleet), on the future of the Surface Force. Afterward, the group paid a visit to the Littoral Combat Ship Training facility at Naval Base San Diego, where the Reserve officers witnessed several demonstrations and training operations.

A visit to USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP 3) was next on the agenda. An extensive tour demonstrated how the ship will serve as an afloat forward staging bases (AFSB) to support special operations missions, counter-piracy/smuggling operations, maritime-security operations, and mine clearance, as well as humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions.

"We have a wide range of officers attending this training, all providing support to so many different units," said Cmdr. Glen A. Viado, commander, Naval Surface Fleet Readiness Headquarters. "By making these site visits, I think our officers will be able to take back something that they can pass on to their Sailors about what's going on in the surface warfare world."

Day one concluded with a presentation given by Rear Adm. James W. Kilby, commander, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center.

On July 25, the Reserve officers visited the flight line at Naval Air Station North Island to board and learn about four aircraft provided specifically for the training, including an SH-60 Sea Hawk, P-8 Poseidon, E-2C Hawkeye, and MQ-8 Fire Scout. The tour also included a utility boat ride to Naval Base San Diego, where the officers visited USS Sommerset (LDP 25), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), and USS Sampson (DDG 102).

Rear Adm. Kelvin N. Dixon, deputy commander, Navy Surface Force Atlantic, discussed the future needs of Reserve surface warfare officers and where opportunities are and will be.

"It's a bright future for Reserve officers," Cmdr. Viado added. "This weekend they were able to see all the assets available to them...During this training they heard and saw firsthand how they could make an immediate impact with LCS, ballistic missile defense, and direct energy."

July 26 concluded the training with presentations on LCS capabilities and Coastal Riverine Squadron One as well as a site visit to USS Freedom (LCS 1) in the dry dock at Naval Base San Diego. The final site visit included a weapons demonstration and look into the communication tools used by the Coastal Riverine Squadron at Naval Air Station North Island.

"Giving 60 Reservist the opportunity to see, hear about and put their hands on different platforms is a success," CDR Viado said.

The third annual Surface Warfare Refresher training is tentatively scheduled to take place next summer at Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville, Florida.

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

NNS150726-01. USS Lassen Completes Successful At-Sea Phase of CARAT Singapore 2015

By Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Melissa K. Russell, Commander, Task Force 73 Public Affairs

SOUTH CHINA SEA (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) successfully completed five days of combined, at-sea training events with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), July 23, as part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Singapore 2015.

CARAT is an annual, bilateral exercise series designed to increase the interoperability among participating forces, address shared maritime security concerns, and develop relationships between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of partner nations.

This year marked the 21st time Singapore has participated.

This year's at-sea phase included complex scenarios with ships, submarines and aircraft, an exercise with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and a simulated casualty medevac flight with RSN ships. Events also included group maneuvers, a gunnery exercise that allowed the ships to track and fire their surface weapons on moving targets, and several submarine familiarization exercises using U.S. and RSN submarines.

"This year we focused a lot on exercising complex group maneuvers as well as finding and tracking one another's assets through sonar systems," said Cmdr. Robert Francis, Lassen's commanding officer. "That was important because the exercises increased our interoperability by allowing us to work together and gain better understanding of each other's capability while communicating and working from the same procedures. These are core skills vital to any real-world operation."

In addition to improving communication skills and getting to know one another's systems and procedures, both navies exchanged medical expertise in the event of a humanitarian aid-disaster relief (HA-DR) situation that could require a coordinated response from regional navies.

"Because of the U.S. Navy's presence in Southeast Asia and the close relationship we've developed with the Republic of Singapore Navy, there's a strong possibility we may one day need to operate together on a mission or in a casualty situation," Francis said. "That's why we see HA-DR response skills and operational skills as equally important."

To help foster skills in HA-DR situations, Lassen hosted two Singaporean sailors, one doctor and one emergency medical specialist. The Sailors observed several shipboard medical exercises, one of which included a medevac transport of a simulated casualty.

"We were happy to welcome them (RSN sailors) aboard and let them see just how our emergency responders would react during a casualty," Francis said. "This training could literally be a life saver because now we have an organic asset available in the group with the capability to treat a patient with life threatening injuries. It's just like having a small floating hospital within minutes of Lassen."

More than 700 U.S. Sailors were involved in the underway phase of CARAT Singapore. Lassen was joined by the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Houston (SSN 713), Military Sealift Command replenishment oiler USNS Pecos (T-AO 197), a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, and ships and aircraft from the RSN.

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

Commander, Task Force 73 and Destroyer Squadron 7 staff conduct advanced planning, organize resources and directly support the execution of maritime exercises such as the bilateral CARAT series, the Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) with Vietnam, and the multilateral Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

For more news from Commander, Task Force 73, visit

NNS020718-13. This Day in Naval History - July 27

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1776 - During the American Revolution, the Continental brig, Reprisal, commanded by Capt. Lambert Wickes, transports the newly appointed commercial and naval agent, William Bingham, to Martinique. While en route, the British sloop-of-war, HMS Shark, approaches the brig at the entrance to St. Pierre Harbor. After a sharp encounter and inconclusive action, HMS Shark withdraws and Reprisal enters port.

1862 - During the Civil War, the side-wheel steamer, USS Yankee, commanded by William Gibson, and the side-wheel tug, USS Satellite, commanded by Master Amos Foster, capture schooner J.W. Sturges in Chippoak Creek, Va.

1917 - Construction of the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia is ordered to produce enough aircraft for Americas entry into World War I. The factory also introduces women into occupations that were previously only open to men. Following the war, the factory tests and manufactures aircraft to review costs and effectiveness. During the later stages of World War II, the air craft factory is disestablished.

1943 - USS Scamp (SS 277) torpedoes and sinks the Japanese submarine (I 168), which had sunk USS Yorktown (CV 5) and USS Hammann (DD 412) at the Battle of Midway, south-south-west of Truk. USS Scamp also damages the Japanese oiler, Kazahaya.

1953 - The Korean War armistice is signed at Panmunjon, Korea. The Korean cease-fire goes into effect at 22:00.

1985 - USS Providence (SSN 719) is commissioned at Groton, Conn., the fifth ship in the Navy to be named after the Rhode Island city.

NNS150728-11. Outstanding: Navy Reservist On the Cutting Edge of Science and Technology

By Warren Duffie, Office of Naval Research

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- Lt. Cmdr. Tom McAndrew, a Reservist with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), received the Navy Reserve's 2014 Outstanding Junior Officer of the Year award, presented by the Reserve Officers Association in Washington, D.C., July 27.

As an ONR Reservist, McAndrew has supported numerous cyber and electronic warfare efforts, earning recognition as ONR's 2014 Reserve Science and Technology Officer of the Year. In March, he also was the first Reservist to win a Federal 100 Award for supporting research and development of innovative technologies to enable Sailors and Marines to operate more effectively in cyberspace.

McAndrew's efforts have contributed to more than a dozen special projects that have been funded and delivered, including unmanned air and ground vehicles and the first cyber training ranges designed specifically for tactical cyber training for the Marine Corps.

"The tactical cyber range was one of the most important projects that we delivered," said McAndrew. "Tactical cyber is warfare conducted out in the field, where you may not have an Internet connection, a stable power source or adequate bandwidth."

McAndrew's recognition comes during the centennial of the U.S. Navy Reserve, and is an example of the importance of ONR's Reserve Component (ONR-RC) in developing the Navy's science and technology (S&T). ONR-RC comprises approximately 190 Navy Reservists from 15 units nationwide-most of whom have earned advanced technical degrees in science and engineering disciplines and were once on active duty.

"Our Reservists offer a powerful combination of advanced degrees, prior active-duty experience in the fleet and successful civilian careers," said ONR-RC Director Capt. Mark Lokay. "Depending on their operational experience and technical background, ONR Reservists will almost certainly find a project where their expertise will benefit naval S&T research."

The Reservists act as liaisons to Sailors and Marines, communicating ONR's mission and messages. They also provide real-world perspective to ONR program managers and researchers on whether a technology will be practical or efficient for U.S. warfighters to use.

Reservists support ONR's mission in several other ways:

Conducting basic research and testing prototypes-Reservists regularly help test developing technologies like unmanned autonomous vehicles. They also maintain and operate the Navy's fire-suppression test ship, the ex-USS Shadwell, a World War II-era vessel that now serves as the Navy's platform to conduct firefighting research.

Developing prototype systems-Reservists have played key roles in projects like the electromagnetic railgun, which uses electricity instead of chemical propellants to launch projectiles; the shipboard autonomous firefighting robot (SAFFiR), a human-sized robot that could one day fight shipboard fires; and Navy fuels, a Naval Research Laboratory-led effort to develop an on-ship system to generate fuel from seawater while underway.

Supporting fleet-wide events and exercises-These range from demonstrating ONR-sponsored technology at Fleet Week New York to supporting youth-oriented science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) functions.

Serving at ONR is unique because Reservists enjoy a great opportunity to have an impact on the future of naval warfare," said Lokay. "Game-changing capabilities result from scientific research, and the ONR-RC plays a vital role."

For McAndrew, the hard work is worth it when "you realize you're making real changes to the future of the Navy and Marine Corps."

For more news from Office of Naval Research, visit

NNS150728-10. Central, South America Partners Gather for PANAMAX

By U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- More than 75 military personnel, including 54 members of partner-nation navies, assembled July 27 on Naval Station Mayport for PANAMAX 2015, an exercise aimed at developing strong working relationships between multinational forces to ensure the defense of the Panama Canal.

The exercise, which is scheduled to run July 27 - Aug. 7, includes participants from 19 nations: Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France, Jamaica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

"This exercise allows countries to create friendships and come together as a multinational force while combating common threats," said Chilean Rear Adm. Ronald McIntyre, the Combined Forces Maritime Component Commander for the exercise. "This training will ensure that regional security and stability work for the prosperity of our nations."

Under the exercise scenario, a multinational force has formed to execute a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for defense of the canal. The force includes air, land and special-forces components, in addition to the maritime component, which will plan and conduct simulated operations in and around the canal and its surrounding waters in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

"The highlight of this exercise is to develop interoperability between our units and have the opportunity to face very close to our reality regional threats," said McIntyre. "By working together, we prevent actions that threaten maritime security and are intended to prevent the free navigation and destabilize the region."

U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Jon Matheson, the deputy commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, is serving as McIntyre's deputy commander during the exercise.

"One of the most valuable components of this exercise is that we come together from different nations, with many different perspectives," said Matheson. "That is the power of a coalition force and it is normal to occasionally have spirited discussions in order to work through complex problems. But at the end of this exercise, the relationships that have been established and the mutual understanding attained will serve us extremely well in the event we have to put together a coalition force for a real-world event."

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

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

NNS150728-06. USS Porter Arrives in Haifa, Israel

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

HAIFA, Israel (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) arrived in Haifa, Israel, for a scheduled port visit July 26.

The port visit serves to enhance U.S.-Israeli relations as the two nations work together for a stable, secure and prosperous region.


"Most of my crew has never had the opportunity to visit Israel and they are extremely excited about exploring all of the historical sites and experiencing the local culture. We will also have several opportunities to interact with the Israeli Navy, enabling us to share our experiences and improve our integration for combined operations." - Cmdr. Blair Guy, USS Porter commanding officer

Quick Facts:

While in port, Sailors will have the opportunity to visit the local sights, experience the culture, and interact with the people of Israel.

U.S. and Israeli divers recently participated in the annual bilateral exercise Noble Melinda July 13-23, 2015.

The U.S. Navy routinely visits Haifa. USS Laboon (DDG 58) and USS Ross (DDG 71) made a port visit in March of this year.

Porter departed its homeport in Naval Station Rota, Spain, June 29, 2015, to conduct naval operations with partners and allies in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in order to advance security and stability 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 inter-agency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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

NNS150728-05. Kearsarge, 26th MEU Successfully Complete NEO Exercise

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Tyler Preston, USS Kearsarge Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) conducted a non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO) exercise while underway during composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), July 23.

NEO exercises help to prepare Kearsarge for the safe evacuation of Americans or third country nationals during times of natural disaster or internal strife abroad.

According to Lt. Blaine C. Barnard, Kearsarge's security information officer, NEO is a critical amphibious ready group mission and one that is most likely to be conducted during deployment.

"NEO is an all-hands effort. Every department plays a role," said Barnard. "NEO exercises allows Kearsarge to protect U.S. citizens and its closest allies on a global scale."

Marines and Sailors work together to accomplish a NEO mission where Marines are the ground forces that help evacuate people in distress and get them safely to the ship while Sailors aboard the ship provide food during the time aboard.

"It takes a lot of moving parts and ideas to make it work," said Cdr. Emori A. Moore, Kearsarge's senior medical officer. "We are prepared to assist movement of our own forces ashore upon return as well as care for evacuees of U.S., partner and host nations."

Moore said Kearsarge is capable of taking care of critically ill patients as well as pediatric, obstetric and elderly care for a limited time.

"We have five operating rooms on board, which includes an emergency room," said Moore. "We have 48 beds at all times and if needed we can utilize troop berthing to expand that number to over 500."

The Kearsarge Ready Group (KSGARG) is participating in COMPTUEX in preparation for deployment later this fall and is comprised of Kearsarge, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 4, 26th MEU, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) and the amphibious transport dock USS Arlington (LPD 24).

For more news from USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), visit

NNS150728-03. Chancellorsville Experiences Chamorro Culture in Guam

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Raymond D. Diaz III, USS Chancellorsville Public Affairs

APRA HARBOR, Guam (NNS) -- The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) arrived in Apra Harbor, Guam, for a port visit, July 27.

Chancellorsville's visit to Guam marks the crew's first port call as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces.

"I'm excited to have the opportunity to be with Chancellorsville visiting Guam," said Chancellorsville's Command Master Chief Jonas D. Carter. "This will be a first time visiting, not only for myself, but for most of the crew."

During the visit, Chancellorsville Sailors will participate in community relation projects at a nearby school and summer camp where they will interact with local students by playing sports, reading, and other activities.

Also, Guam is host to many local Chamorro restaurants and shops alongside familiar stateside establishments where Sailors can dine and shop.

"Many of the Sailors will take advantage of the MWR [Morale, Welfare and Recreation] tours, local shopping, eating venues, and, of course, the two community relation opportunities, all of which, gives us the chance to experience Chamorro culture," said Carter.

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

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS150728-01. Jacksonville Visits Singapore During Western Pacific Deployment

By Ensign Nicholas Lucania, USS Jacksonville Public Affairs

SINGAPORE (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Jacksonville (SSN 699) arrived in Singapore for a port visit as a part of its Western Pacific deployment, July 27.

After a successful completion of Talisman Sabre 2015, the joint exercise coordinated with both the Australian and New Zealand navies, the Sailors of Jacksonville were excited for its arrival in Singapore.

"The crew flawlessly executed their third leg of deployment," said Master Chief Electronics Technician Kevin Rollert, the chief of the boat aboard Jacksonville. "Singapore is another excellent port of call for Jacksonville. It will be a great break for the crew before heading back out to sea."

For the majority of Jacksonville, this was their first time visiting Singapore. The crew was looking forward to exploring the city, meeting with their Republic of Singapore Navy counterparts and partaking in projects with the local community.

"We have heard a lot about the great liberty in Singapore," said Chief Logistics Specialist Aaron Hardardt. "We are very fortunate for the port calls we have experienced while deployed and are excited for Singapore."

Throughout the remainder of Jacksonville's 2015 Western Pacific deployment, its crew of 141 Sailors will be participating in additional joint exercises with foreign navies and executing various missions vital to national security.

"I am truly proud of Jacksonville's major accomplishments so far," said Cmdr. Matthew R. Boland, Jacksonville's commanding officer. "I am looking forward to the challenges awaiting Jacksonville during our next segment of deployment."

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

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

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 7, visit

NNS020718-16. This Day in Naval History - July 28

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1861 - During the Civil War, the frigate, USS St. Lawrence, spots a schooner flying English colors and gave chase. Some four hours later, as she is overhauling the schooner, the fleeing vessel runs up the Confederate flag and fires three shots. Firing with her forecastle battery, St. Lawrence hits the vessel twice, once in her bow. Survivors from the sunken vessel reveal it had been the Confederate privateer, Petrel.

1926 - USS S-1 surfaces and launches a Cox-Klemin (XS 2) seaplane flown by Lt. D.C. Allen. The submarine recovers the aircraft and submerges, successfully completing an airplane transport on board a submarine.

1943 - PBM aircraft (VP 32) sinks German submarine (U 359) south-southwest of Puerto Rico. During her service, (U 359) deploys on three war patrols.

1944 - USS Wyman (DE 38) and USS Reynolds (DE 42) sink Japanese submarine (I 55), 400 miles east of Tinian.

1945 - USS Callaghan (DD 792) is the last ship sunk by a Japanese kamikaze attack when she hits a radar picket station approximately 50 miles southwest of Okinawa, 25X 43N, 126X 55E. USS Pritchett (DD 561) is also damaged by a near hit from a kamikaze as she assists the destroyer. The kamikaze that hits USS Callaghan is carrying Willow (a primary training biplane), revealing the desperation level of the Japanese. USS Callaghan is named in honor of Medal of Honor recipient, Rear Adm. Daniel J. Callaghan, who died during the naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Nov. 12-13, 1942.

1973 - Skylab 3 is launched. The mission is the second to the first U.S. manned space station. The commander of the mission is Capt. Alan L. Bean, USN, the pilot is Maj. Jack R. Lousma, USMC, and the Science Pilot is Owen K. Garriott, a former Navy electronics officer. The mission lasts 59 days, 11 hours and includes 858 Earth orbits. USS New Orleans (LPH 11) recovers the crew.

1984 - USNS Salvor (T-ARS-52) is launched at Sturgeon Bay, Wisc. The rescue and salvage ship conducts salvage, diving, towing, off-shore firefighting, heavy lift operations and theater security cooperation missions through the Military Sealift Command.

2000 - USNS Watkins (T-ARK 315) is launched at National Steel and Shipbuilding, San Diego, Calif. The large, medium-speed roll-on/roll-off ship is part of the prepositioning program with Military Sealift Command. The ships serve as dry cargo surge sealift carriers. Watkins is named after Army Master Sgt. Travis E. Watkins, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions and leadership during the second Battle of Naktong Bulge during the Korean War.

NNS150729-06. Navy Announces Command Senior Chief Rating

From Chief of Naval Personnel

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- NAVADMIN 177/15, released July 29, establishes the Command Senior Chief (CMDCS) rating to provide earlier leadership opportunity for senior enlisted.

Initial eligibility for conversion to the CMDCS Rating will be those active duty Sailors assigned the 9578 Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC). All future conversions to the CMDCS rating will be through the annual CMDCS administrative selection board.

"The CMDCS rating strengthens the command leadership triad and provides our very best senior chiefs increased responsibilities in this rating while enabling greater levels of experience as they advance through the ranks," said Fleet Master Chief April Beldo, fleet master chief for Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education (MPT&E).

Sailors with a 9578 NEC must request conversion or decline conversion to the rating by submitting NAVPERS Form 1306/7 to the command master chief detailer, no later than Aug. 31, 2015.

This is a one-time opportunity for those eligible to convert. Future conversion to the CMDCS rate will be automatic from the annual administrative selection board.

Although highly encouraged, Sailors holding the 9578 NEC do not have to convert to the CMDCS rating. Those requesting not to convert will remain in the program until their projected rotation date (PRD), and will then be made available to their respective source rating detailer when in the detailing window.

For more information, read the NAVADMIN 177/15 at the Navy Personnel Command website

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS150728-14. Randall Smith Laid to Rest

From Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (NNS) -- Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Randall Smith, a victim of the shooting at Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Chattanooga July 16 which also took the lives of four Marines, was laid to rest at the Chattanooga National Cemetery July 28.

Family members along with members of the Chattanooga Police Department and NOSC Sailors filled the First Baptist Church Fort Oglethorpe to witness the funeral.

During the funeral, speakers, including Vice Adm. Robin Braun, Commander, Navy Reserve Force, and church officials praised and honored the life of Petty Officer Smith.

Angie Smith, widow of Petty Officer Smith, also sang a song as a tribute to honor her late husband.

Smith's remains traveled in a funeral procession where citizens of Chattanooga lined the streets to pay their respects.

NNS150729-09. Sailors Kicking Habit, Navy Families, and Youth Must Face Misconceptions About "E-cigs"

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

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Electronic cigarettes are having a tremendous, and potentially unsafe, impact on youth as well as current adult smokers hoping to quit, according to health and safety professionals at Naval Submarine Base New London (SUBASE).

Enticing for Youth

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

"We're seeing a shift in what the view of smoking is becoming," said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Sracic, a medical doctor and the Public Health Department Head at Naval Branch Health Clinic Groton on SUBASE. "It's been called the 'renormalization' of smoking behavior, and it's due to public misconception from advertising out there of what this product actually is."

Arguments over the target demographic of the advertising aside, the flavors of electronic cigarettes are very enticing to a youth market said Sracic and "should be a major concern for all of us, especially parents."

Results from a national survey of United States students in grades 6 to 12 found that 44 percent of users of e-cigarettes intended to smoke conventional cigarettes, compared with 22 percent of never users.

"While this survey does not prove that e-cigarette use increases the desire to smoke conventional cigarettes, it does raise concerns that e-cigarettes may be a gateway to nicotine dependence in our youth," said Sracic. "This would greatly push back the efforts from the 'smoke free' campaign in the past decade."

Moreover, a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that an increasing number of calls related to e-cigarette use are being made to United States poison control centers.

The study highlights that from a low of one such call per month to poison control centers in 2010, some 215 calls per month were made 2014. That is an increase from less than one percent to nearly 42 percent of all smoking-related calls received by poison control centers.

"The nicotine in e-cigarette fluid poses a huge potential for accidental ingestion, especially by children," said Sracic. "The typical 5 mL vial of e-cigarette liquid refill may contain a nicotine concentration of 100 mg/vial. The known lethal dose of nicotine is about 10 mg in children. E-cigarettes pose a critical risk in the hands of a child."

Promoted as Helpful to Adults

Of course, beyond the marketing of youth enticing flavors, e-cigs have been promoted as a "safer alternative" and a "helpful tool to quit smoking," notes Sracic.

"There is no evidence that shows these products are safe to use over the long term or provide a physical difference in kicking a smoking addiction," said Sracic.

A recent study published by the University of Rochester and conducted by one of the university's professors of Environmental Medicine in its School of Medicine and Dentistry, suggests that e-cigarettes could be a toxic replacement for tobacco products.

The study purports that inhaled vapors from an e-cig may contain heavy metals and other possible carcinogens from the e-cigarette and its heating element.

While not associated with the study, Sracic urges similar caution.

"Until more is known about the long-term effects of e-cigs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Cancer Association recommend steering clear of these devices," advised Sracic.

Considered Similar by Navy

With so much still unknown about e-cigarettes and their impacts, the Navy and SUBASE view them fairly straightforwardly, points out SUBASE Safety Director Edgar Martinez.

"With regulations responding to studies that have linked cigarette use, smokeless tobacco use, and second-hand smoke to health problems and poor fitness, the Department of Defense and Navy have tightened rules around tobacco use and sales across the service and fleet," noted Martinez. "In the 1990s, the Navy designated that smoking areas be set up away from non-smokers in offices, surface ships, and submarines. And in 2010, the Submarine Force banned smoking in submarines outright."

Today, SECNAVINST 5100.13E, the Navy and Marine Corps Tobacco Policy, outlines the service's do's and don'ts.

"With a few exceptions, such as personal housing units, tobacco use inside facilities is controlled by the tobacco policy," said Martinez. "Currently, the Navy views tobacco products as cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. But as the FDA is seeking to extend its definition of a tobacco product to include electronic cigarettes, the Navy is treating them similarly."

Thus, SUBASE treats the use of e-cigarettes in its buildings the same as with any other tobacco product, states Martinez. All use of e-cigarettes shall be in designated smoking areas, at least 50 feet away from buildings.

On the waterfront, submarines homeported at SUBASE currently follow guidance from the Submarine Atmosphere Control Manual. At this time, the manual authorizes the use of electronic cigarettes aboard a submarine only in designated areas upon the discretion of the commanding officer.

However, Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic (COMSUBLANT) is soon awaiting an official recommendation from the Submarine Atmosphere Advisory Board (SAAB), according to Capt. Matthew J. Hickey, COMSUBLANT Force Medical Officer.

Materials brought onboard submarines, such as e-cigs, can impact the enclosed atmosphere of a submarine, and the SAAB plays a key role in reviewing and categorizing those materials as well as determining whether on board monitoring or restrictions are needed.

The board is comprised of representatives from undersea medical, toxicological, and occupational health activities with technical consultation from the submarine engineering community.

For Sracic and Martinez, the FDA, DOD, and Navy guidance on tobacco and e-cigarettes all highlight one thing: potential health and safety risks.

"Whether it's a middle-aged chronic smoker trying to quit; a young teen drawn in by flavors and advertising; or a Sailor looking for a supposed 'safer alternative,' e-cigarette users have to understand that misconceptions are everywhere," said Sracic. "The choice not to 'vape' may be the best choice of all."

For more information on e-cigarettes visit:

For more news from Naval Submarine Base New London, visit

NNS150729-08. Students Race Robot Submarines in 'Back to the Future'-Themed Competition

By Sierra Jones, ONR Corporate Strategic Communications

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- High school and college engineering students from across the globe competed for bragging rights and cash prizes at the 18th International RoboSub Competition, which wrapped up July 26.

The weeklong competition, co-sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Association of Unmanned Vehicles International Foundation (AUVSIF), was held in San Diego at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific Transducer Evaluation Center (TRANSDEC) pool.

The TRANSDEC pool is a unique facility that simulates a large body of water-it measures 300 by 200 feet and is 38 feet deep with six million gallons of water-and provides RoboSub participants an ideal environment for navigating their autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) through realistic missions.

"These teams of students have been working on these subs for months and here they'll turn their prototypes into working vehicles capable of operating in a real-world environment," said Assistant Chief of Naval Research Capt. Rob Palisin. "Through this entire process, they've gained valuable experience in maritime and system engineering. Someday we would love for them to put what they've learned into action to help our Sailors and Marines."

Palisin explained that as unmanned and autonomous technologies advance, our warfighters will ultimately become beneficiaries of the capabilities these new systems will bring to the fight. ONR-sponsored programs like low cost UAV swarming technology and autonomous swarmboats show what is possible as researchers work to reduce risk to Sailors and Marines while extending air, surface, underwater and ground vehicle capabilities at lower costs than existing manned systems.

"Unmanned systems are being integrated into many aspects of everyday life," said Dr. Daniel Deitz, a program officer in ONR's Ocean Battlespace Sensing Department. "We can continue to advance the science of autonomous vehicles by challenging these next generations of engineers to contribute great ideas and innovative concepts-that's what this competition is all about."

Palisin and Deitz were two of several current and past ONR program officers and leaders at the competition, serving as judges and mentors to the competitors.

The mission theme for this year's contest played on the theme of the "Back to the Future," movie trilogy. The individual AUVs had to navigate and complete an obstacle course-with tasks like "check the flux capacitor" and "travel through the time portal"- without human or computer interaction by team members.

Missions ranged from simple tasks like touching colored buoys, passing over a PVC pipe without touching it and dropping markers into a bin, to complex tasks like firing mock torpedoes through a cutout in a piece of plywood, identifying sound from an acoustic pinger, grabbing and moving an object and surfacing the AUV.

Since its inception 18 years ago, RoboSub has seen the number of teams and levels of competition grow. This year's 37 teams hailed from 10 U.S. states and various countries, including Canada, China, India, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand and Turkey.

San Diego State University took this year's top prize of $6,000. National University of Singapore won second prize and $4,000; Maritime State University placed third for $3,000; earning $1,000 each were California Institute of Technology, University of Arizona, Far Eastern Federal University and Amador Valley High School, which placed fourth to seventh, respectively.

Smaller awards of $500 in various special judge award categories went to San Diego Robotics, Southern Polytechnic State University, Carl Hayden High School, Montana State University, Amador Valley High School and McGill University.

For more news from Office of Naval Research, visit

NNS150729-05. National Naval Aviation Museum Ensures USS Forrestal "Trial by Fire" Accident is Forever Remembered

From National Naval Aviation Museum

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The two naval aviators were on hand Tuesday at the National Naval Aviation Museum (NNAM) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola to examine a section of their historic ship that was recently added to the museum's collection. The USS Forrestal (CVA 59) suffered a devastating fire and resulting explosions resulting from a rocket accident on July 29, 1967 which killed 134 Sailors and injured 161.

"Since the decision to scrap Forrestal (CV 59), the museum has sought to obtain this stern plate," said Robert Macon, the museum's acting director. "Every single aircraft that landed on the ship passed over it and to have a section of the ship that was the foundation for the modern supercarriers of today on display will be of great interest to our visitors."

Workers at All Star Metals in Brownsville, Texas, where the ship arrived for scrapping in February 2014, cut away the stern plate, which has been part of the ship since her commissioning in 1955. It arrived in Pensacola just days before the 48th anniversary.

Retired naval aviators Rear Adm. Peter Booth and Capt. C. Flack Logan were fighter pilots serving on board the aircraft carrier that day which was operating off the coast of Vietnam when catastrophe struck. A Zuni rocket loaded on one aircraft impacted an external fuel tank of another airplane, starting a fire on the flight deck that caused bombs on fully-loaded aircraft spotted for launch to detonate.

Observing what was happening around him from the cockpit of his F-4 Phantom II, positioned along the starboard edge of the flight deck aft of the ship's island, Logan climbed out and jumped onto the flight deck. Running forward, he was caught in the explosion of a 1,000-pound bomb, the force throwing him against the island. From his squadron's ready room below decks, Booth made his way to the catwalk and beheld the inferno.

"My heart was beating and tears welled up for this could not be happening to us," he later wrote.

"During that first few minutes, many proud and dedicated Sailors died with more to follow in the hours to come." In addition to the significant crew casualties, the fire destroyed 21 airplanes and the ship's survivability was in doubt during the mass casualty.

In addition to Booth, who later in his career commanded the carrier, and Logan, the survivors included among others future Senator John S. McCain III, and future (and now retired) Commander Pacific Fleet Adm. Ron Zlatoper.

For more information about the tragedy - and how the Navy learned from it - see . The page includes video from the accident itself.

"The heroic actions of the crew that fateful day embodied the honor, courage, and commitment that are a hallmark of Navy personnel," commented museum historian Hill Goodspeed. "The fact that the lessons of the Forrestal fire are still used in Navy training translates into the fact that most every Sailor is familiar with this ship."

After undergoing preservation by museum staff, the stern plate, which stretches 18 feet in length and weighs upwards of 2,500 pounds, will be placed on public display, where it will join that of the carrier USS Oriskany CV 34). The stern plate of that ship was removed before her 2006 sinking as an artificial reef off Pensacola.

The Navy's maiden supercarrier and the first aircraft carrier named for a naval aviator-James V. Forrestal received his wings in World War I and later served as the first secretary of defense-Forrestal served for 38 years, most of her deployments in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, the exception coming in the summer of 1967, when she steamed to the Western Pacific and suffered the deadly fire off Vietnam.

NNS150729-04. USS America Officers Train With Surface Warfare Navy's 'Top Gun'

From USS America (LHA 6) Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Officers from the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) received training from Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC), July 28.

The hour-long training focused on the new generation of surface warfare tactical experts known as warfare tactics instructors (WTIs).

SMWDC stood up on June 9 in an effort to develop junior surface warfare officers (SWOs) with enhanced skillsets critical for today's fleet. Surface WTIs will specialize in warfare areas such as amphibious operations, integrated air and missile defense, or a combination of anti-submarine and surface warfare.

Cmdr. Henry Kim, SMWDC's gap and requirement analysis officer, explained that, although the WTI program is new to the surface Navy, the WTI concept has been prevalent in the aviation Navy for quite some time.

"For years, tactically-hungry young junior officers were hand-selected to hone their skills to become lethal aviation warfighters," he added. "What SMWDC has done is take many of the processes from our aviation colleagues to make our own 'SWO Top Gun'. However, the big difference between them is that pilots have platforms and model series experts, while surface WTIs will specialize in warfare areas."

Kim explained that coming to one of the newest and most advanced warships in the fleet to provide training is important because it gives SMWDC a chance to share their command vision and goals, and also recruit future WTIs for the fleet.

"As with anything new, there are questions and apprehensions, as well as excitement," he said. "I think the best way to recruit and dispel any myths is to go out to ships and engage the wardrooms one-on-one. Much like professional sports teams who scout for talent, we're going where the best players are, and for us [SMWDC], that's the ships and wardrooms. The WTI program is opened to all surface officers, proving that this is an awesome time to be a SWO!"

America's Commanding Officer Capt. Michael Baze echoed Kim's enthusiasm by stating, during the training, that WTIs will help the fleet maintain a standard of tactical proficiency, professionalism and teamwork.

"America completely supports the efforts of SWMDC and WTI recruitment because this command's mission trains surface officers to not just be good at their jobs, but great," said Baze. "By developing warfare area experts for the fleet, we allow young SWOs to feel valued and understand what it means to be a warfighter and team player. This standardization is essential and I know I look forward to having a WTI in the America wardroom one day."

Lt. Damon Goodrich-Houska, a WTI assigned to SWMDC, briefly discussed how WTIs will provide consistency for shipboard mission areas.

"A challenge that many ships are facing, for example, is that they train a watch team under one or two very proficient tactical action officers," the lieutenant said. "When these officers depart the ship, their knowledge and skillsets go with them, leaving the ship sometimes in a scramble to train other officers to do the job in a short amount of time. WTIs would allow for consistent training and less of an impact during high-turnover times on warships."

Kim emphasized that warfighting discussions need to be encouraged in wardrooms, no matter what operational phase a ship is in. America is currently undergoing a maintenance phase known as post-shakedown availability, scheduled to last until early 2016.

Despite the ship's current maintenance cycle, officers, like Ensign Andrea Lee, America's main propulsion officer, continue to train and prepare themselves as warfighters.

"The training today allowed me to gain a broader understanding of future career opportunities as a SWO," said Lee. "As a SWO, I want to make sure that I am an effective warfighter. I am excited that SMWDC is established and look forward to seeing how WTIs will enhance operations in the fleet."

For more information on SMWDC, visit or email SWO_WTI .

For more news from USS America (LHA 6), visit .

NNS150729-03. Navy Admiral Meets With Wounded Veterans Foundation

By Todd Martin, Navy Office of Community Outreach

BOISE, Idaho (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Timothy Gallaudet, commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, met with the leadership of The Wyakin Warrior Foundation at Boise State University, July 27.

The Wyakin Warrior Foundation was founded to help enable severely wounded and injured post-9/11 veterans achieve personal and professional success as business and community leaders. Founded in the Pacific Northwest, with plans for national expansion, the foundation provides multifaceted mentoring, financial support, professional development, and networking tailored to each veteran's unique journey.

"I want to take their message and information about their project, and not only tell my Sailors, but tell the wounded warriors in Bethesda", said Gallaudet. "I really admire the fact that they thought this through in a comprehensive way, and took the best parts of every program out there and combined them to form this outstanding product, that includes recreational activities, educational opportunities, [and] business employment networking opportunities."

Jeff Bacon, the foundation's president and co- founder, said that the board of directors was very excited to show the support they provide to wounded veterans.

"Having the admiral here to see the quality and caliber of the men and women involved in the Wyakin Warrior Foundation is a great opportunity," he added. "We are very excited for him to meet our warriors".

According to Bacon, many service members who transition from active duty service to the civilian community face significant challenges as they reintegrate back into civilian society. He added that the foundation stands ready to help these veterans however possible.

Gallaudet's two-day visit to Boise was part of the Navy's Executive Engagement Visit program. This program allows Navy leaders to meet with community leaders in 25 cities outside of fleet concentration areas, to inform and educate citizens about the Navy, its people, and its importance to national security, global trade, and prosperity.

This is Gallaudet's second executive engagement visit of 2015. He previously visited Springfield, Massachusetts, in June.

"Navy outreach programs are a great way to tell the Navy's story because we have a great story to tell," the admiral said. "It reaffirms the support most Americans have in our armed forces."

For more information on the Navy Office of Community Outreach, visit .

NNS150729-01. USNS Rappahannock Assists Distressed Boat in Pacific

By Grady T. Fontana, Commander, Task Force 73 Public Affairs

WEST PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet replenishment oiler USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204) rendered assistance to a distressed sailing boat, while on a routine mission in the western Pacific Ocean, July 25.

The stranded 38-foot sailboat, named The Remedy, had eight people on board, and was registered in the Federated States of Micronesia, State of Yap.

The Remedy was on its way to Guam from Yap, which is approximately 530 miles northeast of the U.S. territory, when it ran out of fuel.

"After receiving the distressed call on radio, the [Rappahannock] immediately maneuvered its way to the sailboat," said Dean Bradford, Rappahannock's master. "Once on scene, the ship deployed its [rigid-hulled inflatable boat] to evaluate the situation and render assistance."

The response took about an hour, and the Rappahannock provided fuel to the vessel and potable water to its crew.

"The crew of Remedy expressed their gratitude and indicated that they do not need further assistance," said Bradford. "No mission impact."

According to Bradford, these types of incidents happen from time-to-time.

"Each time is different. Boats and ships are spread all over, but I can imagine they were happy to see us," he added. "It's a big world out there and a big ocean, and some are just not fully prepared or equipped to sail out."

Just one week earlier, on July 19, The MSC Impeccable-class ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS 23) rescued 11 fishermen, while en route to Subic Bay, Philippines.

Impeccable Sailors spotted personnel on a partially submerged ship and noted debris in the water. The ship master deployed a rescue crew and made three trips to the distressed vessel to recover all 11 individuals.

For more news from Commander, Task Force 73, visit .

NNS020718-17. This Day in Naval History - July 29

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1846 - During the Mexican-American War, a detachment of Marines and Sailors, led by Arm. Col. John C. Fremont from the sloop USS Cyane, commanded by Cmdr. Samuel F. DuPont, lands and takes possession of San Diego and raises the U.S. flag.

1898 - During the Spanish-American War, the gunboat, USS Helena, commanded by Cmdr. William T. Swinburne, captures the Spanish steamer Manati at Cienfuegos, Cuba.

1920 - USS St. Louis (CA 20) is ordered to Turkish waters to protect American nationals and citizens during the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922).

1944 - USS Balao (SS 285) shells and sinks Japanese sampan (No.7) Nissho Maru about 100 miles off Palau. USS Drum (SS 228) sinks Asahi Maru with gunfire in the same general area, and takes survivors prisoner. Also on this date, USS Perch (SS 313) sinks Japanese guardboat Kannon Maru I-Go in the Philippine Sea, east of Dinagat Island.

1967 - On the flight deck of USS Forrestal (CVA 59), a Zuni 5 rocket accidentally fires from a (F 4B) Phantom II aircraft into a parked and armed (A 4E) Skyhawk, setting off a series of explosions that kill 134 of her crew and injure 161 crewmembers.

1995 - USS Maine (SSBN 741) is commissioned at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine. The Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine is the third Navy vessel to be named after the state.

NNS150730-17. Surface to Surface Missile Test For LCS Successful

From Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Engineering development tests of modified Longbow Hellfire missiles for use on littoral combat ships (LCS) were successfully conducted in June the Navy reported July 30.

Integration of the Longbow Hellfire missile system, designated the Surface-to-Surface Missile Module (SSMM), will increase the lethality of the Navy's fleet of littoral combat ships. The SSMM is expected to be fully integrated and ready to deploy on LCS missions in late 2017.

"This test was very successful and overall represents a big step forward in SSMM development for LCS," said Capt. Casey Moton, LCS Mission Modules program manager.

Termed Guided Test Vehicle-1, the event was designed to specifically test the Longbow Hellfire launcher, the missile, and its seeker versus high speed maneuvering surface targets (HSMSTs). The HSMSTs served as surrogates for fast inshore attack craft that are a potential threat to Navy ships worldwide.

During the mid-June tests off the coast of Virginia, the modified Longbow Hellfire missiles successfully destroyed a series of maneuvering small boat targets. The system "hit" seven of eight targets engaged, with the lone miss attributed to a target issue not related to the missile's capability. The shots were launched from the Navy's research vessel Relentless.

The test scenarios included hitting targets at both maximum and minimum missile ranges. After a stationary target was engaged, subsequent targets, conducting serpentine maneuvers were engaged. The tests culminated in a three-target "raid" scenario. During this scenario all missiles from a three-shot "ripple fire" response struck their individual targets.

Integration of the "fire-and-forget" Longbow Hellfire missile on LCS represents the next evolution in capability being developed for inclusion in the Increment 3 version of the surface warfare mission package for LCS. When fully integrated and tested, each 24-shot missile module will bring added firepower to complement the LCS's existing 57mm gun, SEARAM missiles and armed MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter.

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of mission packages including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. The Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation's maritime strategy.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS150730-06. PCNO Opening Statement

By as Prepared

















NNS150730-16. RFID Reduces Inventory Time Aboard Littoral Combat Ship

From Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2) successfully demonstrated a passive radio frequency identification (RFID) system's utility during mine countermeasures mission package (MCM MP) container testing conducted off the coast of Florida, in early July.

The RFID project showed the technology's ability to dramatically reduce the time Sailors spend conducting parts and equipment inventory in support of ship replenishment.

"RFID reduced the time the Sailors are in the containers in the ship, and that's a goal - to reduce the warfighter's workload," said Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) project engineer Bill Israelson. "With the system's proven accuracy, we can quickly tell what needs to be resupplied so the ship can get what it needs and head back to sea."

During the container testing Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mine Countermeasure Detachment Sailors scanned and inventoried 1,300 pieces of MCM MP equipment in only 21 minutes during a rapid replenishment evolution between at-sea periods. Previously, this task would have required three Sailors 72 hours to accomplish.

The inventory occurred once the Sailors returned to port from after conducting at-sea technical evaluations of the littoral combat ship (LCS 2) MCM MP. Once in port, engineers from NSWC PCD, NSWC Port Hueneme Division and contractor support scanned parts and equipment inside the mission package and sent the information to a computer to determine what needed replenishment.

The RFID project is nearing the final test and evaluation stage, necessary to validate the proof of concept. The RFID prototype was initially developed by the Office of Naval Research.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS150730-15. NSWC Indian Head EOD Technology Division Finalizes First CITE Partnership

From NSWC IHEODTD Public Affairs

INDIAN HEAD, Md. (NNS) -- Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD) officially announced the command's first private-public partnership under the command's Center for Industrial and Technical Excellence (CITE) designation, July 30.

CITE is a statutory authority allowing public-private partnerships to perform work related to the command's core competencies. This designation allows the Navy to more efficiently maintain an organic energetics capability and manage under-utilized capacity.

"Under the four-year partnership with Chemring, our division may manufacture up to 11,000 double-base extruded N-5 propellant grains for the Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System (APOBS). APOBS is used by Soldiers, Marines and allied ground troops to enable safe personnel transit through mine fields and razor wire protected zones," said NSWC IHEODTD Technical Director Ashley Johnson.

The APOBS propellant grain manufacturing is the first in a series of extruded double base propellant grain opportunities planned to be jointly manufactured by the partnership. Once the propellant grains are inspected, tested and certified, they will be provided to Chemring Ordnance for loading into APOBS.

"We received CITE arsenal designation in May 2014, for our core competencies of energetics, ordnance, naval gun systems, EOD technologies, ordnance packaging, handling, storage and transportation and the technical expertise required to acquire, maintain and sustain these systems," said NSWC IHEODTD Deputy Technical Director Amy O'Donnell.

NSWC IHEODTD is the first Navy activity to hold both depot- and arsenal-level designation.

"When industry or private organization approaches us, and if we have capacity that exists in our core mission areas, I can initiate a business case analysis," said NSWC IHEODTD Commanding Officer Capt. Vincent Martinez. "If I can demonstrate it is going to be in the best interest of the U.S. Navy, I ask senior leadership to review that business case analysis. Once permissions and negotiations are agreed on, we sign a public-private partnership, or P-3, document to formalize the partnership."

President of Chemring Ordnance, Mike Quesenberry, said the company was pleased to be the first industry to formalize a partnership with the warfare center under the CITE arsenal designation, for a critical component of the APOBS system.

"We look forward to expanding this partnership into additional opportunities to jointly manufacture EDB propellant grains for other weapon systems," he said. "Chemring Ordnance takes great pride in providing quality products to the warfighter and believes that this partnership is a win-win for all."

Johnson also emphasized that workforce safety will always remain the underlying priority for the command.

"Safety isn't negotiable; it is the most important aspect of what we do," he said. "Our partner in Chemring understands its importance, too, and we will never relinquish that as our responsibility."

NSWC IHEODTD is a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command and is part of the Department of the Navy's science and engineering enterprise. The Division is the leader in energetics, energetic materials, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) knowledge, tools, equipment. Our Division focuses on the research, development, test, evaluation, in-service support, and disposal of energetics and energetic systems as well as works to provide Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen worldwide with the information and technological solutions they need to detect/locate, access, identify, render safe, recover/exploit, and dispose of both conventional and unconventional explosive threats.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS150730-11. Science and Technology Partnerships Grow in South America

By David Smalley, Office of Naval Research

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- Scientific diplomacy took a giant step forward as Chief of Naval Research (CNR) Rear Adm. Mat Winter officially opened the new Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global office in Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 24

ONR Global - charged with providing international science and technology (S&T) solutions for current and future naval challenges - engages with the international S&T community around the world. Officials noted that the new office in Brazil will be critical to the advancement of open-source, unclassified knowledge and collaboration in a region marked by rapidly-expanding economies and significant growth in cutting-edge science.

"The opening of the Sao Paulo office reflects the strong, longstanding S&T relationships ONR has with the international community," Winter noted. "This office will serve as a regional hub for collaboration with researchers across South America to share discovery and invention, which are the lifeblood of scientific advancement."

Recent collaborative research between South American and U.S. scientists have included academic gatherings in the fields of alternative energy, underwater acoustics, augmented reality and more, as well as research projects involving topics ranging from flood prediction to materials stress and marine genomics.

The new office will help coordinate activities across the vast South American continent with ONR Global's existing office in Santiago, Chile.

Capt. Clark Troyer, ONR Global's commanding officer, noted that the new Brazil hub is expected to deliver significant positive impacts for the future force.

"The opening of a new office in the largest country in South America is an important development, emphasizing that breakthrough science and technology capabilities generally come about only through collaboration and partnerships," he added. "Those who follow S&T from a naval perspective recognize that Brazil is significant, both in its impressive academic and research communities, as well as the wealth of opportunities to conduct research in unique ecological settings."

ONR Global has offices on multiple continents, including Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Its commanding officer and technical director are based in London. An important part of the command's collaborative efforts are associate directors, who promote collaboration with international scientists; and science advisors, who identify fleet needs.

Both groups serve as the CNR's "science ambassadors," creating essential links with both the international S&T community and operational forces to successfully execute the Naval S&T Strategy.

For more news from Office of Naval Research, visit

NNS150730-09. TSC Petty Officers, Chiefs Volunteer to Package Meals

By Zach Mott, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Two hours of work equaled enough meals to feed 50 children for more than one year for Sailors from Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes and other volunteers at the Libertyville Feed My Starving Children facility, July 29.

More than 25 Sailors from the TSC Petty Officers Association and Chief Petty Officer 365 (CPO365) joined volunteers from the surrounding community to pack more than 18,500 meals.

To make the meals the volunteers combined soy, rice, vitamins and vegetables into plastic bags and then sealed them. The meals are one of three separate meal plans Feed My Starving Children prepares and distributes to 70 countries worldwide.

"It doesn't take a whole lot of time but it has a major impact as far as helping people out that are less fortunate than ourselves," said Fire Controlman 1st Class Richard Kinnison, the community outreach coordinator for the TSC POA and CPO365 as well as a Navy Military Training Instructor (NMTI).

The meals this day were being shipped to Haiti, Peru, Swaziland and the Philippines. Sailors volunteered for this opportunity because, Kinnison said, many have witnessed first-hand the effects of starvation and need while visiting other parts of the world in their time in the Navy.

"Doing my tours, seeing how poor some of these kids were, it definitely makes you take everything you have an appreciate it," said Navy Counselor 1st Class (SW/AW) Laniya Allen, TSC career counselor. "We waste two hours watching TV, playing video games. To be able to give back my time to be able to help someone eat, I think that's awesome."

The influx of volunteers, Navy or otherwise, is a welcome site for Facility Supervisor John Schmelzel. But, he said, the volunteers from the Navy make the packing process more efficient.

"They're kind of the perfect volunteers for us because they're always so willing to help out," he said. "Everybody appreciates seeing them giving back in yet another way to the community, to the worldwide community. It serves as an inspiration for all the volunteers that are here."

Sailors from TSC have been volunteering with Feed My Starving Children almost since this site opened in late 2012. There are 27 packing sessions per week that are staffed by volunteers and the three-person full-time Feed My Starving Children staff. Volunteers can be anyone from the age of five years and up. They can be either individuals, families or small or large groups.

"This is what it's all about. If you want to make this society better, make people better, make the Navy better you've got to set the example. We as leaders got to step up and set the example for the junior Sailors to follow," Kinnison said.

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

NNS150730-08. Powerful Patents: Navy Outranks All Government Agencies in Yearly Report

By Warren Duffie, Office of Naval Research

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- Predicting the risk of pirate attacks on vital shipping lanes could soon be easier, thanks to a data system that's just one of 364 technologies patented by the Department of the Navy (DoN) in 2014, officials said, July 29.

DoN leads the government category in an annual ranking of patent portfolios recently published by the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

Titled the IP Record's "Top 300 Organizations Granted U.S. Patents in 2014," the report compiles rankings based on patent data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

For the fifth consecutive year, DoN earned the top spot among U.S. government agencies, including the U.S. Army, Department of Health and Human Services and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. DoN also out-patented the likes of Nissan Motor Co. and Rolls-Royce PLC, pharmaceutical purveyors Novartis AG and Sanofi and academic institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"The science and technology component of the Office of Naval Research's [ONR] mission is primarily focused on technology maturation," said Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Mat Winter. "Helping the Navy to patent such a large number of game-changing technologies, year after year, ensures our warfighters retain the technological advantage on the battlefield today, and well into the future, while highlighting the deep scientific intellectual capital across the entire Naval Research Enterprise."

ONR manages DoN's intellectual property investments, setting policy and conducting oversight of patents as well as trademarks, copyrights, inventions and royalty payments.

Patents are designed to protect an inventor's interests, excluding others from "making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention through the United States or importing the invention" for a specified time.

A few examples of the patents issued to DoN in 2014 include:

* Method for Predicting Pirate Attack Risk: This data system can predict the likelihood of a pirate attack in a geographic area by using a combination of intelligence and meteorological information about pirate behavior and shipping activity and vulnerabilities.

* Rapid Identification of Identifying Campylobacter Jejuni: Using DNA molecules, this system rapidly and accurately identifies the main types of Campylobacter Jejuni, a bacteria that causes diarrheal disease globally and could impact U.S. warfighters deployed overseas.

* Using Satellite Imaging to Detect Disaster Relief Assets: This system features an algorithm that uses satellite imaging to quickly and automatically identify assets for disaster relief, including water sources for firefighting efforts.

Earlier this year, DoN also dominated the government category in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Spectrum magazine's 2014 Patent Power Scorecard. IEEE evaluated 5,000 organizations' portfolios across 17 industries for the number of patents issued, as well as the growth, impact, originality and general applicability of each patent.

For more news from Office of Naval Research, visit

NNS150730-07. Abraham Lincoln's Engineering Department Continues to Attain Early Shipyard Milestones

From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln's (CVN 72) Engineering Department, completed the certification process to enable a portion of the ship's collection, holding, and transfer (CHT) system operational this July at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia.

Lt. Michael Blackwood, who oversees the CHT system aboard Abraham Lincoln, discussed the importance of bringing online this capability ahead of schedule.

"Bringing portions of the CHT system online allows production work to start on the aft galley and mess decks," said Blackwood. "I think we're in good hands and have taken a significant step in the right direction to get the ship operational and back to the fleet."

Hull Maintenance Technician 1st Class Kennith Malone emphasized the importance of this key system and attaining this milestone.
"Habitability; it's a major milestone in order to get the ship back into a livable condition," said Malone.

With Crew Move Aboard scheduled for February 2016, bringing key systems online is critical to Lincoln's ongoing refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH).

"We are significantly ahead of schedule. When it comes to RCOH we want to get the CHT online in order to take care of the ship's needs," said Malone, who added that the aft portions of CHT from frame 180 aft were online. "The faster we can get them online throughout the ship the less time is spent for people running back and forth to the Floating Accommodation Facility (FAF). It enables people to stay in one work area and not have to go from FAF to ship and back just to eat."

Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Kobi Thurman added that turning on CHT affects the entire ship's crew.

"Quality of life is the biggest thing that can help affect crew move aboard. We can't have people move onto a ship and not be able to have personal hygiene, showers, heads, and water," said Thurman. "It really allows the comforts of home."

Abraham Lincoln is currently undergoing RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News.

Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz-class to undergo an RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet and will continue to be a vital part of the nation's defense.

For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit

NNS150730-03. NAVSUP GLS Commander Visits Sailors of NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound

By Brian J. Davis, NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound Corporate Communications

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- The Commander of Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Global Logistics Support (GLS) wrapped up a three-day visit with four regional facilities in the Pacific Northwest run by NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Puget Sound July 29.

The purpose of the visit of NAVSUP GLS Commander, Rear Adm. James McNeal was to view NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound operations and see firsthand the diverse scope of activities and services the Sailors, Department of Defense civilians, and contractors provide to operational and shore-based units in the area, and to understand the day-to-day challenges they face.

The admiral met with NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound personnel at four locations; Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Bremerton and Bangor, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, and Naval Station Everett.

"Providing global logistics to a global Navy is a team sport. The focus of NAVSUP GLS is supporting the fleet logistics centers so you can support the fleet," said McNeal.

Along with touring the various NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound activities and speaking to staff, McNeal met with unit commanders supported by NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound to gain a 'customer's perspective' on the quality of services the command provides to the fleet.

"Your reputation is impeccable," McNeal told a group of FLC Puget Sound Sailors and civilians during an admiral's call at NBK Bremerton. "We want happy customers and your customers are delighted."

During his visit, McNeal also visited Sailors at work in a flight line "hot pit" aircraft refueling station and an EA-18G "Growler" simulator at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, a Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC) missile assembly facility at NBK Bangor, and went aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86) in Everett.

NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound, one of eight fleet logistics centers under NAVSUP GLS, provides operational logistics, business and support services to Navy, Coast Guard, Military Sealift Command, and other Joint and Allied Forces. Products and services include contracting, fuels, global logistics, hazardous material management, household goods, integrated logistics support, material management, postal, regional transportation and warehousing.

NAVSUP GLS provides global logistics for a global Navy. The organization is made up of more than 6,500 military and civilian logistics professionals operating from 105 locations worldwide providing an extensive array of integrated global logistics and contracting services to Navy, Marine Corps, joint operational units, and allied forces across all warfare enterprises.

For news and information about NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound, visit or find it on Facebook at

For news and information about NAVSUP GLS, visit or find it on Facebook at

NNS150730-02. Carrier Strike Group 4 Commander Visits USS Arlington

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stevie Tate, USS Arlington Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Commander of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 4 Rear Adm. Richard W. Butler visited the amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24) while the ship was underway for the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group's (ARG) composite unit training exercise (COMPTUEX), July 28.

During the course of his visit, crew members provided Butler a thorough tour of the ship's spaces, including the combat and control center (CIC) and the ship's medical ward, where the crew recently trained to process detainees and non-combatant evacuees.

"It was a great opportunity to show Rear Adm. Butler a ship like Arlington right as we are making preparations for our maiden deployment," said Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Raul Florencio. "We're very proud of this ship, and we're proud to show visitors all of the hard work we have put in to making Arlington the best ship in the fleet."

Butler also took time to congratulate Arlington's Sailors of the Quarter, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jamin Beaugard, Fire Controlman 2nd Class Joshua Toohey, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Austin Harris and Fireman Diana Amimo.

"The visit to Arlington was a wonderful one and I really enjoyed speaking to the crew as I toured the ship," said Butler. "This ship has done a great job during COMPTUEX and I wish the captain and his crew the best of the luck on the upcoming deployment."

Arlington is currently underway with the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) which is composed of Arlington, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 4 staff, USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

Commanded by Capt. Sean Bailey, Arlington is preparing for its maiden deployment this fall.

For more news from USS Arlington (LPD 24), visit

NNS150730-01. International Internship Strengthens Naval Bonds

By Sky M. Laron, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Director of Corporate Communications

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- U.S. and Japanese naval supply leaders gathered together July 28 at the Officer's Club on board Yokosuka Naval Base to recognize a recent graduate from their joint training program, which dates back to 1952.

U.S. Sailors from Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistic Center (FLC) Yokosuka and members of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) have been gathering several times a year for more than six decades to honor the young Japanese supply officers that complete their joint internship program as a member of one of the U.S. Navy's elite supply commands.

"The United States is a very important ally of Japan for our national security and the U.S. Navy is the most important partner for JMSDF," said Capt. Hiroki Saigawa, commanding officer, JMSDF Ship Supply Depot (SSD). "It is necessary for us, JMSDF and U.S. Navy, that we deepen our mutual understanding."

Every internship is approximately seven months in length and the Japanese junior officers who are selected to attend the program and work alongside their U.S. counterparts are the most elite candidates in their field.

"How our commands have been linked together through this internship program and other training opportunities over the decades is very unique to us and I can honestly say that, through this relationship -- it is now, in this room, that are making a difference in continually strengthening the bond between Japan and America," said Cmdr. Paul Dougherty, executive officer, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka. "What an exciting challenge and responsibility that we are fulfilling."

This joint internship program has graduated more than 180 Japanese Supply Corps officers many of whom become senior level professionals in the JMSDF logistics system with three interns having gone on to reach the rank of rear or vice admiral within the JMSDF.

"During my training here, I was so blessed with all of you who guided me in such friendly and generous ways," said Lt. Akifumi Hyodoh, the 182nd and most recent graduate of the joint internship program.

Hyodoh shared how he will be taking the logistics knowledge he has gained from his colleagues at NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, as well as his friendships, with him as he transfers to his next assignment within the JMSDF as the supply officer onboard the guided missile destroyer JDS Chokai (DDG 176), which is homeported in Sasebo, Japan.

Hyodoh served in the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Industrial Support Department (Code 500), which has a mission of supporting the U.S. Navy Ship Repair Facility/Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF/JRMC) - PACFLT's only overseas ship repair and modernization maintenance facility.

To meet the material requirements of our largest industrial customer, in order to support the 19 Japan-based FDNF ships and their requisite industrial maintenance schedules, the team must work tirelessly, said Michael Schoedler, deputy director, Code 500.

"There were some hard times during my work here, but it was also a great opportunity to improve myself personally as well as professionally," said Hyodoh.

"I hope this internship program bares fruit for the future and our great relationship between U.S. Navy and JMSDF lasts forever," said Saigawa.

"Thank you to all our JMSDF partners for being part of this great endeavor to maintain and strengthen our understanding of one another as well as our steadfast alliance," added Dougherty.

NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, one of eight fleet logistics centers under NAVSUP Global Logistics Support (GLS), is the Western Pacific region's largest U.S. Navy logistics command, headquartered just 26 miles due south of Tokyo, the enterprise networks more than 20 sites and fuel terminals from Misawa, Japan, to Sydney, Australia; Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to Guam with a mission to serve the Asia Pacific Region's forward deployed maritime Warfighter with 24/7 operational logistics support integrating an extensive service provider network to deliver fuel, material, mail and supply chain services across the U.S. Navy's largest geographical area of responsibility.

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit

NNS020718-18. This Day in Naval History - July 30

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1918 - Headquarters Company and Squadrons A, B, and C of the First Marine Aviation Force arrive at Brest, France, on board USS DeKalb (ID #3010), as U.S. enters European Theater of World War I.

1919 - During an inspection by a six-man maintenance crew, the submarine USS G-2 suddenly floods and sinks at her moorings in Two Tree Channel near Niantic Bay off the Connecticut coast. She goes down in 13 1/2 fathoms, drowning three of the inspection crew.

1942 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the act establishing WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). During World War II, more than 80,000 officers and enlisted women serve in the WAVES.

1943 - PV 1 aircraft from (VB 127) sinks German submarine (U 591) off Pernambuco, Brazil. Also on this date, TBFs and F4Fs (VC 29) from USS Santee (CVE 29) sink German submarine (U 43) in the mid-Atlantic, while (PC 624) sinks German submarine (U 375) off Tunisia.

1945 - A Japanese submarine sinks USS Indianapolis (CA 35), northeast of Leyte. Only 316 of her 1,199 crew survive. Due to communications and other errors, her loss goes unnoticed until survivors are seen from a passing aircraft on Aug. 2. Four days earlier, she had delivered atomic bomb components used on Japan in August.

2005 - USS Halsey (DDG 97) is commissioned at Naval Station North Island in San Diego, Calif. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer is named after U.S. Naval Academy graduate Fleet Adm. William Bull Halsey Jr., who commanded the U. S. 3rd Fleet during much of the Pacific War against Japan.

NNS150730-19. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Performs Public Health Review

From Commander, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Region Southeast (CNRSE) is working with Navy public health and environmental experts to conduct a preliminary inquiry into allegations of cancer among personnel assigned to the Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions site at Naval Station (NS) Guantanamo Bay.

In response to a notification on July 14, 2015, Commander, Navy Region Southeast (CNRSE) is working with Navy public health and environmental experts to conduct a preliminary inquiry into allegations of cancer among personnel assigned to the Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions site at Naval Station (NS) Guantanamo Bay.

The complaint alleges that military and civilian personnel who worked at the Commissions area of Guantanamo Bay were likely exposed to carcinogens. According to the complaint, up to seven individuals who lived and worked in the area have subsequently been diagnosed with cancer.

In response to this complaint, CNRSE and NS Guantanamo Bay Commanding Officer Capt. David Culpepper have requested the support of the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) and other Navy environmental officials to review available records pertinent to the site and the allegations in the complaint.

As part of their review, NMCPHC public health experts are reviewing historical medical records of the individuals identified in the report to confirm the type of cancer and date of diagnosis. Historical environmental data is also being reviewed by NMCPHC to determine if there are any potential health risks from exposure to environmental hazards. This initial review must be completed before a final plan would be developed.

The initial records search is in coordination with NS Guantanamo Bay, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic and NAVFAC Southeast. To ensure an exhaustive process and review are met, the records search could take several weeks. Additionally, while records review is taking place, a small team of PH professionals will be traveling to Guantanamo Bay next week to provide subject matter expertise for the base commanding officer and leadership.

Navy leadership is committed to the safety and security of all personnel at its installations and will provide regular updates on the progress of the inquiry at,
on the Armed Forces Network's weekly radio news program "Open Line," and in the pages of the "Guantanamo Gazette."

NNS150731-21. Aviator Wings Blessed Prior to Winging Ceremony

By Fifi Kieschnick, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi Public Affairs

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS (NNS) -- "It's our pleasure to start your 'winging day' with this ceremony," said Father John Vidal to the student pilots, friends and families gathered in the Catholic chapel aboard Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.

The morning of each day a winging ceremony is scheduled, Vidal and Command Chaplain Lt. Cmdr. Steve Warne conduct a voluntary "blessing of the wings" ceremony.

"We exist to support you, provide for your religious needs," Warne told those gathered, "because we think it's important."

He reminded the group that sometimes when people are "at the bottom," it's their faith that gets them through.

Warne also told the naval aviators, "You are going to be doing a lot of great things in the cockpit. Life is about relationships and your family. Don't put yourself in a place of isolation. Get connected to your community of faith that can actively support you."

He added that military chapels provide a "built-in community," where others understand who you are.

Pointing to the tapestries with wings affixed to them, Warne said. "You are even connected to pilots who flew in World War II."

Construction of NASCC's Protestant chapel was completed in late 1941 and the first worship services were held on Sunday, Dec. 7, of that year, about the same time Pearl Harbor was being bombed. Construction of the Catholic chapel began immediately after the Protestant chapel was completed.

According to the chaplains, during World War II, many Catholic chaplains began blessing the wings of Catholic aviators. This tradition continued throughout the years and eventually became a "Blessing of the Wings" service in chapels around the world.

Eventually the service included other Christian traditions and became the "Aviator's Blessing," accompanied by pinning a set of wings on a tapestry.

People come to the chapel and pray for those represented by the wings. Additionally, prayers are offered at Catholic Mass each Sunday for the men and women represented on the tapestries.

"There may be someone out there, right now, maybe even in a combat zone, who has their wings blessed. We take time to stop and pray for them every Sunday, we say a blessing," Warne said.

Hundreds upon hundreds of aviator wings and other insignia are displayed on encased tapestry throughout the NAS Corpus Christi Chapel. They represent all those who had their wings blessed prior to their winging ceremony.

"Many people don't know what a 'blessing' is," said Vidal to those gathered at the chapel July 31. "We are setting something aside for God. Setting these wings aside reminds us that 'Lord, I'm taking you with me in the cockpit.'

"You are connecting to a community and connecting to God."

Vidal sprinkles holy water on the aviators' wings and gives the aviators explicit instructions on numbering, recording in a log book and placing their blessed wings on the tapestry.

This, he tells them, is so that anyone can find the wings of any aviator who had their wings blessed at the chapel.

"Now you have God with you," Vidal said.

Naval Air Station Corpus Christi has been home to naval pilot training since 1941. Today, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and foreign student pilots earn their wings at training in the four squadrons of Training Air Wing 4.

For more news from Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, visit

NNS150731-14. Sexual Assault Reports: Week of July 20-26, 2015

From the Office of the Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- This week's overview of alleged sexual assaults is compiled based on seven initial reports across the Navy from July 20-26. This timeframe reflects only the receipt of the initial reports; one of the reported incidents occurred during this period, five occurred outside of the report period and two occurred at an unknown time. Each report will be fully investigated. Looking at this snapshot in time, we see the following:

* One report is from events that occurred on-base, five are from events that occurred off-base and one occurred at unknown location.

* Of the eight alleged offenders, three were petty officers, three were E-3 and below and two were unknown.

* Eight of the alleged offenders were male.

* Six of the reported incidents were alleged to be service member on service member and two were non-service member on service member

* Among the eight alleged victims, all were E-3 and below. All eight of the alleged victims were female.

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

NNS150731-13. USS San Diego Holds Change of Command

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joseph M. Buliavac, USS San Diego Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The crew of the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22) held a change of command ceremony, July 30, aboard the USS Midway Museum.

Capt. Carl W. Meuser relieved Capt. John V. Menoni as commanding officer.

While addressing the guests of the ceremony, Menoni gave all of the credit for his successful tour to his Sailors and embarked Marines.

"Those people standing in the back; that group that represents the San Diego Navy and Marine Corps team is the best operational team out there. There's nothing they couldn't do," said Menoni. "We weren't perfect, but as a team we accomplished great things."

Menoni, San Diego's fourth commanding officer, began his tour as the ship's executive officer in November 2012, and assumed command on Feb. 7, 2014. Under his leadership, San Diego reached many milestones including an underway recovery test for NASA's Orion Program, and a successful maiden deployment.

"Commanding a ship at sea is the ultimate test of leadership and character, and that test for Capt. Menoni was a little bit harder on board San Diego as he got the chance to take on a maiden deployment," said Commander Amphibious Squadron 5, Capt. Stephen McKone, the ceremony's guest speaker. "He had to build a culture of operational excellence that is normally already a part of a deployment-tested ship and crew. And I can tell you that he succeeded brilliantly."

Meuser, a native of Manchester, Oklahoma, enlisted in the Navy in 1986. Designated as a Navy journalist, he served at the Navy Broadcasting Detachment in Keflavik, Iceland, and as the independent duty journalist on USS Portland (LSD 37). In 1988, he was awarded a Naval Reserves Officers Training Corps scholarship to the University of Oklahoma, where he graduated, and was commissioned in 1991.

"I look forward to go down to the sea with our ship, in the prime of our lives, and doing something bigger than ourselves; something of which we can be proud of for the rest of our lives. I look forward to go to sea with you all," Meuser said. "I'm thrilled to be the commanding officer of USS San Diego. It's a fantastic ship and the best crew I've ever served with."

Meuser's tours of duty include USS O'Brien (DD 975), USS Port Royal (CG 73), and officer-in-charge of Afloat Planning Systems Team 2. He served as executive officer of USS Antietam (CG 54) and as commanding officer of USS Higgins (DDG 76).

San Diego, the fourth ship to bear the name, is currently moored at BAE Systems San Diego shipyard for an extended maintenance period.

San Diego, the only U.S. Navy ship stationed in her namesake city, was built at Northrop Grumman's Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., and is the sixth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship. Delivered to the U.S. Navy on Dec. 19, 2011, the ship was commissioned on May 19, 2012 in San Diego.

For more news from USS San Diego (LPD 22), visit .

NNS150731-12. Sexual Assault Reports: Week of July 13-19, 2015

From the Office of the Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- This week's overview of alleged sexual assaults is compiled based on seven initial reports across the Navy from July 13-19. This timeframe reflects only the receipt of the initial reports; two of the reported incidents occurred during this period, four occurred outside of the report period and one occurred at an unknown time. Each report will be fully investigated. Looking at this snapshot in time, we see the following:

* Three reports are from events that occurred on-base, three are from events that occurred off-base and one occurred at unknown location.

* Of the seven alleged offenders, four were petty officers and three were unknown.

* Five of the alleged offenders were male and two were unknown.

* Three of the reported incidents were alleged to be service member on service member, one was non-service member on service member, one was service member on non-service member and two were unknown.

* Among the seven alleged victims, one was an officer, two were petty officers, three were E-3 and below and one was a civilian. Six of the alleged victims were female and one was 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

NNS150731-11. MCPON Inspects Ceremonial Guard

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brandon Parker, U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens visited the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard to conduct a personnel inspection at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, July 29.

"Our ceremonial guard is a very special unit, and it has very special duties and responsibilities, as such, we hold them to the highest possible standards," said Stevens. "I feel it's appropriate to come over here at least once a year and conduct a complete personnel inspection because they represent our Navy as a whole."

Stevens said it is his honor to perform a uniform inspection on the Sailors of Ceremonial Guard because it is their job to represent the Navy.

"Being a member of the ceremonial guard is to be someone who represents the entirety of the United States Navy," Stevens said. "The ceremonies they conduct, from the arrival of distinguished guests, memorial ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and the many events they participate throughout the year, are events in which they are able to represent the Navy. I couldn't be more proud of our young Sailors at the Ceremonial Guard."

Stevens said that any participants who passed the inspection without a single infraction would personally receive his MCPON coin and a letter of achievement.

"This inspection is a zero discrepancy inspection in which 25 members competed, and 15 received a coin and a letter of appreciation from the MCPON," Stevens said. "Going by the guard's inspection criteria, they all received outstanding, but only 15 of them received zero hits."

Some Sailors were anxious, yet confident about participating in the inspection.

"I was nervous, I'm not going to lie, I was shaky and hoping he wouldn't see me shake," said Airman Joshua Taione, a guardsman who passed the uniform inspection. "I wanted to look tough, but I mostly wanted to pass, and I passed with zero hits."

Stevens said that he expects Sailors in the fleet to conduct inspections that are just as thorough.

"The inspection was conducted in a manner that I would hope any personnel inspection would be conducted, very thorough with the same high expectations" he said. "I'm confident that our chief petty officers, first class petty officers and division officers are out doing similar inspections throughout the Navy on a regular basis. The tradition of upholding people to high standards in the Navy is alive and well."

For more news from the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, visit

NNS150731-10. Navy League of Newport County Holds Military Appreciation Night

By Lisa Woodbury Rama, NAVSTA Newport Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- More than 200 members of the Navy League of Newport County, elected officials, community leaders, representatives from civic organizations and industry joined together last night to show their appreciation to those who serve on the high seas throughout Southern New England.

The Newport Council Navy League's annual Military Appreciation Night and Dinner meeting is one of the highlights of the year for the local council.

Officers and enlisted men and women representing the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Merchant Marines and U.S. Coast Guard commands were the honored guests of the council.

Rear Adm. P. Gardner Howe III, president of Naval War College (NWC), was the guest speaker.

Howe spoke on the theme of the importance of trust and teamwork. He touched on experiences he has had since his days as a lieutenant in SEAL Team 1 up through his current position as the president of the Navy's premiere institution for learning.

He spoke about how his perspective on what it took for success changed as he gained experience on broader scales.

"Early on in my career I finished up my foundational tours thinking the secret to tactical success was based on tactical know-how," Howe said.

After being here in Newport for nearly a year now and having time to reflect further while surrounded by leaders from nations around the world, Howe's outlook has changed.

"I realized that the best SEAL platoons were those that built relationships and trust. The critical and vital roles that trust and teamwork made in the operations of any mission were the key to the success," Howe said.

One hundred and eighteen students from sixty-five countries reported to NWC's Naval staff and Naval Command College last week and the foundations for trust and teamwork on an international level are being built today.

The students will be integrated in the core program at NWC and also experience an intensive field study program. They will be immersed in American life for an entire year.

"We know that this is an incredibly effective way of building a network of trust throughout the world. We are building teams here at the Naval Command and Staff College that will go on to be able to find regional solutions to regional problems," Howe said.

The Newport Council of the Navy League, recognized again as a Meritorious Council for calendar year 2014, was formed July 29, 1957 and is a civilian organization comprised of approximately 400 members.

The council is actively engaged in supporting this teamwork development through programs and activities supporting the NWC programs and dozens of others throughout Naval Station Newport, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Southeast and through their support of the R.I. Sea Cadet program.

The Newport Council holds approximately ten events each year in which they pay tribute to and honor local service men and women.

In addition to these events, they participate in nearly one hundred graduation and awards ceremonies annually at local Navy and Coast Guard Commands.

The council sponsors the annual Junior Officer; Senior Enlisted, Junior Enlisted and Service Member of the Year Awards Program for the Newport Naval Complex and U.S. Coast Guard Officer and Enlisted Member of the Year Program.

The council also recognizes, throughout the year, the distinguished graduates of the Officer Candidate School, Officer Development School, Naval Academy Preparatory School, Surface Warfare Officer School, the Senior Enlisted Academy and the "Sailors of the Quarter" of the local Coast Guard Cutters and Stations.

For more information on the Newport County Council go to:

NNS150731-09. Certification Secured: Truman Passes Force Protection Exercise, Earns Praise

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice A. L. M. VanGuilder and Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class M. M. Gillan, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The security force aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman completed Force Protection Exercise (FPEX), July 29, certifications for the anti-terrorism force protection mission area in preparation for an upcoming deployment.

FPEX serves to ensure Truman's security force is properly trained to eliminate security threats while overseas and in foreign ports. Lt. Cmdr. M. J. Finneran, Truman's security officer, said the completion of the drills proves Truman will be properly protected wherever it may go. Finneran also said the crew pulled together and demonstrated their ability to defend the ship against threats in foreign ports.

"As with all our other certifications so far, HST Sailors proved their merit, once again, by achieving outstanding results in detecting, deterring and countering terrorist threats," said Finneran. "Day one of the certification yielded high praise from the evaluation teams; so much so, that the events conducted on day two were highly advanced."

The high recognition given to Truman's Sailors during FPEX proves they have the level of expertise required to protect the ship against terrorist attacks.

"Whether it is an active shooter, bomb threat or hostage situation, our Sailors have to be ready," said Master-at-Arms 1st Class J. C. Horn. "Not only should they know what to do, but they need to perform with a high level of proficiency and respond in an instant."

Master-at-Arms 3rd Class C. A. Moistner added that the successful completion of the drills builds confidence in Truman's security force and certifies the crew for more liberty while in foreign ports.

"Due to past events, all of our drills were simulated as being in an overseas port," said Moistner. "Simulating an outside continental United States (OCONUS) security posture means training for events that have happened, and can happen while overseas. It also helps security to collaborate and work with host nation personnel."

With the certification completed, Truman moves one step nearer toward deployment readiness. Finneran said this progress would be impossible without the hard work put in by every Sailor on board.

"I could sit here and try to single out each department out that had a hand in our certification. But, in the end, everyone played a role in the success," said Finneran. "That's what Truman is all about - teamwork. We succeeded as a team with top results once again."

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

NNS150731-08. Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Birthday Reflects on the Broad History of the Installation

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

YORKTOWN, Va. (NNS) -- The history of Naval Weapons Station (WPNSTA) Yorktown began with the world at war and, through the progression of military weaponry, continues today as the U.S. Navy's premier ordnance handling facility.

WPNSTA Yorktown celebrates its 97th birthday this year and its mission of providing "Ordnance on Target" for our warfighters remains. Its long history is broad, yet unconventional at times.

On Aug. 7, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson ordered the Secretary of the Navy to take possession of a tract of land, "being part in the County of Warwick and part in the County of York, both in the state of Virginia."

This was the beginning of Navy Mine Depot Yorktown.
Initial construction of the depot included a mine loading plant, magazines for storage, a power plant, machine shop, a railroad to connect with local rail lines, a pier, and various barracks, administration offices and a galley. Total cost for the initial construction was $3 million, equaling over $37 million today.

The first commanding officer of Navy Mine Depot was Capt. Edward T. Fitzgerald. Born in Brooklyn, New York, on Oct. 7, 1874, Fitzgerald graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1896. He was ordered as the first "Inspector of Ordnance in Charge" for the depot from November 1918 to June 1919. During his short tenure, he was the driving force behind the warfare capability and mine storage that developed at Navy Mine Depot Yorktown. He died on April 17, 1934, in New York City.

At an installation the size and magnitude of Navy Mine Depot Yorktown, security was paramount. Horse-mounted Marines provided security to the perimeter of the installation by riding along the entire fence line. The horses were replaced by motor vehicles in 1960, making WPNSTA Yorktown the last Navy installation to use horse-mounted Marines.

Stables were built in 1923 to support the horses used by the Marines, but it also provided a vital community service to the base personnel and their families. Due to the isolated location of the Navy Mine Depot, it was difficult to procure a fresh supply of milk for the base and its residents. A community dairy was established at the stables in 1930. The original herd was comprised of four cows and later expanded to 11, to generate a sufficient supply of milk. The growth of the dairy continued for several years, but due to operating difficulties, ceased operations in 1954.

The main workhorse of the installation is the ordnance pier. The original pier was constructed in 1920. It was a wooden pier with inlaid rail road tracks to facilitate the loading/unloading of mines and other ordnance. In the beginning, barges were loaded with ordnance and towed out to ships anchored in the river or down to ships at Naval Station Norfolk. The pier suffered major damage during a hurricane in 1933 and a fire in 1954. In 1962, construction began on a new U-shaped pier that is still in service today.

One of the best kept secrets of the installation over the years has been fishing off of the ordnance pier. Though this is no longer an option today, it was very popular early on with Sailors, civilians and their dependents. One prominent fisherman that came to the installation to fish was President Harry S. Truman. He was known to frequent the pier on the Presidential Yacht, The Williamsburg, which was moored there from time-to-time.

In the history of the installation, there has only been one fatal accident at the facility. In 1943, a night crew was loading torpedo warheads from the cooling plant when the ammunition exploded. According to Susan Clingan, who wrote a comprehensive history of the installation in 1961, the building was barricaded with an earthen mound so the force of the explosion was confined to that area.

"Nothing was left of the building but a hole in the ground," Clingan said. "The four wheels of the box car standing beside the building was left on the track. The rest of the box car completely disintegrated."

The crew of seven was killed and no trace of them was ever found. Windows were cracked as far away as Norfolk by the force of the explosion. A stone obelisk was erected at Missile Park on base in memorial of those killed in the blast.

The installation's name has been changed three times in its 97-year history. The first name change took place on July 1, 1932, when it was changed from Navy Mine Depot to Naval Mine Depot. On April 18, 1943, the title of inspector of ordnance in charge was changed to commanding officer. And on Aug. 7, 1958, at the station's 40th birthday, the name was changed to Naval Weapons Station Yorktown.

Over its long history, WPNSTA Yorktown has employed a variety of military and civilian personnel to carry out its mission. By October 1943, there were 94 officers, 890 enlisted, in addition to 250 Marines permanently stationed at the installation. The civilian work force totaled more than 2,300, including 545 women. Today, there are 1,346 active duty personnel (includes tenant commands), 517 reservists and 796 civilians at WPNSTA Yorktown.

Cheatham Annex (CAX), originally founded as a Seabee training base in 1943, became an annex of the Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Norfolk. In 1998, CAX was incorporated as part of WPNSTA Yorktown. Today, CAX continues both missions it was originally intended for as both an expeditionary combat training facility as well as a fleet supply center.

CAX and WPNSTA Yorktown are separated by the Colonial Parkway. President Herbert Hoover signed a proclamation establishing the Colonial Parkway on July 3, 1930, but not without some controversy. According to Frances Watson Clark, author of "Images of America: The Colonial Parkway," the proclamation was delivered to President Hoover by Horace Albright, director of the National Park Service, before the next scheduled cabinet meeting.

"When the Navy afterwards refused to turn over the land for the parkway, Albright brought the proclamation needed to secure the desired route to the President," Clark wrote. "Without Adams (Secretary of the Navy Charles Adams) present to raise an objection, Hoover signed the proclamation. By the time Adams found out about it, the route was already set."

In three years, WPNSTA Yorktown will be celebrating its 100th Birthday. Though the installation is not as old as other facilities within the United States Navy, its history is rich and unique, dating back before the 1918 proclamation that founded the base. The land on which WNPSTA Yorktown sits has roots dating back to pre-colonial exploration of the New World by Captain John Smith and the Jamestown colonists. The history here is an integral part of our shared American heritage, as a Navy and as a nation.

For more news from Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, visit

NNS150731-07. National Naval Officers Association Holds Professional Development and Training Conference

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Antonio Turretto Ramos, Navy Public Affairs Support Element-West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard officers expanded mentoring and leadership skills during a three-day professional development and training conference, held by the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA), on board Naval Base Point Loma, July 28-30.

The NNOA is a non-profit organization composed of active duty, reserve and retired officers, as well as midshipmen, cadets, and interested civilians. According to Cmdr. Will Watson, the NNOA president, the organization serves as an outreach program, as well as a professional development platform.

"Our main goal is to support the sea services in finding talent, developing talent and retaining talent in our respective officer corps," said Watson. "This conference offers access to senior leaders in a way that is not available anywhere else."

Junior officers had the opportunity to hear presentations from senior leaders about current issues in their respective services and ask questions about leadership styles and methods.

Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michelle Howard, a guest of honor at the conference, presented awards, gave a presentation highlighting the changing climate in the Navy and the importance of communication between generations of leaders, and stressed the importance of the symposium.

"It's a discussion. It helps expose a discussion about who we are as a Navy, as a sea service, and what's important to us as leaders," she said. "Understanding how we see ourselves, and understanding how you see yourself, is so important to leadership. Ships may be the heart of the Navy, but the people are its lifeblood. I have to understand the lifeblood too."

Howard also answered questions from attendees in a frank, conversational atmosphere, and addressed topics ranging from leadership style to advice on work-life balance.

"It's a great opportunity to pick people's brains," said Capt. Robert Dews, director of operations, Navy Recruiting Command. "When you're a junior officer underway, you don't always have the time or the comfort level to ask the kinds of questions we can ask here. This conference is a great way for maritime officers to get in sync with each other and learn about each other's communities."

Dews said that he is an example of how the NNOA's investment in community outreach efforts has returned results. He was approached in high school by naval officers in the NNOA, and said that because of the positive impression and the help of an NNOA scholarship he went on to graduate from Washington University. Dews earned an officer commission in the Navy through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps program offered at the university, but said he never would have considered a career in the sea services without having been approached by the NNOA. The captain has now served in the Navy for more than two decades.

"The experience for me at the NNOA conference is rejuvenating because it's an opportunity to give back and mentor others and get mentored," Dews added. "I've been in the Navy 27 years and I always pick up a couple things I can take back and share at my command."

Ensign Michelle Zablan, a nurse at Walter Reed National Medical Center, said she learned about NNOA through a friend who is a retired naval officer. Zablan said that she has benefited most from learning leadership techniques and what to look for in her mentors.

"I feel like... I'm going to walk away from this with mentors and relationships... and I'm going to take those and really build on what I can do better as a nurse and a sister in arms in our Navy," said Zablan. "It's so important for personal growth for the community and for the Navy."

For more information on the NNOA, visit .

NNS150731-04. NAVFAC Far East Changes Command

By James Johnson, NAVFAC Far East Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Far East welcomed a new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony on board Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, July 31.

Capt. Kevin Bartoe, CEC, USN, relieved Capt. Michelle La Duca as NAVFAC Far East commanding officer and regional engineer for Commander, Navy Region Japan, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea and Singapore Area Coordinator.

"Our primary job as facility professionals is to support the fleet and ensure our installations are ready to meet the mission requirements of our sea, air and land forces," said Bartoe. "We are a service organization, delivering professional facilities engineering services across all of the installations in our area of operation. Being a service organization means understanding the needs and requirements of our supported commands, and making the best possible recommendations for maintenance, operations, and improvements for the future."

Bartoe will lead approximately 2,000 military, U.S. Civil Service and host nation employees in Japan, Korea, Singapore and Diego Garcia. NAVFAC Far East delivers more than $700 million annually in facilities management, public works and construction contracting services.

Bartoe has served the Navy since 1992. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M. His most recent assignment was executive officer at NAVFAC Washington, D.C and deputy regional engineer for Naval District Washington.

La Duca will continue her Navy career with NAVFAC Pacific as vice commander.

"Two years ago, I mentioned that this was my second tour in Japan. I mentioned that my first tour was wonderful for the food, the history, the culture, but especially because of the people," said La Duca. "This tour has been even more wonderful-again, especially because of the people."

NAVFAC Pacific Commander Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg spoke at the ceremony and presented La Duca with the Legion of Merit (gold star in lieu of second award).

"This period has been marked by tremendous challenges; personnel vacancies, complex projects, natural disasters, and the direct support of three regional commanders," said Muilenburg. "Through it all, NAVFAC Far East has had an incredible record of on-time, high-quality execution."

"Safety has been at the forefront of all of their actions and activities. No NAVFAC command has had a stronger safety program over the years than NAVFAC Far East," he said.

La Duca provided leadership in support of the relocation of littoral combat ships to Singapore. She pushed to implement Safe Drinking Water Act quality water and oversaw pier and airfield upgrades at Far East installations. In 2014, NAVFAC Far East was awarded Secretary of the Navy Energy and Water Management awards at all six installations in Japan for meeting Federal, Department of Defense and Navy goals.

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit

NNS150731-03. Continuing Promise 2015 Kicks Off in Dominica

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Maddelin Angebrand, Cp-15 Public Affairs

ROSEAU, Dominica (NNS) -- The joint-military crew and non-governmental organization (NGO) volunteers serving aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) commenced humanitarian-civil assistance operations July 28 in Dominica as part of Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15).

An opening ceremony held at the Princess Margaret Hospital marked the start of the eighth mission stop during Comfort's six-month deployment and the first time that the Continuing Promise mission has visited Dominica.

"Building partnerships with each country is critical to the overall success of the mission. Since this is the first time that the Continuing Promise mission has visited Dominica, we look forward to the opportunity to foster goodwill and build partner capacity and capability through the dozens of collaborations with our Dominican counterparts," said Capt. Sam Hancock, Continuing Promise 2015 mission commander.

The CP-15 team, NGO volunteers, Dominican medical professionals and Ministry of Health volunteers provided no-cost medical and dental services to more than 1,000 patients during the first day of operations at two locations, the Dominica Grammar School in Roseau and the Roosevelt Douglas Primary School in Portsmouth. In addition to the medical services provided at the sites, 17 surgeries were conducted aboard Comfort.

"Medical site operations went smoothly today," said Capt. Mary White, officer in charge of the medical site established at the Dominica Grammar School. "We finished up surgical screenings and had the site up and running right on schedule. Working as a team, blending our NGO volunteers and Navy personnel, allowed us to see over 600 patients on the first day."

A subject matter expert exchange (SMEE) was conducted at Princess Margaret Hospital covering topics such as intensive care unit protocols and bed management.

Comfort nephrologists also collaborated with Dominican medical professionals to treat 11 dialysis patients. Additional SMEEs are planned to take place at the Regional Fitzroy Armor, Portsmouth Hospital and aboard Comfort.

"These exchanges allow us to connect with the Roseau and Portsmouth medical professionals and share information pertaining to various medical topics," said Ensign Jhermayne Bullock, assigned to the Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit-2 in Norfolk, Virginia. "This collaboration not only strengthens ties with Dominica as a whole, but also impacts the local communities that we visit."

The CP-15 environmental health team visited the hospital and provided formal lectures on mosquito surveillance, biology, control, pathology, and insecticide resistance. They also distributed mosquito surveillance traps to the Dominican vector control team.

The veterinary team consisting of Army veterinarians, veterinary technicians and volunteer veterinarians from the NGO, World Vets, met with local veterinarians to discuss what services are currently needed in the region.

The engineering portion of the CP-15 mission in Dominica commenced at the Office of Disaster Management where the Navy Seabees, assigned to Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 202 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Jacksonville, Florida, continue their work on the construction of a guard house and the installation of a perimeter fence.

Since deploying in April, Comfort has completed mission stops in Belize, Guatemala, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador and Colombia. Additional stops are planned for the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Honduras.

Continuing Promise is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet-conducted deployment to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian-civil assistance, subject matter expert exchanges, medical, dental, veterinary and engineering support and disaster response to partner nations and to show the United States' continued support and commitment to Central and South America and the Caribbean.

For more news from Continuing Promise, visit

NNS150731-02. Sailors Complete Mission Nutrition

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

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Sailors, Department of Defense employees and their family members participated in a 2-day "Mission Nutrition" course at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton's Fitness Center July 29.

The course is led by Navy registered dietitians and covers many facets of proper nutrition including nutrition 101, meal planning, emotional and mindless eating, fad diets and many other related topics.

"We provide real world knowledge by having participants go to the Commissary to shop for the proper foods that make a healthy meal," said Michael Martin, a fitness instructor and Naval Base Kitsap Fitness Center. "We like to offer the class to military family members since it can be hard for an individual to completely change their eating habits alone."

Much of the class revolved around the concept of learning how to properly create a meal plan, which benefits each individual diet goal, without sacrificing overall nutritional value.

"I signed up to learn how to create a better eating lifestyle for myself, since I am trying to lose weight while putting on muscle mass," said Electronics Technician 2nd class Ryan Montege, from Lowell, Massachusetts. "It's helpful to know the difference between diet fads and the ones that actually work."

With obesity becoming a common health issue in America, it is important to take advantage of programs the Navy offers to keep yourself and family healthy.

"The class taught me about different meal plans that benefit me and my family," said Shannicia Dunbar, from Buckner, Arkansas. "I realized many of the meals I had cooked for my family were generally healthy but didn't really balance what vitamins and minerals they brought to the table."

Mission Nutrition is a semi-annual course, offered though Naval Base Kitsap Fitness Centers, to inform and influence as many people as possible about the benefits of having a proper diet.

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

NNS150731-01. Command Climate Specialists Attend Equal Opportunity Training Summit

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Karolina A. Oseguera, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A military equal opportunity professional development training summit was held on Naval Air Station North Island July 28-30 for command climate specialists (CCS).

The summit was a three-day event aimed to enhance a command's ability to assess the Command Managed Equal Opportunity program and provided advice in improving working environments and culture for commands and Sailors.

The event kicked off with an address from Fleet Master Chief April Beldo sharing her experiences in the Navy as an African-American woman. She expressed excitement and enthusiasm when speaking about the diversity in the Navy and referred to it as a 'melting pot'.

"We all bring something great to the table and we are similar in that we each want to play a role in this mission," said Beldo. "It is everyone's responsibility to hold ourselves and each other accountable and for leadership to set the tone in treating others with dignity and respect."

Throughout the course of three days, the summit covered various topics such as command climate, equal opportunity, sexual harassment policies and complaint processing. Each day included exercises, group discussions and lectures from subject matter experts.

"This training is a tremendous tool for commands," said George Bradshaw, director of Navy Sexual Harassment Prevention and Equal Opportunity. "We are providing command climate specialists with solutions based on results and we are introducing a climate of proactivity rather than reactivity."

Command climate specialists are experienced leaders who take the task of determining the climate of each command by conducting annual surveys. They also provide training on equal opportunity issues and ensure that all formal complaints and command issues are addressed.

"Growing up I did experience discrimination," said Chief Ship's Serviceman Carlos Baray. "When I decided to come into the Navy, being a minority, I knew this job would fit me because I saw all the diversity within. I chose to become a CCS so I can help and teach others about equal opportunity."

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

NNS020718-25. This Day in Naval History - July 31

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1865 - The East India Squadron, later known as Asiatic Squadron, is established under Commodore Henry H. Bell, USN, to operate from Sunda Strait to Japan. The squadron consists of USS Hartford, USS Wachusett, USS Wyoming and USS Relief.

1874 - USS Intrepid is commissioned, the first U.S. warship equipped with torpedoes.

1941 - The Japanese government reports that the bombing of USS Tutuila (PR 4), which happens the previous day during the bombing raid on Chungking, China, is just an accident, pure and simple. USS Tutuilas motor boats were badly damaged and motor sampan is cut loose when one bomb falls eight yards astern of the vessel. There were no causalities.

1943 - PBM (VP 74) and Brazilian A-28 and Catalina sink German submarine U-199 off Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Small seaplane tender USS Barnegat (AVP 10) rescues the survivors.

1944 - USS Parche (SS 384) participates with USS Steelhead (SS 280) in a predawn attack on a Japanese convoy off Takao, Taiwan. Under Cmdr. Lawson P. Ramages brave command, Parche's crew sinks the Japanese cargo ship, Manko, and the Japanese tanker, Koei, while also badly damaging three other enemy cargo vessels. For his "conspicuous gallantry" on this occasion, he is awarded the Medal of Honor.

1951 - Dan A. Kimball takes office as the 50th Secretary of the Navy, serving until January 1953. His tenure is marked by the continuation of the Korean War, expansion of the Nation's defense, and technological progress in aviation, engineering and other defense-related fields.

1959 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower responds to Secretary of the Navy William B. Franke's recommendation to name three SSBNs (nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarines) with these names: USS Sam Houston, USS Thomas A. Edison, and USS John Marshall. The proposed name from Secretary Franke, USS Nathan Hale, is used two years later.

2010 - USS Missouri (SSN 780) is commissioned at Groton, Conn., her homeport. The seventh Virginia-class attack submarine is the fourth Navy vessel to honor the state of Missouri.

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