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Carrier Drill: Sailors participate in a crash and salvage drill on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in San Diego, May 2, 2024.Photo by Navy Seaman Kenneth Ostas.
Carrier Drill: Sailors participate in a crash and salvage drill on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in San Diego, May 2, 2024.Photo by Navy Seaman Kenneth Ostas.

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Camp Pendleton pilots awarded for lifesaving actions at Dallas airport
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (June 12, 2024) - Two Marines assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 165 (Reinforced), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, were recognized June 10, 2024, for their lifesaving actions helping a man suffering a medical emergency at the at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport May 23, 2024.
Capt. Steven M. Maire and Capt. Joseph H. Carey were each presented a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal by the 15th MEU's commanding officer, Col. Sean Dynan, in front of a formation of approximately 200 Marines and Sailors with VMM-165 (Rein.) at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. Read more....

Vice Adm. Wade takes the helm from Vice Adm. Boyle at 3rd Fleet
by MC2 Maria Llanos , Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet
Vice Adm. John Wade assumed command of U.S. 3rd Fleet (C3F) during a change of command ceremony on Naval Base Point Loma, June 7. He relieved Vice Adm. Michael “Fonz” Boyle, who took command of C3F in June 2022.
Adm. Stephen Koehler, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet and presiding officer of the change of command, opened the ceremony by welcoming Wade and praising Boyle for his leadership during his time as the C3F commander.
“Fonz has embodied professionalism at 3rd Fleet and achieved success across every mission set he encountered,” said Koehler. “Most important has been his relentless drive for rehearsal. Deeper than ideas and concepts, he has pushed and driven the actual processes and orders that are required to make things come alive. It is so vital to get to the actual mechanics to win and that’s exactly what Fonz has done.”
Koehler welcomed Wade saying, “John is handpicked to come here, he’s the exact leader that we need to continue to move the ball down the field. I’m confident with John in command that when called upon, 3rd Fleet will continue to have the fighting force to overmatch and beat any adversary.”
While in command of the Navy’s largest numbered fleet, Boyle employed more than 100 ships and submarines, nearly 400 aircraft and more than 68,000 personnel, and ensured maritime tasking success across exercises and real-world events, by providing and employing combat ready forces in support of national objectives. He trained, certified, and deployed five carrier strike groups, two amphibious ready groups, 14 submarines, and eight independent deploying ships.

Quiz: How Well Do You Know Your Stars and Stripes?
You probably know the 50 states and 13 colonies help make up the American flag, but do you know its history or etiquette? Put your knowledge to the test. Click here...

Get hoppin' and sign up for Joggin' for Frogmen 5k coming July 27
The San Diego Joggin' for Frogmen 5k is back this summer and will take place on July 27th, 2024, at Liberty Station.
You won't want to miss out on our fun filled morning, which includes:
Tadpole Trot for the kids
Awesome race shirt and medal for all participants
Great prizes for 5k age group winners and Tadpole Trotters
For details at their website click here...

Golden Wrench Award

Coronado, CALIF - Fleet Readiness Center Southwest commanding officer, CAPT Luis Rivera, presents a Golden Wrench Award to Ms. Syndy Shelton, a Human Capital Management Specialist.

Ms. Shelton's initiative, diligence, drive, and dedication were demonstrated by outstanding support for the Navy's Learning Management System, Waypoints. During a rotational assignment at NAVAIR, Ms. Shelton supported the Waypoints Integrated Product Team and helped deploy Waypoints as the learning management system solution for the Department of Navy civilian workforce. Ms. Shelton's personal initiative and organizational skills have been exceptional. She provided timely recommendations and solutions, responded to help desk inquiries, and conducted testing and training. She has received Department of Navy System of Command praise for her professionalism and productivity. Her efforts have had a significant impact on improving the Waypoints program, benefiting approximately 950,000 users. Ms. Shelton's dedication to aviation maintenance excellence and to our nation's warfighters makes her most deserving of the Golden Wrench Award.

Sunlit Sail: The USNS Wally Schirra and the USS Theodore Roosevelt participate in a replenishment in the South China Sea, May 14, 2024. Photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Crawford
Sunlit Sail: The USNS Wally Schirra and the USS Theodore Roosevelt participate in a replenishment in the South China Sea, May 14, 2024. Photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Crawford

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Second Minuteman III test in week's time showcases readiness of U.S. ICBM fleet
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

For the second time in a week, a joint team of Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen supported by Space Force Guardians launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with one re-entry vehicle at 1:46 a.m. Pacific time June 6, 2024, from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California.
This test launch is part of routine and periodic activities intended to demonstrate that the United States’ nuclear deterrent is safe, secure, reliable and effective to deter 21st century threats and reassure our allies. Such tests have occurred over 300 times before, and this test is not the result of current world events.
"The fact that we were able to complete two operational test launches in one week is a testimony to the excellence and professionalism of the Airmen and Guardians who do this mission every day,” said Col. Chris Cruise, 377th Test and Evaluation Group Commander. “This morning’s launch demonstrates our commitment to deterrence as we serve as the cornerstone of security for our allies and partners across the globe."
The ICBM's re-entry vehicle traveled approximately 4,200 miles to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command's Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site on the U.S. Army Garrison-Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. Reagan Test Site sensors, including high-fidelity metric and signature radars, as well as optical sensors and telemetry, support the research, development, test and evaluation of America's defense and space programs. For these tests, Reagan Test Site team members collect radar, optical and telemetry data in the terminal phase of flight to evaluate system performance.
The test launch is a culmination of months of preparation that involve multiple government partners.
Airmen from all three missile wings were selected for the task force to support the test launch, and maintainers from the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, provided maintenance support. The missile bases within Air Force Global Strike Command have crew members standing alert 24 hours a day, year-round, overseeing the nation’s ICBM alert forces.
“Our ICBM force provides 24/7 strategic deterrence and stand ready to respond at a moment’s notice as the most responsive leg of the nuclear triad,” said Gen. Thomas A. Bussiere, commander, Air Force Global Strike Command. “These test launches demonstrate and confirm our readiness to deliver a safe, secure, effective, and credible, global combat capability.”
The ICBM community, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and U.S. Strategic Command, uses data collected from test launches for continuing force development evaluation. The ICBM test launch program demonstrates the operational capability of the Minuteman III and ensures the United States’ ability to maintain a strong, credible nuclear deterrent as a key element of U.S. national security and the security of U.S. allies and partners.

Carrier Strike Group 1 holds change of command
SAN DIEGO – Rear Adm. Michael Wosje relieved Rear Adm. Carlos Sardiello as Commander, Carrier Strike Group 1 (CSG-1), during a change of command ceremony aboard Naval Air Station North Island, June 6.
Sardiello is a 1990 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and holds post-graduate degrees in Computer Science and National Security and Strategic Studies. He is a U.S. Navy Test Pilot School graduate of Class 115 and a 2021 MIT Seminar XXI Fellow.
Landing on aircraft carriers for the past 29 years, his operational assignments include flying in the S-3B Viking as a junior officer embarked aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and department head on USS Constellation (CV 64). Transitioning to the P-3C Orion, he served as the 73rd commanding officer of Patrol Squadron Four Six (VP 46), the “Grey Knights”. He completed Forward Deployed Naval Force tours homeported in Japan and Italy, as executive officer aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73), commanding officer of USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) respectively. He then served as the 15th commanding officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).
He logged over 2,800 flight hours and over 500 carrier arrested landings. His combat highlights include scoring the first, and only strike, by an S-3B Viking with an air to ground missile on March 26, 2003. Sardiello assumed command of CSG-1 in May 2023.
“The Carrier Strike Group is an essential element of our nation's credible combat capability to guarantee peace around the world and our American way of life. Just two years ago marked 100 years of the U.S. Aircraft Carrier,” said Sardiello. “Our young men and women who serve in CSG-1 and the Navy leave me awestruck because of their unmatched professionalism and dedication to service.”
During his tenure, Sardiello led CSG-1, which encompasses 7,500 Sailors across nine afloat units and aviation squadrons. Throughout this tour, including deployment to the U.S. Seventh Fleet in support of maintaining security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, CSG-1 completed multiple integrated exercises with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and Republic of Korea Navy along with conducting overseas port visits with partner and allied nations in the region. Sardiello ensured the strike group’s ability to protect a free and open Indo-Pacific through continued presence and high-end training during multiple exercises and operations. This included Large Scale Exercise 2023, Multi-Large Deck Events, Annual Exercise 2023 with the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, and JMSDF, Maritime Cooperative Activity operations with the Philippine Navy and multi-carrier operations with USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).
“It is without a doubt that commanding Carrier Strike Group 1 is one of my most rewarding tours while serving over three decades in the United States Navy,” said Sardiello.
During the ceremony, Wosje emphasized his enthusiasm in taking command of CSG-1.
“My family and I are delighted to join the Carrier Strike Group 1 team and look forward to all we will accomplish together,” said Wosje. “It is an honor and a privilege to serve with you.”
A career Naval Aviator, Rear Adm. Michael Wosje has 29 years of aviation experience. His operational assignments include the Blue Diamonds of Strike Fighter Squadron 146 (VFA- 146) where he completed two deployments aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in support of Operation Southern Watch; the Stingers of VFA-113 aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76); command of the Valions of VFA-15 onboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77); and command of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 as part of Forward Deployed Naval Forces Japan aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).
CSG-1 was established in 1930 and serves as one of five U.S. Navy carrier strike groups currently assigned to the U.S. Pacific Fleet. As the U.S. Navy's first maritime naval aviation formation, CSG-1 sustains lethal combat forces capable of operating in any maritime area of operations while maintaining naval superiority and readiness. CSG-1 is currently embarked aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

1st Marine Division Commanding General promotion announcement
U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Benjamin T. Watson, commanding general 1st Marine Division, San Diego has been nominated for appointment to the grade of lieutenant general, according to a Department of Defense announcement.
His new assignment will be Training and Education Command, Quantico, Va. following the promotion.
Watson assumed command of the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton in July 2022.

NAVWAR named Navy’s best place to work in 2023 rankings
by Lily Chen, Naval Information Warfare Systems Command
Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) was named as the top Navy organization in the 2023 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings, listed first out of 17 Department of Navy (DON) agency subcomponent organizations.
The annual report, published by the Partnership for Public Service and Boston Consulting Group, offers the most comprehensive assessment of how federal public servants view their jobs and workplaces, providing employee perspectives on leadership, work-life balance, pay, professional development among other issues.
”NAVWAR is committed to doing everything we can to cultivate a world-class workforce. Our leadership has not only stated that our workforce is the priority, but they have also invested in programs that empower a culture of excellence, focus on continuous learning and career development opportunities, and inspire a mission mindset,” said Francesca Ramos, director of civilian human resources at NAVWAR. “These are all things that get our workforce highly engaged and motivated to do their best work in support of the fleet and warfighter.


U.S. Navy Sailors and U.S. Marine Corps Marines marched onto the 6th Street Bridge during Los Angeles Fleet Week.
U.S. Navy Sailors and U.S. Marine Corps Marines marched onto the 6th Street Bridge during Los Angeles Fleet Week.

Los Angeles Fleet Week 2024: Seabees showcase STEM and heritage in new interactive display
by Oscar Garcia
SAN PEDRO, Calif. - Amid the bustling energy of Los Angeles Fleet Week 2024, Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303 (CBMU 303) unveiled a vibrant, Seabee Static Display at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, turning heads with its innovative approach to combining Seabee history with STEM activities.
This new static display is a colorful container; a gateway to understanding the rich history and technological success of the Naval Construction Force, particularly designed to inspire the next generation of engineers through interactive and educational STEM activities.
Capt. Tres Meek, Commodore of Naval Construction Group One (NCG1), highlighted the importance of the initiative, saying, “The Seabee static display at Los Angeles Fleet Week represents more than our history; it is a bridge to the future of engineering and innovation, engaging young minds in STEM to inspire tomorrow’s leaders in naval construction."
During Fleet Week, attendees, both young and old, were captivated by interactive demonstrations such as the use of surveyor's equipment by BU2 Caine Cyrus, assisted by LS2 Avery Williams with a leveling rod. These live demonstrations showcased practical Seabee skills and their applications in the field. The display itself houses an array of exhibits, from detailed timelines of Seabee history to hands-on STEM activities designed to engage the general public alike, making engineering and science both fun and accessible.
"The Seabees' interactive displays and educational outreach at Fleet Week are pivotal, bridging naval history with modern engineering marvels, offering a hands-on experience that resonates with families and future engineers alike.” Said Mike Getscher, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Pacific Battleship Center, USS Iowa Museum.
Fleet Week Los Angeles is a public event hosted by the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, typically held at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro. This annual event aims to honor the nation’s sea services and provides an opportunity for the public to learn about the maritime agencies and their capabilities.
Naval Construction Group One (NCG1) operates from its homeport and serves as the Immediate Superior in Command (ISIC) for its assigned forces. NCG1 leads and manages the overall capability and readiness of Naval Construction Regiments (NCR’s), Naval Mobile Construction Battalions (NMCB’s), Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU), and Underwater Construction Team (UCT). NCG1 is responsible for manning, training, equipping and deploying combat-ready Naval Construction Force (NCF) units in support of combatant commanders (CCDRs) and Navy component commander (NCC). NCG1 also provides program management and oversight in support of subordinate units and supports the Navy Expeditionary Combat Enterprise Force Development (Fd) efforts. NCG1 provides the required engineering support that the Navy and Nation needs to construct and maintain base facilities, repair battle damaged facilities, conduct defensive operations as required, and to meet disaster preparedness and recovery missions.

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SAN DIEGO (May 20, 2024) Family and friends wait pierside as the Los-Angeles class fast-attack submarine USS Greeneville (SSN 772) arrives at its new homeport at Naval Base Point Loma following a 30 month Engineered Overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. Greeneville will be joining the four submarines already assigned to Submarine Squadron 11. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Tiarra N. Brown.
SAN DIEGO (May 20, 2024) Family and friends wait pierside as the Los-Angeles class fast-attack submarine USS Greeneville (SSN 772) arrives at its new homeport at Naval Base Point Loma following a 30 month Engineered Overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. Greeneville will be joining the four submarines already assigned to Submarine Squadron 11. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Tiarra N. Brown.


USS Greeneville arrives at new homeport of Naval Base Point Loma
by MC1 Tiarra Brown, Commander, Submarine Squadron 11
NAVAL BASE POINT LOMA – The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Greeneville (SSN 772) and its crew of approximately 155 Sailors arrived at its new homeport of Naval Base Point Loma, San Diego, May 20, 2024.
Greenville is conducting a homeport shift to San Diego following completion of a 30 month Engineered Overhaul (EOH) at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. Prior to beginning its EOH, Greeneville was homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
Read more....

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NAVAL BASE CORONADO (May 17, 2024) - Sailors assigned to Unmanned Surface Vessel Squadron 3 (USVRON 3) stand in formation and shout the command motto during the unit's establishment ceremony on Naval Amphibious Base Coronado May 17, 2024. The squadron is comprised of Global Autonomous Reconnaissance Crafts (GARCs). The 16-foot GARCs built by Maritime Applied Physics Corporation enable research, testing, and operations that will allow integration throughout the surface, expeditionary, and joint maritime forces. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Claire M. DuBois. NAVAL BASE CORONADO (May 17, 2024) - Sailors assigned to Unmanned Surface Vessel Squadron 3 (USVRON 3) stand in formation and shout the command motto during the unit's establishment ceremony on Naval Amphibious Base Coronado May 17, 2024. The squadron is comprised of Global Autonomous Reconnaissance Crafts (GARCs). The 16-foot GARCs built by Maritime Applied Physics Corporation enable research, testing, and operations that will allow integration throughout the surface, expeditionary, and joint maritime forces. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Claire M. DuBois.

SURFOR establishes Unmanned Surface Vessel Squadron (USVRON) Three
by Karli Yeager, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet
SAN DIEGO – Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP) established Unmanned Surface Vessel Squadron (USVRON) Three at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado during a ceremony, May 17. USVRON Three will oversee a fleet of small, unmanned surface vessels (sUSV) known as Global Autonomous Reconnaissance Craft (GARC).
Read more...

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Courtesy Photo | Builders Trials for the future San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock Richard M.... read moreCourtesy Photo | Builders Trials for the future San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29).
Courtesy Photo | Builders Trials for the future San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29).

Navy announces commissioning date for future USS Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29)
by Karli Yeager, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet
The U.S. Navy has approved the commissioning date for the future USS Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29).
The Navy will commission Richard M. McCool Jr., an amphibious transport dock, September 7, 2024 at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Pensacola, Florida.
The naming of LPD 29 honors U.S. Navy Capt. Richard M. McCool Jr., who was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1945 for the heroism he displayed after his ship was attacked by kamikaze aircraft in the Battle of Okinawa. Despite suffering from shrapnel wounds and painful burns, he led efforts to battle a blazing fire on his ship and rescue injured sailors. LPD 29 will be the first of its name.
Richard M. McCool Jr. is co-sponsored by Shana McCool and Kate Oja, granddaughters of the ship’s namesake. As the co-sponsors, McCool and Oja lead the time-honored Navy tradition of giving the order during the ceremony to “man our ship and bring her to life!” At the moment, the commissioning pennant is hoisted and Richard M. McCool Jr. becomes a proud ship of the fleet.
Richard M. McCool Jr. will be the Navy’s 13th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship.
Amphibious transport docks are used to transport and land Marines, their equipment, and supplies by embarked Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) or conventional landing craft and amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft (MV 22). These ships support amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions and serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious operations.

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Operation Appreciation celebrates Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 18 in Oceanside, CA Oceanside celebrates Armed Forces Day at Operation Appreciation
On Saturday, May 18, 2024 Oceanside Chamber brought the business community and area residents together at the Oceanside Pier Amphitheater to provide a day of recognition to all active-duty military stationed on Marine Corps Base Camp Joseph H. Pendleton and nearby military bases. ​Thousands of active duty military, their family and dependents were treated to a day of free food, live entertainment and a fun zone for kids.

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Operation MWR logo Navy launches Operation MWR entertainment series with free events at Navy installations
From Destiny Sibert, CNIC Public Affairs
WASHINGTON — As part of its overall effort to improve Quality of Service, the Navy is launching the Operation MWR entertainment series which will host 65 free events at Navy installations around the world from May – June 2024 for service members and their families.
“Work-life balance and community fellowship are essential to the well-being and readiness of our Sailors and their families,” said Leslie Gould, director of Fleet and Family Readiness at Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC). “We hope these events not only provide a fun, recreational outlet, but also an opportunity to bring friends and families together to strengthen personal ties throughout our Navy community.”
Entertainment will vary by location and may feature concerts, comedic performances, interactive murder mystery dinners and more! Examples of headlining musical performers include acts such as Andy Grammer, Dierks Bentley, Eli Young Band, Goo Goo Dolls, Ludacris, The All-American Rejects, Switchfoot and others.
Operation MWR events are open to all MWR eligible patrons, are free of charge, and in most cases do not require advanced registration. However, space may be limited at some venues and entry will be first-come first-served.
Service members and their families can find information about events at an installation near them by visiting navymwr.org/operationmwr or contacting their local Navy MWR office.
Naval Base San Diego
Saturday, June 1, 2024 | 7 pm | FREE
WEEZER!
with special guest: Breland
NBSD Admiral Prout Field
Operation MWR is a FREE Event. Registration is suggested.
https://sandiego.navylifesw.com/operationmwr

USMC requiring more notice from retiring Marines
A recent Marine Corps Administrative message changes the notice Marines are required to give when they want to retire from 4 months to 6 months. Effective immediately, Marines must submit their requests for retirement not more than 18 months and not less than six months before the day they would like to retire. Previously, they had to submit their requests not more than 14 months and not less than four months out, according to the separation and retirement manual.
The new time limits also apply to Marines who resign from the Corps.

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month was in April but help is available any time
The Department of Defense (DoD) recognizes April as a call to action for Service members to use their individual and collective strength to advance meaningful change in preventing and responding to sexual violence through this year's enduring theme – "STEP FORWARD. Prevent. Report. Advocate."
DoD emphasizes the link between military readiness and healthy unit climates during Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month by continuing to take unprecedented action toward preventing harmful behaviors within our total force. Military units and organizations with respectful, healthier workplaces tend to experience fewer harmful behaviors, including sexual assault, and the Department continues to invest significant resources to fuel needed change.
In 2023, the Department introduced its STEP FORWARD campaign to increase awareness of sexual assault and resources to enhance response. As it continues its STEP FORWARD campaign in 2024, the Department continues with unprecedented initiatives to change harmful behaviors, improve command climate, provide support to victims of sexual assault, and promote sexual-assault prevention year-round.
"Secretary Austin has been clear: countering sexual assault is a top priority for the Department. The STEP FORWARD campaign helps us inform everyone about the fundamental changes within the DoD taking aim at sexual assault," said Dr. Nate Galbreath, acting director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. "Each of us has a moral duty to step forward to prevent this crime, increase reporting, and advocate for a safer military community."
If you or someone you know in the DoD community has experienced sexual assault, please consider reaching out to DoD Safe Helpline for 24/7, anonymous, one-on-one support at 877- 995-5247 or SafeHelpline.org/live-chat.
More information on SAAPM and the STEP FORWARD campaign can be found at https://www.sapr.mil/saapm.
More information about the new Integrated Primary Prevention Workforce can be found here: https://www.prevention.mil/Resources/Tools

Austin emphasizes U.S. commitment to defend Philippines
by Dave Vergun, DOD News
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III hosted an enhanced honor cordon and meeting in April to welcome Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to the Pentagon.
Austin underscored the U.S. commitment to the defense of the Philippines is ironclad, referencing President Joe Biden's remarks at the White House April 11.
An attack on Philippine armed forces, vessels or aircraft in the Pacific, including the South China Sea, would invoke the U.S. commitment under the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, Austin said.
The forces of both nations have extended their operational coordination on land, at sea and in the air, the secretary noted.
"This level of cooperation is critical to our collective security and to peace and prosperity across the region," he said.

USS Boxer deployment delayed for additional repairs
San Diego-based amphibious assault ship USS Boxer returning to San Diego for repairs just 10 days after leaving for a long-delayed deployment to the western Pacific, the Navy said Thursday, April 11.
“USS Boxer is returning to San Diego to undergo additional maintenance in support of its deployment in the Indo-Pacific region. Boxer departed San Diego on April 1 for an Indo-Pacific deployment and was conducting integration exercises with the MV-22 Osprey in the 3rd Fleet Area of Operations,” reads a statement from U.S. 3rd Fleet according to USNI News. “USS Boxer will resume its deployment in the near future.”

USS Antietam (CG 54) homeport shifts to Hawaii
by Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii –
The Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) arrived to its new homeport of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, in April, as part of a planned rotation of forces in the Pacific.
Antietam is now assigned to Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific and U.S. 3rd Fleet.
Antietam departed Yokosuka, Japan, Jan. 26 to transit to Hawaii and assist in enforcing international fisheries law during their Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) mission. OMSI is a Secretary of Defense program leveraging Department of Defense assets transiting the region to increase the Coast Guard’s maritime domain awareness, ultimately supporting its maritime law enforcement operations in Oceania.
“I'm proud of the Antietam crew for their execution of the Oceanic Maritime Security Initiative during our homeport shift from Yokosuka, Japan to Hawaii,” said Capt. Victor Garza, commanding officer of Antietam. “I thank the families for the support they give their Sailors. It is their strength that enables us to go to sea.”
During Antietam’s transit to Hawaii, the ship made port calls in major naval ports including Suva, Fiji and Apra Harbor, Guam.

DeCA plans home delivery from stateside commissaries
by Kelly Agee, Stars and Stripes
Commissaries at military bases in the United States will soon offer home delivery, according to the Defense Commissary Agency. Commissaries at military bases in the United States will soon offer home delivery, according to the Defense Commissary Agency. (Jeremy Stillwagner/Stars and Stripes) Commissary customers across the United States will soon be able to order groceries delivered to their homes, according to the Defense Commissary Agency. DeCA anticipates starting home delivery by midsummer, but only from its 178 stateside location. DeCA is still soliciting bids on a contract to deliver groceries to the homes of eligible consumers, after which it will determine where it will roll out the delivery option, he said. DeCA has been running a pilot program for nearly two years at Fort Belvoir and Norfolk Naval Station, both in Va.; Scott Air Force Base, Ill, Fort Liberty South, N.C., MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Lewis Main at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Naval Station San Diego, both in California. Read more...

NORAD commander: Incursions by unmanned aircraft systems on southern border likely exceed 10,000 a month
by Matthew Olay, DOD News
There are likely more than 1,000 incursions by unmanned aircraft systems along the U.S.-Mexico border each month, said the U.S. Northern Command’s top general during testimony recently at a Senate Armed Services Committee posture hearing.
“I don’t know the actual number — I don’t think anybody does — but it’s in the thousands,” said Air Force Gen. Gregory M. Guillot in response to one senator’s query.
When asked about the period of time that it takes to reach that number of incursions, Guillot responded, “I would say in probably over a month. We... probably have over 1,000 a month.”
Though the exact number of UAS incursions along the border remains unknown, Guillot, who took over as commander of Northcom and the North American Aerospace Defense Command on Feb. 5, said he learned the approximate number recently while talking to officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Justice.
“The number of incursions was something that was alarming to me as I took command last month,” Guillot said.

VERTICAL LAUNCH: A V-BAT uncrewed aerial system launches from the dock landing ship USS Carter Hall during operations in the Mediterranean Sea, Feb. 9, 2024. The V-BAT provides the capability to increase maritime awareness through utilization of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors. Photo by Marine Corps Cpl. Rafael Brambila-Pelayo
VERTICAL LAUNCH: A V-BAT uncrewed aerial system launches from the dock landing ship USS Carter Hall during operations in the Mediterranean Sea, Feb. 9, 2024. The V-BAT provides the capability to increase maritime awareness through utilization of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors. Photo by Marine Corps Cpl. Rafael Brambila-Pelayo

CAPSULE COMMITMENT: NASA astronaut Navy Capt. Victor Glover Jr., right, provides the oath of reenlistment to Petty Officer 2nd Class Gerald Castro in a test capsule aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego during recovery training for NASA’s Artemis II mission in the Pacific Ocean, Feb. 26, 2024. Photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Connor Burns
CAPSULE COMMITMENT: NASA astronaut Navy Capt. Victor Glover Jr., right, provides the oath of reenlistment to Petty Officer 2nd Class Gerald Castro in a test capsule aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego during recovery training for NASA’s Artemis II mission in the Pacific Ocean, Feb. 26, 2024. Photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Connor Burns

All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office
DoD report discounts sightings of ET technology

by C. Todd Lopez, DOD News

The Defense Department’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office released a report in March detailing its review of nearly 80 years of reports on government offices and special access programs related to unidentified anomalous phenomena, or UAP—a new term for what was once referred to as unidentified flying objects.
“AARO has found no verifiable evidence that any UAP sighting has represented extraterrestrial activity,” said AARO acting Director Tim Phillips during a Wednesday briefing at the Pentagon. “AARO has found no verifiable evidence that the U.S. government or private industry has ever had access to extraterrestrial technology. AARO has found no indications that any information was illegally or inappropriately withheld from Congress.”
The 63-page “Report on the Historical Record of U.S. Government Involvement with Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena” provides conclusions drawn following an examination of historical documents and conclusions drawn by U.S. government programs that did work related to UAP dating back to 1945.
AARO’s work also involved investigating claims that there were secret or hidden U.S. government programs related to UAP that might not have been reported to Congress. The AARO team looked into those claims to verify if such programs actually existed.
“AARO assesses that alleged, hidden UAP programs either do not exist or were misidentified, authentic national security programs unrelated to extraterrestrial technology exploitation,” Phillips said. “We assess that claims of such programs are largely the result of circular reporting in which a small group of individuals have repeated inaccurate claims they have heard from others over a period of several decades.
Also, part of the report were assessments of claims made by about 30 individuals AARO interviewed, including former and current U.S. government employees who were allegedly involved in such programs or heard stories about those programs and subsequently misinterpreted what they saw or heard.
“AARO, as designed by Congress, had unprecedented access to classified programs,” Phillips said. “Nobody blocked where we could go or the questions we asked. Nobody in the government influenced the findings in the report. As a career intelligence officer, I am just amazed at the access we had to some of our nation’s most sensitive programs. Nobody said, ‘No.’”
Lawmakers directed AARO to produce the report as part of the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. Today’s report is the first volume of AARO’s findings and covers a period from 1945 through October 2023. A second volume, which will be released later this year, will cover findings from interviews and research completed between November 2023 and April 2024.

VA funding bill that strengthens gun rights for veterans passes Senate
In March the Senate passed a spending bill for the Department of Veterans Affairs that strengthens gun rights for certain veterans and averts a partial government shutdown.
Most of the controversial riders, including prohibitions on abortions for veterans and gender-affirming care for transgender veterans, were stripped from the final bill. However, a gun rights provision championed by Republicans, as well as some moderate Democrats in the Senate, stayed.
The measure would stop the VA from reporting to a federal gun background check system when veterans are found mentally incapable of managing their financial affairs. Opponents of the decades-old policy argued it infringed on veterans’ rights to firearms and relied on an overly broad definition of incompetence.

The rating symbol for the newly established Navy Robotics Warfare Specialist (RW) rating, announced in NAVADMIN 036/24, comprises an airplane propeller and lightning bolt crossed over a treaded wheel, all layered over a single wave. Navy's RW rating symbol

Navy pins first Robotics Warfare Specialist
From MC1(SW/AW) Jeanette M. Mullinax,
Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

The Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Adm. Rick Cheeseman, and the Navy’s Personnel Plans and Policy Division (N13) Director, Rear Adm. Jim Waters, pinned Master Chief Christopher Rambert as the Navy’s first Robotics Warfare Specialist during an office call at Naval Support Facility Arlington, Virginia, Feb. 27, 2024.
The rating insignia reveal followed the U.S. Navy’s announcement in NAVADMIN 036/24, establishing the branch’s enlisted career field for operators, maintainers, and managers of robotic and autonomous systems. Read more....

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NAVAL BASE CORONADO (Feb. 17, 2024) - The crew of the expeditionary sea base USS John L. Canley (ESB 6) mans the ship during its commissioning ceremony on Naval Base Coronado Feb. 17, 2024. The ship is named for Medal of Honor recipient John Lee Canley, a retired Marine Corps Sergeant Major and Vietnam war veteran. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Claire M. DuBois
NAVAL BASE CORONADO (Feb. 17, 2024) - The crew of the expeditionary sea base USS John L. Canley (ESB 6) mans the ship during its commissioning ceremony on Naval Base Coronado Feb. 17, 2024. The ship is named for Medal of Honor recipient John Lee Canley, a retired Marine Corps Sergeant Major and Vietnam war veteran. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Claire M. DuBois

USS John L. Canley commissioning recognizes legacy of Vietnam vet, Medal of Honor recipient
by Julie Ann Ripley, Naval Surface Force Pacific Fleet
CORONADO - With several Medal of Honor recipients in attendance, Expeditionary Sea Base USS John L. Canley (ESB 6) commissioned at Naval Air Station North Island here Feb. 17.
The first of its name, ESB 6 honors Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. (Ret.) John L. Canley, who was awarded the Medal of Honor 50 years after his actions during the Battle of Hue City. Canley served as company gunnery sergeant, Company A, First Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division (Alpha/1/1) in the Republic of Vietnam from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, 1968. Canley passed away in Bend, Ore., on May 11, 2022.
During the ceremony, guest speaker, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, reflected on the importance of what matters to the future.
“As the world’s problems grow increasingly more complex and stability more uncertain, we need to tap into America’s most precious resource - its people - to solve the issues of the future,” said Del Toro.
“Because better technology and more ships will go to waste without the courageous Americans who will answer the call to service to their country.”
In office when Canley received the Medal of Honor, Gen. Joseph P. Dunford, Jr., 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps, began by honoring Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipients Col. (Ret.) Robert J. Modrzejewski and Col. (Ret.) Jay R. Vargas, seated in the front row. Read more...

Air Force to re-introduce warrant officer rank, other major changes
by C. Todd Lopez, DOD News
AURORA, Colo. - To best optimize itself for Great Power Competition, the Air Force plans to, among other things, bring back warrant officers within the cyber and information technology professions, said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin during a presentation Feb. 12 at the Air Force Association’s 2024 Warfare Symposium.
That change was among two dozen announced by senior Air Force officials. Each change is specifically designed to prepare the service for strategic power challenges from competitors like China and Russia.
“Both China and Russia are actively developing and fielding more advanced capabilities designed to defeat U.S. power projection,” said Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall. “The need for modernization against capable, well-resourced strategic adversaries never stops. But modernization isn’t the only thing we need to do to be competitive. Today we are announcing 24 key decisions we have made to improve both the readiness of the current force and our ability to stay competitive over time, to continuously generate enduring competitiveness.”

USNS Mercy returns to San Diego, concluding Pacific Partnership 24-1
From Ensign Lacy Burkett
SAN DIEGO - Pacific Partnership 24-1 personnel assigned to the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) returned home February 12 as the ship pulled in to Naval Air Station North Island, concluding the four-month humanitarian and disaster relief mission.
More than 800 service members and civilian mariners returned to San Diego after participating in Pacific Partnership 24-1, the largest multinational humanitarian mission that takes place in the Indo-Pacific. Pacific Partnership, now in its 19th iteration, is an annual mission that focuses on strengthening capacity of host nations to respond to crisis and fostering enduring bonds of friendship and multinational cooperation through four lines of effort: medical, engineering, host nation outreach and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR). This year’s mission’s five stops included the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, the Republic of Palau and two states in the Federated States of Micronesia, Pohnpei and Chuuk. Read more....

Navy’s naming of newest destroyer honors Black World War II hero
The Navy will name its newest Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer for World War II hero Charles Jackson French, who saved 15 of his fellow sailors from certain death by exposure or execution. In a daring feat of strength and endurance following an enemy attack that sank USS Gregory on Sept. 5, 1942, French swam his shipmates out of danger by towing their life raft with a line tied around his waist. The feat earned him the nickname “The Human Tugboat” and “Hero of the Solomons.”

Retired officers, enlisted members can rejoin active duty to offset personnel shortfalls
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
ARLINGTON, Va. - The Secretary of the Air Force has reimplemented the Voluntary Retired Return to Active Duty Program in an effort to leverage the talents of our highly trained and experienced officer and enlisted military retirees to help minimize the service’s critical manning shortages. Application window opened Feb. 8.
Applications must be submitted by Jan. 31, 2026, and the program allows up to 1,000 retired officer or enlisted personnel to active duty at any given time. Additionally, under this VRRAD program, the period of active duty service is limited to no more than 48 months. Personnel will only fill vacant active duty authorizations. Retired applicants selected for Extended Active Duty can expect to return to active duty anywhere from 4 to 6 months from their date of application.
Information about the Voluntary Retired Return to Active Duty Program, to include detailed official program guidance, eligibility criteria and application requirements, can be found here.

Navy allowing those without high school diploma or GED to enlist
The Navy’s Chief of Naval Personnel, Adm. Rick Cheeseman, announced that the Navy will allow those without a high school diploma to enlist if they score 50 or higher on the Armed Forces Qualification Test, which all potential recruits must take. This move aims to boost recruitment amid an historic recruiting crisis across the services. Federal law permits the military to recruit such applicants, and the Navy last allowed those without a diploma to enlist in 2000.
Currently, the Navy is the only military branch seeking to recruit those without a high school diploma or GED, aiming to expand the number of eligible candidates to join the service amid a historically difficult recruiting environment. The Navy insists the policy change does not mean the service is lowering its standards and emphasizes that these prospective Sailors must still qualify for specific ratings based on their Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) line scores.
The Navy recently announced it recruited 30,236 new active-duty Sailors in fiscal 2023, falling more than 7,400 short of the 37,700 target for the year. The service also recruited 1,948 Reserve enlisted personnel, down from its 3,000 goal.
The Navy also failed to meet its officer goals, recruiting only 2,080 new active-duty officers rather than the 2,532 target, and 1,167 Reserve officers rather than the 1,940 target.

Researchers set out to tackle voting challenges of military members
by Joseph Clark , DOD News
Researchers from nonprofit election technology company VotingWorks showcased an early-stage prototype of technology aimed at improving the experience of military absentee voters, Feb. 7.
The prototype was presented during the National Association of Secretaries of State and the National Association of State Election Directors conferences in Washington, D.C., last week. It was unveiled midway into a two-year, research project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to explore methods to ease burdens for service members stationed away from their home voting districts.
"We want military voters to be first-class voters and have the same abilities as other voters," said Ben Adida, the executive director of VotingWorks and the technical lead on the project. Read more...

Federal grant of $75 million awarded to Chesterton Elementary School in the Point Loma Naval Base area
With 52 percent of its students coming from military families, Chesterton Elementary School was recently notified by the Department of Defense that they’ll receive a $78,188,733 federal grant to replace the current Chesterton Elementary School in Naval Base Point Loma area.
The grant is the federal share of a larger $97,735,917 project. The project will address facility capacity and condition deficiencies that placed Morris Hill Elementary School as the 45th school on the 2019 Deputy Secretary of Defense “Public Schools on Military Installations Priority List” (Priority List). Upon completion, Chesterton Elementary School will serve up to 611 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Funding for this grant is provided under the Department’s Public Schools on Military Installations Program. In making these funds available, the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation must give priority consideration to military installations that have schools with the most serious capacity and facility condition deficiencies, as determined by the Priority List.

From left to right, Maj. Gen. Michael J. Borgschulte, the commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing; Col. Thomas M. Bedell, CO of MCAS Miramar; Rear Adm. Brad Rosen, the commander of Navy Region Southwest; Congresswoman Sara Jacobs, the representative of California’s 51st District; and Meredith Berger, the assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment, cut the ribbon during the opening ceremony of the Child Development Center on MCAS Miramar. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jackson Rush
From left to right, Maj. Gen. Michael J. Borgschulte, the commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing; Col. Thomas M. Bedell, CO of MCAS Miramar; Rear Adm. Brad Rosen, the commander of Navy Region Southwest; Congresswoman Sara Jacobs, the representative of California’s 51st District; and Meredith Berger, the assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment, cut the ribbon during the opening ceremony of the Child Development Center on MCAS Miramar. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jackson Rush

Largest of its kind CDC opens at MCAS Miramar
MCAS MIRAMAR - A ribbon cutting ceremony for the newest Child Development Center (CDC) Complex was held here Jan. 25.
The ceremony, which showcased the largest CDC facility in all of Navy Region Southwest, featured remarks from top military leadership to include Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Meredith Berger, Congresswoman Sara Jacobs, Commanding Officer of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Maj. Gen. Michael Borgschulte, Commander, Navy Region Southwest Rear Admiral Brad Rosen, and Commanding Officer of MCAS Miramar, Col. Marty Bedell.
“Today we are celebrating a true win-win success story,” said Rosen. “As you’ve already heard, this project is the result of an extraordinary partnership that developed based on the shared goal of serving our military families by providing the best possible care for their children.”
The complex, consisting of two single-story buildings, MCAS CDC II and MCAS CDC III, occupies more than 62,000 square feet. MCAS CDC II is a 20,000-square-foot facility with a capacity for 146 children. It features 12 classrooms, including five infant rooms, three pre-toddler rooms, two toddler rooms, and two preschool rooms. It will be staffed by 66 employees when at full capacity. MCAS CDC III is a 42,000 square-foot-facility with a capacity for 306 children. It features 25 classrooms, including 10 infant rooms, six pre-toddler rooms, five toddler rooms, and four preschool rooms. It will be staffed by 123 employees when at full capacity.

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First active duty servicemember crowned Miss America 2024
U.S. Air Force officer 2nd Lt. Madison Marsh is first active duty service member to be crowned Miss America. The 22-year-old, who represented Colorado, plans to continue her commitment to the military while embarking on her new role. Marsh is a grad student at the Harvard Kennedy School and has dedicated her life to pancreatic cancer research after her mother died from the disease in 2018. Congratulations on your historic win!
U.S. Air Force officer 2nd Lt. Madison Marsh is first active duty service member to be crowned Miss America. The 22-year-old, who represented Colorado, plans to continue her commitment to the military while embarking on her new role. Marsh is a grad student at the Harvard Kennedy School and has dedicated her life to pancreatic cancer research after her mother died from the disease in 2018. Congratulations on your historic win!

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For service members, access to mental health care streamlined under Brandon Act
Jan. 22, 2024 | by C. Todd Lopez
Last year, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness signed policy implementing within the Defense Department and across the military services the requirements laid out under the Brandon Act. 
Within the DOD and military services, the Brandon Act allows service members to request a mental health evaluation just by making the request to their supervisor.  Read more....

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SPARKED UP: Marine Corps Cpl. Conlon Kane cuts metal with an air carbon arc cutting system during a bridge demolition operation as part of Strategic Mobility Exercise II at San Clemente Island, Calif., Jan. 6, 2024. Photo by Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jennifer Sanchez
SPARKED UP: Marine Corps Cpl. Conlon Kane cuts metal with an air carbon arc cutting system during a bridge demolition operation as part of Strategic Mobility Exercise II at San Clemente Island, Calif., Jan. 6, 2024. Photo by Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jennifer Sanchez

Navy selects potential master developer for 70.3-acre Navy Old Town Campus
SAN DIEGO – The Navy announced today the selection of Manchester Financial Group/Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate (Manchester/Edgemoor) as the potential master developer for the 70.3-acre Naval Base Point Loma Old Town Campus (OTC). The Navy and Manchester/Edgemoor entered into a period of exclusive negotiations for the potential revitalization of OTC, home to Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR). From August 2023 to December 2023, the Navy evaluated proposals received from potential master developers. The Navy selected Manchester/Edgemoor after completion of a comprehensive source selection evaluation process.
“This is an exciting milestone for the Navy and San Diego. We look forward to continuing progress on the potential revitalization of OTC,” said Rear Admiral Brad Rosen, Commander of Navy Region Southwest. “While the Navy’s goal is new mission-capable facilities for NAVWAR and other tenant commands, the Navy recognizes that any project that is good for the Navy should also provide positive impacts to the community. We have every faith that the Manchester/Edgemoor team will be respectful and collaborative partners in this effort.”
Read more details and background....


The Value of service

Sexual assault now tried outside military chain of command
Dec. 28, 2023 |DOD News
Beginning today, the decision to prosecute sexual assault and several other serious crimes has moved from an accused service member's chain of command to new Offices of Special Trial Counsel, which have general or flag officer leaders who report directly to the secretaries of the military departments. 
This military justice reform is an important step in restoring faith that the system is fair, just and equitable, said senior Defense Department and military officials, who emphasized that the offices will be staffed by specially trained, independent military attorneys uniquely qualified to address complex cases. The OSTCs will handle cases professionally, applying the best practices and procedures of civilian prosecution offices, a senior DOD official said.
The covered offenses that fall under the authority of the new OSTCs include: murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, domestic violence, stalking, child pornography and most sexual assault and sexual misconduct.  
Sexual harassment will become a covered offense on Jan. 1, 2025, for crimes committed after that date where a formal complaint is made and substantiated. 

After tough year, military recruiting is looking up
by Jim Garamone, DOD News
It's no secret that 2023 was a tough year for military recruiting, but that situation is looking up, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder during a recent news conference.
Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said recruiting will remain challenging, but the services are adapting to the challenging environment and there's reason to be optimistic.
Last fiscal year, only the Marine Corps and the Space Force made their recruiting goals.
Still, there are concerns. Only 23 percent of young people between 17 and 24 even qualify to join the military. Even fewer have expressed the "propensity" to enlist, officials said.
Also working against the recruiting environment is the fact that the military is smaller and in fewer places. Many young people do not know anyone who has enlisted and they do not see service members in their communities or even on a regular basis.
The services are responsible for staffing the force, and they have tried new ways and methods to attract recruits. The COVID-19 pandemic handcuffed military recruiters who were not able to have "the face-to-face kind of communication that is absolutely essential to recruiting efforts," Ryder said.

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO (Dec. 21, 2023) - Vice Adm. Blake L. Converse, Deputy Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, left, returns the salute of Vice Adm. Brendan R. McLane, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, right, as he relieves Rear Adm. Yvette Davids during a change of command ceremony Dec. 21. Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet’s mission is to man, train, and equip the surface force to provide fleet commanders with credible naval power to control the sea and project power ashore. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Claire M. DuBois
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO (Dec. 21, 2023) - Vice Adm. Blake L. Converse, Deputy Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, left, returns the salute of Vice Adm. Brendan R. McLane, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, right, as he relieves Rear Adm. Yvette Davids during a change of command ceremony Dec. 21. Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet’s mission is to man, train, and equip the surface force to provide fleet commanders with credible naval power to control the sea and project power ashore. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Claire M. DuBois

Commander, Naval Surface Forces, holds change of command
SAN DIEGO – Vice Adm. Brendan McLane relieved Rear Adm. Yvette Davids as commander of Naval Surface Forces and Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, during a change of command ceremony at Naval Base San Diego with USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) in the background, Dec. 21, 2023. Read more....

Corps Carry: Marine Corps Sgt. Evan Carlton carries equipment off a Navy utility landing craft during Steel Knight at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Dec. 2, 2023. The exercise is designed to train Marines in the planning, deployment and command and control of a joint force. USMC photo by Sgt. Anabel Abreu Rodriguez
CORPS CARRY: Marine Corps Sgt. Evan Carlton carries equipment off a Navy utility landing craft during Steel Knight at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Dec. 2, 2023. The exercise is designed to train Marines in the planning, deployment and command and control of a joint force. USMC photo by Sgt. Anabel Abreu Rodriguez.

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NSA focuses on talent as pace of technology quickens
by Joseph Clark. DOD News
The National Security Agency’s ability to recruit and retain top talent is key to meeting the demands of the future, agency Director Army Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, said recently.
Nakasone said the rapid evolution of technology continues to reshape the national security landscape and how his agency responds to new threats, but people remain central to the NSA’s mission.
“A lot of times we think about the incredible technological capabilities and the high-speed computers that are there, but, at the end of the day, what makes us the agency that we are is our talent,” he said during a discussion in Washington hosted by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, a trade organization focused on public-private national security partnerships.
Earlier this year, the National Security Agency launched its largest hiring surge in three decades with a goal of hiring more than 3,000 new employees by the end of 2023.
Nakasone said the NSA is “moving very quickly” to meet that goal, but said numbers are only part of the overall objective.
He said the agency has also focused on improvements to its recruiting and retention practices to ensure it attracts a “future-ready workforce.”
“How do we think about a population that is over 50 percent today millennials and [Generation Z]?” he said. “Ten years ago, 70 percent of our workforce was baby boomers. Five years ago, Gen Z and millennials overtook baby boomers. Five years from now, 70 percent will be Gen Z and millennials.

DOD officials underscore 'ironclad' commitment to Philippines after China's unsafe maneuvers
by Joseph Clark, DOD News
Defense officials remain in close consultation with counterparts from the Philippines following the latest unsafe operational behavior by Chinese military vessels against Philippine vessels operating lawfully in the South China Sea over the weekend, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said today.
Ryder underscored the United States' "ironclad" commitment to upholding its obligations under its mutual defense treaty with the Philippines and urged "all nations to work together in the region to ensure that ships and aircraft can sail wherever international law allows."
"We're going to continue to consult very closely with our Philippine allies and our partners in the region," he told reporters during a briefing at the Pentagon.
Chinese vessels carried out unsafe maneuvers against Philippine vessels operating outside the Scarborough Reef on Saturday and again near the Second Thomas Shoal on Sunday.
During the encounters, the Chinese vessels employed water cannons and forced a collision which caused damage to Philippine vessels undertaking official supply missions.
Chinese military ships operating near the Scarborough Reef also used acoustic devices to incapacitate Filipino crew members.
"By impeding the safe operations of Philippine vessels carrying provisions to Filipino service members stationed at Second Thomas Shoal, the PRC interfered in lawful Philippine maritime operations and in Philippine vessels' exercise of high seas freedom of navigation," State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement on Sunday. "Obstructing supply lines to this longstanding outpost and interfering with lawful Philippines maritime operations undermines regional stability."

San Diego Humane Society can help you protect your pet
Having a missing pet can be one of the most stressful experiences for a pet owner, but there are steps you can take now to help your pet find their way home should they ever become lost. Our campus vaccine clinics offer microchips for just $25, providing permanent protection for the entirety of your pet’s life. Along with a collar and ID tag, and a license for dogs, microchips provide peace of mind and can bring lost pets home without ever needing to enter a shelter. New microchip appointments open each week for our campuses in El Cajon, Escondido, Oceanside and San Diego

With a third of homeless veterans living in California, Newsom backs new housing strategy
California has poured billions of dollars into finding homes for unhoused veterans, but the number of former military service members living on the street has held steady for almost a decade. Today, a third of the nation’s unhoused veterans are in California.
Gov. Gavin Newsom proposes a significant change in the state’s strategy for ending veteran homelessness. His plan, included in a $6.4 billion mental health bond he’s sending to voters in the March primary election, would set aside funding specifically for veterans with serious behavioral health conditions. Read more....

VA announces extension of program to stop foreclosures on VA backed loans
The Department of Veterans Affairs will extend a pandemic-era program that helps financially-strapped veterans keep their homes after criticism that it wasn’t doing enough to prevent those with VA-backed loans from foreclosure. The VA also called on mortgage servicers to pause foreclosures of VA-guaranteed loans through May 31, to allow the VA to present workable home retention solutions, VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes said .Through VASP, the VA will purchase defaulted VA loans from mortgage servicers, modify the loans, and then place them in the VA-owned portfolio as direct loans.

U.S. has 4 objectives in Middle East
by David Vergun, DOD News
11/6/23

The Defense Department currently has four lines of effort in the Middle East, said Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, who briefed the media today.
1 Protection of U.S. forces and citizens in the region.
2 Flow of critical security assistance to Israel as it defends against further Hamas terrorist attacks.
3 Coordination with the Israelis to help secure the release of hostages held by Hamas, to include American citizens.
4 Strengthening of force posture across the region to deter any state or nonstate actors from escalating the crisis beyond Gaza.
Strengthened force posture includes the deployment of the USS Gerald R. Ford and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Groups, which are currently in the U.S. Central Command area, along with an Ohio-class submarine.
Over the past few weeks there have been attacks by Iranian proxy groups at al-Asad air base, Iraq, and al-Tanf, Syria, on U.S. forces there, Ryder said.The attacks, by drones and missiles, resulted in several dozen injuries, including a mix of minor injuries and traumatic brain injuries, he said.
Some of those injured didn't immediately report their condition, he said.
"The reporting data is highly dependent on self-reporting when individual injuries are not visually evident to medical personnel providing care directly following an incident," he said.

Navy christens, launches fleet replenishment oiler USNS Robert F. Kennedy
The Navy christened and launched the USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208) as the newest John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oiler on Saturday, Oct. 28, in San Diego.
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker Emerita, U.S. House of Representatives, delivered the christening ceremony's principal address. Remarks were also provided by the Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy, Rear Admiral Brendan McLane, Special Assistant to Commander, U.S. Third Fleet, Mr. Steven Cade, Executive Director, Military Sealift Command, and Mr. Dave Carver, President, General Dynamics NASSCO. The ship’s sponsor is the Honorable Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, eldest daughter of Robert F. Kennedy. Read more...

Capt. Elizabeth Adriano, Commanding Officer, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command San Diego; Rear Adm. Guido F. Valdes, Commander, Naval Medical Forces Pacific; Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro; Vice Adm. Michael E. Boyle, Commander, U.S. Third Fleet; and Paul Williamson, Wounded Warrior Regiment, pose for a photo during a ceremony at Naval Medical Center San Diego, Oct. 27. At the ceremony, Secretary Del Toro announced that a future Bethesda-class expeditionary medical ship will be named USNS Balboa (EMS 2), The future USNS Balboa honors the legacy and commitment of Navy doctors, nurses, corpsmen, and staff of Balboa Naval Hospital in caring for the needs of U.S. Service Members. U.S. Navy photo by CPO Shannon Renfroe.
Capt. Elizabeth Adriano, Commanding Officer, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command San Diego; Rear Adm. Guido F. Valdes, Commander, Naval Medical Forces Pacific; Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro; Vice Adm. Michael E. Boyle, Commander, U.S. Third Fleet; and Paul Williamson, Wounded Warrior Regiment, pose for a photo during a ceremony at Naval Medical Center San Diego, Oct. 27. At the ceremony, Secretary Del Toro announced that a future Bethesda-class expeditionary medical ship will be named USNS Balboa (EMS 2), The future USNS Balboa honors the legacy and commitment of Navy doctors, nurses, corpsmen, and staff of Balboa Naval Hospital in caring for the needs of U.S. Service Members. U.S. Navy photo by CPO Shannon Renfroe.

SECNAV Del Toro names future medical ship USNS Balboa (EMS2)
Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro announced today that a future Bethesda-class expeditionary medical ship will be named USNS Balboa (EMS 2), during a ceremony at Naval Medical Center San Diego, Oct. 27.
The future USNS Balboa honors the legacy and commitment of Navy doctors, nurses, corpsmen, and staff of Balboa Naval Hospital in caring for the needs of U.S. Service Members.
The name selection follows the tradition of naming expeditionary medical ships after U.S. military hospitals. Read more....

U.S. to build new nuclear gravity bomb
by Stephen Losey, Defense News
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Defense Department on Friday, Oct. 27, announced the government is moving forward with developing a new version of the B61 nuclear gravity bomb.
The bomb, designated B61-13, would have a yield similar to the B61-7 and replace some of those older gravity bombs, the Pentagon said in its announcement. The B61-7's yield is higher than the B61-12, the most recent bomb being added to the military’s arsenal. Read more....

The first Flight II Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) arrived at its new homeport in San Diego Oct. 25.
USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) arrives at homeport in San Diego

From Ensign Sarah Beauchamp
The first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), arrived at its new homeport in San Diego Oct. 25.
The Navy commissioned Jack H. Lucas, Oct. 7, 2023, during a ceremony in Tampa, Florida under the leadership of Carrier Strike Group 11. The destroyer is assigned to U.S. 3rd Fleet. Read more....

FLAME FIGHTERS: U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Kyle Datu and Staff Sgt. Matt Trevizo, 99th Civil Engineering Squadron fire protection specialists, extinguish a fire during an aircraft live fire training exercise at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Oct. 12, 2023. Propane ignitors are built in multiple positions throughout and around the training fuselage providing firefighters with a more realistic training environment. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Zachary Rufus
FLAME FIGHTERS: U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Kyle Datu and Staff Sgt. Matt Trevizo, 99th Civil Engineering Squadron fire protection specialists, extinguish a fire during an aircraft live fire training exercise at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Oct. 12, 2023. Propane ignitors are built in multiple positions throughout and around the training fuselage providing firefighters with a more realistic training environment. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Zachary Rufus

Read us on line with a fresh issue weekly, find us in print on base and in the community twice a month!
Great news for trees! With prices ever increasing, and more readers getting their news on line, we are switching our print issues to twice a month and staying online with weekly issues. We will have fresh print issues out on the 1st and 16th of each month. We will be posting new issues weekly on line in our downloadable pdf format right here at www.afdispatch.com (see weekly links on the right side below the ads or current issue link at top of left column) and we are also viewable for the page turners on issuu.com/armedforcesdispatchnewspaper (click link under the rolled up newspaper at the top right of this page). Its a win-win -- saving money, saving trees, reducing our carbon footprint, while serving our readers the news they want and helping our advertisers reach the military market. Thank you to our advertisers who support our military readers! We're still kicking it in our 63rd year in San Diego thanks to you!

Service members get extended parental leave
by David Vergun , DOD News
The Defense Department issued a new policy to provide 12 weeks of paid, non-chargeable parental leave to service members who have a child through birth, adoption or a long-term foster care placement of at least 24 months.
These 12 weeks of parental leave, which became effective Dec. 27, come in addition to authorized convalescent leave for service members who give birth. Read more....

Vietnam War 50th
Commemoration observed through
Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2025

Vietnam Veterans Day: March 29th

Vietnam War 50th Commemoration logo

The Vietnam War 50th Commemoration celebration is March 29, and is the nation’s opportunity to celebrate the veterans’ and families’ service and sacrifice.
We honor all who served on active duty and their families at any time between Nov. 1, 1955 - May 15, 1975, regardless of duty location.
Vietnam veterans represented nearly 10 percent of their generation. They fought under challenging conditions, and when their service ended, were not always welcomed when they returned home.
President Obama highlighted that one of our country’s most painful times was Vietnam and how we treated our service members who served there.
“You were often blamed for a war you didn’t start when you should have been commended for serving your country with valor,” he said. “You came home and sometimes were denigrated when you should have been celebrated.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that more than 6 million U.S. Vietnam veterans live in America and abroad today, along with 9 million family members of those who served during this timeframe.
The U.S. Vietnam War Commemoration was authorized by Congress, established under the Secretary of Defense and launched by President Obama in 2012.
By Presidential proclamation, the Vietnam War Commemoration will continue through Veterans Day, November 11, 2025.
In 2012, then-President Obama signed a presidential proclamation, designating March 29 as the annual observance of Vietnam War Veterans Day. The signing of the proclamation marked the 50th anniversary of the departure of the last American troops from Vietnam - March 29, 1973.
The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 was signed into law by President Trump, designating every March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
You’re invited to you to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. Since its inception, the Commemoration publicly thanked more than 3 million Vietnam Veterans at over 21,000 ceremonies.The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration continues through Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2025.
Lapel pins will bepresented to Vietnam Veterans at many locations across America.
Living U.S. Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period from November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are eligible to receive a lapel pin. Vietnam Veterans who cannot attend an event can receive a lapel pin by providing us a current mailing address.

Navy, California move forward on EV pilot programs
by Brian O’Rourke, Navy Region Southwest
SAN DIEGO - The California Energy Commission recently approved nearly $2 million for electrification programs at Navy and Marine Corps installations in California.
At their business meeting Jan. 25, the CEC approved funding for the Navy Electric Vehicle Pilot Program ($414,000) and the Electrification Blueprint Studies ($1,500,000) for three Navy and three Marine Corps installations. This is the first execution of projects that the Navy began working on with the CEC following a Memorandum of Understanding signing in December 2021.
“We’re excited to be moving forward with these critical energy projects at Navy bases throughout the Southwest,” said Rear Adm. Brad Rosen, commander of Navy Region Southwest. “Our partnership with the California Energy Commission is unique to the Navy, and this forward momentum can only increase the chances of similar partnerships becoming available in the future.”
The Navy programs receiving this critical funding are:
• Defense Innovation Unit Electric Vehicle Pilot: The CEC funds will be used to procure and install 10 Level 2 and four Level 3 chargers at Naval Base San Diego for charging personal and government vehicles. The Navy will measure uptime, usage, duty cycle, vehicle types, ratio of government to personal vehicles, and max charging power
• Electrification Blueprints: Electrification Blueprints will be created for three installations chosen by Navy Region Southwest and three installations chosen by Marine Corps Installations West: NB San Diego, Naval Base Ventura County, Naval Air Station Lemoore, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Marine Corp Air Ground Combat Center 29 Palms.
This project will develop specific transportation electrification blueprints for each selected base, to support the transportation electrification requirements of their civilian and military workforce.
The blueprint will provide quantitative analysis cost benefit analysis of leveraging innovative technologies in the electrification of transportation infrastructure, particularly those related to vehicle-to-grid integration (VGI) and EVSE to grid.

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USS Nimitz Superhornet launch Super Hornet Launch: Sailors monitor the launch of an F/A-18E Super Hornet on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
Sailors monitor the launch of an F/A-18E Super Hornet on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

‘Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act’ signed into law
Military spouses who hold professional licenses will find a smoother transition when transferring their professional licenses during moves across state lines under a newly enacted federal law.
The new law requires states to recognize service members and spouses’ valid professional licenses from other states for any job if they moved because of military orders. This law DOES NOT include law licenses.
Representative Mike Garcia spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in late December in support of his bill, the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act. This bill was included in H.R. 7939 (Veterans Auto and Education Improvement Act of 2022), which passed the U.S. House and Senate, and was signed into law by President Biden January, 5, 2023.
During his speech, Congressman Garcia made the following statement:
“In the midst of one of the most challenging times for our military in terms of recruitment and retention, what this bill does is allow military spouses to cross-deck their professional licenses -- if they’re a realtor, a nurse, a teacher, a beautician, a cosmetologist, whatever their profession is – across state lines,” said Garcia. “This bipartisan bill above all things would ease the burden for our military families. This is a win for our military families, for our national security, for our local communities who are in desperate need of these professionals, and even for our government who now enjoys the tax revenue from these dual-income families. And hopefully this translates into better recruitment and retention for our military.”
Currently, 34 percent of military spouses require a professional license for their line of employment. While military spouse unemployment hovers over 20% (over five times above the national average), this legislation is critical to assisting our military families and spouses who make countless sacrifices to support their servicemember family members.

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SmallMiramar Veterinary Clinic offers services for your pets by appointment only
Veterinary Treatment Facility
MCAS Miramar Building 6360
Hours: Mon.-Fri.: 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (858) 307-6552/1773
Open for retail sales (flea and heartworm prevention, oral care) and drug/food prescription refills (if applicable) daily. Routine wellness checkups and vaccinations available, as well as minor sick call. Appointments can be made in person or by phone. Walk-ins aren’t accepted. Dogs and cats of all active duty military members and retirees with medical benefits are eligible to be seen at the facility. The facility always recommends that patrons of the clinic keep their own civilian veterinarian in case of emergency, or if the facility is unable to fulfill their needs.

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An Idaho Army National Guardsman embraces a family member Feb. 23, 2022, before deploying to support Operation Enduring Freedom. Photo By: National Guard Master Sgt. Becky VanshurCamp Pendleton takes big steps toward wildlife preservation
by Lance Cpl. Nataly Espitia , Camp Pendleton
Camp Pendleton honors, protects, and conserves the Earth every day of the year. Plenty of land and resources go into the conservation and care for wildlife aboard the installation.   Read more....

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US Dept of Veterans Affairs logoResources for struggling veterans
Veterans from all eras are reacting to the events around the world, and may question the meaning of their service or whether it was worth their sacrifice. US Dept of Veterans Affairs in California offers the following information. Read more...


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United Through Reading®
Service members invited to record stories for family
United Through Reading® (UTR) is a free program helping ease the stress of separation for military and veteran families by having the service members or Veteran read children’s books aloud for their family to watch at home during times of physical separation. It is available for any type of separation, including but not limited to, deployment, training, geobaching, or shift work.
UTR provides service members and veterans a chance to make lasting connections from afar through the power of shared storytime. The recording and the book are given to the child and family at home at no cost.
Being a parent is not required; service members can send the recording & book(s) to any special child in their life such as younger sister or brother, niece, nephew, grandchild, or godchild.
The recording can be made via UTR’s free and secure UTR App, at one of UTR’s story stations, or at the Mobile Story Station at a community event. For more information visit unitedthroughreading.org or e-mail military@utr.org



Summer Fun on the 101 Music Festival June 22

El Indio Mexican Restaurant

Disabled American Veterans CFC Campaign

Henry M Jackson Foundation CFC Campaign

St. Jude Chilren's Research Hospital CFC Campaign

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