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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


Photos of the 2014 Branson Reunion

Photos of the 2014 Texas Mini Reunion

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

Important and Interesting USS Constellation Scrapping Links

USS Constellation Last Voyage Site

Voyage of the Carbon Foss

Brooklyn Navy Yard Tribute Wall

Click Here for our 2014 Memorial List Page

Recent Navy News:

NNS150322-01. SECNAV Commemorates Battle of Iwo Jima

From Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs

IWO TO, Japan (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus arrived on Iwo To, the island formerly known as Iwo Jima, March 21 to attend the 70th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Iwo Jima.

On the island where, in 1945, the United States and Japan met in conflict, Mabus spoke of the bravery displayed by those who fought for both sides during the historic World War II Battle for Iwo Jima.

"Simply walk through the black sands of Iwo Jima's shores and spend a moment in one of its dark tunnels," said Mabus. "Only then can you begin to fathom the unbelievable, and at some level, past human, fortitude it took to charge these beaches under withering fire, or to fight from a subterranean labyrinth for 36 days. A few heroes here know that courage. The rest of us can simply wonder with awe and admiration and respect."

During the battle, the Japanese lost 21,750 members of their armed forces. The U.S. lost 6,821 and suffered 26,038 casualties.

The ceremony brought together representatives of the nations who fought so fiercely 70 years ago to honor the veterans of this battle, some of whom were in attendance.

"On behalf of generations of grateful Americans," said Mabus. "I thank the veterans who sit here among us and those who are here today only in spirit. Legends of your intrepidity here at Iwo Jima will echo through the ages."

Mabus also recognized the strength of the relationship between the U.S. and Japan, two former adversaries that have grown to become strong allies.

"While we gather here in commemoration of 93,000 sons of Japan and the United States, who fought on these sands as bitter enemies seven decades ago," said Mabus, "there is no better way to honor their legacy than to underscore the bond that now exists between our two great nations as a result of what they did here."

Joining Mabus at the commemoration, among others, were Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., Japanese Minister of Defense Gen Nakatani and Japanese Ambassador to the United States Kenichiro Sasae.

Similar commemorations have been held each year since 1995 when the the surviving veterans of the Iwo Jima Association of America and the Japanese Iwo To Association agreed to meet every year on Iwo To to remember the battle with a reunion of honor.
Mabus' stop in Iwo To is part of a multi-nation visit to the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility focused on reinforcing existing partnerships and visiting Sailors and Marines forward deployed.

For more news from the Secretary of the Navy, visit or

NNS150323-16. Center for Information Dominance Unit (CIDU) Monterey Helps Local Elementary School Break Language Barrier

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew Perrault, CID Unit Monterey Public Affairs

MONTEREY, Calif. (NNS) -- As part of their Partner in Education (PIE) Program, Sailors attached to the Center for Information Dominance Unit (CIDU) Monterey meet with students from La Mesa Elementary School on Saturday mornings to help improve the children's English language skills.

The PIE program is a Commander, Navy Region Southwest (CNRSW) program that pairs local schools with Navy commands to satisfy a need for support. These partnerships offer an educational experience for the students and allow Sailors to give back to the community.

The La Mesa Elementary partnership began when Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jeremy Merrill, the CIDU Monterey operations officer, was told by his wife that there were kids in his daughter's class that were having a challenging time speaking English.

According to Leslie Flynn, the School Liaison Officer at the Fleet and Family Support Center Monterey, the students would normally have the English as a Second Language (ESL) program offered through their school, but the La Mesa ESL program had been cut due to funding.

"Many of the La Mesa students are children of foreign service members who have a parent attending the Naval Post Graduate School," said Flynn. "As a result, students at La Mesa are native speakers of more than 20 different languages."

Flynn recommended to Merrill that CIDU Monterey partner with the school and since Feb. 7, CIDU Sailors have been tutoring students every Saturday morning.

"On Saturdays, we have 24 kids join us for tutoring," said Merrill. "The program is growing and shaping up well."

Merrill added that the tutoring program has had a huge impact on Rouz Alwajaan, an 8-year-old at La Mesa Elementary that he is mentoring.

"Before we started this program, she was struggling in class because she couldn't understand what was being taught," said Merrill. "She was scared and felt lost."
But on Saturday morning March 14, she greeted Merrill by running up to him with a huge smile and excitedly said "hi!"

"It may not seem like much, but seeing Rouz's confidence grow so quickly has been very heartwarming," said Merrill. "Rouz's parents have also noticed the impact the program has had on their daughter; they attribute her increased confidence to the time she spends with her tutors on Saturdays."

Seaman Stephen Leidner, a student at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC), has been the tutor for two La Mesa Elementary students who were born in Estonia.

"It has been challenging to interact and communicate with them, considering such a massive language barrier," said Leidner.

In order to break up the monotony of book study, the children and tutors will engage in a game or activity outside, Leidner added. "It has been incredibly humbling to have my 6-year-old Estonian student ask me if we can go back to studying instead of playing games."
Merrill noted that the students, teachers and parents have all expressed how their children's level of confidence has increased because of the tutoring.

"The kids are interacting more between classes and their morale has greatly improved," said Merrill. "The biggest benefit I have seen is the kids meeting other foreign kids and learning that they aren't the only ones that need a little help."

The Center for Information Dominance Unit (CIDU), based in Monterey, Calif., is the Navy's learning center that trains cryptologic linguists, special operators, as well as Intelligence, Foreign Area and Exchange program officers serving in every theater and area of operation. CID Unit Monterey provides language skills critical to overseas contingency operations and intelligence and global engagements around the world.

For more news and information from Center for Information Dominance Unit Monterey, visit or

For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit

NNS150323-15. VBSS Boarding Officer Course Restructured

By Darryl Orrell, Center for Security Forces Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The Center for Security Forces (CENSECFOR) announced the successful implementation of changes to the Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) Boarding Officer course, March 20.

"The changes to the course were nearly across the board from mission planning to the various types of boarding," said William Goodnoh who serves as the course curriculum model manager for VBSS and advanced tactics. "This stems from major changes to the references that drive the fleet's training requirements and to the biometric gear itself."

Goodnoh highlighted a new blended-learning aspect to the course, which keeps students actively engaged in the learning process. Rather than have boarding officers sit in a classroom for four days and then apply learned skills in a practical exercise, they now begin building their learned skills in lock step or sync with the course.

"Take mission planning for example. Students will learn the structure of a warning order, its purpose and will then, based on the specific mission requirements, commander's intent and bits of intelligence we provide for that mission profile, begin to build a mission plan," explained Goodnoh.

Goodnoh pointed out that this blended-learning approach keeps the students engaged in the training and with the instructors. Instead of sharing old sea stories during breaks, students now discuss course topics such as biometrics because of this new learning approach.

"The biometrics equipment had a significant change to its software and so much so we had to completely rebuild those topics in the course. This fell in good timing because the last readiness review revealed that type commanders preferred boarding officers teach biometrics to his/her team," said Goodnoh.

The advantage, according to Goodnoh, is that a boarding officer can now pick from among the best of his/her team and train that person or personnel to perform the collection of biometrics when required by the mission task.

"The course also features homework assignments whether it's a five paragraph order for a mission, or an assignment that relates to the current course topic discussed at the end of the class day," said Goodnoh. "We also show a video that features lessons learned and this serves as quite an eye-opening experience for students."

The initial pilot took place at CENSECFOR Detachment Chesapeake, which is located in southeast Virginia. The new course structure received high favor from the instructor staff and students alike. It has since been incorporated at the remaining four schoolhouses delivering this training that are located in the San Diego, Pearl Harbor and Mayport fleet concentration areas.

Open to paygrades E-6 through O-4, the course consists of 12 hours of classroom instruction and 20 hours of laboratory instruction. Students are guided through the required procedures for boarding, the collection of biometrics, conduct while on board, and preparation of reports and evidence packaging.

The Center for Security Forces provides specialized training to more than 28,000 students each year. It has 14 training locations across the United States and around the world where training breeds confidence.

For more information about the Center for Security Forces, visit us at

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NNS150323-14. Midshipmen Repair Pacific Crest Trail

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Correa, U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs

MOUNT LAGUNA, Calif. (NNS) -- Eleven midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy's Midshipmen Action Group (MAG) traveled to Mount Laguna, California, to repair part of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), during their spring break, March 14-22.

The midshipmen, along with volunteers from the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), provided the much needed maintenance at an elevation of about 6,000 feet.

"When I was looking through possible volunteer opportunities for spring break, I was surprised to see the Appalachian Mountain Club had a volunteer trip out in California," said Midshipmen 2nd Class Aly Eng, MAG Pacific Crest Trail volunteer coordinator and team leader. "There were not many outdoor opportunities on the East Coast, so I decided to go west towards sunny San Diego."

Midshipmen worked six to seven hours a day digging holes, moving large rocks, building water bars and check steps, and clearing the tread way of the PCT for dedicated hiker and outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.

"The work we did will certainly leave a lasting impression," said Eng. "We also met a few PCT thru-hiker on their way north from Mexico to Canada. All the hikers expressed their thanks for the trail work we were doing, and we have a new found appreciation for all the volunteers who maintain the trails we love to explore."

Midshipmen came together as a team and got the job done. In the end, all of the hard work and effort strengthened their team bond.

"You can learn a lot about people when you have to work together like this," said Midshipmen 3rd Class Danielle Givens, MAG member. "It's not easy rolling a rock downhill and fitting it into a hole in the ground. I feel it is safe to say that we didn't know each other very well coming in, but I feel like we have all gotten close this past week getting to know everybody."

The midshipmen were led by Beth Gula, AMC volunteer program supervisor and Paula Hudson, AMC volunteer program crew leader.

"Working with the midshipmen was great," said Gula. "The midshipmen listen to directions, jumped into the trail work with excitement and surprisingly enough wanted to keep going and finish projects they had started even though it was the end of the day. I hope to work with them again in the future."

"The work was pretty difficult, but it is really rewarding to know that hikers will be crossing the water bars and check steps we built for years to come," said Eng. "Through a lot of teamwork and water breaks, we literally moved mountains over spring break."

Donations from the USNA Foundation, Class of 1992, allowed the midshipmen to experience this unique opportunity.

"This generosity makes all MAG spring break projects a reality, thus creating great teambuilding experiences and community awareness that will serve our midshipmen well when they become leaders in the fleet," said USNA's community relations director, Miriam Stanicic.

The Midshipmen Action Group is dedicated to assisting members of the brigade in becoming active servants of the community by facilitating community relationships through organized service projects, and to recognize midshipmen accomplishments in community service as they occur throughout the brigade. They are dedicated to creating a positive and lasting impact on the lives of the citizens they serve.

For more news from U.S. Naval Academy, visit

NNS150323-12. Sailors Assigned to Lincoln's Air Department Save Navy $4.6 million in Manpower Costs

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brenton Poyser, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln's (CVN 72) Air Department have performed a variety of tasks during the ship's Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) in Newport News to return the Abraham Lincoln to sea under budget and on time.

Having already removed old lagging material from the ceiling of hangar bays 1, 2 and 3, Air Department is in the process of installing new materials which has a direct savings of more than $4.6 million in man hour costs.

This installation process began just prior to Lincoln's upcoming two-year anniversary of its arrival into Newport News Shipbuilding. Lincoln arrived at the shipyard on March 28, 2013.

"Tearing down and replacing the lagging in the hangar bays is a huge task that V-3 division of Air Department is tackling head-on," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Joseph Dennison, V-3 division's leading petty officer. "It is a job that our Sailors are learning on the fly, but they are doing incredible work and keeping a great attitude while doing it."

Air Department consists of five divisions and more than 460 Sailors. Air Department's mission moving forward is to get all of their personnel trained as professional Sailors and complete maintenance and repairs necessary to prepare for crew move-aboard.

"The Sailors in Air Department have always had a great work ethic and a positive outlook towards being in the yards," said Lt. Jonathan Kindel, Air Department's V-4 division officer. "The work they do isn't the most glamorous or rewarding, but they always manage to keep a great attitude while doing quality work."

Dennison echoed Kindel's assessment of Sailors assigned to Air Department and is proud of the work they are performing to return Lincoln to sea. "I am very proud to be part of Air Department aboard Lincoln," Dennison said, "They are a big reason we have the best warship in the Navy."

During RCOH Sailors assigned to Air Department are responsible for rebuilding Lincoln, but also stay focused on eventually returning to sea.

"We are taking a ship that is 25 years old and working with Newport News Shipbuilding to build a ship that will last 25 more years," said Kindel.

"When we leave the yards, things will pick up and it's important to be ahead of the curve and have our personnel trained and ready for what lies ahead."

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

NNS150323-10. TSC Leaders Learn About Sexual Harassment, Assault

By Zach Mott, Training Support Center Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- Navy and civilian leaders from Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes attended a seminar on sexual harassment and assault prevention presented by Catharsis Productions, March 23.

The instruction focused on understanding the role leaders play in establishing a climate that is intolerant of any form of sexual harassment and assault as well as how to recognize typical situations that might result in sexual harassment or assault instances.

An expert in sexual harassment and assault prevention education, Dr. Christopher Kilmartin, a psychology professor from the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, shared his experiences from more than 30 years working in this field. Kilmartin helped develop a curriculum for the United States Naval Academy on sexual assault and harassment prevention, and recently completed a one-year program at the U.S. Air Force Academy instructing on the same subject matter.

"Leadership matters a great deal and you have to sweat the small stuff," he said of the lessons he learned during that time. "The minor infractions contribute to the atmosphere. We need to take sexism as seriously as you would take racism or religious intolerance."

In the time he has been associated with the military, Kilmartin said he noticed a shift in the mindset that also led to a shift in the number of sexual assaults.

"If you just look at the numbers, in 2012 there were 26,000 estimated military sexual assaults and by 2014 that had been reduced to 19,000," he said. "Reporting went up from 3,000 to over 5,000. Assaults down, reports up, that's what we want. We've got a long way to go but they've got a good handle on what works."

For the Sailors and civilian leaders in attendance, the training provided an opportunity to move classroom learning into an arena of practical application and discussion.

"I think some people just get on cruise control with PowerPoint and hearing the same thing over and over," said Cmdr. Kathleen Milligan, executive officer for TSC. "Changing the delivery of the methods can trigger action in people."

Finding new ways to deliver a similar message allows leaders to retain the material and also be able to deliver it in equally as varied ways to the Sailors under their command.

"We don't only talk about the important things once," said Chief Fire Controlman (AW/SW) Martin Soto, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response command liaison for TSC. "You have to keep going back and refreshing and brining that to the forefront of everybody's mind."

Catharsis Productions has been working with Naval Station Great Lakes for more than two years delivering specialized versions of its training to the students and leaders. This training helps the leaders understand the lessons being taught to the students each day.

"The issue is becoming more of a conversation; people are willing to talk about it," said Ben Murrie, the director of program management with Catharsis Productions. "You get people who really are engaged in it, who are saying no, this is something I care about because I want the best for my Navy, I want the best for my Sailors."

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

NNS150323-07. Navy's First Information Dominance Basic Course (IDBC) Graduates

By Thom Seith, CID Public Affairs

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's first Information Dominance Basic Course (IDBC) concluded March 20 at the Center for Information Dominance Unit Hampton Roads (CIDUHR) at Dam Neck Annex, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Guest speaker at the graduation ceremony was Rear Adm. Matthew Kohler, commander, Navy Information Dominance Forces.

IDBC is a three-week pilot course for all new Information Dominance Corps (IDC) officers. The course is designed to expose new IDC officers - most of whom are new to the Navy - to the organizational structure and functions unique to each of the IDC specialties: Information Professional (IP), Information Warfare (IW), Intelligence, Meteorology/Oceanography (METOC), and Space.

"The IDBC is an important step forward for the Information Dominance Corps," Kohler said. "It sets the foundation for all Information Dominance professionals, before they begin development within their individual information dominance tribes, by providing a comprehensive understanding of the collective strength of information dominance capabilities, and the warfighting advantage it brings to the Navy."

The first IDBC iteration was a pilot and gave the CID team an opportunity for course development and to evaluate the course with actual students. The pilot consisted of four instructors and 14 students, with representatives from each of the IDC communities.

"IDBC represents a paradigm shift for IDC training," explained Capt. H. E. Williams, commanding officer of the CID Unit Hampton Roads. "While IDC officers will continue to be groomed as specialists and leaders in each of the IDC tribes - METOC, Intelligence, IW, IP, and Space - the IDBC gives the new officers an understanding of capabilities across the ID spectrum."

The Center for Information Dominance (CID), based at Corry Station in Pensacola, Florida, is the Navy's learning center that leads, manages and delivers Navy and joint forces training in information operations, information warfare, information technology, cryptology and intelligence.

With nearly 1,300 military, civilian and contracted staff members, CID provides training for approximately 24,000 members of the U.S. armed services and allied forces each year. CID oversees the development and administration of 226 courses at four commands, two detachments, and 14 learning sites throughout the United States and Japan.

For more news and information from Center for Information Dominance, visit or or

For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit

NNS150323-06. Normandy Retrieves Abandoned Narcotics

By Ensign Ricky Rodriguez, USS Normandy (CG 60) Public Affairs Officer

MEDITTERANEAN SEA (NNS) -- The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) recovered more than 1,000 pounds of illegal narcotics while transiting the Mediterranean Sea, March 21.

While conducting routine flight operations, the pilots of an MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46 spotted a small craft acting suspiciously. They followed the small craft and observed the passengers dumping large packages into the Mediterranean Sea, which led to Normandy taking action to recover the packages.

"I was incredibly proud to watch my entire ship team spring into action and safely execute this maritime security mission of opportunity" said Capt. Scott F. Robertson, the commanding officer of Normandy.

Bridge watch standers witnessed a small vessel speeding across Normandy's bow Saturday afternoon during transit. Normandy launched her small boat operations team and recovered 17 packages from the water. The contents were later tested and confirmed to be narcotics.

"This is another example of the exceptional flexibility of our U.S. Navy crews," said Vice Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet. "By operating forward, Normandy was engaged in the right place at the right time, and her crew was ready to act when needed."

Normandy, homeported in Norfolk, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.

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

Join the conversation with Normandy online at For more news from Normandy, visit .

NNS150323-05. Midshipmen Candidate Takes Oath of Citizenship

From U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs

JOHNSTON, R.I. (NNS) -- Midshipman Candidate Diane Muhizi became a U.S. citizen, March 19, during a naturalization ceremony at the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service office in Johnston, R.I.

Muhizi's story of becoming a U.S. citizen has been a difficult journey; a journey that has taken her far from her former life.

"Everything, good or bad, I go through here in America I consider pure joy, because I have seen what poverty and rock bottom feels like," said Muhizi. "I constantly force myself to never forget where I came from, because without that past I never would have known what happiness feels like. I am glad that I'm not there anymore, but I'm even gladder I was there."

Born in Rwanda, Africa, Muhizi relocated to the United States on Oct. 21, 2009 along with her mother and two brothers. Before then, she spent the first 13 years of her life in a refugee camp in Mozambique.

Today, Muhizi is a high-achieving student at Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS), where she currently has a 4.00 GPA and was recently selected to be a platoon commander for the 2nd trimester of the academic year.

"Every year there are 1-2 midshipman candidates who arrive at NAPS needing to complete naturalization prior to reporting to the U.S. Naval Academy," said retired Capt. Mark Donahue, NAPS command services director. "Each story is unique, but Midshipman Candidate Muhizi's story is particularly compelling. Growing up in a refugee camp from the time she was a baby, she has embraced her adversity and it has made her a high achiever."

The ceremony, which swore in 32 new U.S. citizens from 21 different countries, is one Muhizi won't soon forget.

"It feels awesome to be a citizen because that means I can now attend the Academy," said Muhizi. "I feel a little more patriotic than I did before I was a citizen."

Muhizi will attend the U.S. Naval Academy later this year as part of the class of 2019. She credits NAPS for preparing her for this goal.

"NAPS has helped me get more familiar with the military lifestyle, I was blessed with a leadership position as a platoon commander," said Muhizi. "This position helped me become more confident in my leadership abilities and gave me a perspective on how hard peer leadership is."

Advanced Physics Professor John Macaluso said Muhizi's positive approach, dedication and motivation are what make her a top student at NAPS.

"Muhizi is one of the hardest working and most dedicated students in my class. She consistently gives full effort towards every topic, assignment, and discussion," said Macaluso. "She works very well with others and causes those around her to live up to her level of motivation. She's inquisitive, smart and approaches everything with a positive attitude."

"When Muhizi got her paperwork for her interview with the citizenship board, the entire platoon was happy for her," said Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician (AW) Kathryn Kennon, 1st Company senior enlisted leader. "She brings a smile to others just being in the room because she has a positive outlook on life."

According to Donahue, Muhizi plans to study engineering while at the Naval Academy and possibly join the submarine community after graduation.
"She has all the hallmarks of someone who will make an exceptional officer -- passion for the job; compassion for the people; superb technical knowledge and stamina," said Donahue. "She gets along very well with everyone. Her smile and kind demeanor improve morale whenever she is around."

"Being able to make people like Diane Muhizi U.S. citizens is what has made this country great and is what gives me such great confidence in the future of our nation."

Muhizi credits her mother Basilissa, who survived the genocide in Rwanda, as her inspiration and driving force.

"When it comes to who inspires me, my mother Basilissa is always going to be on top of that list," said Muhizi. "My mother is the kind of person that even after being hit by mountains of trouble, she'll still get back up and pick up where she left off. She's been through the worst of the worst, not mentioning experiencing the genocide itself. Yet she never lost hope, she's always looking for a way to make sure that her children are happy and safe. Her selflessness and caring for others is what I admire."

For more news from U.S. Naval Academy, visit

NNS150323-04. USS Paul Hamilton Enters US 5th Fleet AOO

By Ensign Ashleigh M. Share, USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) Public Affairs

U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) arrived in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO), March 22.

Paul Hamilton is an independent ballistic missile defense (BMD) ship that will be involved in a variety of operations in U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR).

"Paul Hamilton is a premiere BMD asset of approximately 310 highly trained Sailors looking forward to executing with precision all operational mission tasks independently and in conjunction with carrier strike groups and coalition forces," said Cmdr. John Barsano, commanding officer, Paul Hamilton.

The U.S. 5th Fleet AOO encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area, which includes the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.

Paul Hamilton departed from its homeport in Pearl Harbor Feb. 14, 2015, for a training exercise and its deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet AOO. Paul Hamilton's last deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet AOO was in 2013.

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

NNS150323-03. USS Paul Hamilton Strengthens Relationship with Indian Navy

By Ensign Ashleigh M. Share, USS Paul Hamilton Public Affairs

GOA, India (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) visited Goa, India, March 17-21.

While in port, Paul Hamilton hosted members of the Indian press as well as Indian navy officers and Sailors on board for tours of the ship and a reception.

"Defense cooperation and maritime security are major themes in the U.S.-India relationship," said Thomas Vajda, U.S. Consul General in Mumbai, India. "I was delighted to participate in several events with the crew of USS Paul Hamilton and their counterparts in the Indian Navy. I have enjoyed seeing the sense of camaraderie and friendship developing between our officers and Sailors, which augurs well for a future in which India and the United States increasingly work together to address shared security, terrorism, and piracy challenges whether they exist in the Indian Ocean region or farther afield."

Paul Hamilton Sailors also participated in a friendly basketball game with the Don Bosco College of Engineering basketball team and distributed donated Project Handclasp materials for Child Right Goa activity centers.

The ship's soccer team also had the opportunity to play against a team comprised of Sailors from the Indian navy.

"We feel working together with the Indian navy and working together often is the single most important factor in building long-standing relationships," said Cmdr. John Barsano, Paul Hamilton's commanding officer. "Building relationships through port visits like this will enable us both to call on one another during times of greatest need."

Paul Hamilton, homeported in Pearl Harbor, is currently on a deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th fleet areas of responsibility.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS150323-02. USS Chicago Visits Changi during Western Pacific Deployment

By Lt. j.g. Charles Jamison, USS Chicago Public Affairs Officer

CHANGI, Singapore (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Chicago (SSN 721) arrived in Changi, Singapore March 22 for a visit as part of its Western Pacific deployment.

With a crew of approximately 170 Sailors, Chicago has been conducting a multitude of missions to showcase the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.

"It's an outstanding feeling to see all the hard work the crew invested in maintaining this forward deployed warship rewarded with an outstanding port of call," said Cmdr. Lance Thompson, the commanding officer of Chicago. "The crew looks forward to experiencing many of the diverse activities Singapore has to offer."

Chicago is the first fast-attack submarine to be built with a vertical launch system, enabling strike mission capability. This allows the Navy to maintain a constant forward presence capable of strategic attacks.

"In the months leading up to our departure from Guam, the crew worked hard to prepare for this underway and have performed well," said Command Master Chief Richard Marini, the chief of the boat aboard Chicago. "All hands have maximized there time while at sea qualifying senior watch stations and gaining the skill sets needed to be the men-of-wars-man require in support of our mission in undersea warfare. We now look forward to the opportunity to be ambassadors of our great nation and enjoy some well-deserved liberty in one of the finest ports in the Pacific."

For many of the crew, this was their first time visiting Singapore.

"I can't wait to get outside and see all the sites and enjoy lots of local food," said Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Paul Kershaw.

Measuring more than 360 feet long and weighing more than 7,000 tons when submerged, Chicago is one of the most advanced submarines in the world. This submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare and strike.

Chicago is homeported in Guam, where it remains in a forward deployed state of readiness. The boat has finished an extensive continuous maintenance availability, pre-overseas movement certification and just successfully completed its first mission vital to national security in 2015.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 7, visit

NNS150323-01. COMSUBGRU 7 Holds Change of Command

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian G. Reynolds, Commander, Submarine Group 7 Deputy Public Affairs Officer

FLEET ACTIVITIES YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Commander, Submarine Group Seven (COMSUBGRU 7) held a change of command ceremony at the Benny Decker Theater at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, March 23.

Rear Adm. William R. Merz relieved Rear Adm. Stuart B. Munsch as the forty-fourth commander, Submarine Group 7, Task Force 54, and Task Force 74.

Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas Jr., commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, presided over the ceremony.

"The Forward Deployed Naval Forces reason for being is; one, to bring credible combat power anywhere in theater when asked," said Thomas. "and Stuart Munsch has ensured we have done just that."

Munsch assumed command of COMSUBGRU 7 in June 2013 and was responsible for deployed submarines and undersea operations in both the U.S. Central and Pacific commands. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University.

"It has been my honor to lead such a dynamic and wide-reaching organization," said Munsch. "I'm also honored to have had the opportunity to serve with such a dedicated team of the best professionals I've ever served with. It has truly been the highlight of my career."

Munsch remarked that one of the highlights of being at COMSUBGRU 7 was having operational command of USS Albuquerque (SSN 706) during its final deployment, a submarine that Munsch had previously commanded.

Merz, previously the commander of Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, earned a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in Ocean Engineering and master's degrees from the Catholic University of America and the Naval War College. He has also completed nine submarine deployments with many to the Indo-Asia-Pacific and a tour in Guam. Merz has served with submarine crews who have collectively earned six unit awards, five Battle "E"s, and the Atlantic Fleet's Battenberg Cup

"I would like to thank all of the Sailors at CSG-7 for their warm welcome and hospitality," said Merz. "I embrace the opportunity to lead such a group of professionals."

COMSUBGRU 7 coordinates and controls submarine activities over a vast expanse, ranging from the Western Pacific to the Red Sea.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 7, visit

NNS150322-04. JMSDF Leadership visits USS Fort Worth (LCS 3)

From USS Fort Worth Public Affairs

SASEBO, Japan (NNS) -- Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) leadership visited the Littoral Combat Ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) March 20.

Vice Adm. Tokuhiro Ikeda, commandant, Sasebo District; Rear Adm. Hidetoshi Fuchinoue, chief of staff, Sasebo District; Rear Adm. Hidetoshi Iwasaki, commander, Escort Flotilla 2; and JMSDF officers toured the ship while it was in port Sasebo conducting routine maintenance.

"We've heard a lot about Fort Worth and the LCS so this was a great opportunity to see what the ship has to offer," said Ikeda. "We look forward to working with future LCSs at-sea as more of these ships deploy to the U.S. 7th Fleet."

While aboard, JMSDF leadership toured Fort Worth's bridge and mission control center as well as her airborne and waterborne mission zones. During the tour, the officers learned how the ship's modularity allows it to be reconfigured for a number of missions including surface warfare, mine warfare and anti-submarine warfare. The potential of LCS modularity was also demonstrated by embarking U.S. Navy divers during the recent AirAsia search and by embarking U.S. Marines for a portion of the annual U.S.-Republic of Korea Foal Eagle exercise.

"In the U.S. Navy, we believe that we are stronger when we engage our allies and partners during exercises, exchanges and port visits like this one," said Cmdr. Matt Kawas, Fort Worth Crew 103 commanding officer. "It's likely members of my crew will return to the Indo-Asia-Pacific in the future and so these ship tours allow us to develop relationships that will last throughout our careers, and possibly even beyond."

Following USS Freedom's (LCS 1) 2013 deployment, Fort Worth is the second LCS to deploy to 7th Fleet as part of an initiative to simultaneously deploy up to four LCS in the Asia-Pacific region by the end of the decade. The third and fourth LCS deployments are expected in 2016.

Working primarily out of Singapore as a maintenance and logistics hub, this is the first time an LCS has operated in Northeast Asia. Prior to arriving in Japan, Fort Worth participated in the U.S.-Republic of Korea annual exercise Foal Eagle.

Following the Sasebo port visit and a brief routine underway period off the coast of Japan, Fort Worth will begin her return transit to Southeast Asia, where she will begin exchanges with regional navies such as the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEX) 2015 in Singapore before turning over to the next crew in late May.

Throughout the summer and fall, Fort Worth will take part in most of the 2015 Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series. In its 21st year, CARAT is an annual, bilateral exercise series with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of nine partner nations including, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Republic of Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Fast, agile and mission-focused, littoral combat ships are designed to operate in near-shore environments and employ modular mission packages that can be configured for surface warfare, mine countermeasures or anti-submarine warfare. Fort Worth will employ the surface warfare (SUW) mission package for her entire deployment, augmenting her 57mm gun and rolling airframe missile launcher with two 30mm guns, two 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boats, and two six-member maritime security boarding teams. Enhancing the SUW mission package is the embarked aviation detachment from Helicopter Maritime Squadron (HSM) 35, the Navy's first composite expeditionary helicopter squadron, which consists of one MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and one MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aircraft system. The Fire Scout complements the MH-60R by extending the HSM-35's range and endurance, enhancing maritime domain awareness.

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

For more news from Destroyer Squadron 7, visit

NNS150322-03. USS Mount Whitney Assists Croatian Elementary School

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mike Wright, USS Mount Whitney Public Affairs

RIJEKA, Croatia (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the U.S. 6th Fleet command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) painted a local elementary school in Rijeka, Croatia, March 11-17.

The Sailors started the community relations (COMREL) project at Nikola Tesla Elementary School in Rijeka, with goals of strengthening and maintaining a strong relationship with the school, its students and the community.

"We are very excited to have the U.S. Navy give us the help that we needed to paint our gym," said Andrea Kancijanic, the Nikolas Tesla school secretary. "For many of our students, this project is the first interaction that many of them have ever had with Americans. I think that what the Sailors from the Mount Whitney are doing for my school and for my students is a very noble thing.''

During the outreach event, the crew spackled and painted the school's gymnasium and the locker rooms. Along the way, they received some help as several of the school's students lent a hand. Appreciative of Mount Whitney Sailors' efforts, the students were more than willing to help them complete their task.

"Projects like this always touch me the most," said Ship's Servicemen 2nd Class Christian Bennett. "I really appreciate the fact that the school has been so responsive to what we are doing here, and I hope that COMREL's like this will only help to build a stronger relationship with the city of Rijeka."

The hardest part of the COMREL was leaving the students each day, Bennett said.

"I really enjoy working with kids, and children are very easy to read. It touches my heart to see them so happy, and hopefully our efforts over the past couple of days can make these children maintain their happiness for as long as possible."

By the conclusion of the COMREL over 50 Mount Whitney Sailors performed more than 200 hours of maintenance on the school's facilities.

Mount Whitney, forward deployed to Gaeta, Italy, is currently in Rijeka, Croatia completing its scheduled yard period and renovation.

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

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NNS150322-02. Carl Vinson Food Services Team Wins Ney Award

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman D'Andre L. Roden

USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70), At sea (NNS) -- The forward-deployed Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) was announced as the 2015 Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Award winner March 19.

The Captain Edward F. Ney Award for food service excellence is given annually to Navy galleys of each category of ship and shore commands that earn a five-star rating in a one-day inspection. The objective is to improve the quality of life for Navy personnel and recognize the best general messes in the Navy.

"I'm extremely proud. It's been one of my professional goals for a very long time because I understand the importance of food on morale," said Cmdr. Justin Debord, Carl Vinson supply officer. "It's one of the most gratifying things in my career to date. In the food service arena, it is considered an extreme honor to be selected because it is very competitive. Everybody tries to do their best to put out excellent food service, so to be recognized as the best is a great honor."

Carl Vinson underwent a thorough inspection of their food service division Sept. 30, which evaluated the criteria for the award, including: cleanliness, food quality, organization, inventory, galley presentation and culinary specialist job proficiency.

"We have high caliber, talented culinary specialists and food service attendants," said Chief Warrant Officer Kathryn Thompson, Carl Vinson food services officer. "I'm extremely proud of the food services team. Their hard work and passion paid off."

Winning this award took hard work and contributions from the entire crew, said Master Chief Culinary Specialist Carl Demus, S-2 division leading culinary specialist.

"From engineering department Sailors who made sure that all of our equipment worked properly, to media department supporting us with photos, video and story coverage, showing the world what we do on board the ship. It is an honor to be apart of this award-winning group of Sailors," said Demus.

The award was established by the Secretary of the Navy in 1958, to honor Ney, who served as the head of the Subsistence Division of the Bureau of Supplies and Account during World War II. Carl Vinson last won the award in 1996.

Carl Vinson is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed, maritime security operations, and theater security cooperation efforts in the region.

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

NNS150321-06. USNAVSO/USFOURTHFLT Commander Speaks with NROTC Midshipmen

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

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (NNS) -- Rear Adm. George Ballance had a homecoming of sorts during his recent visit to the University of South Carolina (USC) in Columbia, S.C. March 17.

Ballance, an alumnus of the university, met with USC President Harris Pastides as well as staff and students of USC's Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) unit, the Gamecock Battalion.

"It was great having an opportunity to return to my old stomping grounds," said Ballance, who attended USC on a ROTC scholarship, earning his bachelor's degree in science and mathematics. "It's been quite a few years since I was last here and was really impressed by all the changes, not only around the campus but also the growth of the NROTC program."

Ballance spoke with midshipmen about their future and how each individual is on their way to a highly rewarding career in the Navy. He also highlighted his own NROTC experience and career in the Navy, leading to his current position as the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (USNAVSO)/ U.S. 4th Fleet Commander(USFOURTHFLT), where he oversees a staff of more than 120 servicemembers and civilians focused on unity, security and stability in the Caribbean and Central and South America.

"The midshipmen thoroughly enjoyed Rear Adm. Ballance's visit," said Lt. Ken Custer, a USC NROTC Naval Science Instructor. "It's not every day that you have the opportunity to hear from an admiral, let alone the chance to ask questions about his career and thoughts on the Navy."

In addition to RADM Ballance, select servicemembers from USNAVSO/USFOURTHFLT spoke to the students about their respective communities including aviation, surface warfare and nuclear surface warfare. The USNAVSO/USFOURTHFLT Command Master Chief Herbert Ellis also conversed with students, providing insight on the senior enlisted and officer relationship and encouraging the future junior officers to engage with their chief petty officers to help guide and assist them in the Fleet.

"The students took full advantage of the opportunity to engage with Rear Adm. Ballance and the officers, and walked away with a little more insight into leadership and the different communities," said Custer. "Master Chief Ellis did an excellent job engaging the midshipmen; they rarely have an opportunity to interact with senior enlisted personnel so Ellis' remarks were really important for them to hear."

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

NNS150321-04. COMNAVSURFPAC Staff Celebrates Women's History Month

By Ensign Mary Sanford, Commander, Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVSURFPAC) personnel joined to pay tribute to generations of women in the military with a Women's History Month celebration, March 20.

The national theme for this year's Women's History Month is "Weaving the Stories of Women's Lives." The celebration included remarks by Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Forces, and a presentation by volunteers from the COMNAVSURFPAC staff.

Rowden opened the ceremony by sharing his experience of being a part of the third class at the United States Naval Academy to commission female officers, one of whom being current Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michelle Howard.

"The Navy has come a long way with 17 percent of the active and reserve forces being women," said Rowden. "We are here to recognize the challenges of change and how women in our Navy have overcome and continue to overcome these challenges."

However, Rowden said there is still work to do.

"Our goal is to be a Navy where everyone can achieve their full potential," said Rowden.

This year's theme was creatively displayed as COMNAVSURFPAC volunteers acted out their own narratives to the audience. Stories included the challenges and triumphs of being mothers, sisters, friends, athletes and actresses. The commonality among their stories was how they interconnect with their roles in the Navy.

"Every woman has a story to tell," said Senior Chief Logistics Specialist (SW/AW) Jackquelynne Foley, the coordinator for this year's event. "We need to recognize and celebrate our stories because they are invaluable pieces of our Navy's history."

Women's History Month originated in 1978, when the Sonoma County, Calif., Commission on the Status of Women initiated a women's history week to coincide with international women's day on March 8. In 1981, in response to growing support for the week, Congress passed a joint resolution proclaiming a women's history week.

The National Women's History Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring and preserving women's history, petitioned Congress in 1987 to expand the celebration to the entire month of March. Since then, National Women's History Month has commemorated the diverse contributions women have made, and continue to make, to our nation.

More information on the Navy Office of Women's Policy's events, observances, policies, and instructions are available at

For more news from Naval Surface Forces, visit

NNS150321-02. San Diego Receives Second Straight Battle "E"

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

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22) was awarded the Battle Effectiveness (Battle "E") Award for Naval Surface Forces March 17, marking the second consecutive year San Diego has earned the award.

San Diego was nominated by Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) Five and was selected for her performance in operational environments as well as her achievements during all certifications and qualifications conducted throughout 2014.

"While it is a great testament to the pride and professionalism displayed daily by the blue-green team on San Diego; I feel like Comstock and Makin Island deserve recognition," said San Diego Commanding Officer Capt. John Menoni, referring to the other ships in the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). "Without their support and teamwork before, during and after our maiden deployment, San Diego would not have been as successful or as able to perform the wide variety of missions it was tasked."

The award represents the combined effort of all San Diego's personnel during 2014. In recognition of their achievement, the crew is now authorized to wear the Battle "E" ribbon and insignia.

"I couldn't be more proud of the crew," said San Diego Command Master Chief Kenneth Robertson. "It's not a testament to what the CO, XO or I did; we had no part in it. It's those deck seamen and others that are out there standing the watch, doing the hard work, making it happen that has put us where we are right now."

The Battle "E" is awarded annually to ships and crews that display the highest condition of departmental readiness within their group, and recognizes their capability to be battle-ready and to carry out any required mission task.

"Just winning one Battle 'E' is recognition to all the hard work that everybody does on board, but to accomplish two back-to-back is a testament to everyone's dedication to teamwork, dedication to themselves, and to the commitment for excellence," said Robertson.

In addition to the Battle "E", San Diego also won the Red "E" for Engineering/Survivability Excellence, the Blue "E" for Logistics Management Excellence and the Yellow "E" for Ship Safety Excellence. This marks the 2nd consecutive year San Diego also earned these awards. San Diego was also awarded the Green "E" for Command, Control, Communications and Information Warfare Excellence in 2014.

San Diego is currently moored pier side at its homeport of San Diego preparing for an extended maintenance availability period after completing its seven-month, 41,000 nautical mile maiden deployment on February 25 as part of the Makin Island ARG.

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

NNS150321-01. U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Fleet Master Chief Retires After 33 Years of Service

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

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- The U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) fleet master chief retired March 20, 2015, during a ceremony at the base theater on Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy.

Family, friends and shipmates throughout the region gathered to honor and pay tribute to the 33-year naval career of Fleet Master Chief JoAnn Ortloff.

"I am proud to have been a part of this great Navy and shaping its future," said Ortloff during the ceremony. "Hopefully I'm leaving it better than when I came in. It was great when I came in, I just hope it's a little bit better now."

To help honor Ortloff, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens (MCPON) was on hand to provide his praise.

"U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Naval Forces Africa encompasses more than 14 million square miles, 105 countries and one billion people," said Stevens. "As fleet master chief, you made a resounding impact affecting key leadership decisions. Many Sailors and families have and will continue to benefit from your innovation, passion and professional courage."

Until her retirement, Ortloff was the most senior active duty enlisted female Sailor in the Navy, beginning her naval career Nov. 10, 1982.

She began her career as an air traffic controller and was selected to the command master chief program in 2003. Since then, she has served as command master chief aboard USS Milius (DDG 69), U.S. Naval Hospital Guam and U.S. 3rd Fleet.

In May 2012, Master Chief Ortloff was selected as the NAVEUR-NAVAF Fleet Master Chief, where she continued to help lead young Sailors and set them up for success.

"You embodied excellence and your leadership will continue to guide us for many years to come," said Adm. Mark Ferguson, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa. "More importantly, the people you have touched, the people you have mentored for decades will look back on the fact that they know you, and will ask themselves 'what would Fleet Ortloff have done in this situation? How would she have handled it?' That is the legacy that you leave for all of us."

As Ortloff begins a new chapter of her life, the Navy will always have a special place in her heart.

"I will always stay involved wherever Sailors are, whatever they need," said Ortloff. "But I am going to put my anchor on my door; I am going to hang up my hat. It's time."

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, headquartered in Naples, Italy, oversees joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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

NNS011215-24. This Day in Naval History - March 23

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1815 - The sloop-of-war USS Hornet captures the brig sloop HMS Penguin after a 22 minute battle, with neither ship aware the War of 1812 is over.

1882 - Secretary of the Navy William H. Hunt (Jan. 7, 1881 to April 16, 1882), creates the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) with General Order No. 292.

1917 - USS New Mexico (BB 40) is launched. She is the first dreadnought with turboelectric drive.

1944 - USS Tunny (SS 282) sinks the Japanese submarine I 42 off the Palau Islands.

1945 - USS Haggard (DD 555) is damaged when she rams and sinks Japanese submarine RO 41 in the Philippine Sea. Also on this date, USS Spadefish (SS 411) attacks Japanese Sasebo-to-Ishigaki convoy SAI-05 in the East China Sea about 120 miles north-northwest of Amami O Shima and sinks transport Doryu Maru.

1953 - During the Korean War, jet aircraft from USS Oriskany (CVA 34) stage a "lights out" program by attacking a water power site below the Fusen Reservoir, resulting in four cuts in the penstocks and damaging two buildings housing generators.

1965 - Navy Lt. Cmdr. John W. Young is a pilot on Gemini III, the first 2-manned spacecraft, that completes three orbits in four hours, 53 minutes at an altitude of 224 km. He is joined by Air Force Lt. Col. Virgil Grissom, command pilot.

NNS150324-13. USS Kidd Welcomes Philippine Ambassador

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rosalie Chang, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to the United States Jose L. Cuisia Jr. and his distinguished guests visited the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) at Naval Base San Diego, March 20.

"There is a long-standing relationship we have between the United States and the Philippines," said Cmdr. T.J. Zerr, Kidd's commanding officer. "It is a real honor for him to take time out of his busy schedule to come to a U.S. ship, our ship, and meet our Sailors."

Cuisia said he remembers how the U.S. military helped the Philippines during the Typhoon Haiyan disaster in 2013.

"During this major incident, the Philippines worked closely with the U.S. as they offered humanitarian assistance," said Cuisia. "We saw a type of friendship that was evident in the way they helped save lives and ensure our people would be provided the best assistance; we can't thank you enough for all the support."

During the visit, Cuisia and his guests met with Capt. Brian K. Shipman, commander, Destroyer Squadron 21 (DESRON 21), and Zerr on board Kidd where they presented Cuisia with a command ball cap and coin. Besides the crew of Kidd, other DESRON-21 Sailors were also able to speak with Cuisia during a meet-and-greet on the ship's foc'sle.

"It was great to have the ambassador aboard to show his appreciation for what the U.S. Navy and the United States have done in cooperation with the Philippines and to continue that relationship," said Senior Chief Sonar Technician (Surface) (SW) Anna Dapiaoen, who is stationed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108).

Cuisia said he enjoyed hearing all the great comments about the Filipino Sailors serving in the Navy and was very proud of their service.

"I want to extend my congratulation to you all for the service you are rendering," said Cuisia. "Thank you for the pride you have brought to the Philippines because of your ancestry as Filipinos; you have shown that you can be depended upon and I wish you all the best in your careers and that you continue to serve with dedication and integrity."

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NNS150324-10. USS Mount Whitney Wins Golden Anchor Award for Retention

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mike Wright, USS Mount Whitney Public Affairs

RIJEKA, Croatia (NNS) -- The crew of the U.S. 6th Fleet command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), painted the ship's anchor gold March 19, after being awarded the Retention Excellence Award, for fiscal year 2014.

Throughout the year, Mount Whitney maintained an overall retention rate of 88.2 percent, and reenlisted a total of 15 Sailors throughout the year, which earned them the honor of receiving the Golden Anchor Award.

"As the command flagship it is very important that the Mount Whitney sets the example for the rest of 6th Fleet. I am very proud of the crew for taking their careers seriously, and I am happy to show that even a forward deployed command like ours can meet all the requirements." - Navy Counselor 1st Class Jerry Wagoner, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20)

The golden anchor is presented annually to commands that meet or exceed annual retention goals for each reenlistment zone, maintain an attrition rate for first term Sailors below 6.2 percent, and are named to two or more quarterly retention honor rolls during the fiscal year. Ships that receive the award are authorized to paint their anchors gold.

The Retention Excellence Award, was established by the United States Fleet Forces Command through the Fleet Retention Excellence Program, and is annually awarded to U.S. Navy commands that sustain superior levels of military retention during the previous fiscal year.

This is the second consecutive year that the ship and its crew have received the Golden Anchor Award.

Mount Whitney, forward deployed to Gaeta, Italy, is currently in Rijeka, Croatia completing its scheduled yard period and renovation.

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

Join the conversation on Twitter at USNavyEurope and USNavyAfrica or follow us on Facebook. While you're at it check us out on Google+

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NNS150324-09. CNO's Navy Leader Development Strategy Advances at Naval War College

From U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- The way ahead for implementing the Navy Leader Development Strategy (NLDS) across the Navy began to take shape March 17-19, during an initial working group meeting at U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, Rhode Island.

NLDS was signed by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert in 2013 and is intended to provide a common framework for comprehensive and enduring leader development across all Navy communities.

Since then, there have been ongoing efforts by the Navy's Leader Development Continuum Council (LDCC), a body of flag officers and senior enlisted representatives across the fleet charged with driving this effort, to create a single vision of Navy leader development that binds together members of the naval profession.

The current working group, known as the Implementation and Execution Arm Working Group, is tasked with taking the Navy Leader Development Continuum (NLDC) from conceptual to operational.

NLDC is described in the original NLDS document as the cornerstone for Navy leader development and is a comprehensive, career-long concept that integrates four core elements - experience, education, training, and personal development - to produce fully prepared leaders.

The meeting at NWC included senior naval officers and civilians from each of the Navy's 18 communities to exchange ideas, thoughts and best practices related to the NLDS.

In his opening remarks at the three-day event, Rear Adm. P. Gardner Howe III, president of NWC and chair of the Navy's LDCC, acknowledged that there were likely different levels of familiarity with the NLDS among the participants.

He said that NWC's College of Operational & Strategic Leadership (COSL) and the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center (NLEC), a subordinate command of NWC, provide type commands (TYCOMs) and community leaders with leader development concepts and strategies, but it is the job of TYCOMs and community leadership to own leader development for their officers and enlisted Sailors.

The main goal for the working group at this initial meeting was to "establish a baseline to create a common understanding," according to Howe. "Operationalizing this effort requires a baseline at the community leader and action officer level. The LDCC can't implement the Leader Development Continuum without the specific expertise and unique perspective each of you bring."

"By conducting an initial gap analysis among the communities, the working group will be able to establish a baseline and provide recommendations for how to best accelerate and improve leader development across the Navy," Howe added.

Capt. Mark Johnson, commanding officer of NLEC and working group lead, thought the working group was achieving its early objectives.

"We had a good first day. I think we have consensus among the 18 Navy communities represented here about the NLDS, about the current state of leader development Navy-wide, and about what we as a group can do to make our Navy even better," said Johnson. "This is a tremendous opportunity to make a positive and lasting impact on our profession."

Capt. Mark Murphy, commanding officer of Center for Service Support, pointed out that the career progression for supply officers currently includes leader development and personal development opportunities, but needs remain at certain pay grades, and much of the education focuses on professional skills development rather than leader development.

"We're doing a lot of things right, but there are gaps and inconsistencies that we have to address," said Murphy. "The working group will help us identify and capture what is missing, but more importantly, filling those gaps will be a collective effort based on what we define as priorities for ethical leaders in the Navy."

For more news from Naval War College, visit

NNS150324-08. SECNAV Completes Partnership-Building Visit to Indonesia

From Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs

INDONESIA (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus completed a partnership-building visit to Indonesia on March 24.

Mabus was in the area to meet with senior military and civilian officials to discuss bilateral and multilateral maritime security issues and efforts.

Meetings were held with Indonesia's minister of maritime affairs and fisheries, the head of the Indonesian Bureau of Search and Rescue and Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Navy, Adm. Ade Supandi.

Mabus and Supandi discussed, among other topics, the importance of maritime domain awareness and opportunities for future cooperation in areas such as humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations.

"We welcome Indonesia's focus on the maritime environment and intent to become a 'global maritime axis,'" said Mabus. "We look forward to discussing ways in which we can collaborate in the future and enhance the partnership between our two nations."

Mabus also visited the U.S. embassy in Jakarta where he met with members of the Marine Security Guard stationed there.

Mabus' stop in Jakarta is part of a multi-nation visit to the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility focused on reinforcing existing partnerships and visiting Sailors and Marines forward deployed.

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NNS150324-07. MCPON visits Naples

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mat Murch, Navy Public Affairs Support Element-East Detachment Europe

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens hosted an all-hands call with Naples area Sailors at the Capodichino base theater, March 20.

Stevens opened the all-hands call by taking questions from the audience, which ranged from uniform changes and sequestration to leadership and force shaping.

"There's nothing more important to me than being here with you, because this is what it's really all about," said Stevens. "I love coming here and talking to you face to face."

When talking about the future of the Navy and upcoming changes that can affect enlisted Sailors, Stevens said that when addressing such changes Sailors can either lead or follow. He stressed his belief that they should lead.

"You do your darn best every day," said Stevens. "Roll up your sleeves and get after it and most importantly do it with a smile on your face. There's no such thing as a job that's not important. Every job in the navy is important."

At the end of the all hands call Stevens expressed his thanks and gratitude to the Sailors, emphasizing that he considered them his family. A family he cares deeply about.

"It was great meeting him," said Intelligence Specialist 3rd Class Josh Vail. "This is my first time meeting the MCPON and it was inspiring to hear his views on leadership and his opinions on technology in the Navy."

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

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

NNS150324-05. Midshipmen 'Break a Difference' in Arizona

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

TUCSON, Ariz. (NNS) -- Eleven midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) traveled to Tucson, Arizona, March 14-22, to participate in an Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program coordinated by Break A Difference, an organization partnered with United Way, Boys & Girls Clubs, and other local nonprofits.

The midshipmen, from USNA's Midshipmen Action Group (MAG), had the opportunity to volunteer and work at the Pascua Yaqui Boys and Girls Clubhouse on the Pascua Yaqui Reservation.

"Volunteering is a great way to not only give back but to meet new people," said Kenesha Thompson, ASB site leader. "Volunteering gives someone a new perspective while working towards a good cause."

ASB is an immersive, week-long service program for young adults and students to serve communities by volunteering during their spring breaks.

At the reservation, the midshipmen helped "scrub the club", cleaning and organizing everything from top to bottom, every morning before the children came. Once the kids arrived, the midshipmen broke up into small teams to play games and participate in team sports with the children.

"Working with the Naval Academy was amazing," said Thompson. "The group was willing to work but also stay engaged with the children at the Boys and Girls club. Not only did I enjoy working and laughing with these guys, but seeing them make a change in the children's lives was the best part."

The midshipmen also participated in arts and crafts activities and helped to build a small garden with the children at the club.

"There was a garden at the clubhouse about 2-3 years prior and we thought it would be a nice project to help the staff start again," said Midshipman 3rd Class Tori Sharpe. "We wanted the club to have a fresh start for the new garden so we started over by digging out land, putting in soil and plants, adding a fence, and figuring out the irrigation system."

Over the course of the week, the midshipmen developed a strong bond with the staff and children of the clubhouse. While teaching the kids important lessons about friendship, service, and teamwork, the midshipmen learned about the tribe's culture and a few of its traditions.

During the last night of the program, the midshipmen were invited to attend the Pascua Yaqui tribe's Lent ceremony with the children from the clubhouse. The ceremony, passed down through generations of Pascua Yaqui tribe members, isn't usually open to outsiders and incorporates aspects of Native American tradition with Spanish Catholicism.

"Having Naval Academy volunteers come all the way to Tucson to help us here at the clubhouse has been an amazing experience for the community, and especially the kids," said Adam Ortiz, Pascua Yaqui site director. "I am glad that they enjoyed their time here as much as the kids enjoyed having them here. The kids are going to be sad to see them go but I feel that their work here will have a lasting effect on the children and the community."

"This Spring Break was a life-changing experience," said Midshipman 1st Class John Deanon. "The kids on the reservation were so full of life and not once did these kids complain about their lives. I'm going to miss everyone in Arizona. Go Volunteer. Make a Difference."

Donations from the USNA Foundation, Class of 1992, allowed the midshipmen to experience this unique opportunity.

"This generosity makes all MAG spring break projects a reality, thus creating great teambuilding experiences and community awareness that will serve our midshipmen well when they become leaders in the fleet," said USNA's Community Relations Director Miriam Stanicic.

MAG also participated in other spring break opportunities in California and New Jersey this year. The organization aims to prepare midshipmen for future service by encouraging peer leadership, teamwork, character development, morale, selflessness, and good will towards others.

For more news from U.S. Naval Academy, visit

NNS150324-04. Seoul-based Service Members Remember ROKS Cheonan with Ceremony

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Abraham Essenmacher, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea, Public Affairs

SEOUL, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Seoul-based Sailors and Marines from the U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) participated in a remembrance service March 24 to honor the Korean Sailors lost during the sinking of the Republic of Korea Navy corvette ROKS Cheonan (PCC-772) five years ago.

The 1,200-ton ship broke into two from an explosion, suspected to be from a North Korean torpedo, on March 26, 2010, while operating in waters west of the Korean peninsula. Of the 104-man crew, 46 Korean Sailors perished in the incident, along with an ROK navy diver who lost his life during the subsequent rescue efforts.

"The tragic loss of ROKS Cheonan and her brave Sailors is a solemn reminder of the human cost of freedom," said Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea. "We shall never forget the 46 fallen Sailors of the Cheonan and their UDT rescuer, nor will we forget the pain and sorrow experienced by their families and shipmates. The legacy of these Sailors will live on in all those who serve as part of our alliance with the Republic of Korea."

In observance of Korean tradition, Franchetti led a flower-laying and incense ceremony with other distinguished guests including Republic of Korea Navy Rear Adm. Myung-han Choi, Combined Forces Command C1.

"It was a sad loss for us, but out of the overwhelming sadness, was born in the minds of the people the respect for the professionalism and patriotism demonstrated by the 46 warriors of the Cheonan," said Rear Adm. Choi. "Their legacy lives on and serves as a reminder to the people that security awareness can never be over emphasized."

Cheonan's stern was raised on April 15, 2010, and recovery efforts concluded on Aug. 25 of that same year. Both the ROK and U.S. navies contributed to the rescue and recovery efforts of ROKS Cheonan, including USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52), USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), and USS Lassen (DDG 82).

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

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

NNS150324-03. Program in Profile: White House Communication Agency

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan G. Greene, Naval Air Facility Atsugi Public Affairs

NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan (NNS) -- Sailors aboard Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi recently had the opportunity to apply for what some consider to be the opportunity of a life time: the White House Communications Agency (WHCA).

The team, led by Master Chief Information Systems Technician Okyo Simmons, came to NAF Atsugi to conduct interviews for prospective applicants to the agency.

WHCA Recruiting Representative, Chief Yeoman Jessie Baker, said the WHCA nomination team is looking for creative, innovative Sailors to provide premier communications support to the president of the United States. She stressed that WHCA only recruits highly dedicated, professional Sailors in select ratings who are ready for a challenging assignment.

"Sailors who wish to apply for WHCA must be able to travel, work with little supervision, have no history of derogatory information and be able to obtain and keep a top secret security clearance," Baker said.

WHCA members have the primary responsibility of controlling all factors involved with the way the president, vice-president, first lady and other Cabinet members communicate to the public on a daily basis.

"While the demands of the assignment are sometimes arduous, I cannot think of another duty assignment with as much responsibility, visibility and accountability for Navy enlisted personnel, than that of supporting the Office of the President of the United States," said WHCA Army Sgt. Lead Recruiter Bernard Simmons.

Sailors assigned to WHCA experience a very high rate of travel. WHCA Sailors average between 150 to 200 days deployed a year in support of missions that vary from domestic, international and local Washington-area travel. Traveling at a moment's notice is a big part of WHCA operations; however, not everybody who comes to WHCA travels. There are several billets which require Sailors to support the fixed mission at home.

"The best thing about being stationed at the White House Communications Agency is that, unlike my many Navy deployments throughout my career, I often find myself in countries that the Navy does not visit. I can now truly see the world," added Baker.

WHCA is currently accepting applications from personnel on sea duty in the grades of E4 with less than eight years in service (on a case-by-case basis) and grades of E5 to E6 with less than 15 years in service.

Presently, WHCA has a high demand for Sailors with specialties in communications, audio-visual, administration and support in the following Navy enlisted ratings: builder, construction electrician, cryptologic technician (interpretive), cryptologic technician (maintenance), cryptologic technician (network), electrician's mate, electronics technician, interior communications electrician, information systems technician, mass communication specialist, personnel specialist, steelworker, and yeoman.

Sailors selected to work at WHCA receive special duty assignment pay and a civilian clothing allowance. They serve a minimum of five years in a presidential support duty billet and are eligible to earn the Presidential Service Badge. WHCA Sailors train and work with cutting-edge communications and media technology.

Interested Sailors should go to the WHCA website where they can submit an application. WHCA personnel will identify, interview, select and nominate qualified Sailors. Interested applicants can also visit the White House Communications Agency Recruiting website at

For more news from Naval Air Facility Atsugi, visit

NNS150324-02. NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka 'Fuelies' Win Naval Fuel Management Awards

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

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Few things burn hotter than a United States Navy Sailor's desire to serve their country but at 140-degrees Fahrenheit a close second would be the flash-point of JP-5, the fuel used in many of the Navy jets across the Asia Pacific region, which brings the mission-ready American warfighter to the tip of the spear.

Fuel professionals at NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka support that mission and have been named as 2014 Naval Fuel Management Award winners by Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen, March 18.

Chief Engineering Aide Aaron Marshall, winner for the Navy chief petty officer category and Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuel) 1st Class Luis Payano, Navy petty officer winner, are both assigned to the command's Code 700 fuel department aboard Site Sasebo and Site Diego Garcia respectively.

The command's fuel team also captured best Navy Bulk Fuel Terminal for its operations at Fuel Terminals Sasebo, Japan.

These annual awards recognize activities and personnel who have made the most significant contributions to Department of the Navy bulk fuel operations, petroleum supply chain management and fleet fuel support. The awards highlight the accomplishments of naval petroleum professionals who demonstrate their pride, professionalism and support for our warfighters.

"As half of the U.S. Navy's deployed fleet is permanently homeported in the Asia Pacific, it is vital that NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka has the fuel available to keep the ships and aircraft moving and our 'fuelies' are an integral piece of that much larger puzzle of keeping the warfighter at the tip of the spear," said Capt. Raymond Bichard, commanding officer, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, adding that the work performed this last year by Payano, Marshall and the entire fuel team in Sasebo has been exceptional.

Marshall is directly involved in every facet of terminal maintenance, construction, inspections and repair, whether performed by contractor or in-house labor. He provided expert guidance that has led to a highly successful commission rate of 22 miles of pipeline, 27 storage tanks, components and facilities that encompass nearly 400 acres of real estate.

Last year, Payano supervised the safe receipt, handling and storage of 21.5 million gallons of fuel over a period of seven days with zero loss of accountability, mishap or spill. He also supervised the refueling of one million gallons of fuel to 88 Royal Australian Air Force aircraft in support of their mission requirements as well as assessed contractor performance in the issuing of 5.5 million gallons of fuel to dozens of maritime pre-positioned ships contributing to their overall combat readiness.

"I was very pleased to recognize our fuels personnel for their outstanding performance and contributions to the FLCY fuels mission during calendar year 2014."

NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka fuel team professionals - Sailors, Master Labor Contract (MLC) and United States Civil Service (USCS) employees - provide clean, clear and bright fuel to the fleet and joint warfighter. Their highly technical fuel missions are an everyday occurrence for the command, which prides itself on being the best option for petroleum, oil and lubricant (POL) products within the Asia Pacific area of responsibility (AOR).

"Whether it's a ship, jet or a helicopter - when the request comes in, we get our team to move that fuel from storage tanks to trucks and from super tankers to rail cars, doing whatever it takes to answer the call," said Bichard. "The operation we run is 24/7 and our team must be able to respond at a moment's notice to deliver that fuel to those customers on time and safely every time."

As the Western Pacific region's largest U.S. Navy logistics command, just 26 miles due south of Tokyo, the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka 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 as well as other supply chain services to include parts, material, provisions and mail across the U.S. Navy's largest geographical area of responsibility.

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit

NNS150324-01. NMCB 11 Seabees Conduct Mount Out Exercise

By Ensign Frances R. Hunter, NMCB 11 Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 Detachment (DET) Guam conducted a 48-hour mount out exercise (MOX) at Camp Covington, Naval Base Guam, March 12-14.

An MOX simulates one of the core capabilities of an NMCB, the ability to deploy an 89-person air detachment (AIRDET) within 48 hours for any mission required by a supported commander. Missions could range from major combat operations to humanitarian and disaster relief.
The mount out requires moving heavy construction equipment and large quantities of support materials.

For the MOX, the 158 Seabees of DET Guam prepared and staged more than 538,000 pounds of equipment and supplies ranging from 31 pieces of civil engineer support equipment (CESE) to 1,700 meals-ready-to-eat and 2,500 bottles of water. The exercise culminated in a convoy to Andersen Air Force Base, rehearsing the transport of one chalk (items and personnel travelling on a given aircraft) to the point of air departure. In an actual mount out, the majority of the equipment would leave Guam on Air Force aircraft - including the dozers, backhoes, and tractor trailers.

DET Guam emphasized realism throughout the exercise, treating it as a rehearsal for a mission that could be ordered any day.

"As a leader for this organization, it makes me confident that we have the ability to meet our required operating capability of mounting an AIRDET out within 48 hours," said Senior Chief Construction Electrician Chris Beck, AIRDET senior enlisted advisor. "We test them, we push them to the limit, we give them the worst case scenarios, and at the end of the day, they accomplish the mission."

The mount out evolution requires coordination and teamwork. Seabees build pallets and wash, weigh and measure each piece of equipment to locate its center of balance. Load planners input the information into a computer program called Transportation Coordinators' Automated Information for Movements System (TCAIMS) to determine where everything will be placed in the military aircraft. If the load is not properly planned, it could unbalance the airplane and endanger the flight.

"My part folds in everything that's going on outside, all the moving parts," said Construction Electrician 2nd Class Joshua Davis. "If I don't do my job right, I'm failing them. But if they've got one pound off or one inch off, they're failing me."

The exercise was based around a humanitarian scenario. NMCB-11's AIRDET was hypothetically ordered to fly to Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, to assist in disaster relief efforts following a tsunami. AIRDET leadership conducted detailed mission planning for tasks such as search and recovery, clearing debris, delivering emergency supplies, constructing a tent camp, and repairing the airport and seaport to open the way for further relief efforts.

As the exercise began, however, a real-world scenario developed. Tropical Storm Bavi swept through the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Marshall Islands on its way to Guam. Category Five Tropical Cyclone Pam simultaneously left a trail of devastation in Vanuatu, a remote archipelago near Australia. With the MOX already underway, DET Guam boarded up windows and placed sandbags for typhoon conditions and prepared for the possibility that the simulated scenario could become very real.

"It was kind of eerie," said Builder Constructionman Missila Vinsant. "If anything does happen, we're basically ready to go in a few hours."

That turned out not to be necessary, as NMCB-11 was not ordered to assist with Cyclone Pam relief efforts, however, the MOX ensured that NMCB-11's AIRDET is fully ready to deploy at any time.

NMCB-11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance. The battalion's homeport is in Gulfport, Mississippi. NMCB-11 DET Guam is currently forward deployed to Camp Covington, Naval Base Guam, to provide a contingency construction force ready to mount out in support of operations ranging from disaster relief to major combat operations throughout the Pacific.

For more news from Naval Construction Group 1, visit

NNS011215-25. This Day in Naval History - March 24

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1898 - The battleship USS Kentucky (BB 6) is launched in Newport News, Va.

1903 - Adm. George Dewey is commissioned Admiral of the Navy, the only person to hold this rank. Upon his death Jan. 16, 1917, Congress deactivates the rank.

1919 - The battleship USS Idaho (BB 42) is commissioned. Idaho serves with the Pacific fleet, participating in gunfire support of the Aleutian, Marianas, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa Campaigns, and is in Tokyo Bay Sept. 2, 1945 when Japan formally surrenders.

1936 - USS Balch (DD 363), named after Rear Adm. George B. Balch, is launched.

1944 - USS Bowfin (SS 287) attacks a Japanese convoy, sinking both a transport and army cargo ship.

1977 - The initial service acceptance trials for the CH 53E Super Stallion are completed at Naval Air Test Center (NATC), Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

1986 - The first operational use of a Harpoon missile in combat is used by A-6A aircraft from VA-34 against a Libyan Combatant II G-class fast-attack missile craft. The engagement occurs after Libyan armed forces fire missiles at U.S. Navy forces operating in the Gulf of Sidra. Retaliatory strikes by A-7E Corsair II aircraft put the SA-5 missiles out of action at Surt and VA-85 aircraft then sink the missile craft.

2009 - Coastal patrol craft USS Chinook (PC 9) arrives at Umm Qasr, Iraq. During this port visit to Iraq, she is the first U.S. Navy ship to stay overnight.

NNS150326-10. Plan for CAP - 4 Things to Know

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Now is the time for command triads to start planning on how to use their Command Advancement Program (CAP) quotas to advance their top Sailors when CAP season begins July 1.

Here are four things commanding officers (CO) should know about CAP:

1. CAP provides COs with the authority to advance their best Sailors in recognition of their superior performance in paygrades E3, E4 and E5. As the chief of naval personnel has said on many occasions, don't wait for the exam if the Sailor is ready and eligible, CAP them.

2. NAVADMIN 245/14 lists the quotas for CAP and NRMAP for eligible commands and can be found on the NPC website at

3. CAP season aligns with the Navywide advancement examination cycle to maximize current and future advancement opportunities and encourages COs to set CAP performance standards and select their best Sailors.

4. CAP season runs between July 1 and Sept. 30. Once Sailors are selected PERS-8 will validate the selection and the CAP is then official. This added step ensures commands have the requisite CAP quotas and Sailors meet program requirements.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS150326-02. PACFLT Senior Enlisted Meet, Discuss Mission Readiness

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian M. Wilbur, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Senior enlisted leaders met at U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) headquarters for the annual Senior Enlisted Leadership Training Symposium (SELTS) March 23-25.

The symposium allows senior enlisted leaders from around the Pacific Fleet to gather and review the effectiveness of current policies and ways to improve mission readiness in open-forum discussions. It also provides an opportunity for the participants to interact with U.S. Pacific Fleet Master Chief Marco Ramirez and various flag officers.

"The tyranny of distance in the Pacific is so massive and a lot of these senior enlisted leaders are so spread out," said Ramirez. "So the main objective of SELTS is to bring them all together so that they can look at each other and get to know one another and discuss the issues that we have and to see how PACFLT runs. This allows them to get an understanding of what can be done better to support the Navy's mission."

Rear Adm. Robert Girrier, PACFLT deputy commander, spoke with SELTS participants about the importance of synchronization between commands and understanding the hierarchy of guidance as well as the important roles that each of these leaders play at their commands.

"You know what right looks like and that's why you're bring an incredible source of coaching and mentorship that's important for the command climate, and the functioning and wholeness of the team," said Girrier. "That's a huge part of your job that goes beyond your technical expertise."

Girrier went on to add that the best way to take care of their team is to bring all of their Sailors home as winners, which is what their families and America are counting on.

A main focus of the discussions was Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) and the importance of Sailors being the first line of defense.

"Bystander intervention is one of the big things going on: shipmates looking after shipmates," said Todd Schafer, PACFLT executive director and chief of staff. "We have to continue working on that. We need to get to the left of some of these problems and stop them before they happen. We have to spread that message as leadership."

The symposium provides the leaders the opportunity to assemble and exchange ideas, knowledge and personal insights to ensure they have a common objective to strengthen Sailor and mission readiness.

"One of the most beneficial parts of SELTS is when you bring in all the senior enlisted leaders from other branches and you can get a better idea of what's going on between the branches," said Command Master Chief John Ullery, commander, Navy Region Hawaii. "You get to understand some the challenges these leaders face and we can all see what each other's challenges are and hopefully find a way to collectively solve them to better support our commands and Sailors."

Over a span of three days, the symposium included team building exercises, discussions about updating instructions, and CPO 365 training.

For more news from U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit

NNS150326-19. Princess Anne High School NJROTC Cadets Take On SEAL 'O' Course

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rob Rupp, Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The East Coast SEAL (Sea, Air, and Land) and SWCC (Special Warfare Combatant Crewman) Scout Team hosted more than 30 Junior Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) Cadets from Princess Anne High School to run the Naval Special Warfare Group (NSWG) 2 Obstacle Course on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia Beach, Va., March 25.

The Cadets were taught teamwork skills and confidence while running NSWG-2's O' Course.

"This obstacle course helps build teamwork, confidence, and character," said Lt. (SEAL) Andrew Dow, East Coast SEAL and SWCC Scout Team officer in charge. "It is good seeing these kids out here having fun."

The NJROTC program was established in 1964 and is taught by instructors who are retired Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard officers and enlisted personnel.

"We have about 125 cadets in the program," said retired Gunnery Sgt. Dennis Gaitens, Naval Science instructor, Princess Anne High School. "We are trying to show the cadets the active duty side of the military."

The cadets were separated into groups of four and each group ran the obstacle course at their own pace.

"It was challenging," said Brandon Del Rosario, NJROTC executive officer and senior at Princess Anne High School. "The best part was seeing my cadets push through, we had a lot of fun."

Princess Anne High School offers NJROTC as an elective course. The students learn leadership and citizenship skills along with general information about the military.

"NJROTC is not a military recruitment program, it is a citizen development program," said Gaitens. "However, roughly 45 percent of cadets do go on to pursue a career in the military."

"I hope to come back next year to do the obstacle course again," said Daniel Stephens, a cadet and sophomore at Princess Anne High School.

The SEAL and SWCC Scout Team's mission is to identify and engage high-quality potential SEAL and SWCC candidates, inform them of careers in NSW, and assists them with the recruiting process.

For more news from Naval Special Warfare Group 2, visit

NNS150326-18. Marine Captain Takes Top Honors for Aviation Maintenance Excellence

From Naval Air Systems Command Public Affairs

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (NNS) -- A Marine Corps captain recently earned CNO's Charles J. "Chuck" Nechvatal aviation ground maintenance officer of the year award for his contribution to the deployment of one of the service's newest small unmanned aircraft systems.

Capt. Chris Seemayer, assistant program manager for logistics supporting the Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office (PMA-263) received the award March 24 during a ceremony held at Patuxent River.

"This award is truly a testament to the phenomenal team both in the supporting echelon and the fleet that are steadfastly focused on bringing unmanned aviation into the naval enterprise and posturing our systems to bring enhanced readiness to the operating forces," said Seemayer, who joined PMA-263 in 2013.

Seemayer, a 2006 graduate of Miami University, took top honors for having the most beneficial impact on command readiness and mission accomplishments during the past year. He oversaw the logistical coordination for the RQ-21A Blackjack's operational test and evaluation phase under a unique scenario. The Marines required Blackjack's capabilities for real-world combat operations prior to the system being fielded to the fleet. His efforts resulted in 100 percent mission readiness and successful completion of the test plan, which was executed by Marines in Afghanistan just months later.

He also developed a numbering system similar to manned aircraft's bureau number (BUNO) to accurately report UAS mission readiness. Standard aviation practices identified an air vehicle status, but did not take into account the subsystems required to operate a UAS. The new process, which accounts for all vehicles and integrated equipment within the RQ-21A system, is now being adopted across all Group 3-class UAS platform allowing for tailored logistic support.

"Chris brings a great deal of professionalism and expertise to our program office," said Col. Eldon Metzger, PMA-263 program manager. "He puts the fleet first and tackles each task with the commitment to improve mission readiness and success."

Seemayer, who served in Afghanistan in 2010, said it is a remarkable feeling to know that you have made a positive impact on enhancing capabilities for the Marines and Sailors in the operating forces.

"I feel both honored and humbled to be recognized with this award, but also thankful to the phenomenal cadre of enlisted and officer mentors that I have been fortunate to serve with throughout my career," he said.

Since 1994, the Chuck J. Nechvatal has been awarded annually to officers O-3 and below for naval aviation maintenance excellence.

For more news from Naval Air Systems Command, visit

NNS150326-17. Navy Medicine East Celebrates 100 Years of Navy Reserves

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin E. Yarborough, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Navy Medicine East (NME) hosted a Navy Reserve Centennial celebration aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) March 21.

The ceremony highlighted the sacrifices and contributions reservists in the medical field have made to the Navy since the reserve component's establishment March 3, 1915.

Rear Adm. Christina Alvarado, deputy commander, NME, touched on the history of the reserve component and the unique skillsets reserve Sailors bring to the Navy medical community. She relayed stories of medics and corpsmen highlighting their bravery in the face of adversity during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

"For NME, this anniversary offers an opportunity for us to look back at our own rich heritage," said Alvarado. "From wartime battlefields and hospital ship operating units to stateside hospitals and humanitarian efforts overseas, the Navy medical reservist has served, sacrificed and established a record of excellence."

In keeping with Navy tradition, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Jesus Perez and Alvarado, the oldest and youngest Sailor in attendance, cut the cake commemorating the centennial.

Perez said the ceremony served as a reminder of why he chose to serve.

"Events such as this show the bigger picture of how my rate has impacted war efforts," said Perez. "The ceremony also reflected on how, in the past, reserve and active components have integrated in major conflicts and worked together."

For Command Master Chief Ruben Dean, from Operational Health Support Unit Jacksonville, Florida, the ceremony served to increase his pride in being a reservist.

"It was a great history review about how we as reservists are always training in the background," said Dean. "The reserve community has a long and proud tradition and will always be ready to answer the call to duty; ready then, ready now, ready always."

NNS150326-15. Get Active, Get Healthy: NMCP Celebrates National Nutrition Month

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Terah L. Bryant, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Staff of Naval Medical Center Portsmouth stressed the importance of being healthy in support of National Nutrition Month March 19 with a health fair.

Informational tables were displayed by staff from Command Fitness, the library, the Wellness Department, the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions and others with messages that emphasized the importance of staying active and eating right.

National Nutrition Month is a campaign designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

"A lot of people don't understand the role of nutrition," said Rebecca McCandless, intern dietetic. "We do this fair so they can gain knowledge and see exactly what is going on."

The theme for this year - 'Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle' - encourages everyone to adopt eating and activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

To assist staff, guests and family members with attaining a healthier lifestyle, librarians brought books and similar resources to their table.

"There are many different ways to find information these days," said librarian Lisa Eblen. "We have nutrition books that can be checked out, and computers for researching information. We can help with apps that are available, and we will make sure it's the right information and not material from a questionable source."

Command Fitness representatives Hospital Corpsmen 3rd Class (FMF) Shane Dixon and Dustin Collamore debunked common myths about losing weight.

"Some people think that all they need to do is eat less and they will lose weight," Dixon said. "While eating less can play a part, we should be eating six small, healthy meals a day and combine it with physical activity in our daily routine."

Dixon also mentioned that "any physical activity is good. It is not just about (one type of exercise). You can even exercise by playing sports."

CSADD promoted healthy living by giving information on making exercise fun. Their information included local pools, group work out sessions and runs available in the area, as well as a fact sheet with 20 tips for exercising.

Some of the tips included setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. The tip encourages starting new exercises slowly, and allowing for gradual increases in intensity, frequency and duration of activity to prevent injuries. Other key aspects are to stay hydrated, be patient and seek medical advice before beginning a new fitness plan.

For more news from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, visit

NNS150326-12. Blue Ridge Departs Hong Kong, Solidifying Longstanding Friendship

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Timothy Hale, USS Blue Ridge Public Affairs

HONG KONG (NNS) -- U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) departed Victoria Harbor, March 24, following four days of cultural exchanges throughout Hong Kong.

Seventh Fleet ships have conducted regular goodwill port visits to Hong Kong since the end of World War II, with Blue Ridge making port calls to Hong Kong since forward deploying to Yokosuka, Japan, in 1979.

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

During the visit, Sailors and Marines took the opportunity away from work and volunteered their time with various local organizations, strengthening the 35-year friendship Blue Ridge has with Hong Kong.

"Community service projects show the local community that we care and that our Sailors are willing to help in any way possible," said Blue Ridge Command Master Chief Mark Tomlinson. "It's a great opportunity for the Sailors. It provides them a chance to give back to the communities they visit and build strong ties with the people they interact with."

2015 marked the third year that Blue Ridge crew members received the chance to interact with residents at Po Leung Kuk, a life education and elderly support center, while others played games with children from underprivileged families with the Loving Kids organization, Lai Huen House.

"This was the biggest turn out of volunteers we've had since the ship first volunteered at Po Leung Kuk, and everyone that participated had a blast," said Religious Programs Specialist 1st Class Brian Jewell, Blue Ridge community service coordinator. "We played games, made Chinese dumplings and learned about their experiences growing up."

"Putting a smile on the children's faces really made my stay in Hong Kong worthwhile," said volunteer Culinary Specialist Seaman Julia Murphy. "We were having so much fun with these kids I forgot it was community service."

Additionally, the Meals in the Homes program gave Sailors and Marines the opportunity to eat dinner at a hosting family's home or a nearby restaurant, allowing participants the opportunity to exchange life stories and learn about the history and culture of Hong Kong, from someone who lives there.

"My hosts were very friendly," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class David Franklin. "After eating, they gave me a personal tour of the city and showed me things I don't think I would've seen on my own. This was like having a home away from home. They truly made me feel like I was a part of their family."

Blue Ridge concluded the port visit with a celebration on the ships main deck with music provided by the U.S. 7th Fleet's Far East Edition, Woodwind Quintet, and Ceremonial Band.

"These events help us build, foster and maintain friendships and trust with our Pacific Partners in the region," said Chief Damage Controlman Andrae Sutherland, ceremony coordinator. "The ship invites members from the host nation and local community aboard and we have a great time sharing together."

NNS150326-09. TSC Celebrates Contributions by Naval Women, Past, Present, Future

By Zach Mott, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- Sailors and civilians from Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes attended a celebration in commemoration of Women's History Month, March 25.

Women comprise 17 percent of the current Navy forces, serving in roles from the newest of recruits to the most seasoned of admirals.

Before the cake was cut, two leaders from TSC spoke about the accomplishments of women in military history as well as the personal connection they share with the role women play in the Navy today.

"I really believe the military leads society and their progression and openness to women in nontraditional roles," said Cmdr. Kathleen Milligan, executive officer for TSC. "Everything that I've wanted to do has been available to me."

Milligan said she follows a simple plan that has served her well in her career as a naval aviator, a human resources officer and into her senior leadership roles and it is something she shares with future Navy leaders.

"I've always tried to be good at my job, learn something every day and set a good example," she said.

Culinary Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Naomi Goodwyn, a Navy military training instructor with TSC, spoke to the crowd about the accomplishments of women throughout military history. She said she was inspired by those accomplishments to weave her story into that history.

"Learning about women's history makes me want to do more as a Sailor and a mentor," Goodwyn said. "I challenge you to find your thread, continue someone else's thread or to weave your own."

Women are celebrated each year for the accomplishments they made, and continue to make on a daily basis, to the Navy mission. That celebration is a result of women who bucked the stereotypes and an inspiration to those who are forging ahead in roles recently opened to women.

"I appreciate the women who were the trailblazers of their time and I'm glad that I can see the culture evolving in a positive direction," Milligan said.

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

NNS150326-08. USS Farragut Concludes Lisbon Port Visit

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jackie Hart, USS Farragut Public Affairs

LISBON, Portugal (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut completed a scheduled port visit in Lisbon, Portugal, March 25.

While in port, Farragut conducted two community relations (COMREL) projects, and engaged in several Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) events. Farragut also hosted a tour and reception for members of the Military Attache Association, Rear Adm. Roy Kitchener, Chief of Staff, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, and members of the U.S. Embassy staff aboard the ship.

"It was an honor to welcome members of the Military Attache Association aboard Farragut," said Cmdr. Cory Applebee, commanding officer of Farragut. "The people of Portugal have been exceedingly warm and hospitable and have made this a port visit to remember."

More than 20 Farragut Sailors volunteered their time to help paint and perform landscaping work as a part of COMREL projects at the ATL Galiza School and Ronald McDonald House.

"Being able to volunteer and give back to the local community while spending time in their country is a gift and a privilege," said Chief Damage Controlman Christopher Kujat. "Both the ATL Galiza School and Ronald McDonald House do a great job in providing for those in need, and our Sailors enjoyed the opportunities to go and assist in the routine upkeep of their facilities."

Taking advantage of the chance to relax, Farragut Sailors enjoyed four cultural and scenic tours sponsored by the ship's MWR committee, and the ship's basketball and soccer teams engaged in friendly matches with local Portuguese players.

"It was really great getting to visit a foreign country, interacting with the local people and experiencing a different way of life," said Quartermaster 2nd Class Stephen Howard. "Lisbon is a beautiful city and I hope to be able to visit again one day."

Farragut is part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG), which is comprised of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and the guided-missile destroyers USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) and USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81).

Working alongside allied and partner maritime forces, TRCSG units will focus heavily on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts which help establish conditions for regional stability while operating in U.S. 6th Fleet.

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

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NNS150326-05. Sailors Conduct Munitions and Mine Assembly Training at Misawa

By Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Matthew Bonnes, Naval Air Facility Misawa, Japan, Public Affairs

MISAWA, Japan (NNS) -- Sailors from Navy Munitions Command East Asia Division (NMC EAD) Unit Misawa are conducting annual training with 27 Navy Reserve Sailors at Naval Air Facility Misawa March 10-30.

The 27 Sailors, who hail from 11 different states, are assigned to Navy Reserve Mobile Mine Assembly Unit (NR MOMAU) 5, Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Pittsburgh, and NR MOMAU-8, NOSC Austin, and they traveled to northern Japan to maintain their skills in safely and efficiently handling and assembling ordnance.

"MOMAU-5 and 8 integrate with our active duty Sailors to perform mine building operations efficiently and effectively each year. Once the mine building begins it is impossible to tell the difference between active duty and the reservist. Both have the same training and qualification requirements which increase the production rate and quality. The reserve component is a welcome addition to our team and they maximize our capabilities for mine warfare operations," said Lt. Todd Grahek, commanding officer of NMC EAD Unit Misawa.

NMC EAD maintains a pre-positioned war reserve stock to provide for the sentencing, storage, assembly and issue of mines, missiles, ammunition, and ordnance in direct support of Combatant Commander OPLANs.

"This training has been very refreshing. It's the first time I've had hands-on training since I left 'A' school. Being able to see and touch these components teaches me so much more than just reading about them in publications," said Mineman Seaman Apprentice Michael Greene, assigned to NR MOMAU-5.

NMC unit's have a unique relationship with the supporting Navy Reserve MOMAU units in that supporting reservists become certified to assemble mines and are fully integrated into NMC EAD's underwater mine assembly program.

NMC EAD active duty and reserve components are participating in a mine readiness assist visit (MRAV) in which all aspects of ammunition receipt, storage, sentencing, assembly and maintenance are audited by the Commander, Mobile Mine Assembly Group (COMOMAG) Inspection Team.

"I'm always impressed with the professionalism and knowledge the reservists come out here with and the way they flawlessly integrate with our team," said Chief Mineman Johnathan Desena, assigned to NMC EAD Unit Misawa.

This training prepares the Sailors for next year's Mine Readiness Certification Inspection (MRCI) and ultimately for unit/individual mobilization readiness in support of mine warfare operations worldwide.

During the MRAV, Rear Adm. Matthew Carter, commander, Naval Forces/Navy Region Japan, visited NMC EAD a visit to observe the combined mine assembly upgrade.

For more news from Naval Air Facility Misawa, Japan, visit

NNS150326-04. USS Chicago Sailors Volunteer at Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian G. Reynolds, Commander Submarine Group Seven Deputy Public Affairs Officer

FLEET ACTIVITIES YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Chicago (SSN 721) participated in a community relations (COMREL) project by volunteering at The Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen during a scheduled port visit in Singapore, March 23.

"The Willing Hearts COMREL was a great success," said Electronics Technician 1st Class James M. Perry. "The amount of work that is done at Willing Hearts is astounding."

Ten Chicago Sailors joined 20 other volunteers and assisted in preparing and packaging more than 4,600 meals that were distributed to 54 locations across Singapore.

"Our volunteers were quickly put to work cooking and portioning chicken, assembling bento boxes in an assembly line, loading the meals into the delivery vans, and breaking out frozen and dry foods for the following day," said Perry. "By 11 a.m. we had exceeded the target of 4,670 meals and started to break down and clean up for lunch."

Chicago is homeported in Guam. The ship is capable of supporting a variety of missions including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, strike, intelligence collection and mine warfare.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 7, visit

NNS150326-03. CNIC AND CNREURAFSWA Receives Romanian Logistics Award

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Luke B. Meineke, Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia Public Affairs

BUCHAREST, Romania (NNS) -- Romanian Army Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Nicolae Ciuca presented Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) Vice Adm. Dixon Smith and Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (CNREURAFSWA) Rear Adm. John Scorby with the Romanian Logistics Emblem of Honor award on March 25.

The award was presented at the Palace of the National Military Circle in Bucharest, Romania. It honors the partnership between the U.S. and Romania as they continue work on the construction of Naval Support Facility (NSF) Deveselu.

"This award is a sign of appreciation for the exemplary efforts, commitment to excellence and technical expertise in the support of achieving mission success by the Romanian logistics military structures, particularly by the 99th Military Base," Scorby said.

Scorby expressed Smith's sincere gratitude to all in attendance who have helped make NSF Deveselu a reality, adding that it couldn't be achieved without the synchronized efforts of both countries.

"Naval Support Deveselu has been a significant milestone in our nation's long-standing cooperative relationship, reinforced by the successful development of this important facility, from the early stages of planning and breaking ground, through the current construction phase of this base," Scorby said. "I look forward to the continued collaboration of our governments and armed forces in the future."

NSF Deveselu is CNREURAFSWA's latest installation for providing efficient and effective shore service support to U.S. and Allied Forces operating in Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia, visit

NNS150326-01. USS Wasp Is Back In the Fight

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Elizabeth Vlahos, USS Wasp Public Affairs

USS WASP, At sea. (NNS) -- For various reasons, the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) has not deployed since 2004. But after a highly successful combat systems ship qualification trial (CSSQT), Wasp has sent a clear, concise, and concussive message to the fleet: She is back in the fight.

After completion of a successful CNO availability at BAE shipyard in November 2014, Wasp's outdated combat systems were upgraded with the ships self-defense system (SSDS). With that fact in mind, the CSSQT proved to be a key gauntlet for Wasp - she had to show that she was fully qualified in surface and air defense, on a system never before used onboard.

"The last two years have been all about maintenance, including time in dry dock," said Capt. Kurt Kastner, Wasp commanding officer. "Many of the crew have never been underway in Wasp. We have a newly installed combat system and ship's network that will take the crew some time to train on. We also have a very compressed schedule with basic phase events, flag officer high interest port visits, and the joint strike fighter operational testing. Any one of those issues alone would be challenging, but we have to face all of them."

According to NAVSEAINST 9093.1C, Combat System Ship Qualification Trials for Surface Ships, the purpose of CSSQT is "to verify and validate that an individual ship's combat and weapon systems have been installed correctly and can be operated and maintained in a safe and effective manner."

Wasp did exactly that, passing each test with flying colors.

The first phase of CSSQT ran from January 12 through February 6. During the first phase, Wasp focused on in port maintenance, as well as training the combat systems crew with the battle force tactical trainer (BFTT). The BFTT wraps around the ship's combat system and simulates actual combat scenarios to train the operators on the ship's defense systems. During the second part of the first phase, Wasp was able to complete a simulated missile exercise in order to prepare for the real thing.

The second phase of CSSQT was where Wasp's Sailors truly got their hands dirty. This phase, which ran Feb. 17-20, included a tracking exercise in which Wasp tested her air detect, track and engage capabilities, and a gun exercise in which her close-in weapons systems (CIWS) were tested.

This past week, it was show time. Wasp was ready to break out the big guns.

In order to show she was ready for prime time, Wasp had to engage a minimum of one surface target with each of her CIWS mounts and MK 38, 25mm gun mounts, in order to qualify in surface defense. Also, Wasp had to successfully fire a minimum of one RIM-7 NATO Sea Sparrow missile and one Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) from each of her launchers to fully qualify in air defense. As an extra added attraction to air defense, Wasp needed to engage two TDU targets with each of her CIWS mounts. Finally, Wasp had to prove that she was capable of recognizing threats in order to qualify in electronic warfare. As a result of these successful engagements, Wasp was found fully mission capable in combat systems operations.

"Shooting missiles on an amphib ship is not something we do often, so to see four in one day is awesome," said Kastner. "Seeing missiles launch and hit their targets proves our combat system is reliable."

If any lingering questions existed as to Wasp's warfighting capabilities, the success of the missile and gun engagements made it crystal clear that she is back in the fight.

Wasp is scheduled to undergo flight deck qualifications for the remainder of her current underway, and she is scheduled for well deck qualifications during her next underway, all of which will set Wasp in motion for a 2016 Marine Expeditionary Unit/Amphibious Ready Group deployment, the first in over a decade.

"It's our duty and privilege to return Wasp to fighting condition and prepare the ship for the upcoming deployment," said Kastner. "From what I have witnessed and experienced on the deck plates, this crew is up to the task. The crew onboard now had nothing to do with decisions that were made ten years - or longer - ago that took Wasp out of the deployment rotation. We are now the ones who will bring the ship back into the rotation and we are scheduled to deploy in the summer of 2016. It's going to happen."

For more information about USS Wasp, visit

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NNS011215-27. This Day in Naval History - March 26

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1942 - During World War II, Adm. Ernest J. King becomes Chief of Naval Operations and also Commander, U.S. Fleet, holding both positions through the rest of the war, guiding the Navy's plans and global operations.

1942 - Task Force 39, commanded by Rear Adm. John W. Wilcox, Jr., sails from Portland, Maine, for Scape Flow, Orkeny Islands, Scotland, to reinforce the British Home Fleet due the British Fleets involvement in Operation Ironclad, the British invasion of the Vichy French controlled Madagascar. The following day, Rear Adm. Wilcox, while taking an unaccompanied walk on his flagship, USS Washington (BB 56), is washed overboard and disappears in the heavy seas.

1943 - During the Battle of Komandorski Islands, Task Group 16.6, commanded by Rear Adm. Charles H. McMorris, prevents Japanese reinforcements from reaching Kiska, Aleutian Islands. USS Salt Lake City (CA 25) is damaged by gunfire from Japanese heavy cruisers, but damages one with return fire.

1945 - As the main fighting on Iwo Jima nears an end, several hundred Japanese attack Company C, Fifth Pioneer Battalion, 5th Marine Division. 1st Lt. Harry L. Martin organizes resistance, rescues Marines and, until mortally wounded by a grenade, leads a counterattack. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life," he is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

1945 - USS Halligan (DD 584) is sunk by a mine off Okinawa. Also on this date, USS Balao (SS-285) sinks Japanese army stores ship No.1 Shinto Maru.

NNS150327-26. World-wide Experts Discuss Pest Management Strategies at DoD Meeting

By Navy Entomology Center of Excellence Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- The Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE) was the onsite host for the 200th meeting of the Armed Forces Pest Management Board (AFPMB) and 20th Triservice Pest Management Workshop held at NAS Jacksonville, March 22-27.

More than 150 scientists and pest management experts from around the world, including representatives from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, United States Department of Agriculture, and non-governmental organization partners, as well as representatives from private industry and academia were in attendance for the four-day event.

According to Capt. Mark Beavers, AFPMB director, the workshop theme "Conquering Challenges and Seizing Opportunities at Home and Abroad," was chosen to showcase the wide range of issues that are now, or soon will be, impacting the Department of Defense (DoD) pest management and medical entomology communities.

"Examples of this include the reduction of U.S. forces in Southwest Asia, the DoD's pivot to the Pacific, invasive species and biosecurity, malaria control and the increasing prevalence of insecticide resistance, climate change, and the increasing pest management needs of our installations here in the U.S. and around the world," said Beavers.

The workshop provides a one-of-a-kind DoD forum that is solely focused on those vector-borne disease and pest management issues impacting the warfighter and other DoD personnel in the military's unique operational, training, and garrison environments.

"Of the top 15 disease threats facing our troops abroad the top two are insect borne diseases, malaria and dengue," said Rear Adm. Colin Chinn, command surgeon, U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM), who gave a talk entitled "USPACOM: Global Health Security Overview."

Chinn's presentation highlighted the importance of remaining diligent in our vector control strategies. "Malaria is not simply a Force Health Protection issue, but a public health responsibility," added Chinn.

A consistent theme throughout the meeting was handling the challenges of responding to insect threats in the face of increased legislations and policies to reduce insecticide use in the environment.

"In today's world, acceptance of pesticides is shrinking," said Maureen Sullivan, director of Environment, Safety & Occupational Health Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense. "The challenge we are facing is to find new environmentally sound tools to combat insects that are acceptable to the public."

Sullivan challenged the attendees to think beyond immediate insect threats and look to address future risks that may affect our troops in the face of changing political and environmental climates.

"For almost 60 years, the Armed Forces Pest Management Board has encouraged DoD pest management and vector control professionals and our partners to proactively identify issues affecting warfighter readiness and define joint solutions," said Capt. Eric Hoffman, NECE officer in charge and AFPMB Council chairman. "The AFPMB Workshop provides an exceptional opportunity for our military and civilian colleagues to come together and actively engage in discussion addressing current and emerging concerns that impact military operations and global public health."

For more information on Navy entomology, visit the NECE website at:

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

NNS150327-25. Fleet Master Chief Beldo Helps SWOSU Celebrate Women's History Month

By Zach Mott, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Celebrating the long, storied history of women serving in the Navy began nearly 100 years ago when then Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels announced women would be eligible to enlist. Sailors commemorated that moment at an event at the Surface Warfare Officers School Command Unit (SWOSU) Great Lakes, March 27.

Speaking to the group, Fleet Master Chief (AW/SW) April D. Beldo, the fleet master chief for Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education (MPT&E), said, "we are here to celebrate us. It is our time."

Beldo is the lone woman serving as a fleet master chief currently in the Navy. She also acknowledged the other women who came before her and those that currently serve as senior leaders.

"They were women who had aspirations to be part of something bigger than themselves," Beldo said. "Because of their trailblazing it has made it possible for me to do what it is I do today and be selected in the position that I am in."

She also noted the struggle of being a woman Sailor and said she took solace in knowing that others have walked that same path and pushed through challenges to make great achievements.

"I know there were times when someone probably told them that they couldn't do it. But they persevered. They didn't allow anyone or anything stand in their way," Beldo said.

There have been many strides toward equality in service for women in the last quarter centry, but the one hurdle that remains is one Beldo said she sees the light at the end of that tunnel.

"We are collaborating efforts today and we will witness our first female enlisted Sailors walk across the submarine quarterdecks in the summer of 2016," she said.
The SWOSU Commanding Officer Cmdr. David Dwyer, said events like this, which honor the history of women in service, are important and he challenged those in attendance to continue the progress.

"Think about where you're at, who you have served with and spend a little bit of time thinking about how far we've come, but think about the hard work we have to move forth. We're not done," he said.

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

NNS150327-23. RSG Groton Changes Command; Silver Eagle Title Passed Down

By Kevin Copeland, Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Capt. Gerhard Somlai relieved Capt. Richard Verbeke as Commander, Regional Support Group (RSG) Groton and Naval Submarine Support Facility New London, Conn., during a change of command ceremony held at U.S. Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut, March 27.

Vice Adm. Michael Connor, commander, Submarine Forces, was the guest speaker.

"Our country's future depends heavily on the success of the Navy and the success of the Navy depends heavily on the ability of the Submarine Force to deliver," said Connor. "That is because there are missions that must be done that only submarines can do. Under the skillful leadership of Capt. Verbeke, the RSG team has ensured that eight submarines were returned to me in peak material condition after critical repairs were made with zero safety mishaps.

"They coordinated more than 20 fly-away teams overseas to support emergent repairs and keep us mission-capable.. I rest a little easier knowing that the RSG Groton has exceptional Sailors working and providing the best service possible to the fleet, helping us maintain mission and operational readiness at all times."

Connor then presented Verbeke with his third Legion of Merit Award for meritoriously "guiding five commands and a diverse workforce consisting of more than 500 military and federal service personnel and another 300 contractors in the maintenance, testing and inspection of 16 nuclear-powered fast-attack submarines."

As RSG Commander, Verbeke served as the Atlantic Fleet submarine force's direct waterfront representative to direct, assign, and monitor the accomplishment of intermediate and depot-level repairs and modernizations on submarines in Groton, Connecticut, and the northeastern region.

A native of Jefferson Township, New Jersey, Verbeke enlisted in the Navy in February 1977 as a nuclear electrician's mate. He was advanced to chief petty officer in 1984, and was commissioned as an ensign under the Limited Duty Officer Program in March 1986.

During his almost four decades of Naval service Verbeke has served in a myriad of sea and shore assignments in his progression from junior enlisted to senior enlisted to junior officer to senior officer.

His sea assignments have included the Electrical Division onboard the Sturgeon-class attack submarine USS Richard B. Russell (SSN 687), homeported in Groton, Connecticut, where he qualified in submarines and received his silver dolphins; Electrical Division leading chief petty officer onboard the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Dallas (SSN 700), homeported in Groton; the submarine tender USS Simon Lake (AS 33), homeported in Holy Loch, Scotland, where he qualified surface warfare officer; quality assurance officer on the staff of Commander, Submarine Group 7 Representative Guam embarked on the Hunley-class submarine tender USS Holland (AS 32); and as production management assistant on the Emory S. Land-class submarine tender USS McKee (AS 41), homeported in San Diego.

Shore assignments have included instructor duty at Nuclear Propulsion Training Unit, Windsor, Connecticut; assistant radiological controls officer at Naval Submarine Support Facility, New London, Connecticut; assistant material officer, Commander Submarine Squadron 2, Groton; ship repair officer at Submarine Squadron Support Unit, New London; submarine project superintendent at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; executive officer, Naval Station Pearl Harbor; Production Management Assistant, Naval Submarine Support Facility, New London; deputy commander of Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard; commanding officer, Trident Refit Facility, Kings Bay, Ga.; and Commander, Regional Support Group, Groton.

Somlai's previous command was at the U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, where he served as chief, Global Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and Space Division.

"Today, I am honored to be taking over the leadership of an organization with a large team of professionals going above and beyond the call of duty in doing extraordinary things with limited resources to get submarines to sea," said Somlai, a native of Somers, New York. "Thank you for all your hard work and dedication. I am looking forward to being part of this remarkable team.

"Capt. Verbeke, thanks for helping me understand this vast and diverse organization. You have turned over a well-trained, motivated team. You can be proud of them and what you have accomplished here. Good luck in your future and in the next stage of your journey."

Following the change of command ceremony Verbeke closed the book on his active duty service and retired from the U.S. Navy.

Vice Adm. Joseph P. Mulloy, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Integration of Capabilities and Resources, recognized his accomplishments.

"There is no greater honor than to be here and be able to participate in today's festivities for a great friend, thank you for asking me to speak at your retirement," said Mulloy. "It is a wonderful occasion and a great pleasure to be here in my old home, Groton, to take part in the retirement ceremony to celebrate the end of an "era" - retiring Rich Verbeke is such a large "passing" that we may find archeologists wandering around if they get the word that this is another end of the "age of the dinosaurs"! I believe only the CNO, of all active duty officers, entered Nuclear School before Rich.

"Thanks for all you have done-- you have made a lasting difference to both our submarine and surface warfare forces and the larger Navy. I have no doubt having spent some quality time with you, that you have learned a lot from your yesterdays of
experiences in our great Navy and I know you look forward to the experiences that await you in retirement. Enjoy it. You clearly deserve it. As you move forward in your next journey in life --I wish you and your family the very best. Thank you and may God bless the Verbekes, our Submarine Force, our Navy and our Nation."

Upon retiring, Verbeke relinquished his status as the U.S. Navy's Silver Eagle, a ceremonial title he assumed in June 2013 recognizing him as the Navy's most senior Limited Duty Officer. Verbeke presented the Silver Eagle and Horseshoe Award to Capt. Daniel P. Henderson, who is stationed at Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia.

The Silver Eagle was created in 2002 in recognition of the dedicated service careers of LDO personnel. The Silver Eagle is a reminder to each recipient of the challenges and accomplishments they experienced during their Naval tour as well as the responsibility to mentor the future of the Navy - the Sailors.

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

NNS150327-21. Porter Departs Norfolk to Join Forward Deployed Naval Force

From CNSL Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) departed Norfolk Naval Station for the last time, March 27, before being forward deployed to Rota, Spain.

Porter's crew of about 270 Sailors are scheduled to operate in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility prior to arrival in Rota. The ship will be the third of four Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers deployed to Spain by the end of 2015.

"The crew has worked very hard to get to this point and they are excited about the opportunity to work with our foreign partners as well as experience various cultures with our homeport shift," said Cmdr. Blair Guy, Porter's commanding officer. "This is a significant opportunity for the ship and the crew and we are ready to meet all mission requirements."

Porter will join the guided-missile destroyers, USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and USS Ross (DDG 71), both of which transited to Spain last year. The fourth vessel, USS Carney (DDG 64), is slated to depart Mayport, Florida, for Rota in the fall.

Each ship is equipped to provide a mobile ballistic-missile defense for allies and partners in the European region. Missions will also include maritime security operations, cooperative training exercises and deployments.

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

NNS150327-20. NBK Celebrates Women's History Month

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Jose L. Hernandez, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Bremerton and commands in Navy Region Northwest attended a Women's History Month observance at the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) auditorium, March 25.

The event kicked off with a presentation highlighting the achievements of distinguished women throughout our nation's history. It recognized the stories, struggles and victories of the women who helped shape this nation and make it into the country it is today.

"These women paved the way to equality for women of future generations and had a big impact on women's roles in America," said Logistics Specialist 1st Class Lisa Hood, from Susanville, California. "Equal treatment and equality in today's workplace is everyone's responsibility, regardless of gender; I believe that is the true legacy these brave women left behind."

Bremerton Mayor and keynote speaker Patty Lent spoke of her experience and memories as a community leader and advocated women's participation within their communities.

"There isn't such a thing as starting too young or too early when it comes to women becoming involved with their communities or making a change in history," said Lent. "Women both young and old have made big impacts in our history, but despite these contributions the role of women in American history has been underrepresented in the teachings of history itself. This is why events like these celebrate the accomplishments and impact women have had on our nation are both important and valuable to our communities."

At the conclusion of the event, Sailors were given the chance to ask questions to Mayor Lent and were given the opportunity to browse the static displays in the auditorium.

"It's important to celebrate our history and acknowledge where we came from and where we are now," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Brittany Parker, from Desert Center, California. "However, we do have more steps to take towards equality, and looking at these women's lives and what they went through really helps to put things into perspective."

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

NNS150327-18. SAR Trains With Royal Canadian Air Force

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Caleb Cooper, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. NW

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Air Station Whidbey Island's (NASWI) Search and Rescue (SAR) unit performed a biannual joint training exercise with the Royal Canadian Air Force's (RCAF) 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, March 24.

SAR trains with RCAF to better understand their techniques in the likely event that they work together on a mission.

"You have to prepare for things that are going to happen to you in real life rescues," said SAR swimmer, Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Adam Trump, from Palm Harbor, Florida. "We actually see these scenarios a lot and I'm sure they see them a lot too."

NASWI SAR enjoys working with other units to capitalize on a variety of learning opportunities available.

"Being from the fleet we generally only work with Navy," said Lt. Jared Wada, SAR schedules officer and pilot from Tacoma, Washington. "When we get a chance to work with the Army, Air Force, Marines or allied countries like Canada, it's always interesting and always positive to learn from other people who come from a different background."

Training with RCAF goes smoothly due to the similarities the two have on approaching their job.

"I love training with those guys," said Trump. "They're just as versatile as us, they seem to have as much pride in their job as we do and a lot goes into their training."

RCAF believes that the importance of working together makes for the best possible response capabilities.

"I think it's great to be able to work with people like the U.S. and our sister SAR squadron to be able to see the different capabilities they have," said Canadian Capt. Hilarie Caverly, tactical coordinator. "So if disaster strikes, we understand what they offer and we understand what we can do. That's going to make everything work so much better."

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

NNS150327-16. A Cyber Moment: ONR Reservist Wins Federal 100 Award

By Warren Duffie, ONR Corporate Communications

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- For contributions to emergent technologies from augmented-reality training to tactical cyber warfare, Lt. Cmdr. Tom McAndrew of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) March 26 became the first ONR Reservist to win a Federal 100 Award.

The awards are presented to government, industry and academic leaders who have played pivotal roles in the use of information technology by the federal government.

McAndrew's recognition comes during the centennial of the U.S. Navy Reserve.

"With 190 dedicated Reservists engaged in ONR's work here and around the world, we would not be able to accomplish our mission without their daily contribution," said ONR Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Mat Winter.

"I want to congratulate this great American institution for 100 years of distinguished service in defense of this country," said Secretary of Defense Ash Carter about the centennial. "In every conflict since World War I, our Reserve Sailors have served with courage and distinction, making vital contributions to the history of the Navy and our nation."

As an ONR Reservist, McAndrew has supported a number of cyber and electronic warfare efforts. For his work, he was recognized as ONR's 2014 Reserve Science and Technology Officer of the Year.

His efforts contributed to more than a dozen special projects that have been funded and delivered-including augmented-reality glasses, unmanned air and ground vehicles and the first cyber training ranges designed specifically for tactical cyber training for the Marine Corps. All of these technologies were successfully tested during Navy and Marine Corps exercises last November.

"The tactical cyber range was one of the most important projects that we delivered," said McAndrew. "The research was based on direct input from the Marines and others operating at the tactical edge. Tactical cyber is warfare conducted out in the field, where you may not have an Internet connection, a stable power source or adequate bandwidth."

Retired Marine Corps Maj. Christian Fitzpatrick, a former ONR tactical cyber special projects officer, said McAndrew's efforts were pivotal.

"During our exercise, Tom embedded himself with signal survey teams participating in the exercise to assess the value of multiple technologies developed for the warfighter," said Fitzpatrick. "This interaction was crucial, and allowed Tom to better guide system modifications to meet contract requirements following the exercise."

While reflecting on his Reserve service, McAndrew said, "When I was on active duty, I thought that Reservists just spent a few weeks a year and a few days a month supporting the Navy. The truth is that many Reservists are so integrated into active-duty missions that they are indistinguishable."

McAndrew shared the top four reasons why being an ONR Reservist is proving to be a rewarding experience: .

The Federal 100 Awards are presented by Federal Computer Week (FCW), based in the Washington, D.C., area, a nationally read publication focused on technology use by the federal government. Prior winners include U.S. senators and representatives, naval leadership and industry CEOs.

ONR provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 55 countries, 634 institutions of higher learning and non-profit institutions over 960 industry partners. ONR through its commands including headquarters, ONR Global and the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C., employs more than 3,800 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel.

For more news from Office of Naval Research, visit

NNS150327-14. Experts Convene to Discuss Maritime Power, International Security

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

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Maritime security leaders gathered at U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, Rhode Island, March 25-26, to focus global military attention on seapower during the EMC Chair Symposium "Maritime Power and International Security."

Experts from the military, academia, national security, corporate interests, United Nations, government, and non-governmental organizations all took part in the two-day event that focused on power projection, deterrence, humanitarian assistance, special operations and security and strategies.

"NWC is home to Navy thought and Naval War College should be leading the Navy and the nation on maritime issues," said Derek Reveron, EMC chair, professor in National Security Affairs and organizer of the annual event. "This conference gives us the opportunity to do that."

The symposium was timed to coincide with the release of a new maritime strategy by the U.S. sea services March 13 titled, A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower: Forward, Engaged, Ready.

The new maritime security, released by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, outlines maritime priorities in support of the national interest. It replaces a similar 2007 document and accounts for changes in the global security environment, new strategic guidance, and a changed fiscal environment.

One of the areas highlighted at the symposium, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, is already being explored by experts from NWC and Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The two schools currently exchange faculty to discuss this topic and bring two different perspectives to the subject.

"As the number of humanitarian disasters expands (some due to natural disasters, others to conflict), we can expect that increased civil-military engagement will be required to meet the life-saving needs of affected populations," said Vincenzo Bollettino, executive director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative who was a member of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief panel at the symposium.

"It is imperative that we begin more systematic study of civil-military engagement, both to help guide normative discussions about civil-military interaction as well as to inform conversations related to the efficiency of the response," he added.

Both military and civilian groups are needed to assist when large disasters happen, according to Bollettino.

"Today's humanitarian emergencies, particularly complex emergencies that entail aspects of natural disasters and conflict require that both military and humanitarian actors better train for and participate in conversations about civil-military engagement," he said. "These conversations should be taking place in multiple fora (military, academic, humanitarian) and in various countries."

Another aspect of maritime power was discussed in the power projection session where a panelist focused on the changing nature of the challenges faced by the country.

"I think the biggest challenge facing the U.S. military is to adjust to the rise of small, smart, and cheap weapons systems," said T.X. Hammes, distinguished research fellow at National Defense University, Washington, D.C., and panelist at the symposium. "Poor nations and even small groups will have access to precision, long-range weapons in significant numbers. Thus our base areas, supply convoys, fuel dumps, ammo dumps, air and sea ports will be subject to attack. We have to figure out how to deal with this type of threat."

The symposium touches on many aspects of maritime power in just a few days. Reveron says that addressing all of these issues in a short time is not intended to solve the problems, but to serve as a platform for the experts to think about the issues that will eventually lead to answers.

"This event will help me and my colleagues think through these important issues and serves as an incubator for ideas," said Reveron.

Reveron also said one of his aims is to encourage attendees to write about maritime issues after the event and hope they incorporate some of the discussion points into their own writings.

For more news from Naval War College, visit

NNS150327-13. Virtual Wargamers Needed to Solve DON's Data Dilemma: Join the Discussion April 6-17

By Philip Lee and Robert P. Kozloski, Office of Strategy and Innovation, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy (Management)

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- "The very technologies that can empower us to do great good can also be used to undermine us and do great harm," President Barrack Obama said recently. This statement captures the essence of the information-age dilemma facing all federal organizations - how to effectively share data for maximum benefit, while at the same time protecting data from nefarious cyber activity.

The Department of the Navy (DON) collects more data each day than the total amount stored in the Library of Congress, yet it does not have an effective strategy to share this information internally nor with the public, thus preventing it from maximizing on recent open-data and innovation trends. The DON possesses vast amounts of non-mission related data such as demographic, medical, energy, education, public safety, and financial data which other organizations are sharing with the public to promote innovation, transparency, and crowd-sourced problem solving but the DON has yet to overcome cultural and procedural hurdles.

Information management in the DON is still widely based on industrial-age practices of siloing information and sharing it only on a "need-to-know" basis because many fear sharing data increases the risk of cyber exploitation or attack. Developing a balanced policy that promotes the "need-to-share" data as the default position, while protecting critical personal or national security information, is at the heart of the DON's data dilemma.

"We must fundamentally rethink how we value information in the DON," said Dr. Maura Sullivan, Chief of Strategy and Innovation. "As the rate of change in the global environment accelerates and the landscape of potential threats increases in complexity, the DON must adapt."

The Office of Strategy & Innovation, Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy (Management), together with the Naval Postgraduate School, is seeking new ideas and perspectives to tackle these complex challenges. We invite a broad audience of experts to participate in Data Dilemma: Share vs Silo MMOWGLI (Massive Multiplayer Online Wargame Leveraging the Internet) from April 6-17, 2015.

MMOWGLI events provide an exciting new venue to leverage the competition of bold ideas and the collaboration between unlikely participants that often yields unexpected actionable outcomes. The natural tension surrounding sharing versus siloing data provides an excellent topic for this event and pits data sharing advocates against traditionalists focused on siloing data to reduce risk. The best ideas developed through the newest wargame, Data Dilemma MMOWGLI, will influence Secretary of the Navy innovation goals and eventually the DON data strategy.

"We're hoping for an extremely diverse set of players including experts from academia, industry, military, government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and global citizens to compete in this MMOWGLI," said Sullivan.

Interested players can view the Data Dilemma: Share vs Silo MMOWGLI video and pre-register online at For additional information, contact Mr. Philip Lee at

NNS150327-11. USS Constitution Welcomes Harlem Globetrotters

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew R. Fairchild, USS Constitution Public Affairs

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (NNS) -- The crew of USS Constitution welcomed members of the world famous Harlem Globetrotters to the ship for a show aboard Old Ironsides March 24.

The Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that performs throughout the world - combining feats of athleticism, theater and comedy in their shows. The Globetrotters, known for their support of the U.S. armed forces, are now in their 89th season.

Two Globetrotters, 'Buckets' Blakes and 'Sweet J' Ekworomadu, stopped by Charlestown Navy Yard during their tour of Boston to provide an afternoon of entertainment for Constitution's crew. Officers and Sailors watched and cheered as 'Buckets' and 'Sweet J' shot basketballs from the ship's bow through a hoop located on the ship's pier. One Constitution Sailor manned a kayak to retrieve balls that found their way into the harbor.

"What a privilege to be a part of not only be a part of the Harlem Globetrotters but also to be here on Old Ironsides," said Blakes, a 13-season veteran Globetrotter.

Following their trick shot exhibition aboard the ship, 'Buckets' and 'Sweet J' reconvened with Constitution's crew on the ship's pier to teach some of their favorite trick shots to Sailors, then challenged Sailors to a trick shot shoot-off.

"It was really a great honor (to play with the Globetrotters)," said Damage Controlman Fireman Terray Franklin. "I grew up watching these guys on TV, and to be able to play ball with them and shake their hands was amazing."

Before departing the yard, the Globetrotters took time to take photos with Constitution crew members and sign autographs.

"It is just an awesome and amazing vibe by being here (at Constitution)," said Ekworomadu, the 12th female Globetrotter in team history. "A piece of history that is 33-0, and has never been taken down, it is just really cool."

USS Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat, actively defended sea-lanes against global threats from 1797 to 1855. Now a featured destination on Boston's Freedom Trail, Constitution and her crew of U.S. Navy Sailors offer community outreach and education about the ship's history and the importance of naval seapower to more than 500,000 visitors each year. USS Constitution is scheduled to be dry docked in Charlestown Navy Yard in May 2015 for a three-year planned restoration period.

For more news and information on USS Constitution, visit or

NNS150327-09. Naval Forces Korea Sailors Celebrate Women's History Month

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

SEOUL (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea celebrated the achievements of military women with a Women's History Month program at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul, March 27.

Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea, kicked off the event with remarks describing the history of women in the military and the continuing progression of women into the senior leaders of today's armed forces. Franchetti also discussed the importance of mentorship and the role that senior leaders have played in shaping her naval career.

Navy Career Counselor 1st Class Michael Knight then presented a historical look at how military women served during the Korean War. Following the presentation, Lt. Shanique Howard, admin officer at CNFK, discussed her experiences in the Navy and the many ground breaking military women and mentors she's served with during her career.

"It is important to recognize the pioneers who pushed the limits and opened the doors to give us the opportunities that we have today," said Howard. "However, the best way to celebrate them is to walk through those doors and serve with honor, courage, and commitment."

As part of the program, Lt. Sohnhwa Lee discussed her deployment aboard USS Ohio (SSGN 726) as one of the first female officers to serve in submarines. She discussed how mentorship and support of the crew was crucial to her success in the Women in Submarines (WIS) program.

"When the WIS program was initiated, not everyone was in favor of the decision, and I met some critics and skeptics," said Lee. "However, I believed that I was making a positive change for future female submariners. It meant a lot to me to have the support of my mentors who encouraged me to join the program, be myself, and dare to be different."

Continuing the program's message about the advancement of women, Information Systems Technician 1st Class Ryan Morse delivered a presentation on Rear Adm. Grace Hopper, who was a pioneering women computer programmer and developed a compiler that was critical in the evolution of the COBOL programming language. Ms. Pak, Chong Mi, a U.S. Navy civilian, closed the event with her performance of "The Prayer" by Carole Sager and David Foster.

The 2015 theme of "Weaving the Stories of Women's Lives" gives Sailors the opportunity to show how women's stories, both individually and collectively, are essential to the fabric of our nation's history.

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

NNS150327-08. Naval Hospital Celebrates Guam History and Chamorro Heritage Month

By Jennifer M. Zingalie, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam Public Affairs

AGANA HEIGHTS, Guam (NNS) -- In the Navy diversity is celebrated as many of its Sailors come from places around the world. One of those places is Guam, a U.S. territory located in the heart of the Pacific. Every March, the island celebrates Guam History and Chamorro Heritage month and military members located across the island join in.

Staff at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam hosted an event March 27 with dancers, traditional songs and local dishes. There were also displays which demonstrated Guam's legends and folklore, traditional medicine, and the Chamorro way of life. Interestingly, although originally an indigenous island, much of Guam's modern day culture is derived from the countries that occupied them at different times throughout history to include Spain, Japan and America.

During the month of March the hospital also brought in Clinical Psychologist, Patricia Taimanglo, Ph.D. who provided a lecture to the staff titled "Chamorro People of Guahan: Historic Community Trauma and the Soul Wound." The lecture provided her professional perspective on local culture as it pertains to medical and mental wellbeing. The presentation was invaluable to hospital staff in providing them a better understanding of the islands remote and recent history of the island and how significant events impact the island today.

"Being stationed on Guam allows us to be uniquely exposed to this unique culture, rich tradition," said Capt. Comlish, commanding officer for USNH Guam. "As temporary residents on this island, we get the opportunity to participate in island fiestas, hear the language, and experience the breath taking sites. We get to learn about the proa and the latte stone, symbols of the islands strength and resilience. I truly believe it makes us better Sailors, better families and better people."

For more news from U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, visit

NNS150327-06. Sexual Assault Reports: Week of March 16-22, 2015

From the Office of the Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- This week's overview of alleged sexual assaults was compiled based on 14 initial reports across the Navy from March 16-22. This timeframe reflects only the receipt of the initial reports; two occurred inside the report period and 12 occurred outside the report period. Each report will be fully investigated. Looking at this snapshot in time, we see the following:

* Four reports were from events that occurred on-base and 10 were from events that occurred off-base.

* Among the 14 alleged offenders, one was a chief petty officer, six were petty officers, two were civilians and five were unknown.

* Fourteen of the alleged offenders were male.

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

* Among the 14 alleged victims, one was an officer, three were petty officers, five were E3 and below, three were civilians and two were unknown. Ten of the alleged victims were female and four were 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

NNS150327-05. MCPON Talks Leadership, Change During Rota Visit

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Grant Wamack, Naval Station Rota Public Affairs

NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens visited service members at U.S. Naval Station Rota March 24 as part of a visit to Navy bases throughout Europe.

Stevens began his Naval career in Rota 32 years ago and was happy to return to his first command and connect with service members around base.

"Every time I come back here, I feel like I'm coming home," said Stevens. "It's great to be back here and see the caliber of Sailors that we have here. I feel like it's a homecoming for me every time I come to Rota. I look around and get a little nostalgic."

Stevens toured various departments and met with service members around base. Stevens also ate with several service members at the base galley before hosting a question and answer session. He answered questions about leadership, the Chief Petty Officer (CPO) 365 program, as well as the talent and aptitude of today's new Sailors.

"Today, we have the best Sailors serving in the United States Navy than we've ever had in the 239-year history," said Stevens. "The quality and caliber of young people that walk through the gates of the Navy and raise their right hand and swear an oath to the Constitution is unprecedented."

Stevens held three separate all-hands calls tailored for different groups of Sailors at the base chapel. He spoke about good leadership, positive changes in the Navy, and highlighted the progression of the CPO 365 program over the last few years.

"In 2012-2013, when we really rolled out in full force, I looked at it as planting a seed in fertile soil. Our chief's mess is the soil and our seed is the idea and you are the crops that grow. There are always opportunities to improve the soil and to find another seed. So what we see today will only get better."

Another recurring theme in Steven's all-hands call was the importance of embracing change in the Navy.

"Things change, progress happens and we move forward," said Stevens. "The fact of the matter is without change you can't get better, you can only stay the same. So you have to understand what you want to change, how to implement the change and have a good gut sense of what the outcome is going to be."

Before finishing his all-hands calls, he shared his foundation for success and encouraged Sailors to take full advantage of it.

"Number one: Work hard every single day, even if you don't want to do it or if it's hard. No matter what you do or are asked to do, it is up to you to do it with passion and energy. Number two: Stay out of trouble. You don't want to jeopardize everything you've worked for by doing something that you shouldn't do. Number three and most important in my opinion: Be a good and decent person. If we treat one another with dignity and respect, most of whatever ails us simply fades away."

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

For more news from Naval Station Rota, Spain, visit

NNS150327-04. US 7th Fleet Kicks Off SAPR Month with Bystander Intervention Training

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Karsten, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

PHILIPPINE SEA (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet staff kicked off their sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR) training month by focusing on bystander intervention while underway aboard the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) March 24.

During the 2-hour training session Sailors interacted with each other in two-way group conversations, discussing scenarios seen in various thought-provoking videos. Discussions included issues that Sailors encounter first hand such as peer pressure, stress, drinking, fraternization and sexual advances in the workplace. The training was broken into rank based sessions so the discussions following the videos could reflect the various levels of leadership interaction based on each peer group.

"The end result is that we want Sailors to take ownership, be active bystanders and get involved in their peer group to eliminate other Sailors from making bad decisions that could have a long term negative effect on their lives," said Chief Cryptologic Technician Maintenance Michael Horton, command SAPR. "The training focuses on understanding that it should be a culture of change to want to do better for their peers and ultimately better for themselves."

Bystander intervention training is often associated with sexual assault prevention, however this new training goes beyond just stopping a potential sexual assault. It covers the entire range of destructive behaviors, from sexual harassment to alcohol abuse to hazing, harassment and suicide.

"Intervention is not just sexual assault, we want Sailors - when they see something that's out of the ordinary - to feel comfortable to come forward to their chain of command or to approach the situation from the lowest level to find a resolution to whatever the conflict is," said Horton.

Bystander intervention training is a direct result of Navy-wide Sailor feedback asking for more interactive and hands-on training. The new style of training highlights that any Sailor, regardless of rank, is a leader and focuses on starting the trend that stepping up and stepping in will be the "in" thing for the Navy of the future. The training was led by rank based peers and has removed the older style power point sessions.

The Navy-wide mandatory training was introduced during the fall of 2014 and all Sailors are required to complete by September 2015.

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

NNS150327-03. Bonhomme Richard Launches MV-22 to Sasebo for MEDEVAC

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Lance Burleson, USS Bonhomme Richard Public Affairs

EAST CHINA SEA (NNS) -- A Marine, assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) was medically evacuated (MEDEVAC) from the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) by an MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, assigned to Marine Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 (reinforced).

Though the Marine's life was not in immediate danger, Bonhomme Richard's medical team took every medical precaution to ensure the best treatment.

"The patient was stable, so his life wasn't in danger at the time," said Cmdr. Frank Axelsen, Bonhomme Richard's Senior Medical Officer, "but if we were to let it go, and it turned out to be what we suspected, then it could have become much more serious."

When the medical team met to discuss options, they agreed the service member's needs would be best treated at a shore-based hospital in Sasebo, Japan. Based on the recent inaugural flights of two MV-22 Ospreys to the U.S. Navy base in Sasebo on March 23, the decision was made to fly the service member ashore for care and only the MV-22 could make the round trip due to distance.

"We have the ability to do surgery on the ship," said Capt. Robert Jackson, officer in charge, Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 7. "But with the long range capability and speed of the MV-22, this provided the Bonhomme Richard's medical team an option to fly the Marine ashore where he could be seen by a first-class hospital in Sasebo to provide both immediate surgery and recovery care."

The MV-22 Osprey combines the vertical capability of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. It can operate roughly twice as fast, can carry nearly three times the payload, and has approximately four times the combat radius of the CH-46E it replaced. MV-22s enhance the Navy-Marine Corps team's ability to conduct amphibious operations and perform humanitarian assistance and disaster response in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operation.

Bonhomme Richard, flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group is comprised of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) and the Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48), all forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan.

For more news from USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), visit

NNS150327-01. Honolulu Mayor and City Council Host SAAPM

From Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Omari K. Way, NAvy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

HONOLULU (NNS) -- The Honolulu City Council and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell held a proclamation ceremony March 24 in the Honolulu Hale City Council chambers. The event declared the month of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Top military officials from the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and Hawaii National Guard attended the event with advocates from the Hawaii Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the Sex Abuse Treatment Center of Hawaii.

It closely followed the announcement of the DoD 2015 Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) theme, "Eliminate Sexual Assault: Know Your Part. Do Your Part," released earlier this month.

There were no military remarks made during the ceremony. However, Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, previously addressed the urgency of working together to end sexual assaults.

"Sexual assault is a major crime that can tear apart commands wherever it occurs," Williams said. "Ending sexual assaults will increase our readiness and resilience as we become a fit team, improve coordination, and generate important warfighting readiness."

City Councilwoman Carol Fukanaga, Chairman Ernest Martin and Caldwell talked about community, commitment and teamwork throughout the presentation.

"The City and County of Honolulu is proud to stand together with the state and our armed forces in raising awareness of sexual assault," said Caldwell.

"Eliminating this intolerable form of abuse from our island takes a collaborative effort from us all, and it begins with spreading awareness. We are determined to see this through and foster a culture where sexual assault is not accepted anywhere," he said.

"Today's event is another way our community is reinforcing its collective commitment to combat sexual violence within our society," Martin said.

Then he thanked a list of distinguished guests that included Williams, who accepted the city council certificate and proclamation on behalf of the CNRH Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program.

"It was a real honor to be a part of this important and collaborative effort with the City and County of Honolulu at the signing of this SAPR proclamation event. Annually, April has been established to recognize and provide additional awareness to Navy personnel concerning this issue," said J. Curtis Gilland, regional program director and SAPR team supervisor.

"However, with the continual support of the mayor and his councilmen, not only will Navy personnel be made aware but the entire city of Honolulu will be able to see our combined efforts concerning SAPR," he said.

Regarding the strategy ahead, Williams said, "When it comes to sexual assaults, we must honor our shipmates by looking out for one another. We must have the courage to act, intervene and report. And we must have the commitment to support those who have been assaulted."

For more information about organizing SAAPM events and resources for victims of sexual assault visit

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit

NNS011215-28. This Day in Naval History - March 27

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1794 - President George Washington signs the Naval Act of 1794 authorizing the construction of six frigates: United States, Constellation, Constitution, Chesapeake, Congress, and President.

1799 - During the Quasi-War with France, the frigate Constitution recaptures the American sloop Neutrality back from France.

1880 - The sloop of war Constellation departs New York with food for famine victims in Ireland. To modify the sloop for the mission, her armament and some ballast are removed, and carpenters at the New York Navy Yard build bins on the lowest deck to carry a cargo of more than 2,500 barrels of potatoes and flour.

1944 - USS Hake (SS 256) torpedoes and sinks Japanese merchant tanker Yamamizu Maru about 75 miles south of Borneo. Also on this date, USS Rasher (SS 269) attacks a Japanese convoy and sinks army cargo ship Nichinan Maru about 50 miles north of Bali.

1975 - The evacuation by sea of Da Nang, Vietnam begins, a four-day effort by Military Sea Command ships that carry more than 30,000 refugees from Da Nang until March 30, when the North Vietnamese troops overrun the city and harbor.

2007 - The last known female veteran of World War I, Charlotte Louise Berry Winters, dies at the age of 109. She enlisted in the Navy in 1917.

2010 - USS New Mexico (SSN 779) is commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk. The Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine is the second US naval ship to be named after New Mexico. The sub is homeported in Groton, Conn.

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