San Diego military on display at Fleet Week's Sea & Air Parade
SAN DIEGO (Oct. 14, 2017) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter carries water to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as part of the Sea and Air Parade during Fleet Week San Diego 2017. Fleet Week offers the public an opportunity to meet Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guard members, and gain a better understanding of how sea services support the national defense of the United States and freedom of the seas. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Abby Rader
March 2018 E4-E6 Advancement Cycle announced
PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The March 2018 Navy-wide enlisted examinations (Cycle 239) testing dates for active duty, full time support and canvasser recruiter Sailors who are advancement eligible to the paygrades of E4-E6 have been announced in Naval Administrative Message (NAVADMIN) 252/17, released Oct. 18. More...
Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group departs for deployment
From Commander, Carrier Strike Group 9 Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) departed San Diego for a regularly scheduled deployment, Oct. 6.
Theodore Roosevelt, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, will join USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Sampson (DDG 102) and USS Preble (DDG 88) for a routine deployment. The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group deployment is an example of the U.S. Navy's routine presence in waters around the globe, displaying commitment to stability, regional cooperation and economic prosperity for all nations. read more....
Navy releases uniform app: How and when to wear NWU Type III
by Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy announced Oct. 4 the rollout of the "OPNAV Uniform" app for iOS and Android mobile devices to provide information on how and when to wear the Navy Working Uniform (NWU) Type III.
The app covers the wear rules for NWU Type IIIs released Aug. 31 in NAVADMIN 214/17. It also provides photos illustrating the different uniform items and how to wear them.
The U.S. Navy's Sea Warrior Mobility Program (PMW 240) developed the app along with Tracen Technologies, Inc.
Sailors can provide their inputs for improvements through the feedback section of the app. The Uniform Matters Office and PMW 240 Mobility Program will continue to work on improving the app to address more uniform components in future updates.
The app is available for download through the Navy App Locker at https://www.applocker.navy.mil
/#!/apps, and iTunes and Google Play online stores. To find the free app, search "OPNAV Uniform" in the app stores or in your web browser.
The sting of the Bee
by MC2 Charlotte C. Oliver,
Defense Media Activity
The Seabees, affectionately called "Dirt Sailors," have been present in every war and conflict since World War II. But these tough men and women do more than build latrines and airstrips; they are also trained to defend what they build. Throughout 2017, the Navy will celebrate 75 years of the Seabees, their mettle and their "can do" spirit.....read more
Infantry Marines getting new vehicles
Infantry Marines will soon receive ultralight off-road vehicles that will improve mission readiness by providing rapid logistics support in the field.
Program Executive Officer Land Systems, the Corps’ acquisition arm for major land programs, is expected to deliver 144 Utility Task Vehicles to the regiment-level starting later this month—a mere six months from contract award. The rugged all-terrain vehicle can carry up to four Marines or be converted to haul 1,500 pounds of supplies. With minimal armor, the UTV can quickly haul extra ammunition and provisions, or injured Marines, while preserving energy and stealth.........read more
Military couple assignment policy: 5 things to know
The Navy realizes how important families are, and when they're not whole it can add stress to a Sailor's life. Collocation of dual-military couples is part of supporting families. It is a priority, along with balancing fleet readiness. The revised policy updates the collocation and distribution procedures and makes orders negotiation less cumbersome........ read more
Navy Pregnancy and Parenthood mobile app available
"Pregnancy and parenthood can be compatible with a successful military career when Service members and the Command both understand their roles and responsibilities, said Capt. Candace Eckert, director of N1 Diversity. "This app makes that task easier by identifying regulations, instructions and references from a wide variety of sources and offering them in one easy-to-use app. The app includes information regarding assignments, retention, separation, standards of conduct and much more." ......read more
Separation policy update
To protect Sailors and Marines suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or any other diagnosed mental health condition, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has made his department the first in the military to assure such conditions are considered before separating a service member. ......read more
Military pay tables 2017
Pay tables 2016 including incentive pay, clothing allowance, sea pay
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National military news
USS John S. McCain to be repaired in Yokosuka
From U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The Navy will repair the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) at the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka, Japan. Repairs will begin upon arrival from Singapore aboard a heavy lift vessel in October.
Damage assessments conducted while the ship was moored in Singapore since the Aug. 21 collision revealed the scope of work could be completed in Japan at the lowest estimated cost and returns the ship to full service at the earliest opportunity.
Repairing the ship in Yokosuka, where it is already part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) assigned to U.S. Seventh Fleet, also provides stability and continuity to crew members and their families.
In addition to supporting repairs to the ship, the crew will focus on training, readiness and certifications to prepare the ship for operational tasking in Seventh Fleet.
John S. McCain (DDG 56) was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21. Investigations are underway to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision.
Navy accepts delivery of future USS Colorado
From Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Colorado (SSN 788), the 15th submarine of the Virginia-class, Sept. 21.
The submarine's sponsor is Annie Mabus, daughter of the 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
The ship began construction in 2012 and is scheduled to commission in spring 2018. This next-generation attack submarine provides the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation's undersea superiority.
"Colorado's delivery brings another Block III Virginia-class submarine to the fleet within budget. The submarine's outstanding quality continues the Program's tradition of delivering combat ready submarines to the fleet," said Capt. Mike Stevens, Virginia-class submarine program manager. "The Colorado is the most capable Virginia-class submarine bringing advanced capabilities and technology to the Navy fleet."
Colorado is the fifth Virginia-class Block III submarine. Block III submarines feature a redesigned bow with enhanced payload capabilities, replacing 12 individual vertical launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes, each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles. This, among other design changes, reduced the submarines' acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.
The submarine will be the fourth U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned with the name Colorado. The first Colorado was a three-masted steam screw frigate that participated in the Union Navy's Gulf Blockading Squadron that fought in the Second Battle of Fort Fisher with then-Lt. George Dewey serving as her executive officer.
In the early years of the 20th Century, the second Colorado (ACR-7) was a Pennsylvania-class armored cruiser that escorted convoys of men and supplies to England during World War I. The third ship of her name, the lead ship of the Colorado class of battleships (BB-45), supported operations in the Pacific theater throughout World War II, surviving two kamikaze attacks and earning seven battle stars.
Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world's littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility, and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities - sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.
USS Fitzgerald to change homeport to Pascagoula
From Navy Office of Information
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced Sept. 22 that the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) will be changing homeport from Yokosuka, Japan to Pascagoula, Mississippi effective Dec. 15 in support of repairs following the collision with Merchant Vessel ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan on June 17.
The Navy previously announced that it intends to award a contract initiating the restoration of USS Fitzgerald at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) in Pascagoula, Mississippi, before the end of the fiscal year.
The start date, scope, cost and the time required to fully restore the ship have not yet been determined.
The Navy chose this course of action following a review of the capabilities and workload of new construction and repair shipyards. Given the complexity of the work and the significant unknowns of the restoration, the Navy determined that only an Arleigh Burke-class shipbuilder could perform the effort. Only HII has the available capacity to restore USS Fitzgerald to full operational status in the shortest period of time with minimal disruption to ongoing repair and new construction work.
The Navy awarded a contract for the heavy lift of USS Fitzgerald to Patriot Shipping, based out of Houston, Texas. Heavy-lift will be completed by November 2017.
VFA-115 closes out 31 years of operations at NAF Atsugi
by Lt. Chris Pagenkopf, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115 Public Affairs
ATSUGI, Japan (NNS) -- The "Eagles" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115 departed Naval Air Facility Atsugi for the final time on Sunday, September 10.
The squadron's F/A-18E Super Hornets launched from Atsugi to begin a regularly scheduled patrol aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. At the conclusion of the patrol, the Eagles will disembark Reagan for their new home of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
The squadron initially arrived at Atsugi in 1973 when Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 and the USS Midway (CV 41) were selected to form the nucleus of the U.S. Navy's first permanently forward deployed aircraft carrier battle group. The Eagles flew the A-6 Intruder from Atsugi for more than two decades, becoming a fixture in the region by completing numerous patrols in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans aboard Midway and USS Independence (CV 62). During this period, the squadron also deployed to the Arabian Gulf to participate in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Southern Watch. In 1996, the Eagles bid their first farewell to Atsugi when they moved to Naval Air Station Lemoore in order to transition to the F/A-18C Hornet.
The squadron's hiatus from Japan lasted until 2009 when the Eagles returned to Atsugi with their current aircraft, the F/A-18E Super Hornet. Following their return, the squadron completed multiple regional security patrols onboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) and Ronald Reagan as a component of the U.S. Navy's most technologically advanced carrier air wing.
With a total of 31 years of history in Atsugi, the relocation to Iwakuni is part of a broader relocation of CVW-5 fixed-wing aircraft, a move that was stipulated under a 2006 agreement between the U.S. and Japan. VFA-115 will be one of the first CVW-5 jet squadrons to relocate.
While the squadron will now call Iwakuni home, there will still be periodic training and operational requirements that will take squadron members and aircraft back to Atsugi for short periods.
Navy issues physical readiness NAVADMIN correction
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced Tuesday a correction to NAVADMIN 141/17, Physical Readiness Program Policy Changes, clarifying the exemption for post-partum Sailors.
Effective immediately, the Navy is exempting post-partum Sailors from participating in the physical fitness assessment (PFA) for six months following the Sailors' maternity/convalescent leave. This change reflects an increase to the Navy's increased maternity leave policy of 84 days following child birth. This will ensure Sailors have adequate time to return to weight standards and pass a Physical Readiness Test (PRT) following a pregnancy.
Navy previously announced two other changes in NAVADMIN 141/17, effective Jan. 1, 2018.
Sailors who pass the body composition assessment (BCA), are within the Navy age-graduated body fat standards and score an overall "excellent low" or better on the PRT, with no single event lower than a "good low" can be exempt from the next cycle PRT.
Also, the Navy eliminated the use of elliptical machines as authorized alternate cardio devices during official PFAs.
Additional information can be found at www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/21st_Century_Sailor/physical and in NAVADMIN 141/17.
SRB update for active component and full time support Sailors
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy released an update to the Selective Reenlistment Bonus (SRB) award plan for active component (AC) and full time support (FTS) Sailors in NAVADMIN 144/17.
This NAVADMIN updates the December SRB plan released in NAVADMIN 284/16, and decreases 14 award levels and removes six skills from the list. There are no award level increases or additions in this update.
This is the second update to the SRB plan this fiscal year.
SRBs serve as an incentive for those Sailors with critical skills to remain in the Navy.
Sailors can keep abreast of award changes through the Navy's SRB webpage at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/career/enlistedcareeradmin/Pages/SRB.aspx/ and review the NAVADMIN, which contains a complete listing of changes to skills award levels eligible for SRBs.
Enlisted community managers continuously monitor the health of their community to maintain acceptable manning levels in critical skills, and recommend adjustments to SRBs when necessary.
Skill removals and award level decreases take effect 30 days after notification through release of the NAVADMIN or posting on the Navy Personnel Command website, whichever is earliest.
Eligible Sailors desiring SRB reenlistment are encouraged to work with their command career counselors, command master chiefs and chain of command to discuss timing of reenlistment and procedures well before their EAOS. Requests are required to be submitted a minimum of 35 days prior to the requested reenlistment date.
NAVADMIN 144/17 can be read at http://www.npc.navy.mil/.
SoCal military news
HSC Weapons School Pacific hosts second annual PHOENIX FIRE Exercise 2017
by Lt. Cmdr. Rebekah Hall HSC Weapons School Pacific Public Affairs
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (NNS) -- Helicopter Sea Combat (HSC) Weapons School Pacific (HSCWSP) closed the 2017 fiscal year by hosting the second annual Phoenix Fire combined arms, live-fire joint exercise utilizing the Navy's Southern California Offshore Range (SCORE), Sept. 11-22.
Phoenix Fire is designed to enhance the HSC community's combat readiness through a robust, realistic warfighting exercise while providing Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) the ability to control a multitude of assets providing air-to-surface and surface-to-surface close air support (CAS) fires. The exercise afforded the opportunity for participants to conduct joint and combined combat training missions in a realistically-contested littoral environment; in direct support of U.S. Navy training and readiness interests related to current and future operations in the 7th Fleet.
The lead planners from HSCWSP were Navy Lt. David Richardson, Navy Lt. Drew Kollmann and U.S. Air Force Capt. Przemek Strekowski. Air Force Master Sgt. Tavis "TD" Delaney of the 116th Aviation Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) also supported the planning and execution of the exercise as the lead JTAC.
Phoenix Fire integrated multiple assets from all over the world.
Participants included JTACs from the 116th ASOS, 6th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO), Canadian Special Operations Forces (CANSOF), Special Operations Command Australia (AUSOF), and 60MM mortars from the 1st Marine Logistics Group.
Air assets included HSC Wing Pacific MH-60S squadrons, MH-60R Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadrons (HSM), F/A-18 Super Hornet Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) and EA-18G Electronic Attack Squadrons (VAQ), F-35B Marine Fighter Attack Squadrons (VMFA), U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reapers, and the Royal Netherlands Air Force with F-35A Lightning II. Air refueling support was provided by KC-130 Hercules Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadrons (VMGR) and KC-707 OMEGA Refueler Squadrons. Together they provided more than 360,000lbs of fuel.
The Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) provided Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS). These forces prosecuted land-based targets on the island, one expendable high-speed maneuverable surface target (HSMST), and multiple towed targets.
Training included live and simulated combined fires from rotary wing, fixed wing, and surface assets, all in coordinated support of ground force maneuver and mission objectives
Silver star awarded at EODMU3
CORONADO, Calif. (Sept. 20, 2017) Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class Jeffrey Thomas stands at attention alongside Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Adm. Bill Moran after being awarded the Silver Star Medal during an awards ceremony for Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 3 at Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado. While conducting combined clearance operations, Thomas' element became engaged in a 10-hour firefight with forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, during which he continuously maneuvered through heavy small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar fire in order to engage the enemy and clear paths for his teammates. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Christopher A. Veloicaza
USS Makin Island holds pinning ceremony
SAN DIEGO (Sept. 15, 2017) Chief petty officers aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) parade the colors during a chief petty officer pinning ceremony at Liberty Station, formerly known as Naval Training Center San Diego. Twenty-seven Sailors were promoted to chief petty officer during the ceremony. Makin Island is in dry dock at General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) for a depot-level maintenance availability. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Devin M. Langer
United Through Reading®
Deploying? Service members invited to record stories for family at San Diego USO
United Through Reading® is a program helping ease the stress of separation for military families by having deploying or deployed service members read children’s books aloud via DVD for their family to watch at home. This powerful program is available to all military units. It provides service members a chance to make lasting connections from afar. The DVD recording and the book are mailed to the child and family back home.
Service members who are leaving for training can also take part in this program. Being a parent is not required; service members can send the DVD & book(s) to any special child in their life such as younger sister or brother, niece, nephew or godchild.
On the day of the recording, service members are encouraged to dress in the attire they will be wearing while deployed/training, but this is not required. The room is private, so any special message, or those fun reading voices, will only be heard by the recipient of the DVD recording. USO San Diego has books available, or service members can bring their own. Our volunteers will help set up the camera and then leave the room. The DVD can hold a 30 minute recording.
Please e-mail USO San Diego Staff Member Nichole Duarte at firstname.lastname@example.org to make your appointment. This program is offered at both USO San Diego centers.