Forged and Ready: Chung-Hoon Legacy

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By Rear Adm. Brian Fort
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

Those who adapt can overcome.

Consider the namesake of our Pearl Harbor-homeported USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), Rear Adm. Gordon Paiea Chung-Hoon.

Forged from the sea and seasoned in war, Chung-Hoon was a lieutenant assigned to USS Arizona (BB 39), Dec. 7, 1941. He was on a weekend pass that Sunday when Oahu was attacked and his ship was sunk.

In 1942, Chung-Hoon served aboard the light cruiser USS Honolulu (CL 48) and participated in some of the fiercest fighting in the war in the South Pacific, including in the Solomons.

Gordor Pai'ea Chung-Hoon
Gordor Pai’ea Chung-Hoon

In 1944, Chung-Hoon took command of USS Sigsbee (DD 502), a destroyer assigned with Carrier Task Force 58 off the coast of Japan.

On April 14, 1945, Sigsbee – along with seven Fletcher Class destroyers, steamed to picket stations, making them prime targets for nearly two dozen kamikaze (“divine wind”) suicide planes that attacked their ships.

One kamikaze got through Sigsbee’s fierce antiaircraft guns, missed the bridge, but smashed into the ship’s stern. The massive explosion destroyed a big section of the stern, knocked out the port engine and steering, and caused flooding in the aft third of the ship. In the midst of the chaos, Skipper Chung-Hoon’s loud voice came through, according to one witness: “Steady, gang.”

He led the crew in response to the attack, jettisoning damaged equipment and personally leading a repair crew to assess damage and seal and shore the after solid bulkhead. Twenty-two Sailors were killed that day, and 75 were wounded.

Chung-Hoon rose to the challenge in a crisis. He adapted, overcame and persevered. Rather than abandoning his damaged ship, he chose to save it and the Sailors he led. His Sailors kept up a steady rate of “prolonged and effective gunfire,” as described in his Navy Cross citation.

Today, USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) continues to build on their namesake’s legacy of toughness and sustainability. In the last two years, DDG-93 won the Secretary of the Navy Safety Excellence Award for afloat units, a Battle “E,” and a Green “H.”

PHILIPPINE SEA (March 29, 2016) Sailors from supply department aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) form an "E" on the flight deck to commemorate their earning of the Supply "Blue E" award. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Marcus L. Stanley/Released)
PHILIPPINE SEA (March 29, 2016) Sailors from supply department aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) form an “E” on the flight deck to commemorate their earning of the Supply “Blue E” award. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Marcus L. Stanley/Released)

Sailors aboard USS Chung-Hoon are excelling in performance, and it shows in promotions. Three Sailors were picked up for officer programs in 2017, and this year one senior chief frocked to master chief, five chiefs to senior chief, and 28 petty officers frocked to their next paygrade.

Last month, Chung-Hoon completed their naval surface fire support. Undersea warfare self-assessments will soon be underway executing their final certifications.

Most importantly, Chung-Hoon Sailors are focused on the main thing, warfighting readiness. They, like our other ready Sailors on the Pearl Harbor waterfront, have a sense of urgency.

They know they can adapt and overcome.

Rear Adm. Chung-Hoon, who fought both in World War II and in the Korean War, was part of a tough generation who helped freedom triumph over fascism.

His Sailors knew him for his calm humility and mastery of his ship’s systems, committed to the essentials of seamanship.

Chung-Hoon was born July 25, 1910. He became the first American admiral in the United States Navy of Chinese and Native Hawaiian ancestry and the first of his heritage to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy. After a distinguished military and civilian career of service, he died one day before his 69th birthday, July 24, 1979, and is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, “Punchbowl.”

On September 18, 2004, the Navy commissioned USS Chung-Hoon here at Pearl Harbor.

U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Walter F. Doran said, “This is truly a great day for the United States, for the United States Navy, for the State of Hawaii and, I know, for the Chung-Hoon family. I’m confident the officers and men of this ship will be ready for any challenge.”

Rear Adm. Chung-Hoon’s niece, Michelle Punana Chung-Hoon, a good friend of the Navy, gave the commissioning order: “Sea warriors, man our ship and bring her to life!”

World War II Medal of Honor recipient Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, a leader who knew about adapting and overcoming adversity, served as keynote speaker at the commissioning.

“It is fitting that the ship that carries his name will be home-ported here in the same harbor where the Arizona memorial commemorates his fallen shipmates,” Inouye said.

PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 19, 2015) Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) heave line during an underway replenishment. Chung-Hoon was undergoing a composite training unit exercise and joint task force exercise, the final step in certifying to deploy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Marcus L. Stanley/Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 19, 2015) Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) heave line during an underway replenishment. Chung-Hoon was undergoing a composite training unit exercise and joint task force exercise, the final step in certifying to deploy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Marcus L. Stanley/Released)


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Forged and Ready: Chung-Hoon Legacy

Your Navy Operating Forward –

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PHILIPPINE SEA: An E-2D Hawkeye, assigned to Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)



Right now your Navy is 100 percent on watch around the globe helping to preserve the American way of life. Whether it be operating and training off the coast of Spain or forward deployed to the Arabian Gulf, the flexibility and presence provided by our U.S. naval forces provides national leaders with great options for protecting and maintaining our national security and interests around the world. The imagery below highlights the Navy’s ability to provide those options by operating forward.


BALTIC SEA: The Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) participates in a multinational ship formation during the celebration of the Polish navy’s 100th birthday. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Dengrier M. Baez/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: An E-2D Hawkeye, assigned to Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) maneuver a rigid-hull inflatable boat during a visit, board, search and seizure drill. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alyssa Weeks/Released)

SEA OF JAPAN: Sailors assigned to the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) stand by to receive supplies during a replenishment-at-sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William McCann/Released)

U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS: Sgt. Andrew Mocarski, a crew chief assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 162 (Reinforced), 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) looks out of a CH-53E Super Stallion before landing aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7). (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jon Sosner/Released)

SOUTH CHINA SEA: USS Mustin (DDG 89) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sonja Wickard/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) fires its 5-inch gun during a live-fire exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ford Williams/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: The Cyclone-class coastal patrol ship USS Hurricane (PC 3) executes tactical maneuvers at sea with the Qatari Emiri navy ship Damsah (Q01) during a bilateral passing exercise. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

BOSPHORUS STRAIT: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) transits the Bosphorus Strait. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ford Williams/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102, launches from the flight deck of the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate)

Tell us which photo best shows YOUR Navy Operating Forward !


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Reno / Carson City Hosts Navy Week

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Coinciding with the Reno Rodeo, the sixth Navy Week celebration of 2018 hosted Sailors in Reno and Carson City, Nevada, June 18-24.  The primary purpose of the Navy Week program is to increase Navy awareness by presenting the Navy to Americans who live in cities that normally do not have a significant naval presence.  Both residents and Sailors interacted in a series of community outreach events providing the opportunity to meet Sailors firsthand with a visible awareness the mission, capabilities and importance of the U.S. Navy.


The 32nd Street Brass Band entertains fans heading into the Reno Aces Ballpark as a part of Navy Week Reno/Carson City. (U.S. Navy photo by Musician 2nd Class Nina Church/Released)

Dr. Joe McConnell of the Desert Research Institute talks to Sailors and civilians from the U.S. Navy Meteorology and Oceanography Command (METOC) about drilling for ice core samples to study the impact of humans on the environment. METOC is one of the many units in Reno for Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Christopher Hanson/Released)

Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Matt Ludwig, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 1, helps a child try on equipment from EODGRU-1 at Sparks Library in support of Reno/Carson City Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Abigayle Lutz/Released)

Navy Diver 2nd Class Keoni Chiles, from Volcano, Hawaii, listens to Harold Hilts, a Navy veteran at Renown Health’s Monaco Ridge during Reno/Carson City Navy Week. Hilts served on the USS Hornet (CV-12) as the rear radio operator on a Douglass SDB Dauntless dive bomber during World War II. He participated in several renowned campaigns, including the battle of Okinawa and the sinking of the Imperial Japanese Navy Battleship Yamato. Chiles, part of Southwestern Regional Maintenance Center out of San Diego, was one of many Sailors in town for Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Christopher Hanson/Released)

Aerographer’s Mate 1st Class Brett Myers, assigned to Fleet Weather Center-San Diego, joins chief meteorologist Mike Alger on KTVN Channel 2 News as part of Reno/Carson City Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Christopher Hanson/Released)

Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Matt Ludwig, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1, explains how to operate an iRobot 310 Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle at the Donald L. Carano Youth and Teen Facility in support of Reno/Carson City Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Abigayle Lutz/Released)

The U.S. Navy Band Southwest ensemble, 32nd Street Brass Band, performs at the weekly Feed the Camel hump day food truck bazaar. (U.S. Navy Photo by Musician Second Class Nina Church/Released)

Would you attend a Navy Week celebration near you ?


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Reno / Carson City Hosts Navy Week

Past, Present and Future Links with Spain

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By Adm. James G. Foggo III
Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa

A young, tenacious immigrant and mariner from Spain arrived on our shores before we were a country. He joined the revolutionary cause as a naval officer in the South Carolina Navy and was quickly given his own ship to command. During the Siege of Charleston in 1780, a cannonball broke his arm, and he was captured. After a prisoner exchange, he volunteered to fight alongside General Washington. Ultimately, he helped the United States earn its independence. He settled in the new country and started a family. His name: Jordi Farragut, born in Minorca, Spain.

Besides giving our country selfless heroism, unwavering patriotism, and irrefutable courage, Farragut and his Scottish-Irish-American wife Elizabeth also gave us their son, who would become our first admiral and a U.S. Civil War hero: David Glasgow Farragut. And Minorca – besides giving us Jordi Farragut – gave us our base at Port Mahón for our Mediterranean Squadron (the predecessor of U.S. 6th Fleet) and a floating naval school (the predecessor of the U.S. Naval Academy).

For this reason, my trip to Minorca was to celebrate the strong historical links between our great countries. Along with my friend and Chief of the Spanish Navy, Adm. Gen. López Calderón, we attended events organized by The Legacy aimed at celebrating the naval bond between our two countries. We also hosted our friends aboard USS Donald Cook. The Legacy’s website aptly capture the spirit of this past weekend: “encourage and promote ties between the two countries based on the cherished relationship that has united us since before the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.”

I had the opportunity to personally thank the Commanding General of the Balearic Islands, as well as Adm. Gen. López Calderón for their unflinching support to the security of Europe, the collective defense of NATO and to the United States.

MINORCA, Spain (June 16, 2018) Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, right, and the Chief of Staff of the Spanish navy Adm. Gen. López Calderón pose for a photo with USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) in the background before a commemoration ceremony honoring the 150-year legacy of Adm. David Farragut. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan Riley/Released)
MINORCA, Spain (June 16, 2018) Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, right, and the Chief of Staff of the Spanish navy Adm. Gen. López Calderón pose for a photo with USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) in the background before a commemoration ceremony honoring the 150-year legacy of Adm. David Farragut. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan Riley/Released)

Our conjoined naval history began with the Farragut family and Minorca, but over the past 200 years it has continued to strengthen and expand, particularly after we became NATO allies and shared common strategic national security goals that paved the way for Spain to welcome our Sailors and ships in Rota and our service members to the Morón Air Base.

In the 1960s, Rota became an important port for our submarines. Today, Rota is the home away from home for our Sailors stationed on our four Forward-Deployed Naval Forces Europe multi-mission, Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers: USS Carney, USS Donald Cook, USS Porter, and USS Ross. Our four ships are part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach. They’re able to immediately respond to any crisis in the region and participate in exercises. I consider them among my top priorities as commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and Allied Joint Force Command Naples.

Our forces in Rota are a key element to our mutual national security and maintaining stability in the region. In 2017, USS Porter, along with USS Ross, launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Al Shayrat airbase in Syria in response to the Assad regime’s chemical weapon attack on its own civilians, thereby degrading the regime’s ability to conduct future chemical attacks from that location. In the Spring, Rota-based ships once again played a role in a combined attack to degrade Syria’s chemical weapons, research and storage facilities.

In recognition of history, it seems appropriate USS Porter is forward deployed to Spain. The ship’s namesake, Commodore David Porter, was Adm. Farragut’s foster father. When Farragut’s mother succumbed to yellow fever when he was young, Jordi Farragut asked Porter, who was a close personal friend, to watch over his son. In fact, Adm. Farragut’s birth name was James, but he changed it to David, in honor of David Porter.

Beyond graciously hosting our ships that are part of NATO’s integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) capability, Spain’s direct contributions to NATO’s IAMD are noteworthy. This past October, the Spanish frigate SPS Álvaro de Bazán (F 101) successfully fired an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile against an incoming anti-ship cruise missile during the live-fire IAMD exercise Formidable Shield.

This was the first time NATO’s smart defense concept was demonstrated with ships serving as air defense units protecting naval ballistic missile defense units. We look forward to Spain’s participation in Formidable Shield 2019.  IAMD is another top priority.

As a Southern European NATO Ally, Spain is a particularly critical partner in another of my top priorities: the NATO Strategic Direction South Hub. It is the Alliance’s bold new initiative to connect, consult and coordinate with countries across the Middle East and North Africa. It brings together willing participants to devise holistic and collaborative approaches to monitor and assess destablizing conditions that proliferate violent extremism. I firmly believe that if we can assist in stabilizing some of these regions and give people a reason to stay in their home countries, they will not feel compelled to leave. It can help prevent future refugee crises, and avoid the significant burden mass migrations can have on the economies of Europe. This is a security priority but also a humanitarian one.

While our military-to-military relationship with Spain is strong and healthy, and our commitment to NATO is rock solid, our strongest bond is simply as people coming together around similar principles and values.

The last time I visited Spain about a month ago, I was in Valencia to thank and recognize Spanish surgeon Dr. Pedro Cavadas. Dr. Cavadas and his outstanding medical team were able to reattach one of our Sailor’s right hand that was severed during an industrial accident at sea. Given the precious amount of time lost in transporting the Sailor from the submarine to Hospital de Manises in Valencia, it required an extremely talented team to move quickly to save his hand. Today, our Sailor is expected to make a full recovery.

VALENCIA, Spain (May 4, 2018) – Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, left, shakes the hand of Dr. Pedro Cavadas, a neurosurgeon at Hospital de Manises in Valencia, Spain, after awarding him the Civilian Meritorious Service Award at the hospital. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Nelson/Released)
VALENCIA, Spain (May 4, 2018) – Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, left, shakes the hand of Dr. Pedro Cavadas, a neurosurgeon at Hospital de Manises in Valencia, Spain, after awarding him the Civilian Meritorious Service Award at the hospital. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Nelson/Released)

Of course, I also can’t pass up the opportunity to highlight a personal connection with someone who is considered a hero in Spain and to the United States: Alejandro Villanueva – a decorated war hero and a pro football player with the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose parents are Spanish. My son went to West Point with Alejandro, and my wife Cindy and I know his parents well.  Villanueva served three tours in Afghanistan as a U.S. Army Ranger and paratrooper. Today, he traded the battlefield for a football field.

These are the type of stories that endure, and we must never forget the links that form the strong bond between our countries and our great navies. Our relationships are strengthened by our history, our integrations today, and the engagements we are planning for the future. The U.S. Navy has a great legacy with Spain that began with a young Minorcan mariner that helped us win our independence. I am thankful this legacy continues with heroes like the Valencian surgeon who gave one of our Sailors a chance to live a normal life. Long live Spanish-American friendship!

Editors note: This blog was published June 18, 2018, on the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. 6th Fleet website.


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Past, Present and Future Links with Spain

Chattanooga Celebrates Navy Week

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Navy Week Chattanooga was held June 11-17 in conjunction with the Riverbend Festival, to increase exposure and allow the Sailors to showcase the mission, capabilities and achievements of the U.S. Navy. Navy Weeks serve as a principal outreach effort and provides residents the opportunity to meet Sailors firsthand with a visible example and raised awareness of what the U.S. Navy does around the world and its importance to the public.


Rear Adm. Paul Pearigen, left, commander of Navy Medicine West and chief of the Navy Medical Corps, and Erskine Oglesby, vice chairman of the Chattanooga city council, mark the official kickoff of Chattanooga Navy Week. Oglesby proclaimed June 11 through 18, 2018 as Navy Week on behalf of the mayor and the city. E(U.S. Navy photo by Regena Kowitz/Released)

Master-at-Arms 1st Class Rex Boblett, assigned to USS Constitution, presents an expended 40mm 200-gram round to a child at the Erlanger Children’s Hospital during Navy Week Chattanooga. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Hammond/Released)

Aerographer’s Mate 1st Class Mike Kings, a Pensacola, Fla. native assigned to the Naval Oceanographic Office, talks to members of the local media at the Chattanooga Aquarium IMAX during Navy Week Chattanooga. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vaughan Dill/Released)

Logistics Specialist Seaman Jason Petitfrere, assigned to USS Constitution, talks to a child at the Erlanger Children’s Hospital during Navy Week Chattanooga. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Hammond/Released)

Rear Adm. Paul Pearigen, commander of Navy Medicine West and chief of the Navy Medical Corps, delivers the oath of enlistment to future Sailors, Soldiers and members of the military’s delayed entry program on the Coke Main Stage during the Riverbend Festival Military Appreciation Night as part of Chattanooga Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vaughan Dill/Released)

Builder 2nd Class Trey Crane, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 2, demonstrates how to operate a remotely operated vehicle to children at the Creative Discovery Museum during Chattanooga Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vaughan Dill/Released)

Cmdr. Paul Seitz, commanding officer of the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee (SSBN 734), reads to children at the Creative Discovery Museum during Chattanooga Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vaughan Dill/Released)

Would you attend a Navy Week celebration near you ?


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Judge Advocates, Then and Now

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By Rear Adm. John G. Hannink
Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy                                                                

Upon learning that the Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps is only 50 years old, most people express surprise.

One could be forgiven for assuming the JAG Corps has been around for far longer. Since its inception Dec. 8, 1967, the JAG Corps has been essential to naval operations. Furthermore, the scope and breadth of advice has grown since our Corps’ foundation, to the point that we’re at today – where our personnel advise clients across the globe on matters that range from the most sensitive national security decisions, to individual legal services, to Sailors in need of our assistance.

Indeed, Navy judge advocates have long captured the public’s imagination. I am still asked regularly about the “JAG” television show and few have forgotten Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise sparring on the big screen in “A Few Good Men.” Their portrayals in popular culture have made judge advocates indelible symbols of naval service.

Some people also are surprised to learn that the first uniformed chief legal officer of the Navy was, in fact, a Marine. Col. William Butler Remey was assigned to the post in 1878 after convincing Congress that, like other branches of the military, the Navy needed a permanent JAG (e.g., the Navy had a “JAG” long before the JAG Corps).


GREAT LAKES, Ill. (February 8, 2016) – Lt. Kimberly Rios works on legal briefs for Naval Station Great Lakes Command Feb. 8. (U. S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom)

Remey actually argued that naval law was so unique that a line officer must serve as JAG. It wasn’t until 1950, nearly 75 years later, that the law required the JAG to be an attorney. In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation that formalized the creation of the JAG Corps.

Today, a half-century later, the JAG Corps is a very different organization. It has evolved in countless ways to meet the demands of a growing military and a more interconnected and complex world.

Judge advocates are now ever-present fixtures at most naval commands. And yet, I wonder how many Sailors have a comprehensive understanding of the myriad ways judge advocates support them and the Navy mission.

It’s impossible to capture everything the JAG Corps does in a single blog post. It is perhaps best to highlight our three core practice areas – the three ways in which we touch Sailors and their families every day.


PORT LOUIS, Mauritius (Feb. 3, 2017) Cmdr. Andrew Wilkes, a legal advisor assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, discusses the implementation of a United Nations security council resolution with Geeandeo Cheetamun, Mauritian chief inspector of police during Exercise Cutlass Express 2017. The exercise is sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity and promote national and regional security in East Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Justin Stumberg/Released)

Our military justice team strives to help ensure good order and discipline, and protects the rights of all parties in judicial proceedings. Trial counsel, defense counsel, judges and victims legal counsel work tirelessly on behalf of Sailors and their families, and to protect the integrity of the military justice system.

Our operational lawyers provide commanders with accurate and responsive legal advice to support military operations and sound naval administration. We have attorneys specializing in maritime law, international law, environmental law and many other disciplines. Our judge advocates are on the cutting edge of many emerging issues, such as cyber warfare and special operations.

Do you need a will, help with your taxes or perhaps home-buying advice? Our legal assistance team supports the fleet by helping Sailors and their families resolve personal legal matters and to remain mission-ready. A judge advocate or civilian subject matter expert is standing by at any time to help Sailors with all their concerns and more.

Today, as it turns 50 years old, our JAG Corps is more versatile and more ingrained in naval operations than Remey, Johnson or any of the JAG Corps’ earliest members could have envisioned. Our judge advocates are making a meaningful impact on the Navy and on the lives of Sailors and their families. The future – the next 50 years – looks bright.


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Judge Advocates, Then and Now

Team Navy Competes at 2017 DOD Warrior Games

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Welcome to Navy Live blog coverage of Team Navy at the 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Chicago.

Team Navy is comprised of 36 Sailors and four Coast Guardsmen who are competing June 30 to July 8 against other military teams to compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in archery, cycling, field, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and wheelchair basketball.

This is first time the Navy has hosted the Games and is the first time they have been held in a public venue since the DoD became involved in hosting the Games in 2010.

Roster Sports Schedule

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6

Follow this blog throughout the Games for the latest on Team Navy.

Day 6 (July 6)

Cycling

Day 5 (July 5)

Field

Day 4 (July 3)

Archery

Day 3 (July 2)

Track

Day 2 (July 1)

Opening Ceremony

Warrior Games Opening Ceremony

It’s time for the 2017 Warrior Games in Chicago opening ceremony with Jon Stewart. 39 Sailors are participating in the Paralympic-style completion for wounded, ill and injured service members in Chicago. Go Navy!

Posted by U.S. Navy on Saturday, July 1, 2017

CHICAGO (July 1, 2017) Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and his wife Dana Richardson cheer during the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games’ opening ceremony at Soldier Field in Chicago. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Chief Elliott Fabrizio/Released)
CHICAGO (July 1, 2017) Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and his wife Dana Richardson cheer during the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games’ opening ceremony at Soldier Field in Chicago. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Chief Elliott Fabrizio/Released)

Sitting Volleyball

LIVE NOW: Team Navy competing against United States Air Force in sitting volleyball at Warrior Games, a Paralympic-style competition, against other military branches, the United Kingdom and Australia for wounded, ill and injured service members. Go Navy!

Posted by U.S. Navy on Saturday, July 1, 2017

Rifle

Day 1 (June 30)

Team Navy Kicks Off 2017 Warrior Games

Warrior Games Day 1

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games got underway today in Chicago.Watch for a look at Team Navy’s competition in shooting, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball on Day 1.

Posted by U.S. Navy on Friday, June 30, 2017

Team Navy kicked off the annual Department of Defense Warrior Games June 30 in Chicago, Illinois, with competition in shooting, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.

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Archery

Shooting

Wheelchair Basketball

About Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program

The mission of the Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program is to deliver year-round competitive and recreation opportunities for wounded, ill or seriously injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen. Adaptive sports — athletic activities that are modified to meet the abilities of injured or ill individuals — are essential to the recuperation of our wounded warriors. All enrollees in Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor are encouraged to make athletics a key component of their recovery and rehabilitation plans. The proven and lasting benefits of adaptive sports and reconditioning activities include higher self-esteem, lower stress levels and fewer secondary medical conditions.

Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor hosts a series of adaptive athletic reconditioning camps, provides information relative to recreational opportunities and facilitates enrollees’ participation in the annual Department of Defense Warrior Games. Non-medical care managers and recovery care coordinators, along with the transition coordinators, are encouraged to brief all recovering and transitioning service members about adaptive sports opportunities.

Once registered for the sports program, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen are provided with information on all athletic opportunities, including the annual trials where athletes can compete for a spot on Team Navy in the DoD Warrior Games. Participants in the trials include active-duty service members and veterans with upper-body, lower-body and spinal cord injuries; serious illnesses; traumatic brain injuries; amputations; visual impairment; and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Athletes possessing professionalism, team spirit and the best qualifying times and/or scores are selected to compete on Team Navy in the DoD Warrior Games. The DoD Warrior Games represent the culmination of participation in structured adaptive sports and reconditioning activities of wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans throughout their recovery by encouraging participation in physical and cognitive activities, inspiring physical fitness, mental strength and peer support, and encouraging new opportunities for growth and achievement.


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Team Navy Competes at 2017 DOD Warrior Games

Special Report: USS Fitzgerald Collision

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USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) was involved in a collision with a merchant vessel at approximately 2:30 a.m. local time, June 17, while operating about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.

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We honor our fallen shipmates.

Posted by U.S. Navy on Sunday, June 18, 2017

An information center is being set up at the Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka Fleet and Family Support Center with…

Posted by U.S. Navy on Friday, June 16, 2017

“As more information is learned, we will be sure to share to it with the Fitzgerald families and when appropriate the public. Thank you for your well wishes and messages of
Statement by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson
"Right now we are focused on two things: the safety of the ship and the well-being of the Sailors. We thank our Japanese partners for their assistance" said Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Statement by Adm. Scott Swift, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Statement by Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet (June 17)

USS Fitzgerald Involved in Collision

USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) was involved in a collision with a merchant vessel at approximately 2:30 a.m. local time, June 17, while operating about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.

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U.S.-Japan SAR Efforts Continue for 7 Missing Fitzgerald Sailors

Search and rescue efforts continue by U.S. and Japanese aircraft and surface vessels in the hopes of recovering seven USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) Sailors.

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USS Fitzgerald Returns to Yokosuka

USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), aided by tug boats, returned to Yokosuka at 6:15 p.m. June 17.

Approximately 16 hours earlier, it was involved in a collision with the Philippine-flagged merchant vessel ACX Crystal while operating about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. Seven of Fitzgerald’s crew remain missing.

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Good Evening USS Dewey Families and Friends,Early this morning, USS Dewey (DDG 105) was called upon to render immediate…

Posted by USS Dewey (DDG 105) on Saturday, June 17, 2017

Number of USS Fitzgerald Sailors’ Remains Found

A number of Sailors’ remains that were missing from the collision between USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and a merchant ship have been found.

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Vice Adm. Aucoin Holds Press Conference about USS Fitzgerald Collision

The following are U.S. 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin’s prepared remarks for a press conference held June 18 at Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, about the collision of USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) with a merchant vessel June 17.

Thanks for coming today.

USS Fitzgerald experienced extensive damage and flooding after a collision with the Filipino container ship at 0220 local time, 17 June, approx. 56 nm off the coast of Honshu, Japan.

The damage included a significant impact under the ship’s pilothouse on the starboard side and a large puncture below the ship’s waterline, opening the hull to the sea.

The ship suffered severe damage rapidly flooding three large compartments that included one machinery room and two berthing areas for 116 crew. The commanding officer’s cabin was also directly hit, trapping the CO inside.

The crew’s response was swift and effective, and I want to point out – as we stand by the ship – how proud I am of them.

Heroic efforts prevented the flooding from catastrophically spreading which could have caused the ship to founder or sink. It could have been much worse.

The crew navigated the ship into one of the busiest ports in the world with a magnetic compass and backup navigation equipment. One of two shafts were locked.

Because of the tireless damage control efforts of a resolute and courageous team, the ship was able to make its way back to port safely on its own power last evening.

The Fitzgerald crew responded professionally as all Sailors are expected to fight the damage sustained to their ship. They are known as the “Fighting Fitz” and the crew lived up to that name.

We owe it to our families and the Navy to understand what happened. Under my authority, I am initiating a JAGMAN investigation into this collision, and I will appoint a flag officer to lead that investigation. There will also be a safety investigation.

The U.S. Coast Guard is to take the lead on the marine casualty investigation.

We recognize that there are other organizations who have equities in this incident, and we expect they will conduct their own separate investigations. More information on any further investigations will be forthcoming.

I will not speculate on how long these investigations will last.

As you are aware, we have found the remains of a number of our missing shipmates. Our deepest sympathies are with the families of these Sailors.

Out of concern for the families and the notification process, I will decline to state how many we have found at this time. We owe that to the families and friends of these shipmates and hope you can respect this process.

We will update you after all notifications have been made.

We have transferred remains to Naval Hospital Yokosuka. The families are being notified and will be provided the support they need at this difficult time. Please keep them in your thoughts are prayers.

Their loved ones are what makes this Navy great, so this loss is something we all do feel. The names of the deceased will be released soon.

Unfortunately we don’t have the details regarding the conditions during their final moments, but hope that the investigation may shed some light on that matter.

At the same time, I want to express my most heartfelt appreciation to our Japanese allies for their swift support and assistance.

Japanese Coast Guard ships and helicopters were the first on scene and our first medevac, the ship’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, was accomplished thanks to a JMSDF helicopter.

A second medevac was performed for two Sailors with minor injuries. All three patients are alert and under observation at Naval Hospital Yokosuka.

We set up a USS Fitzgerald Emergency Family Assistance Center within hours, and disseminated the phone numbers to their hotlines through social media and Navy websites.

This support center remains open for chaplain and counselor care indefinitely, 24/7, on the Fleet and Family Support Center’s 4th floor.

But to be clear: my sole focus now has shifted to helping the grieving family, crew and friends of the Fitzgerald.

The Navy family comes together during a tragedy, and I want to thank the entire Yokosuka community rallying their support in these difficult days. Fellow Sailors, family members and civilian members of the Navy team were all out here last night to welcome Fitzgerald home and provide the crew and grieving families with food, blankets, clothes and emotional support. MWR, Port Operations, NEX, USO, the Chief Petty Officer Mess and many others pulled together to help out.

I ask all of you to keep the affected families in your thoughts and prayers, and respect their privacy as we work to get them the answers they deserve regarding their loved ones.

Editor’s note: These remarks are also posted on Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet’s website.

U.S. Navy Identifies 7 Deceased Fitzgerald Sailors
The remains of seven Sailors previously reported missing were located in flooded berthing compartments, after divers gained access to the spaces, June 18, that were damaged when USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) was involved in a collision with the Philippine-flagged merchant vessel ACX Crystal.

Read more on Navy.mil.

Statement from Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley

We are all deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our fellow shipmates as a result of Friday’s collision between USS Fitzgerald and a commercial container ship, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families.

Read more on Navy.mil.


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Special Report: USS Fitzgerald Collision

9 Things to Know about the 48th Annual EOD Memorial Ceremony

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By Billy Martin
Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal Public Affairs

In honor of the 48th Annual Explosive Ordnance Disposal Memorial Ceremony, hosted by Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal, here are nine things to know about the significance of this annual ceremony to honor our military’s fallen EOD technicians.

1) This year, the EOD community from each of the services will gather May 6 to honor the memory of 320 EOD heroes and add six additional EOD technicians to the EOD Memorial:

  • Gunner’s Mate Seaman Robert Paul Burr who was killed in action July 16, 1944, while serving in World War II
  • Army Tech. Sgt. James H. Eberle, who was killed in action Aug. 23, 1944, while serving in World War II
  • Ensign Charles Williams Grice, Sr., who was killed in action May 14, 1945, while serving in World War II
  • Army Sgt. 1st Class Biddle Carrol Izard, Jr., who was killed in action June 19, 1968, while serving in Vietnam
  • Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Jason Christopher Finan, who was killed in action Oct. 20, 2016, while serving in support of Combined Joint Task Force, Operation Inherent Resolve
    WASHINGTON (Oct. 21, 2016) An undated file photo of Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan courtesy of his family. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
    WASHINGTON (Oct. 21, 2016) An undated file photo of Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan courtesy of his family. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

2) The ceremony is held at the EOD Memorial next to the Kauffman EOD Training Complex on Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The Kauffman Training Complex is named after Rear Adm. Draper L. Kauffman (1911-1979) aka the “Father of U.S. Bomb Disposal”.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (May 4, 2013) Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) Sailors Lt. Cmdr. Rudy Schoen and Command Master Chief Eric Brower place a wreath in front of the Navy panel of the EOD Memorial during the 44th Annual EOD Memorial Service at the Kauffman EOD Training Complex. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Lawlor/Released)
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (May 4, 2013) Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) Sailors Lt. Cmdr. Rudy Schoen and Command Master Chief Eric Brower place a wreath in front of the Navy panel of the EOD Memorial during the 44th Annual EOD Memorial Service at the Kauffman EOD Training Complex. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Lawlor/Released)

3) During the ceremony, a wreath is placed in front of each service’s list of names before they are read aloud. After each list is completed, the names are saluted by an enlisted and officer EOD member. The families of EOD technicians added to the wall each year receive a folded flag that was flown over the memorial.

4) The EOD Memorial stands as an amazing monument to the honor, courage and commitment exemplified by EOD technicians from the services as they performed the EOD mission.

5) “We Remember” signifies the very essence and ethos of EOD technicians to never forget the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices of our EOD brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice.

6) The first Saturday in May is remembered as “EOD Day” in honor of the memorial ceremony.

7) The first Saturday of every May represents a sacred time for the EOD community to reflect and remember the heroic actions of our fallen EOD warriors.

8) The EOD badge and its three levels (Basic, Senior and Master) became the standard for all services in the 1950s.

9) The badge remains the only badge in the military that is identical in each service. This unique distinction reflects the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal’s vital role as the schoolhouse for our military’s EOD warriors.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (May 5, 2012) Lt. Cmdr. Rudy Schoen, right, and Command Master Chief Stacey McClain face the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Memorial wall and prepare to unveil the addition of three shipmates' names during the EOD 43rd Annual Memorial Service at the Kauffman EOD Training Complex. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Lawlor/Released)
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (May 5, 2012) Lt. Cmdr. Rudy Schoen, right, and Command Master Chief Stacey McClain face the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Memorial wall and prepare to unveil the addition of three shipmates’ names during the EOD 43rd Annual Memorial Service at the Kauffman EOD Training Complex. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Lawlor/Released)


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9 Things to Know about the 48th Annual EOD Memorial Ceremony

Busted, top 10 RPA myths debunked

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by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay
432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing

Drones. The once harmless term has taken on new meaning in recent years largely due to misinformation, Hollywood dramatizations and their growing uses in non-military settings. For the men and women of the remotely piloted aircraft enterprise who provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support to combatant commanders around the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, dispelling myths associated with their mission is now a top priority.

1. Myth: Drones and RPAs are the same.

Fact: In today’s mainstream media drones often refers to both small aerial capable vehicles with photo or video capabilities and, incorrectly, to U.S. Air Force RPAs. In the U.S. Air Force inventory a remotely piloted aircraft requires aircrews to operate but don’t have the capability to carry crews on board. Also in the USAF inventory, RPAs such as the Global Hawk are used to provide ISR data by recording imagery and are often incorrectly labeled as “drones.” (U.S. Air Force illustration by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay)
Fact: In today’s mainstream media drones often refers to both small aerial capable vehicles with photo or video capabilities and, incorrectly, to U.S. Air Force RPAs. In the U.S. Air Force inventory a remotely piloted aircraft requires aircrews to operate but don’t have the capability to carry crews on board. Also in the USAF inventory, RPAs such as the Global Hawk are used to provide ISR data by recording imagery and are often incorrectly labeled as “drones.” (U.S. Air Force illustration by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay)

2. Myth: RPAs fly themselves.

 Fact: RPAs are flown by a pilot, with the assistance of a sensor operator for the entire duration of the flight. Additionally, for every RPA combat air patrol there are nearly 200 people supporting the mission in various capacities. This includes pilot, sensor operator, mission intelligence personnel; aircraft and communications maintainers; launch and recovery element personnel; and intelligence personnel conducting production, exploitation, and dissemination operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Adawn Kelsey)
Fact: RPAs are flown by a pilot, with the assistance of a sensor operator for the entire duration of the flight. Additionally, for every RPA combat air patrol there are nearly 200 people supporting the mission in various capacities. This includes pilot, sensor operator, mission intelligence personnel; aircraft and communications maintainers; launch and recovery element personnel; and intelligence personnel conducting production, exploitation, and dissemination operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Adawn Kelsey)

3. Myth: Military RPAs are used to spy on U.S. civilians.

Fact: The Air Force only flies RPAs in the United States for training purposes. The only exception is with the appropriate level of coordination and approval RPAs can be used to support the aerial imagery needs of civil authorities in rare and urgent cases where local, state, or federal officials cannot use nonmilitary means of support. This level approval usually resides with the Secretary of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Senior Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)
Fact: The Air Force only flies RPAs in the United States for training purposes. The only exception is with the appropriate level of coordination and approval RPAs can be used to support the aerial imagery needs of civil authorities in rare and urgent cases where local, state, or federal officials cannot use nonmilitary means of support. This level approval usually resides with the Secretary of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Senior Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)

Additionally, the following guidelines structure how training flights work:
– Training is normally conducted in airspace over and near federal installations and unpopulated training ranges that have been set aside for that purpose.
– Information gathered during training missions that is relayed to ground stations is seldom retained after training operations.
– Any information retained after training missions is deleted shortly afterwards in accordance with regulations (typically no more than 90 days).
– During training missions, pilots and sensor operators are not applying or receiving the analytical support necessary to allow them to use imagery to identify individuals beyond gender and approximate age.

4. Myth: RPAs strike randomly.

 Fact: The vast majority of the time, the Air Force’s RPA fleet is used for ISR, not for strike activity. They are governed by the same procedures as other aircraft capable of employing weapons. RPAs are not ‘unmanned,’ and do not act autonomously to drop a weapon or choose a target. Human beings are an integral part of the system and will continue to be the decision makers. RPA pilots are not bound by a set timeline to strike a target; they spend days, weeks, and sometimes months observing the patterns-of-life of a subject and provide that information to the network of tactical personnel, intelligence members, databases and decision makers before any action is pursued. They are connected to a huge network of intelligence from multiple sources – including platforms, sensors, people and databases – to national decision makers, combatant commanders, and tactical level personnel. (Courtesy photo)
Fact: The vast majority of the time, the Air Force’s RPA fleet is used for ISR, not for strike activity. They are governed by the same procedures as other aircraft capable of employing weapons. RPAs are not ‘unmanned,’ and do not act autonomously to drop a weapon or choose a target. Human beings are an integral part of the system and will continue to be the decision makers. RPA pilots are not bound by a set timeline to strike a target; they spend days, weeks, and sometimes months observing the patterns-of-life of a subject and provide that information to the network of tactical personnel, intelligence members, databases and decision makers before any action is pursued. They are connected to a huge network of intelligence from multiple sources – including platforms, sensors, people and databases – to national decision makers, combatant commanders, and tactical level personnel. (Courtesy photo)

5. Myth: RPAs are made from alien technology and are flown from area 51.

Fact: The U.S. Air Force actually has a long history of unmanned flight and we are still learning new and better ways to fly.  We will continue to improve our methods of training, conducting operations and employing new weapon systems. The development and integration of unmanned aircraft represent a continuation of this trend and has been around since the early 1900s. The primary installations where RPAs are based and flown are Beale AFB, CA; Holloman AFB, NM; Creech AFB, NV; and Grand Forks AFB, ND.  There are additional Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard installations that are part of the distributed ground stations that support RPA flights and data analysis.(U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay)
Fact: The U.S. Air Force actually has a long history of unmanned flight and we are still learning new and better ways to fly. We will continue to improve our methods of training, conducting operations and employing new weapon systems. The development and integration of unmanned aircraft represent a continuation of this trend and has been around since the early 1900s. The primary installations where RPAs are based and flown are Beale AFB, CA; Holloman AFB, NM; Creech AFB, NV; and Grand Forks AFB, ND. There are additional Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard installations that are part of the distributed ground stations that support RPA flights and data analysis.(U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay)

6. Myth: RPAs are unmanned and require less manpower to operate.

Fact: In order to support ISR missions around the world, every RPA CAP requires the dedication of nearly 200 Airmen in various capacities to maintain 24/7, 365 day vigilance. The pilot, with the help of the sensor operator, flies the RPA for the entire duration of the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay)
Fact: In order to support ISR missions around the world, every RPA CAP requires the dedication of nearly 200 Airmen in various capacities to maintain 24/7, 365 day vigilance. The pilot, with the help of the sensor operator, flies the RPA for the entire duration of the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay)

7. Myth: RPA pilots are just “gamers.”

 Fact: Our Airmen are trained to be the best pilots in the world, regardless of aircraft. Our fully qualified aircrews consistently exceed expectations for both flight safety and operational effectiveness. Like pilots in manned aircraft RPA pilots are required to meet the same qualifications. New RPA pilots undergo a very intense training program before they fly operational missions. This training curriculum lasts approximately one year, and many current Air Force RPA pilots and trainers have already completed undergraduate pilot training in manned aircraft as well. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young)
Fact: Our Airmen are trained to be the best pilots in the world, regardless of aircraft. Our fully qualified aircrews consistently exceed expectations for both flight safety and operational effectiveness. Like pilots in manned aircraft RPA pilots are required to meet the same qualifications. New RPA pilots undergo a very intense training program before they fly operational missions. This training curriculum lasts approximately one year, and many current Air Force RPA pilots and trainers have already completed undergraduate pilot training in manned aircraft as well. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young)

8. Myth: Everyone in the RPA community suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

 Fact: According to a 2014 paper from the United Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, studies have shown that 4.3 percent of Air Force RPA operators report symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. This is lower than the 4 to 18% of PTSD reported among those returning from the battlefield and lower than the projected lifetime risk of PTSD for Americans (8.7%, American Psychiatric Association, 2013). In addition, Creech Air Force Base established a Human Performance Team in 2011 comprised of an operational psychologist, an operational and aerospace physiologist, three flight surgeons and two Religious Support Teams to aid Airmen in dealing with stressors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay)
Fact: According to a 2014 paper from the United Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, studies have shown that 4.3 percent of Air Force RPA operators report symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. This is lower than the 4 to 18% of PTSD reported among those returning from the battlefield and lower than the projected lifetime risk of PTSD for Americans (8.7%, American Psychiatric Association, 2013). In addition, Creech Air Force Base established a Human Performance Team in 2011 comprised of an operational psychologist, an operational and aerospace physiologist, three flight surgeons and two Religious Support Teams to aid Airmen in dealing with stressors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay)

9. Myth: RPA aircrews are not compassionate to the missions they perform.

Fact: Airmen performing RPA operations receive moral, ethical, psychological and physiological training to build readiness that is sustainable over time. The Air Force will continue to support combatant commanders with RPA missions while also focusing on initiatives that reduce stress on personnel and remain committed to providing the best care possible for every Airman, regardless of the career field with which they are associated.(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay)
Fact: Airmen performing RPA operations receive moral, ethical, psychological and physiological training to build readiness that is sustainable over time. The Air Force will continue to support combatant commanders with RPA missions while also focusing on initiatives that reduce stress on personnel and remain committed to providing the best care possible for every Airman, regardless of the career field with which they are associated.(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay)

10. Myth: RPAs will replace manned aircraft

 Fact: According to Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Mark A. Welsh III, “the Air Force needs a number of platforms.” He continued by saying this includes manned and unmanned assets to accomplish sustainable air supremacy. “Air superiority is a mission. It's not a platform, it's a mission. So ideally, you'd have both tools available to you." (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay)
Fact: According to Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Mark A. Welsh III, “the Air Force needs a number of platforms.” He continued by saying this includes manned and unmanned assets to accomplish sustainable air supremacy. “Air superiority is a mission. It’s not a platform, it’s a mission. So ideally, you’d have both tools available to you.” (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay)

Despite the misconceptions surrounding the RPA enterprise Air Force leadership remain optimistic on the future capabilities RPAs can provide.

“What our RPA professionals are doing in today’s fight and in preparing for future conflicts is simply incredible. RPAs and their operators are in the highest demand from our combatant commanders because of the situational awareness and strike capabilities that they enable. Despite being some of the newest weapon systems in the Air Force inventory, RPAs fulfill critical demands in every theater 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said Gen. Hawk Carlisle, Air Combat Command commander.

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Busted, top 10 RPA myths debunked