Housing recovery funds available
Military DoD civilians who face financial losses due to the current housing downturn can find relief in the ARRA influx of funds to the Housing Assistance Program (HAP).
Active members, former members, and survivors of those who have died on deployment of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, as well as DoD civilians, who have sold a primary residence for a loss, or are considering selling their home, may qualify for funds.
The Recovery Act appropriated $555 million in funds to the HAP, which DoD will use to temporarily expand this program in order to partially reimburse eligible members. applications.
To speak with a HAP representative, call (916) 557-6850 or 1-800-811-5532.
USS Chief at work in 'Clear Horizon'
WATERS SOUTH OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA Oct. 20, 2014 -- Mineman 2nd Class Ross Bento, left, and Mineman Seaman Benjamin Reed complete maintenance on a mine neutralization vehicle aboard the mine countermeasure ship USS Chief (MCM 14) during exercise Clear Horizon. The annual bilateral exercise between the U.S. and Republic of Korea navies will enhance cooperation and improve capabilities in mine countermeasure operations. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Frank L. Andrews
USS Wayne E. Meyer returns from Western Pacific deployment
From U.S. Third Fleet Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) returned to San Diego, Oct. 20, from an independent deployment to the Western Pacific.
Deployed since March, the ship and crew of more than 300 Sailors, assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21, conducted various presence operations and goodwill activities with partner nations.
"I could not be more proud of our Sailors for the dedication, sacrifice, and passion that they demonstrated throughout our entire deployment," said Wayne E. Meyer's commanding officer, Cmdr. Randy J. Van Rossum. "They proudly served their Navy and are now returning to some well-deserved rest and relaxation with their friends and families."
Detachment three from the Blue Hawks of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78 was embarked aboard Wayne E. Meyer.
The Blue Hawks flew more than 820 hours with two MH-60R aircraft in support of a wide range of missions including anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, medical evacuations, and vertical replenishments, and participated in several international exercises.
"Our sailors have a lot to be proud of," said Lt. Cmdr. Christine Fix, the officer in charge of HSM-78 detachment three. "Their hard work and dedication throughout this deployment have allowed us to support the Wayne E. Meyer team in meeting every mission and operational tasking with two ready, mission capable aircraft and well-trained and professional aircrew. This has been a challenging and rewarding deployment for all of us."
HSM-78 was established March 1, 2012 at Naval Air Station North Island, Calif. as one of the Navy's newest MH-60R squadrons. HSM-78 is currently assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, attached to the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).
The ship also participated in community service activities in every port of call, to include activities ranging from visiting international centers for the elderly to beautifying local parks. These activities involved more than 50 members of the command and helped garner cooperation and good relations between the U.S. Navy and partner nations.
Wayne E. Meyer is named after Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer., who is regarded as the "Father of Aegis." He retired from the United States Navy in 1985 as the deputy commander for weapons and combat systems with Naval Sea Systems Command, and ordnance officer of the Navy.
Wayne E. Meyer is homeported in San Diego and is part of Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet and U.S. 3rd Fleet.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.
Navy ends Standard Transfer Orders 10/20/2014
From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- The Navy announced the cancellation of Standard Transfer Orders (STO) and the establishment of the Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System (NSIPS) order writing module in a message Oct. 17.
According to NAVADMIN 244/14, the NSIPS module must be used for all orders for transferring Sailors for unit moves, unit decommissionings, Base Realignment and Closure moves, Overseas Tour Extension Incentive Program, and enlisted separations and retirements. All other Permanent Change of Station orders will be written by Navy Personnel Command through the appropriate detailer.
Commanding officers and officers-in-charge cannot write orders allocating NPC funds unless they use the NSIPS module, the message states.
Units that are not supported by a Personnel Support Detachment (PSD) or a Customer Service Detachment (CSD) have until Oct. 31 to start using the NSIPS order writing module. PSD/CSDs will not process STOs after Sept. 30.
Some ships are exempt from the transition while NSIPS upgrades are taking place. They are:
* All CVNs
* USS FRANK CABLE (AS 40)
* USS EMORY S. LAND (AS 39)
* USS MOUNT WHITNEY (LCC 20)
SoCal Task Group Exercise includes Canadian, Japanese, U.S. ships 10/20/2014
By MC3 Kelly Agee, USS Nimitz Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Canadian, Japanese and U.S ships will participate in a U.S. 3rd Fleet-led Task Group Exercise (TGEX) off the coast of Southern California, Oct. 20-31.
The TGEX will serve to train independently-deploying units in air defense, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, and maritime-interdiction operations while building cooperative relationships with partner nations.
Units participating include Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 15, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), guided-missile cruisers USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and USS Chosin (CG 65), guided-missile destroyers USS Milius (DDG 69), USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), and a submarine, Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigates HMCS Calgary (FFH 335) and HMCS Winnipeg (FFH 338), Kingston-class coastal defense vessels HMCS Brandon (MM 710) and HMCS Yellowknife (MM 706), and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JS) Teruzuki (DD 116).
Simultaneously, CSG 15 will lead and evaluate training across multiple warfare areas for Milius, Paul Hamilton, Fort Worth and Freedom, as these ships will use TGEX as their final opportunity to certify prior to deployment.
Specific events Nimitz will conduct include: flight operations, tracking different ships, conducting underway replenishments, and communications exercises.
"This is an opportunity to test our ability to work in a coalition environment," said Cmdr. Darrell Lewis, future operations officer for Carrier Strike Group 11. "There are some language barriers, and how we do things is slightly different from how the other nations do things. So, we are taking them into our task group and working with them and proving we can do it."
According to Lewis this exercise will benefit new personnel on Nimitz by giving them the chance to experience a more sophisticated level of operations.
"It is going to be a great opportunity," said Lewis. "Everything you do in these exercises you can learn from. It is a taste what it was like during deployment for those people who haven't seen it."
Joint interagency and international relationships strengthen U.S. 3rd Fleet's ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.
SAN DIEGO Oct. 20, 2014 -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) departs on a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific and Indian Oceans. The ship and crew of more than 300 Sailors, assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21, will conduct presence operations and goodwill activities with partner nations. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Zachary Bell.
USS Milius departs on deployment 10/21/2014
By Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs
San Diego (NNS) -- The guided missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) departed Naval Base San Diego Oct. 20 on an independent deployment to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.
The ship and crew of more than 300 Sailors, assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21, will conduct presence operations and goodwill activities with partner nations.
Prior to deploying to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility, Milius will participate in a Task Group Exercise off the coast of Southern California, Oct. 20-31, along with other units from the U.S and Canadian navies and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
U.S. 3rd Fleet will lead the exercise that serves to train independently-deploying units in air defense, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, and maritime interdiction operations, while also building cooperative relationships.
Milius is a multi-mission ship with anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare surface combatants capabilities, designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group.
The Navy announced Oct. 16 the ballistic missile defense (BMD)-capable guided-missile destroyers USS Benfold (DDG 65) and Milius will become part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) based at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan in the summers of 2015 and 2017, respectively.
Milius is homeported in San Diego and is part of Naval Surface Forces and U.S. 3rd Fleet.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.
NEXCOM breaks ground for headquarters building expansion 10/21/2014
By Kristine M. Sturkie, Navy Exchange Service Command Public Affairs
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) held a groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 21, for a 33,000 sq. ft. addition to its headquarters building located in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The $15 million non-appropriated fund construction project is scheduled to be completed in fall 2016.
"When NEXCOM moved into its headquarters building in 1993, we had 380 associates," said Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi (Ret), NEXCOM's chief executive officer. "Today, there are almost 1,000 NEXCOM associates in Hampton Roads and more than half work in our headquarters building."
The new addition allows NEXCOM to replace approximately 9,000 sq. ft. of aging trailers that had been in use for the last 10 years, create much needed conference and planogram rooms, and address merchandising and information technology personnel space deficiencies. It also brings 125 NEXCOM associates from its human resources and loss prevention/safety departments, as well as the Navy Lodge Program, into the headquarters building from other Hampton Roads office locations.
"This is the first step necessary in order to move our headquarters associates from leased space into Navy-owned space," said Bianchi. "This new addition will help us consolidate and align key headquarter codes for even greater command efficiency."
ROTA, Spain (Oct. 18, 2014) Sailors stand watch on the bridge during sea and anchor detail aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44). Gunston Hall is part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, and with the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Jesse A. Hyatt
Wearing ball caps: What you need to know 10/21/2014
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Optional wear of the Navy and command ball caps was authorized Sept. 1 with Navy Working Uniforms (NSU) (Type I, II and III) as well as with flight suits, coveralls, Flame Resistant Variant (FRV) coveralls and the Navy physical training uniform.
The Uniform Matters Office continues to receive a large number of questions and plenty of feedback on the optional wear of the Navy and command ball caps.
Based on your questions, here are the top five things you need to know about wearing ball caps:
1. The Navy ball cap is a seabag-issued item first received by Sailors at boot camp. Replacements can be purchased using the annual clothing replacement allowance for enlisted E1-E6 personnel. It is considered the property of the Sailor upon purchase.
2. The command ball cap is organizational clothing procured by the command (meaning that the supply officer buys them using operating target (OPTAR) funds) and issued to the Sailor by their assigned command. Sailors may purchase command ball caps with their personal funds, just as they purchase command badges, patches, belt buckles, and other permissible uniform items. However, since the command ball cap is not a seabag item, Sailors cannot be required to purchase it.
3. If a Sailor is authorized to wear NWUs out in town, he or she may wear the Navy or command ball cap. Ball caps may be worn with civilian clothes provided they do not have rank insignia or command titles reflected (i.e. CO, XO, CMC, CHENG, OPS, DECK LCPO, etc.). Command ball caps may substitute the Navy logo with the command name and logo and a Sailor's last name can be embroidered centered on the back of the cap in command colors. The ball cap is made of standard navy blue wool, synthetic, or blended fabric.
4. Commands may prescribe the eight-point cover with the NWUs for Sailors in formation at a ceremony or formal occasion. In this case, the ball cap shouldn't be worn.
5. The Navy and command ball caps may be worn with the NWU, Navy flight suits, navy blue coveralls, flame resistant coveralls, and the Navy physical training uniform.
For more information on uniform regulations and a list of FAQs relating to the ball caps, visit the Uniform Matters Office website at: http://www.public.navy.mil/BUPERS-NPC/SUPPORT/UNIFORMS/Pages/FAQs.aspx.
Email email@example.com for feedback on uniform matters and firstname.lastname@example.org for feedback on other personnel matters.
George H.W. Bush and Carl Vinson Strike Groups turn over duties 10/20/2014
By MC3 Chase Martin, USS George H.W. Bush Public Affairs
USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH, At Sea (NNS) -- Carl Vinson Strike Group (CV CSG) relieved George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWB CSG) of their duties in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) Oct. 18.
The GHWB CSG deployed Feb. 15, and since then conducted maritime security operations and theater security cooperation, supported Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Inherent Resolve against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists in Iraq and Syria, as well as participated in various military exercises with regional partners in U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet AORs.
Following the turnover, GHWB CSG will depart the 5th Fleet AOR and return to its homeport of Norfolk, Virginia.
Commanded by Rear Adm. DeWolfe Miller, GHWB CSG is comprised of aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22, guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80).
"The Sailors who man our ships and squadrons should be extremely proud of what we, as a team, accomplished while deployed to the 5th Fleet AOR," said Miller. "Carl Vinson Strike Group has the watch and their presence, like ours, will enhance regional stability and make a difference in the fight against terrorism."
To date, the Carrier Airwing 8/GHWB team amassed 32,611 flight hours, 12,548 total sorties, and 9,752 traps.
GHWB CSG is on a scheduled deployment to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR and support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Navy christens, launches future USS Detroit 10/20/2014
From Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships Public Affairs
MARINETTE, Wis. (NNS) -- The Navy christened the future USS Detroit (LCS 7), the fourth Littoral Combat Ship of the Freedom variant, in a ceremony at Marinette Marine Shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin, Oct. 18.
The Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, delivered the principal address at the ceremony, and Mrs. Barbara Levin served as the ship's sponsor. As ship sponsor, Levin is considered a permanent member of the ship's crew and is expected to advocate for the well-being of both ship and crew. Levin, wife of U.S. Senator Carl Levin from Michigan, has been a longtime supporter of military families.
Detroit is an innovative surface combatant designed to operate in littoral seas and shallow water to counter mines, submarines, and fast surface craft threats in coastal regions.
After its launch, Detroit will continue to undergo outfitting and testing at Marinette until her expected delivery to the Navy in late 2015 following acceptance trials. The ship is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and can operate in water less than 20 feet deep. Detroit will address a critical capabilities gap in the littorals and conduct the Navy's mission to enhance maritime security by deterring hostility, maintaining a forward presence, projecting power, and maintaining sea control.
The LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team, led by Lockheed Martin, has delivered LCS 1 and LCS 3. The Independence variant team, led by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works has delivered LCS 2 and LCS 4. Austal USA is the prime contractor for the subsequent even-numbered hulls. There are 12 additional ships currently under construction out of 20 ships contracted under an innovative Block Buy acquisition strategy.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of mission packages: Surface Warfare (SUW), Mine Countermeasures (MCM), and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). The Program Executive Office for Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is responsible for delivering and sustaining credible littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation's maritime strategy.
Peleliu prepares for decommissioning INSURV 10/19/2014
By MC3 Ryan J. Batchelder, USS Peleliu Public Affairs
SUBIC BAY, Philippines (NNS) -- The crew of the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), currently on deployment, is preparing for the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), scheduled to take place Oct. 27-28.
The board carries out INSURV inspections on Navy ships every three to five years to ensure compliance and conduct extensive checks on installed equipment. Peleliu's INSURV inspection falls on the other end of the spectrum as its function is to ensure the ship maintains a mission readiness status after its scheduled 2015 decommissioning.
"A decommissioning INSURV's purpose is to inspect and document the material condition of the ship prior to decommissioning and place the documentation on file in case an order to reactivate the ship is given," said Chief Warrant Officer Andre Ross, Ship's Material Maintenance Officer and Peleliu's INSURV coordinator. "This gives the reactivation committee a tool for estimating the budget cost of bringing the ship back to life."
Peleliu's INSURV inspection, although not graded, also presents many new challenges as the ship is currently deployed, said Hull Technician 1st Class Randi Macrorie, Peleliu's assistant INSURV coordinator.
Combat systems, engineering, damage control, electrical, deck, habitability, medical, propulsion, navigation, supply and weapons checks will all be a part of the INSURV inspection.
"The crew will complete 199 events and the preparations and rehearsals will not go unnoticed by the INSURV inspectors" said Macrorie. "Being deployed as we are, the crew is doing an excellent job preparing for this decommissioning INSURV."
The accelerated timeframe, in addition to being in a deployed status, has Peleliu's leadership and crew fully engaged, said Ross.
"There won't be much time to rehearse the schedule of events, but because we have skilled technicians, familiarity of the equipment will not be a problem," said Ross. "I have great departmental coordinators who are very proactive and that helps a great deal in the preparation phase."
Preparations for an INSURV typically begin a year prior to inspection. The INSURV notification did not arrive until late August giving the crew just two months to prepare, said Macrorie.
"The crew of Peleliu is no stranger to challenges and just like any other mission, from anywhere in the world, the crew will show strength and perseverance, and get the job done," said Macrorie.
HSM 71 part of photo exercise
SAN DIEGO Oct. 2, 2014 -- An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter from the Raptors of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71 transits by the San Diego skyline for a photo exercise. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Shannon E. Renfroe