Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month 2017 From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy joins the nation in celebrating Hispanic Americans during Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15-Oct. 15.
ALNAV 006/17 encourages participation in all the heritage celebrations and special observances throughout the year. This year, Navy commands are encouraged to celebrate and reflect on the theme "Shaping the Bright Future of America." More...
Invictus Games adaptive sports competition kicks off by Shannon Collins DoD News, Defense Media Activity
TORONTO, Sept. 24, 2017 — Competitors, celebrities, royalty and spectators came together here last night to kick off the 2017 Invictus Games at the sold-out Air Canada Centre here.
Inspired by the Department of Defense Warrior Games, an adaptive sports competition for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans, Britain's Prince Harry created the Invictus Games in 2014. More....
SAN DIEGO (Sept. 20, 2017) Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran discusses current events during the second annual Career Development Symposium at Naval Base San Diego, Calif. The symposium is hosted by Navy Personnel Command, and is designed to inform enlisted Sailors of opportunities to navigate their own careers as well as to inform senior enlisted, junior officers and officers who lead enlisted Sailors. U.S. Navy photo by MCC Dustin Kelling
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
National military news Navy accepts delivery of future USS Colorado 9/25/2017
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 9/23/2017
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 9/22/2017
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.
VFA-115 is forward-deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operations as part of CVW-5 and in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
Navy issues physical readiness NAVADMIN correction 9/5/2017
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.
John S. McCain Sailors posthumously advanced 8/31/2017
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced Thursday that the 10 Sailors who died aboard USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) were posthumously advanced to their next rank. Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Kansas City, Missouri, was posthumously advanced to Chief Electronics Technician. Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, from El Paso, Texas, was posthumously advanced to Chief Interior Communications Electrician. Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, from Gaithersburg, Maryland, was posthumously advanced to Electronics Technician 1st Class. Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, from Poughkeepsie, New York, was posthumously advanced to Information Systems 1st Class. Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, from Cable, Ohio, was posthumously advanced to Electronics Technician 2nd Class. Drake had been selected for promotion and authorized to wear the rank of a second class petty officer, but had not yet been advanced. Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, from Manchester, Maryland, was posthumously advanced to Information Systems Technician 2nd Class. Eckels had been selected for promotion and authorized to wear the rank of a second class petty officer, but had not yet been advanced. Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, from Suffield, Connecticut, was posthumously advanced to Electronics Technician 2nd Class. Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, from Killeen, Texas, was posthumously advanced to Electronics Technician 2nd Class. Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, from Decatur, Illinois, was posthumously advanced to Interior Communications Electrician 2nd Class. Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, was posthumously advanced to Electronics Technician 2nd Class.
The 10 Sailors were killed in a collision between the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain and the Liberian-flagged merchant vessel Alnic MC on Aug. 21. The incident is under investigation to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision.
US Navy successfully conducts AN/SPY-6(V) air and missile defense radar ballistic missile test 8/3/2017
From Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems
PACIFIC MISSLE RANGE, KAUAI, Hawaii (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy successfully conducted another Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) flight test with the AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) off the west coast of Hawaii, July 27.
At 2:05 p.m., Hawaii Standard Time (8:05 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time) a medium-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii. AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR searched for, detected and maintained track on the target throughout its trajectory. The flight test, designated Vigilant Titan, is the second in a series of ballistic missile defense flight tests for the AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR.
"We are continuing to stress this radar by increasing the range and complexity of the targets and demonstrating the awesome capability and versatility of the Navy's next generation Integrated Air and Missile Defense radar." said Navy Capt. Seiko Okano, major program manager for Above Water Sensors, Program Executive Office (PEO) Integrated Warfare Systems (IWS). "AN/SPY-6 is the nation's most advanced radar and will be the cornerstone of the U.S. Navy's surface combatants for many decades."
Based on preliminary data, the test successfully met its primary objectives against a complex medium range ballistic missile (MRBM) target. Program officials will continue to evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.
The culmination of over a decade of Navy investment in advanced radar technology, AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR is being designed for the DDG 51 Flight III destroyer to provide the U.S. Navy with state-of-the-art technology for integrated air and missile defense.
PEO IWS, an affiliated PEO of the Naval Sea Systems Command, manages surface ship and submarine combat technologies and systems and coordinates Navy enterprise solutions across ship platforms.
SRB update released 6/21/2017
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
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
NMCSD staff lend helping hands during Stand Down 2017 8/3/2017
by MCSA Harley K. Sarmiento, Naval Medical Center San Diego
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) Sailors extended helping hands at the Veterans Village of San Diego's 30th Annual Stand Down July 21-23.
Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD) Stand Down is an annual three-day event, and more than one thousand San Diego homeless veterans received a range of free services, including substance abuse counseling, health care and legal assistance.
"Essentially we build a small town for these veterans," said Ron Stark, VVSD logistics Coordinator and site set up manager. "Anything a small town would have, we will have it here for the homeless veterans to use. We take them away from the war on the streets and give them a safe place to stay for three days. It gives the veterans and their families a break."
The event is held in a tent city constructed by active duty military volunteers at the San Diego High School sports fields. This marked the 30th year for the annual Stand Down event.
When veterans walked into the gates of Stand Down, volunteers greeted them with a handshake and open arms. They were assigned to a tent where tent leaders assisted them in accessing the services they needed; immediate visits to the clothing tent, showers, barbers, makeovers, medical, dental and optical services were provided.
"The philosophy of Stand Down is to provide some of the essentials that these homeless veterans can't receive on a daily basis," said Stark. "Stand Down is like a boot camp for these veterans."
For the Sailors and Marines that volunteered at Stand Down, it could be a wake-up call.
"While on active duty, the service member receives everything he or she needs," said Stark. "Once you leave active duty, sometimes it's not that easy. Coming off active duty, some people fall into a hard transitioning period and end up on the streets. So for some of the active duty volunteers this is an eye opening experience."
Among the olive green and khaki tents, both Sailors and Marines in uniform provided security, conducted health and dental screenings and helped out where ever they could. Master Chief Joe Murphy, a NMCSD senior enlisted leader was among these uniforms.
"I have a lot of family members that served in the military before me and I know some of them are experiencing hard times," said Murphy. "I wish this was something that was offered around the country. To me, this is a better way to give back to the community. It brings it home to me. I really want to give back to the Sailors and all the service men that have gone before us."
Veterans Village of San Diego is a non-profit organization founded in 1981 to give homeless and mentally wounded veterans a chance to get back on their feet with its "No One Left Behind" creed.
"The Naval Medical Center staff looks forward to this event every year," said Captain Shannon Johnson, NMCSD Executive Officer. "We want to ensure you, our veterans are not alone. We have tremendous respect for all the contributions you have made to the security of our nation, and we are grateful for the sacrifice."
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.