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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.

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PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 18, 2014) Aviation Machinist's Mate Airman Kenzie S. Cox, from Edgewater, Fla., sets up chalks on an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter during maintenance aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67). Shiloh is on patrol with the George Washington Carrier Strike Group in support of Valiant Shield, a U.S.-only exercise integrating an estimated 18,000 U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps personnel, more than 200 aircraft and 19 surface ships, offering real-world joint operational experience. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Kevin V. Cunningham

PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 18, 2014) Aviation Machinist's Mate Airman Kenzie S. Cox, from Edgewater, Fla., sets up chalks on an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter during maintenance aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67). Shiloh is on patrol with the George Washington Carrier Strike Group in support of Valiant Shield, a U.S.-only exercise integrating an estimated 18,000 U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps personnel, more than 200 aircraft and 19 surface ships, offering real-world joint operational experience. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Kevin V. Cunningham

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Navy Gold Star Program prepares to launch
9/23/2014
by Ensign Egdanis Torres, Commander, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- A new initiative to assist Gold Star Families - those whose military members have died in service - will be launched Oct. 1 by Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC).
The Navy Gold Star (NGS) program will provide Gold Star Families a level of long-term assistance and support not previously available through the Navy. It is enhanced with the active participation of new NGS region and installation coordinators, which are the lead agents for actions within the long-term casualty supporting process.
"I am excited about this new Navy program. I believe in it," said Vice Adm. William French, commander, Navy Installations Command during his opening comments for the NGS coordinators' initial training held at the CNIC headquarters in Washington, DC. "Gold Star Families need and their sacrifices need to be recognized. I envy you all because you come to an organization that makes a big difference to families."
According to the NGS Program Manager for CNIC Mike Bruner, NGS coordinators play an important role providing support for family members through a very difficult time, helping them build resilience and establish a new normal. Guided by the coordinators, Gold Star Families will be able to connect with support groups and grief counselors. Additionally, new services may also include chaplain care, school liaison assistance, and family employment.
The training for the coordinators is a two-day program filled with informational tools including the description of the duties and responsibilities of the Casualty Assistance Calls Officers, an overview of all CNIC fleet and family support programs, discussions on the standardized procedures for survivor assistance, and training on the Defense Casualty Information Process System (DCIPS), among others.
"Another great benefit is the inclusion of financial counselors that can provide education on budgeting and investing," added Bruner. "These financial counselors are committed to assisting survivors to create a solid foundation for financial success."
At the training French also spoke to each one of the coordinators stressing the importance of collaboration and team work.
"You are building this program; take all the great ideas from our counterparts, the best ones and leverage each other, push the headquarters ... we want all of you to have the tools in place to be successful," he said.
French spoke about the standardization of procedures across the enterprise and emphasized that this new program provides the opportunity to work on regulating the delivery of services across the regions. In order to accomplish this, he highlighted the importance of the coordinators and urged them to begin working on achieving consistency, identifying the inconsistencies they come across, selecting the ones that really matter, and then feeding back to CNIC so that leadership may be involved in helping solve those inconsistencies.
"A program like this one cannot be managed from the headquarters," French said. "We need the people from the deck to push us for change."
For more information about the Navy's Gold Star Program visit http://www.navygoldstar.com

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USS Gary departs for final deployment
SAN DIEGO - Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate USS Gary (FFG 51) departed on an independent deployment to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility, Sept. 24.
Gary will deploy with its crew of 240 Sailors. The ship is expected to play an integral part in the counter illicit trafficking mission Operation Martillo (Spanish for “hammer”), in support of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command / U.S 4th Fleet and U.S. Southern Command.
Operation Martillo targets illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus, and is an international, interagency operation which includes the participation of 14 countries committed to a regional approach against transnational criminal organizations moving illicit cargo.
Along with the crew of Gary, the drug interdiction team includes the ship’s organic Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) team providing support for the embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment. A Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light (HSL) Squadron 49 detachment will provide embarked air support. The law enforcement phase of counterdrug operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is conducted under the tactical control of the 11th Coast Guard District headquartered in Alameda.
Gary helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas, and humanitarian assistance/disaster response.
The ship is scheduled to be decommissioned after completion of this deployment culminating in more than 30 years of service to the country.

USS McClusky returns from final deployment
SAN DIEGO - Guided missile frigate USS McClusky (FFG 41) returned from its final deployment to the 4th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR) Sept. 26 to make preparations for decommissioning.
While in the 4th Fleet AOR, McClusky participated in Operation Martillo. Operation Martillo is a U.S., European, and Western Hemisphere partner-nation effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters by Central America. Joint Interagency Task Force-South, a component of U.S. Southern Command leads U.S. military participation.
McClusky is scheduled to be formally decommissioned in January.
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.

U.S. military, partner nations conduct airstrikes against ISIL in Syria
9/23/2014
From U.S. Central Command Public Affairs

TAMPA, Fla. (NNS) -- U.S. military forces and partner nations, including the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, undertook military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria overnight, using a mix of fighter, bomber, remotely piloted aircraft and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles to conduct 14 strikes against ISIL targets.
The strikes destroyed or damaged multiple ISIL targets in the vicinity of Ar Raqqah, Dayr az Zawr, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal and included ISIL fighters, training compounds, headquarters and command and control facilities, storage facilities, a finance center, supply trucks and armed vehicles.
To conduct these strikes, the United States employed 47 TLAMs launched from USS Arleigh Burke and USS Philippine Sea operating from international waters in the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf, as well as U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fighter, remotely piloted and bomber aircraft deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations. In addition, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates also participated in or supported the airstrikes against ISIL targets. All aircraft safely exited the strike areas.
Also, in Iraq yesterday, U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists, using attack aircraft to conduct four airstrikes. The airstrikes destroyed two ISIL Humvees, an ISIL armed vehicle and an ISIL fighting position southwest of Kirkuk. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely. To date, U.S. Central Command has conducted a total of 194 airstrikes across Iraq against ISIL.
The United States conducted these strikes as part of the President's comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL. Going forward, the U.S. military will continue to conduct targeted airstrikes against ISIL in Syria and Iraq as local forces go on the offensive against this terrorist group.
Separately, the United States has also taken action to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests conducted by a network of seasoned al-Qa'ida veterans - sometimes referred to as the Khorasan Group - who have established a safe haven in Syria to develop external attacks, construct and test improvised explosive devices and recruit Westerners to conduct operations. These strikes were undertaken only by U.S. assets.
In total, U.S. Central Command conducted eight strikes against Khorasan Group targets west of Aleppo to include training camps, an explosives and munitions production facility, a communication building and command and control facilities.

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USS Coronado performs live-fire test of Norwegian Strike Missile
9/23/2014
From Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

USS CORONADO, At Sea (NNS) -- The crew of littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) successfully performed a live-fire demonstration of a Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) during missile testing operations off the coast of Southern California, Sept. 23.
During the test, the Norwegian-made Kongsberg NSM was launched from the deck of Coronado and scored a direct hit on its intended target, a mobile ship target (MST).
The Kongsberg NSM is a long range precision strike missile designed to be launched from a variety of ships against a variety of targets.
Testing took place on board the Navy's newest littoral combat ship to show the LCS' ability to readily accept new weapons systems as part of the Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) program.
"We are extremely pleased with the outcome of today's test on board Coronado," said Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces. "We view this successful missile test as a possible future warfighting capability for the LCS program."
Rowden said the Navy is interested in increasing both quantity of firepower and range across the surface fleet.
"Both classes of the LCS are based on modular design concepts," said Rowden. "This allows for the integration of weapons and sensors like the Kongsberg NSM technology as part of the LCS warfare suite."
Since 1980, the FCT program has helped the United States and allies reap substantial savings by avoiding research and development costs, lowering procurement costs, reducing risk for major acquisition programs and accelerating the fielding of equipment critical to the reading and safety of operating forces.
Commissioned on April 4, 2014, Coronado was designed to be high-speed, shallow draft multi-mission ship capable of operating independently or with an associated strike group. LCS ships are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in coastal waters.
A fast, maneuverable, and networked surface combatant, LCS provides the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions such as surface warfare, mine warfare and anti-submarine warfare.
LCS delivers combat capability from core self-defense systems in concert with interchangeable, modular mission packages and an open architecture command and control system. Modularity maximizes the flexibility of LCS and enables the ship to meet changing warfare needs, while also supporting rapid technological updates. LCS employs advanced tactical networks to share information with aircraft, ships, submarines, and joint and coalition units both at sea and shore.

CNIC to conduct Exercise Citadel Protect
9/22/2014
From Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) will conduct exercise Citadel Protect, an anti-terrorism/force protection (AT/FP) exercise in San Diego Sept. 22-26
The Department of Defense Physical Security Enterprise and Analysis Group (PSEAG), the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), the Countering Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) and Naval Base San Diego has partnered with CNIC, to plan, execute and assess Citadel Protect and an Integrated Waterside Security Concept Demonstration (IWS CD).
The Citadel Protect exercise is part of the Navy's training and exercise continuum, which enables Navy security forces to train and simultaneously assess mission essential tasks and readiness across the enterprise. The exercise series focuses on command, control and communications for missions requiring a coordinated response from both ashore and afloat units in response to waterborne improvised explosive devices (IED) and land-based active shooter threats.
"We are committed to training and conducting exercises throughout the year to identify and mitigate any issues in our current force protection structure," said Bill Clark, CNIC's exercise program director. "This exercise is one of the methods that we can take a holistic approach to assess AT/FP program readiness and provide realistic training to our Sailors."
The IWS CD sponsored by the PSEAG will be conducted as part of the United States Fleet Forces Command and Navy Warfare Development Command Fleet Experimentation Program. "The IWS Concept Demonstration is about integrating existing waterside security systems such as the Electronic Harbor Security System, Harbor Security Boats and Port Security Barriers with new capabilities and integrating the operational capabilities of disparate Navy security forces - afloat, ashore and expeditionary to improve overall waterside security against the asymmetric threat.
By design this effort is an initiative to integrate waterside security at both the systems and organizational levels in a cost effective manner using the Citadel Protect exercise to demonstrate this integrating concept and organizing construct," said Rod Gillis, PSEAG chairman.
Two San Diego-based ships USS Lake Champlain, and USS Rushmore, will participate in this year's exercise. The exercise provides an opportunity to conduct integrated shore/afloat training and to validate the installation's directed in-port security plan in order to jointly respond to multiple AT/FP scenarios within Navy Base San Diego's battle space.
Several exercises will be enhance the various training events including the use of pyrotechnics, simulated improvised explosive devices, and employment of Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System technology by security force personnel. During an active shooter scenario, medical personnel from local hospitals and medical centers will respond and treat simulated victims. Special "moulage" kits will be used to dress up victims, providing first responders with realistic injuries and symptoms to diagnose and treat.
The JIEDDO supports the Citadel Protect exercise series with emphasis on counter-IED training and equipment, and for this exercise is also sponsoring a new system for underwater threat detection and interdiction. The CTTSO is the sponsor for a candidate technology demonstrating capabilities for a next generation port security barrier that includes a remotely operated gate system.
"In our exercises, we strive to create a training environment that mirrors the operational environment," said Clark. "This exercise and concept demonstration will incorporate the sights and sounds of actual waterborne improvised explosive devises and blank ammunition fire as part of the simulated attacks to enable our Sailors to demonstrate and validate pre-planned responses, tactics, techniques and procedures in a high-stress, realistic environment."

PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 16, 2014) Navy Divers, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit(EODMU) 11, Mobile Dive and Salvage Company 11-7, assist Sailors from the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) in the retrieval of the forward bay cover during the fourth underway recovery test (URT-4) for the NASA Orion Program. URT-4 is the fourth at-sea testing for the Orion crew module using a well deck recovery method. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Corey Green
PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 16, 2014) Navy Divers, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit(EODMU) 11, Mobile Dive and Salvage Company 11-7, assist Sailors from the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) in the retrieval of the forward bay cover during the fourth underway recovery test (URT-4) for the NASA Orion Program. URT-4 is the fourth at-sea testing for the Orion crew module using a well deck recovery method. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Corey Green
Anchorage completes 3rd NASA testing

9/19/2014
by MCC(SW/AW) Elena Pence, USS Anchorage (LPD 23 ) Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23) arrived at Naval Base San Diego after completing the third Underway Recovery Test (URT-3) for NASA's Orion Program, Sept. 19.
USNS Salvor (ARS 52) was completing URT-4A, a towing and recovery test with NASA's test model of the crew module when Anchorage arrived at the recovery site off the coast of Southern California. Using its crane, Salvor deployed the crew module into the open ocean. Anchorage positioned itself for recovery of the module, accounting for sea state, winds, and other environmental factors.
Deploying the module from Salvor gave Anchorage an opportunity to treat this as a real recovery, because ship's crew didn't have to release the module into the water. During URT-2, Anchorage both deployed and recovered the module.
"We have a good understanding of the challenges we have ahead of us," said Jeremy Graeber, NASA's Recovery Director. "We demonstrated how we would recover from a certain point of the timeline, executed the recovery, and got the module into the well deck safely. We were focusing on putting ourselves into a realistic recovery."
URT-3 is the third at-sea testing, Anchorage's second, of the Orion crew module using a well-deck recovery method. The first testing was conducted aboard USS San Diego (LPD 22). The initial Stationary Recovery Test occurred at Naval Station Norfolk in August 2013 aboard USS Arlington (LPD 24).
Expeditionary Strike Group Three is overseeing URT-3 while Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Eight is providing air support for observation and documentation. Anchorage Sailors are conducting small boat operations using rigid-hulled inflatable boats in support of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group One divers. Fleet Weather Center San Diego monitored and reported sea and weather conditions during the test.

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