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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).
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Foam sprinkler testEAST CHINA SEA Aug. 26, 2014 Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Daniel Johnson, from Glen Ellyn, Ill., observes an aqueous film forming foam sprinkler system test aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) during an inspection by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey. Germantown is forward-deployed and underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Raul Moreno Jr

EAST CHINA SEA Aug. 26, 2014 Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Daniel Johnson, from Glen Ellyn, Ill., observes an aqueous film forming foam sprinkler system test aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) during an inspection by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey. Germantown is forward-deployed and underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Raul Moreno Jr.

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Obama: U.S. combat troops will not return to Iraq
by Jim Garamone
FORT MEADE. Md. - President Barack Obama has again emphasized that U.S. combat troops will not be sent back into Iraq even as the United States continues to provide military assistance to the Iraqi government and the Kurds in their battle against Sunni terrorists who have taken hold of large sections of the country.
In an address Aug. 26 to the American Legion’s annual convention in Charlotte, N.C., Obama said the security of the American people, including diplomats and military advisors in Iraq, remains his top priority, which is why he authorized airstrikes against fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
But he added “we’ll not allow the United States to be dragged back into another ground war in Iraq. Because ultimately, it is up to the Iraqis to bridge their differences and secure themselves.” And he said, “our military action in Iraq has to be part of a broader strategy to protect our people and support our partners to take the fight to ISIL.”
U.S. strategy is to strengthen partners and to provide more military assistance to government and Kurdish forces in Iraq and moderate opposition in Syria, Obama said. The U. S. also urges Iraq to form an inclusive government to build national unity and strong security forces. This will provide the “antidote against terrorists,” he said.
The United States is also building a coalition of nations against ISIL, but America can and will defend its citizens. “Our message to anyone who harms our people is simple: America does not forget. Our reach is long. We are patient. Justice will be done,” the president said. “We have proved time and time again we will do what is necessary ... to go after those who harm Americans.”
He made the comments just days after American journalist James Foley, who had been held captive by ISIL terrorists for two years, was beheaded on video.
The American military is ready to take direct action when ordered, Obama said.
“Rooting out a cancer like ISIL won’t be easy, and it won’t be quick,” he said. “But tyrants and murderers before them should recognize that kind of hateful vision ultimately is no match for the strength and hopes of people who stand together for the security and dignity and freedom that is the birthright of every human being.”
Overall, the president’s message was that the United States will continue to lead in the 21st century.
“Nobody else can do what we do,” Obama said. No other nation, he added, does more to underwrite the security and prosperity on which the world depends. In times of crisis, no other nation can rally such broad coalitions to stand up for international norms and peace, he said.
Even nations that criticize the United States turn to America when the chips are down, he said. “That’s what American leadership looks like,” he said. “It’s why the United States is, and will remain, the one indispensable nation in the world.”

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Bataan ARG deployment extended in 5th Fleet: Face to face turnover planned with USS Makin Island
8/31/2014
From USS Bataan (LHD 5) Public Affairs Office

ARABIAN GULF (NNS) -- The Secretary of Defense ordered the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Aug. 30, to remain in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) until the beginning of October.
This represents a 21 day extension to the ARG/MEU's deployment schedule. Bataan ARG includes USS Bataan (LHD 5), USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), and USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44).
The Bataan ARG and 22nd MEU are being extended to assure a continuous ARG/MEU physical presence in the Arabian Gulf and uninterrupted support for potential tasking. This extension provides time for USS Bataan's relief, USS Makin Island and the embarked 11th MEU, to arrive on station for a "face-to-face" turnover before Bataan departs for her homeport of Norfolk, Virginia.
The Bataan ARG/22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit entered the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR March 13.
The U.S. 5th Fleet AOR encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, North Arabian Sea, and the Red Sea. The expanse comprises 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.
The BATARG is commanded by Capt. Neil A. Karnes, commodore, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) Six, and comprises the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), and amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44).
USS Bataan (LHD 5), commanded by Capt. George Vassilakis, left her homeport in Norfolk, Virginia, Feb. 8, on a regularly-scheduled deployment as the flagship of the Bataan Amphibious Readiness Group.
The 22nd MEU is commanded by Col. William R. Dunn and comprises a ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment; aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 263 (Reinforced); logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; and its command element.
The 22nd MEU's Air Combat Element has been flying non-traditional Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (NTISR) missions from USS Bataan over Iraq using its AV-8B Harrier aircraft since Aug. 8.
Bataan conducted two rescues at sea. On March 8th, Bataan rescued two Turkish mariners from their sinking cargo ship in the Aegean Sea. More recently, on June 6th, Bataan rescued 282 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea after their small vessel sank. For both rescues, Bataan brought stranded mariners and civilians aboard the ship, provided medical attention, food, water and temporary shelter.
Since deploying in February, the ship's crew has operated in several locations in the 5th Fleet and 6th Fleet regions. The ship's tasking includes providing the regional combatant commander with a versatile sea-based, expeditionary force that can be tailored to a variety of missions, including quick reaction crisis response options in maritime, littoral and inland environments in support of the nation's maritime strategy.

USS Green Bay prepping for forward deployment to Sasebo, Japan

SAN DIEGO Aug. 27, 2014 Sailors remove de-energized electrical cables from the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) after the ship underwent magnetic treatment at Naval Base Point Loma. The crew of Green Bay is in the basic phase of training in preparation for forward deployment to Sasebo, Japan, early next year. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Elizabeth Merriam
SAN DIEGO Aug. 27, 2014 Sailors remove de-energized electrical cables from the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) after the ship underwent magnetic treatment at Naval Base Point Loma. The crew of Green Bay is in the basic phase of training in preparation for forward deployment to Sasebo, Japan, early next year.(U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Elizabeth Merriam.

Ball caps may be worn with NWUs beginning Sept. 1
WASHINGTON - The Navy and command ball caps may be worn in place of the eight-point cover with the Navy Working Uniform Type I, II or III beginning Sept. 1, as outlined in NAVADMIN 200/14, released Aug. 27.
As announced in July, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert made the decision to expand the ball cap wear policy based on fleet feedback.
According to the NAVADMIN, command ball caps are organizational clothing that may be purchased with appropriated funds. Sailors may purchase command ball caps with personal funds, just as they purchase command badges, patches, belt buckles and other permissible uniform items.
Additionally, wardrooms, chief petty officer messes, first class petty officer associations, junior enlisted associations, and other organizations may purchase command ball caps with their funds. Department of Defense guidance prohibits the use of moral, wellness and recreation’s non-appropriated funds to purchase command ball caps.
The eight-point cover remains the basic uniform component cover for the NWUs and will be the only appropriate cover for personnel uniform inspections and special occasions to ensure a uniform appearance within the command.
The Navy and command ball cap will remain authorized, optional head gear worn with Navy flight suits, Navy blue coveralls, flame resistant coveralls, and the Navy physical training uniform.

Seal Beach harbor patrol unit Sailors rescue surfer
8/28/2014
by Gregg Smith, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Public Affairs

SEAL BEACH, Calif. (NNS) -- A harbor patrol boat crew from Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach rescued a local surfer during extremely heavy wave conditions off the coast on August 27.
While on patrol escorting a ship into Anaheim Bay, the security Sailors observed a person in distress near the entrance of the harbor breakwater.
"I couldn't believe that there was someone in the water way out there," said Master-at-arms Second Class Devin Terry.
A hurricane off the coast of Mexico had created much higher than normal swells of over twelve feet, high surf, and dangerous rip currents throughout the southern California coastal region.
"It was the worst I've experienced in my ten years in the Navy," said Master-at-arms Second Class Robert Craven, "It was just horrible out there."
The Sailors carefully maneuvered their boat near the surfer and quickly determined that he needed help.
"He said that he had been stuck there for over an hour and a half, fighting the water," said Craven.
The surfer, a 30-year-old man from Lawndale, Calif., was picked up and later transferred to an Orange County Sheriff's Department patrol boat for the trip back to dry land. The Navy security boat crew meanwhile resumed their patrol.
"He was really thankful, and really happy to get out of the water," said Terry.

Department of the Navy releases energy survey
8/28/2014
From The Office of the Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) (NNS) -- The Navy opened an online energy survey to service members throughout the Navy, Aug. 25, to gain a better understanding on how the Fleet views the role of energy in the Navy's mission.
Participants in the survey are chosen via random selection among service members. The survey results will be used to help guide ongoing planning efforts with the Department of the Navy's (DON) energy program. The survey will be available for 30 days and the results are expected back in October.
In October 2009 the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus laid out five aggressive energy goals to improve the Navy's energy security and efficiency, increase the Navy's energy independence, and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.
The Department is achieving several initiatives through the energy goals and views the survey as a critical step to continue in the process.
"It is critical that we understand how Sailors perceive energy, both from an awareness standpoint and in how energy relates to the performance of their daily duties," said Rear Adm. Kevin Slates, director of the Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division (OPNAV N45). "Our goal is to leverage energy technologies and behavioral change to achieve the Navy's goals and enhance combat capability. Changing our culture today will better prepare Sailors to operate weapons of the future, such as directed energy weapons, that depend on energy instead of explosives to achieve their kinetic effect. Energy enables warfare, but we need Sailors to see value for these types of changes to become the new normal."
If you are a service member who has received the survey and have questions, contact Dr. Kimberly Whittam Kimberly.whittam@navy.mil or Geoffrey Patrissi Geoffrey.a.patrissi@navy.mil.
For more information on the Department of the Navy's energy program visit, http://greenfleet.dodlive.mil/energy.

Air medals awarded to Vietnam naval aviators
8/28/2014
From Naval Air Force Pacific Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A ceremony held aboard the USS Midway Museum Aug. 27 recognized the heroism and bravery of two naval aviators during Operation Lion's Den, a critical nighttime surface operation late in the Vietnam War.
The Air Medal was presented to Rear Adm. William W. Pickavance, Jr. and Rear Adm. Patrick D. Moneymaker for heroic achievement while participating in aerial flight 42 years ago. Both recipients earned the award while serving as pilots of A-7B Corsair II ground attack aircraft, assigned to Attack Squadrons 93 and 56, respectively, embarked with the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CVA 41) Aug. 27, 1972, while conducting an armed reconnaissance mission.
Retired Adm. S.R. Foley, then commanding officer of Midway, commented on the heroism of the two aviators during this timely event. "I must admit that I would not have missed this opportunity for all the money in the world," said Foley. "I am absolutely delighted to be part of this because they are a success story and justice is being done today."
Recognized by Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, Pickavance and Moneymaker were cited for providing close air support to a surface action group involved in Operation Lion's Den, the nighttime shore bombardment mission against the enemy port of Haiphong, North Vietnam. Receiving an urgent call for assistance from the cruiser USS Newport News (CA 148), which was under attack by North Vietnamese torpedo boats, they immediately diverted to the scene and deployed flares to pinpoint the fast-moving vessels among the small islands dotting the outer harbor, illuminating the targets for the ship's gunfire. Despite intense hostile fire, they repeatedly pressed home low altitude bombing attacks to sink or cripple the torpedo boats, their actions contributing to the success of the mission.
During the ceremony, Pickavance and Moneymaker spoke of their actions during the operation and recognized all the men that served alongside them in combat.
"I would have never imagined when I first joined the team at Midway that 42 years later I would be here," said Moneymaker.
Pickavance and Moneymaker were presented with the Air Medal by Vice Adm. David H. Buss, Commander, Naval Air Forces, during a ceremony aboard the USS Midway Museum in San Diego.

ACU-1 offload exercise

SAN DIEGO Aug. 26, 2014 A landing craft utility assigned to Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 1 braces the surf during an offload exercise. ACU-1 conducts assault and follow-on echelon operations for Navy Beach Group 1. U.S. Navy photo by MCSN Eric Chan.SAN DIEGO Aug. 26, 2014 A landing craft utility assigned to Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 1 braces the surf during an offload exercise. ACU-1 conducts assault and follow-on echelon operations for Navy Beach Group 1. U.S. Navy photo by MCSN Eric Chan.

VCNO visits San Diego
by MC3 Bradley J. Gee
SAN DIEGO - SAN DIEGO - The Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO), Adm. Michelle Howard, visited Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) and Naval Base San Diego (NBSD), Aug. 19.
During her visit to NASNI, Howard met with Sailors attached to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 to discuss the outcome of their most recent mission.
“Our purpose for this visit was to highlight some of the unique capabilities that HSM-35 provides to the Navy as an expeditionary squadron that no one else in the Navy has done at this point with MH-60R and MQ8B helicopters,” said Lt. Cmdr. Eli Owre, training officer head for HSM-35. “Anytime we get to showcase senior leadership what we do and what we bring to an operational fight is a great opportunity.”
HSM-35 is the Navy’s first operation squadron with both manned and unmanned aircraft.
Howard also visited and toured littoral combat ship USS Forth Worth (LCS 3), which is homeported on NBSD.

Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group departs for deployment
SAN DIEGO - The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group departed Friday, Aug. 22, for a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific and U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, and embarked Destroyer Squadron 1 will deploy with guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and guided-missile destroyers USS Gridley (DDG 101), USS Sterett (DDG 104), and USS Dewey (DDG 105).
Carl Vinson will also embark the aviation squadrons of CVW-17 which include the “Fighting Redcocks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, the “Sunliners” of VFA-81, the “Stingers” of VFA-113, the “Mighty Shrikes” of VFA-94, the “Cougars” of Electronic Attack Squadron 139, the “Sun Kings” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 116, the “Red Lions” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15, the “Battlecats” of Helicopter Sea Maritime Strike Squadron 73, and Fleet Logistic Support Squadron 30.
The strike group will deploy with approximately 6,200 Sailors and will focus on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. Bunker Hill, Dewey, Gridley and Sterett, multi-mission ships that possess the Aegis Weapons System, will support Carl Vinson carrier operations and provide deterrence to potential adversaries, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas, and provide humanitarian assistance/disaster relief as necessary.

Pinckney, Kidd return from deployment
SAN DIEGO - Guided missile destroyers USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and USS Kidd (DDG 100) return to Naval Base San Diego Aug. 21 following completion of separate deployments to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Kidd and Pinckney were conducting training and maritime security operations in the South China Sea when called upon to assist in the search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 in the Indian Ocean. Both ships employed their embarked MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to conduct search operations looking for the missing aircraft.
“Lending support to our regional partners in a time of difficulty is what we do,” said Cmdr. Frank Okata, Pinckney’s commanding officer.
Detachments 1 and 2 from the “Blue Hawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78 were able to expand their search area to approximately 1,500 square miles per day.
“Our helicopters are an extension of the ship’s capabilities and provided us with the best chance to find aircraft debris,” said Lt. j.g. Eric Bachtel, Kidd’s combat information center officer.
Returning home is now the focus of each Sailor as they come to the end of their seven-month deployment.
“The beauty of San Diego Bay is indescribable,” said FC1 Bethany Buchanan, Pinckney’s Junior Sailor of the Year. “The final portion (of the deployment) leads to our family and friends waiting on the pier to welcome us home. It’s an overwhelming experience.”

San Diego says so long to USS Preble

SAN DIEGO Aug. 8, 2014 -- Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) man the rails as the ship transits San Diego Bay on the way to its new homeport of Pearl Harbor. Preble, along with the the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), are shifting their homeport this summer to relieve ships homeported in Pearl Harbor. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nick Brown

SAN DIEGO Aug. 8, 2014 -- Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) man the rails as the ship transits San Diego Bay on the way to its new homeport of Pearl Harbor. Preble, along with the the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), are shifting their homeport this summer to relieve ships homeported in Pearl Harbor. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Nick Brown.



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