Your Navy Operating Forward – Guam, Japan, Portugal

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PHILIPPINE SEA: Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Brian Bruni, from Kingston, Mass., signals an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, from the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) during a vertical replenishment with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan D. McLearnon/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.


PHILIPPINE SEA: Ships attached to the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group transit the Philippine Sea during dual carrier operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaila V. Peters/Released)

YOKOSUKA, Japan: The U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) crew, family, friends and honored guests attend the ship’s change of command ceremony onboard Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Marvin Thompson/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Brian Bruni, from Kingston, Mass., signals an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, from the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) during a vertical replenishment with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan D. McLearnon/Re
leased)

ARABIAN GULF: The guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) flies the battle ensign and the flag of France during a three week integration of the French navy La Fayette-class frigate FS Courbet (F 712) with Task Force 55. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: An F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14, prepares to land on the flight deck aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Grant G. Grady/Released)

OKINAWA, Japan: Equipment Operator 3rd Class Alvis Fredereck, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3, uses a front-end loader with a sweeper attachment to dump displaced sand that he swept up from a path that was rendered unusable onboard White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa, Japan, as a result of a recent typhoon that impacted the island. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Lopez/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: Ships attached to the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group transit the Philippine Sea during dual carrier operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaila V. Peters/Released)

TURBO, Colombia: The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) anchors off the coast of Colombia on an 11-week medical support mission to Central and South America as part of U.S. Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Scott Bigley/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: Sailors prepare an F/A-18 Super Hornet, attached to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115, for take-off from the flight deck of the forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during dual carrier operations with USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jason N. Tarleton/Released)

GUAM: Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Jose Garcia signals Landing Craft, Utility (LCU) 1634 to approach the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) with heavy equipment to transfer to the island of Saipan for Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Mortensen/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) transits the Philippine Sea. John C. Stennis is underway and conducting operations in international waters as part of a dual carrier strike force exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor D. Loessin/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), right, steams alongside the French navy La Fayette-class frigate FS Courbet (F 712) during a 3-week integration of the Courbet with Task Force 55. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Intelligence Speciliast Matt Bodenner/Released)

LISBON, Portugal: The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman prepares to get underway following a scheduled port visit in Lisbon, Portugal. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Victoria Sutton/Released)

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By Rear Adm. Dee Mewbourne Commander, Military Sealift Command As dawn broke over Machias Bay, …

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Your Navy Operating Forward – Guam, Japan, Portugal

MCPON Letter to the Enlisted Force: Focus on building winning teams

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Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith

The world stage is a very dynamic and challenging one, with many nations maturing their ability to efficiently operate in the maritime environment. The evolution of technology, and our Navy’s growth in this new “great powers” era demands that our Navy apply resources in a far more refined and complex manner. As our Navy’s storied legacy continues, the Navy the Nation Needs will demand more from us. We must become stronger, run faster and effectively build teams to compete and win in high-end warfare at sea.

Institutional loyalty – “ship, shipmate, self” – as well as organizational transparency and clear messaging will continue to be a priority, as well as dignity and respect between all of our teammates. Understanding the solemn privilege we have as stewards of the public trust will be emphasized. Austerity and humility are necessary attributes to embrace as we carefully manage the resources the American public has entrusted to us.

Every Navy leader aspires to leave behind a better and more prepared Navy than the one they found when they arrived, and I am no different. The principal concern of the Office of the MCPON remains first and foremost to serve as a determined advocate on behalf of our enlisted force, as well as to find ways to leverage our 3,000 master chiefs in leading 31,000 chief petty officers to build winning teams in preparation for the future fight. Together we must set a blistering pace above, on and below the sea, projecting strength so profoundly that we give pause to anyone who would dare challenge us.

Four great strengths of the Mess are technical competence, innovative thinking, communication and networking. These skills give us the ability to be a force multiplier in both peace and war, enabling us to solve the greatest challenges by connecting our Navy horizontally. Known for using deckplate skills and experience to innovate and get results, the Mess will be absolutely essential to finding new and better ways to build muscle memory that develops toughness, which will lead to true combat readiness.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 25, 2015) Chief Damage Controlman D. C. Coronado instructs Damage Controlman 3rd Class R. E. Berens, left, and Damage Controlman Firman D. R. Barber during a general quarters drill in the hangar bay of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman was underway conducting a tailored ship's training availability off the east coast of the United States. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class E. T. Miller/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 25, 2015) Chief Damage Controlman D. C. Coronado instructs Damage Controlman 3rd Class R. E. Berens, left, and Damage Controlman Firman D. R. Barber during a general quarters drill in the hangar bay of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman was underway conducting a tailored ship’s training availability off the east coast of the United States. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class E. T. Miller/Released)

We must keep Sailors from getting sidetracked or distracted, keeping them instead laser-focused on combat at sea against a determined enemy. To that end, we are engaged in delivering tools to the fleet, to render greater efficiencies in both personnel management and how we educate and train our Sailors. Those efforts will return time and opportunity to the deckplates, allowing leaders to focus on tactical skills and warfighting readiness.

Throughout our history, our greatest advantage has never been our machinery – rather, it has been the courage of the American Sailor facing adversity around the world. Perseverance, fortitude and spirit of service that each and every one of you brings to the fight will give us the decisive edge in the fight to come.

Russell L. Smith
MCPON

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (Oct. 9, 2018) Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith congratulates recruits during a capping ceremony inside USS Trayer (BST 21) at Recruit Training Command. Trayer, more commonly referred to as "Battle Stations," is the crucible event that recruits must pass prior to graduation, testing their knowledge and skills in basic seamanship, damage control, firefighting and emergency response procedures. More than 30,000 recruits graduate annually from the Navy's only boot camp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Spencer Fling/Released)
GREAT LAKES, Ill. (Oct. 9, 2018) Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith congratulates recruits during a capping ceremony inside USS Trayer (BST 21) at Recruit Training Command. Trayer, more commonly referred to as “Battle Stations,” is the crucible event that recruits must pass prior to graduation, testing their knowledge and skills in basic seamanship, damage control, firefighting and emergency response procedures. More than 30,000 recruits graduate annually from the Navy’s only boot camp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Spencer Fling/Released)


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MCPON Letter to the Enlisted Force: Focus on building winning teams

Under Secretary Modly’s Remarks From USS Cleveland Announcement

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Below are Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly’s remarks from the announcement of the naming of the future littoral combat ship, USS Cleveland, on behalf of Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer, Oct. 8. The announcement was held at the USS Cod submarine in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.

Thank you for that kind introduction.

Mayor Jackson, Council President Kelly, Rear Adm. Nunan, Gold Star families, distinguished citizens of the City of Cleveland:

Good afternoon!  As always, it’s great to be back home for me.

When people ask me what it is like serving as the Under Secretary of the Navy, I am quick to respond that it is an honor every minute, of every hour of every day, – but that some days are clearly better than others.

Today is one of those days.  It is a great honor for Robyn and I to spend Columbus Day with each of you on this historic and highly decorated submarine, here on the shores of Lake Erie. Thank you to each of you for being here and for carving time out of your schedules to be with us.

As most of you know, just a few miles west of here is the site where the Battle of Lake Erie was fought and won, where Admiral Perry’s warship first flew that infamous flag that inspired his crew to fight against long odds.

The words “Don’t Give Up the Ship” adorned that flag and while they have been adopted by the U.S. Navy, they are also emblematic of the spirit of this great city.

You have never given up the ship here in Cleveland, and there is always a local pride that extends beyond what I have witnessed in any other community I have visited since I left here to join the Navy in 1979.

As some of you may know, I grew up not far from here, on the east side of the city. My parents, like many of their neighbors, came to Cleveland to escape tyranny and oppression in Eastern Europe, searching for a new beginning in this town.

They, and perhaps some of your forefathers, as well, found that beginning here.

As immigrants to this country, Cleveland provided my parents with a rich opportunity to succeed, just as it had, and just as it continues to do, for many others who came here from many different parts of the world.  It is part of the unique character of Cleveland – and it also helps define who we are as a nation.

And when that nation has called the daughters and sons of this city to defend the very freedoms that make such opportunity possible, Clevelanders have risen proudly to answer the call into service.

Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly announces the naming of the future littoral combat ship, USS Cleveland on behalf of Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Brian Dietrick/Released)
Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly announces the naming of the future littoral combat ship, USS Cleveland on behalf of Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Brian Dietrick/Released)

And they still do, and I have met young Clevelanders in uniform all over the world.

I’ve met them on submarines, and aircraft carriers, and destroyers, and flying helicopters, and jets, and in Marine detachments in the remote parts of Iraq and Afghanistan. Even just last week, I met a Navy Seebee from Twinsburg, Ohio, who was building a new vocational high school building in a poor neighborhood in a very remote part of Micronesia.

Clevelanders are well-represented in our Navy Marine Corps team – and that should make us all very proud – and safe.

It wasn’t really that long ago when Clevelanders of the Greatest Generation lined up to volunteer for service in World War Two. For combat veterans like Emory Crowder, here today, who moved to Cleveland soon after his valorous service in the Pacific as a combat corpsman, it seems like only yesterday. And it looked like only yesterday because Emory is 95 years old but looks like he is about 25.

They lived to serve on warships just like this one. To fight and serve as teams, far away from home. And those who remained at home answered the call.

Cleveland, along with many other cities in the Great Lakes region during World War II, became a foundry of freedom, not just for America, but for our Allies who were struggling just to stay in the fight, all across the globe.

The parents and grandparents from this area worked long shifts in factories that churned out the airplanes, vehicles, munitions and countless parts that turned the tide in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of war.

And in every war since then, in Korea, in Vietnam, where Mayor Jackson so courageously served with honor, in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, and all across the world, Clevelanders have always answered their country’s call to serve.

Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly shakes Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s hand at Cleveland City Hall during Cleveland Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tamara Vaughn/Released)
Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly shakes Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s hand at Cleveland City Hall during Cleveland Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tamara Vaughn/Released)

But sadly, as we all recognize with great service often comes great sacrifice. The mayor and I and many of you were blessed to be part of the Gold Star Families Memorial unveiling last month, at the VA Hospital.

That moment, added to thousands of other expressions of love, all across the nation, prove to the world what kind of dedication this city holds for the families of the fallen, for those with wounds that are both visible and invisible, and for all those who have served under the banner of freedom.

Indeed, Cleveland has always risen with pride, not only for its uniformed service members, but for public servants of every calling: Our police, sheriffs, firefighters, public works employees, caregivers and many other invaluable service professions, far too numerous to name.

It is for all these public and national servants, and every working family working to make a living and a brighter future for their children, that previous secretaries of the Navies have granted three United States warships the honored title of United States Ship Cleveland.

The Secretary of the Navy is empowered by law, by the Congress to name ships of the United States, by an Act of Congress dated March 3, 1819.

This act states that:

“All of the ships, of the Navy of the United States, now building, or hereafter to be built, shall be named by the Secretary of the Navy, under the direction of the President of the United States, according to the following rule, to wit: Those of the first class shall be called after the States of this Union; those of the second class after the rivers; and those of the third class after the principal cities and towns; taking care that no two vessels of the navy shall bear the same name.”

This provision remains the law of the land, and rests in Richard Spencer’s hands. He is my boss and he is the 76th Secretary of the Navy.

The first USS Cleveland, a Protected-class cruiser, was launched on Sept. 28, 1901, served in World War I conducting convoy escort duty, and was decommissioned in 1929.

The second USS Cleveland, which was actually the first of the Cleveland Class light cruisers, was commissioned during World War II in June 1942. We actually have two crew members here today from that ship, Bob Allen and John Jackson, can you guys give a wave?

The Cleveland Class Cruiser represented a vast improvement in gunnery rate of fire, firing 10 rounds per minute, versus only three in the previous class.

This second Cleveland was decommissioned like most of the rest of these cruisers upon completing its combat duties after World War II. And these gentlemen served in both theaters, Pacific and Atlantic theater.

The third USS Cleveland, an amphibious transport ship, which was commissioned in 1967, saw service in Vietnam and in every conflict afterward, until being decommissioned just seven years ago, in September 2011.


An aerial view of the landing personnel dock ship USS Cleveland (LPD 7) off the coast of Port Hueneme, CA. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Photographer’s Mate Terry Cosgrove/Released)

But it is today, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, that Secretary Spencer has decided that the people of Cleveland have waited long enough for a new fighting ship of the line to be named for this patriotic city.

And this is a great year to do it, because as well all know, the Indians are about to win a World Series and the Browns are going to the playoffs. So this is a momentous year for this.

So this afternoon, we’ll see how much farther we have to go to realize that dream for the Tribe, but today, I have the honor of announcing, on behalf of Secretary Spencer, that one of our newest warships, will become the fourth U.S. Navy ship to be named the United States Ship Cleveland.

The new USS Cleveland will be a littoral combat ship, and it will be constructed by patriotic American hands here in the U.S.

With a shallow draft, high speed, and an open architecture that facilitates modularized weapons and cutting-edge sensor suites, the new USS Cleveland will be able to reach and defend more coastal areas with more agility, mroe networked firepower than any other class of ship in the world.

She will be manned by a diverse group of Sailors. And that’s the most important part about these ships.  It’s the people that man them. They all grew up in different parts, different places in the United States.

They will unite under a common cause – to protect and defend the nation and the Constitution of the United States – and to make the USS Cleveland a ship this city can be proud of.

Proud to know there is a fighting ship named for Cleveland out at sea,

Proud of an American fighting crew boasting this city’s name,

And proud to know that this ship will represent the spirit of Cleveland both in peace – and in the fight if that is what is required of her.

Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly announces the naming of the future littoral combat ship, USS Cleveland, on behalf of Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Brian Dietrick/Released)
Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly announces the naming of the future littoral combat ship, USS Cleveland, on behalf of Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Brian Dietrick/Released)

In closing, I would like to share a story from my recent visit here a few weeks ago for Navy Week. We had some free time on one the mornings of that visit and we decided to go over to the West Side to visit one of Cleveland’s great cultural landmarks, and no I’m not talking about the West-Side Park. I’m talking about the Christmas Story House and Museum.

Now I have seen some great museums in my life, to include the Louvre in Paris, but as great as the Louvre is, you can’t buy a leg lamp there so it is always going to be second place in my book.

At any rate, we were driving across, our motorcade, across the 14th street bridge then an individual wearing a Vietnam veterans hat just ahead of us stepped out of his car, and he saw the motorcade and he stopped and got out of his car and he stood and he saluted us.

I stopped our car in order to meet him and I listened to his story about returning from Vietnam in the early 1970s. His reception back to the states was less than glorious. Protesters greeted him upon his arrival. They cursed at him, spit on him and threw trash on him, but despite the indignities that he was subjected to I didn’t get any sense at all that he was bitter.

He’s still very, very proud of his service, proud that he could escort his best friend’s body back to the United States, and I believe that he realized that although the Vietnam era was a difficult time in U.S. history, his negative experience returning home did not define us as a nation.

Sometimes I suspect in these days we all have the disconcerting belief that we are living through difficult times like that today, but I can tell you with certainty that we are not.

I know this because of what I see every day in this job. Despite the tumult and turmoil we may perceive in the media, we still have smart, dedicated and honorable people who are volunteering to serve in our Armed Forces – and they come from every single type of American family and from every corner and socioeconomic class of this country.  If, God forbid, we ever lose that, then that is when we will know that we are really in trouble as a country. Rest assured because that time is not now – and we should all pray that such a time will never come. Despite whatever differences we may have on politics we are blessed and united by those who serve us, selflessly, all over the world. It is their duty to protect us. It is our obligation to respect them and to honor their service.

I am certain there is a future Sailor somewhere in this city today, who you can influence and encourage to understand that the country is worth fighting for, that service is honorable. And that future Sailor may eventually stand watch on the bridge of the USS Cleveland – and make you proud.

So I ask that when you get the chance to meet someone in our Armed Forces, or from my parochial point of view, someone in the Navy-Marine Corps Team, don’t just thank them for their service – ask them what they do, ask them where they are from, and most importantly, tell them you are from Cleveland and that there is going to be a ship out there at sea one day that is named in your hometown’s honor.

Bless them, and tell them how proud you are to know that there are Sailors who have never set foot here in this city who will be serving on your ship and who will share in the honor of calling themselves “Clevelanders,” too.

Thank you for coming out today to honor the Gold Star families who have given so much, and to whom we can never repay; thank you for honoring all our city public servants and service members, both former and present; and thank you for making this city such a special place, one that proudly defends the greatest country on earth.

Today marks the beginning of a journey of your ship from drawing board to construction and eventually to the sea. In the end, wherever that ship travels the people who come in contact with her will learn what we all know is true, the USS Cleveland Rocks!

Congratulations to the City of Cleveland.

Go Navy. Beat Army.

Thank you for being here.


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Under Secretary Modly’s Remarks From USS Cleveland Announcement

Your Navy Operating Forward – North Sea, Philippine Sea, Arabian Sea

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U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS: An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Vipers of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 48 attached to the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), delivers a pallet of supplies to the expeditionary mobile base platform ship USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) during a vertical replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/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.


NORTH SEA: An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Knighthawks of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 136 launches from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Maxwell Higgins/Released)

ARABIAN SEA: An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter, assigned to the Blackjacks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21 prepares to receive cargo from the aircraft elevator aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) while participating in a vertical replenishment during a scheduled deployment of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). (U.S Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Molly DiServio/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Teshaun Troyquash signals to a SA-330 Puma helicopter assigned to the Military Sealift Command (MSC) cargo and ammunition ship USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8) as it drops off supplies on the flight deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) during a vertical replenishment (VERTREP). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Mortensen/Released)

PORT OF SUVA, Fiji: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86) pulls into the Port of Suva, Fiji, during a port visit, Oct. 14, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Intelligence Specialist 1st Class Derrek Koch/Released)

WATERS OFF THE KOREAN PENINSULA: Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) render honors during a pass in review as part of the Republic of Korea navy to help enhance mutual trust and confidence with navies from around the world. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Elesia Patten/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: Landing Craft, Utility (LCU) 1633 approaches the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) as part of a training exercise for KAMANDAG 2. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Mortensen/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) transits the Mediterranean Sea, Oct. 7, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Yarborough/Released)

STRAIT OF HORMUZ: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) transits the Strait of Hormuz in formation with the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) during a scheduled deployment of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jenna Dobson/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 3rd Class Shelby Hochmuth signals for the launch of an E-2D Hawkeye assigned to Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125 on the flight deck of the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during Valiant Shield 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)

U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS: An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Vipers of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 48 attached to the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), delivers a pallet of supplies to the expeditionary mobile base platform ship USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) during a vertical replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: The Navy’s foward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) approaches the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler Tippecanoe (T-AO 199) during a replenishment-at-sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Jason Funk/Released)

GULF OF ADEN: Sailors assigned to the Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) are lowered in a rigid-hull inflatable boat to participate in small boat operations during a scheduled deployment of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Reymundo A. Villegas III/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Izumo (DDH 183) are underway alongside each other during a cooperative deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaila V. Peters)

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Your Navy Operating Forward – North Sea, Philippine Sea, Arabian Sea

Louisville Navy Week Held

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Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, former program executive officer for submarines, pins the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and American Campaign Medal on William Edward Gilbert at Louisville Veterans Affairs Medical Center during Navy Week in Louisville, Ky. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang/Released)



Coinciding with the Kentucky State Fair, the tenth Navy Week of 2018 hosted Sailors in Louisville for a week long celebration August 20-26.  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.


Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director of the Defense Health Agency, meets with Greg Fischer, the mayor of Louisville, Ky., during Louisville Navy Week in Louisville, Ky. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang/Released)

Musician 3rd Class Amanda Thompson, assigned to the Fleet Forces Band, salutes after singing the national anthem at a Louisville Bats minor league baseball game during Fleet Week in Louisville, Ky. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang/Released)

Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, former program executive officer for submarines, pins the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and American Campaign Medal on William Edward Gilbert at Louisville Veterans Affairs Medical Center during Navy Week in Louisville, Ky. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang/Released)

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians 2nd Class David Eninger and Abraham Ruiz, both assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 2, speak to students in the YMCA’s Childcare Enrichment Program at Breckenridge Franklin Elementary School in Louisville, Ky., during Lousiville Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang/Released)

Missile Technician 2nd Class Michael Jemison and Machinist’s Mate (Nuclear) 2nd Class Justin Mohn, both assigned to the Blue crew of the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Kentucky (SSBN 737), are interviewed by Dawnee Gee on the news program WAVE Country during Navy Week in Louisville, Ky. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang/Released)

Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, former program executive officer for submarines, experiences the Navy’s virtual reality asset, “Nimitz,” at the Kentucky State Fair during Navy Week in Louisville, Ky. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang/Released)

Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 2 explain the operation of a TALON explosive ordnance disposal robot to the Central High School Robotics Club during Louisville Navy Week in Louisville, Ky. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang/Released)

Would you attend a Navy Week celebration near you ?


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From Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet Public Affairs On Aug. 24, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. …

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Louisville Navy Week Held

Navy Week Celebrated in Sacramento

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Coinciding with the California’s State Fair, the state capital hosted Navy Week Sacramento, July 16-22.  Sailors interacted with residents in a series of community outreach events where Sailors visited the boys and girls club, volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House, participated in community projects and did musical performances at the State Fair, the Powerhouse Science Center and the veterans home.  The Navy Week program serves as the Navy’s principal outreach effort into areas of the country without a significant Navy presence.  The program is designed to help Americans understand that their Navy is deployed around the world, around the clock, and ready to defend America at all times.


Rear Adm. Scott Jones, left, deputy commander of Naval Air Forces Atlantic, from Sacramento, and Rick Pickering, chief executive officer of Cal Expo, render honors as TAPS is played during a ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial at the California State Fair during Sacramento Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob G. Sisco/Released)

Sailors attached to USS Constitution are interviewed by the local media at the Powerhouse Science Center as part of a Navy Week Sacramento demonstration. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Hammond/Released)

Navy Diver 2nd Class Joseph Perry, assigned to Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, watches as Michael Bonard, from Beaverton, OR., operates the FirstLook Explosive Ordnance Disposal robot at the Powerhouse Science Center. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob G. Sisco/Released)

Members of the Navy Band Northwest perform at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville, Calif. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob G. Sisco/Released)

Olivia DeGennaro, a reporter for Fox40, interviews Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Matt Ludwig, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1, at the Powerhouse Science Center. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob G. Sisco/Released)

Seaman Charles Ojeda, from Hesperia, Calif., attached to USS Constitution, plays the part of a War of 1812-era recruiter to children at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Sacramento as part of a Navy Week Sacramento demonstration. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Hammond/Released)

The U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team performs at the Powerhouse Science Center in support of Sacramento Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob G. Sisco/Released)

Rear Adm. Scott Jones, deputy commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, talks with Samiah Brown at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento in support of Sacramento Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob G. Sisco/Released)

The U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team performs during the Military Appreciation Day Opening Ceremonies at the California State Fair. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob G. Sisco/Released)

An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the “Scorpions” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49 takes off from the grounds of the California State Fair during Sacramento Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob G. Sisco/Released)

Nine future Sailors recite the oath of enlistment on the Promenade Stage of the California State Fair during Sacramento Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob G. Sisco/Released)

The USS Constitution’s color guard presents the colors while the National Anthem is sung during a ceremony at the 9/11 memorial at the California State Fair. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob G. Sisco/Released)

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Right now your Navy is 100 percent on watch around the globe helping to preserve …

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Navy Week Celebrated in Sacramento

Your Navy Operating Forward – Strait of Gibraltar, Ravlunda, Sweden, Marseille, France

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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.


APRA HARBOR, Guam: The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) returns to its homeport of Apra Harbor, Guam. Oklahoma City is one of four forward-deployed submarines assigned to Submarine Squadron 15. (U.S. Navy photo by Culinary Specialist Seaman Jonathan Perez/Released)

STRAIT OF GIBRALTAR: German navy frigate FGS HESSEN (F 221) trails the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) while transiting the Strait of Gibraltar. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Swofford/Released)

OKINAWA, Japan: Aviation Ordnancemen assigned to the “Skinny Dragons” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 load a Mark 54 torpedo on a P-8A Poseidon aircraft during a proficiency exercise on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Juan S. Sua/Released)

U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS: An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter prepares to land aboard guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Raymond Maddocks/Released)

NORWEGIAN SEA: Sailors assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) hold the phone and distance line as the ship conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary replenishment tanker RFA Tidespring (A136). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cameron M. Stoner/Released)

RAVLUNDA, Sweden: The Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7), right, maneuvers alongside a Norwegian vessel during BALTOPS 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Kaley Turfitt/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: An F/A-18E Super Hornet performs a fly-by during a change of command ceremony for the “Fighting Checkmates” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211 aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Rebekah A. Watkins/Released)

MARSEILLE, France: The Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) departs Marseille, France, following a scheduled port visit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Victoria Granado/Released)

STRAIT OF GIBRALTAR: The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) conducts a strait transit. Harry S. Truman is deployed as part of an ongoing rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in international waters around the globe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Thomas Gooley/Released)

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Your Navy Operating Forward – Strait of Gibraltar, Ravlunda, Sweden, Marseille, France

Let RIMPAC 2018 Be ‘Our Finest Hour’

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

The Rim of the Pacific Exercise is the world’s largest maritime exercise. It happens right on our doorstep once every two years. The Navy’s 26th RIMPAC starts here next week, hosted by Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet and led by Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet.

We are welcoming visiting ships and participants from 26 nations who are bringing 25,000 personnel to Hawaii – to the best homeport and duty station in the world. What better place to come together in peace to build cooperation than Pearl Harbor!


The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) passes the USS Arizona Memorial as the ship arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Katarzyna Kobiljak/Released)

In 2002 I participated in RIMPAC here as executive officer aboard USS Port Royal (CG 73). It was exhilarating, challenging and extremely rewarding, and it happened at a historic time for our Navy and nation: one year after 9/11.

Lessons I learned and friendships I forged 16 years ago during RIMPAC 2002 continue to guide me today. At each RIMPAC our Navy trains with friends, partners and colleagues to be capable, adaptive, innovative and ready.

From Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, RIMPAC participants deploy to train at Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, and in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The people of Hawaii understand and support our need for realistic training with our partners.


Military members and civilians wait for a performance during a 4th of July celebration at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam during Rim of the Pacific 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Katarzyna Kobiljak)

RIMPAC offers relevant and realistic training that fosters and sustains cooperative relationships. During RIMPAC in 2002 I learned quickly that when we understand each other we can prevent miscalculations. We can build trust. We can preserve peace and prevent conflict.

History shows us that our former adversaries can become steadfast friends. Japan, Germany and Vietnam are among the participants in RIMPAC 2018.

This past Tuesday our shipmate, retired Chief Boatswain’s Mate Ray Emory, a Pearl Harbor Survivor, visited the Pearl Harbor waterfront to see once again where his ship, USS Honolulu, was berthed Dec. 7, 1941, the day Oahu was attacked.

Chief Emory fought back that day, manning his machinegun, taking on enemy planes. He continued to fight on throughout the War in the Pacific. He and his buddies, with help from the home front, helped create an unprecedented era of peace, stability and prosperity. Victory at the end of World War II was Ray’s finest hour.


Retired Chief Boatswain’s Mate and Pearl Harbor survivor Ray Emory, left, is presented with a shadow box containing a POW/MIA flag by Jim Taylor, Navy Region Hawaii Pearl Harbor survivor liaison, during a farewell ceremony held before he departs Hawaii to be with family.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Pacheco/Released)

Ray, a long-time resident of Hawaii, is leaving Hawaii for the mainland next week – two days before the start of RIMPAC. He said it was his last time to visit Pearl Harbor.

It was my honor to be there to shake his hand and thank him for his service.

Sailors aboard USS O’Kane, berthed nearby, and Sailors from throughout our waterfront, who are getting ready for next week’s exercise, came to salute and pay tribute to Ray. They manned the rails, formed an honor cordon, saluted, and shouted “hip, hip, hooray” to this American hero.


Hawaii-area Sailors render honors to retired Chief Boatswain’s Mate and Pearl Harbor survivor Ray Emory during a farewell ceremony held before he departs Hawaii to be with family.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Pacheco/Released)

When the call came in 1941, Ray Emory and hundreds of thousands of other young Americans responded. They proved they were capable, adaptive, innovative and ready. Working with Allies and partners they fought to create a better world for our grandparents, parents, ourselves and our families.

We do not take their sacrifice and commitment for granted. We remember.

At this moment in history, in this sacred location, let us – each of us – remember the heroes who forged the future. Let us dedicate ourselves to having another exciting, safe and rewarding RIMPAC this summer. Let us commit to superior training, cooperation and readiness, building partnerships, and strengthening friendships.

Let this RIMPAC be our finest hour in 2018.

Editor’s note: Pearl Harbor is where ships from 26 nations are gathering to participate soon in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise. Most of the exercise will occur in and around the Hawaiian Islands.


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Let RIMPAC 2018 Be ‘Our Finest Hour’

Your Navy Operating Forward -Saipan, Ukraine, Japan

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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.


WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN: An F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115, launches from the flight deck aboard the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during the Carrier Air Wing Five fly-off. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)

HYUGA-NADA SEA: Mineman 1st Class Justin Crabtree, from Diamondhead, Mississippi, lowers a mine neutralization vehicle aboard the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Chief (MCM 14) into the water to track mines and simulate delivering an explosive package. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jordan Crouch/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 3rd Class Philip Powell readies an E-2C Hawkeye assigned to the Sunkings of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 116 for launch on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Rachael Treon/Released)

INDIAN OCEAN: Sailors work on the propeller of an AC-2A Greyhound, assigned to the Providers of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30, on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Russell/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: The amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) steams in formation while participating in a photo exercise in the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alexander Ventura II/Released)

SAIPAN: U.S. Navy Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class Andrew Nye, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25, signals to the pilots of a MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter after their return to Guam from a training exercise in Saipan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Benjamin A. Lewis/Released)

YOKOSUKA, Japan: The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Key West (SSN 722) is moored at Fleet Activities Yokosuka. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian G. Reynolds/Released)

ODESSA, Ukraine: Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) man the rails as the ship arrives in Odessa, Ukraine, for a scheduled port visit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Colbey Livingston/Released)

COMODORO RIVADAVIA, Argentina: Undersea Rescue Command (URC) and Argentine construction workers prepare the motor vessel Sophie Siem for the installation of the Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS) which operates the deep diving rescue vehicle, the Pressurized Rescue Module (PRM). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Christopher Lange/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) steams in formation while participating in a photo exercise in the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alexander Ventura II/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) transits the Strait of Messina. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Krystina Coffey/Released)

INDIAN OCEAN: An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the “Indians” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6 prepares to land aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Spencer Roberts/Released)

SOUTH CHINA SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob Milham/Released)

Tell us which photo best shows YOUR Navy Operating Forward !


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Your Navy Operating Forward -Saipan, Ukraine, Japan

Bull Halsey: Right Navy Leader at Right Time

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

PEARL HARBOR (Sept. 2, 2017) Rear Adm. Brian Fort, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific delivers remarks at the Battleship Missouri Memorial. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Justin R. Pacheco)
PEARL HARBOR (Sept. 2, 2017) Rear Adm. Brian Fort, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific delivers remarks at the Battleship Missouri Memorial. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Justin R. Pacheco)

On Sept. 2, I had the privilege of attending a ceremony on the battleship Missouri to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the end of World War II in the Pacific. The theme was “They Stood Tall, They Held the Line and They Set the Course to Peace,” and the focus was on the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

Among the reasons last week’s commemoration was special for me personally, I had the chance to meet and speak with World War II veterans and United States Marines – always an honor; I was invited to speak about the history, heritage and legacy associated with Guadalcanal; and did I mention we were aboard the “Mighty Mo,” Battleship Missouri Museum!

Back in 1945, USS Missouri (BB 63) hosted the signing ceremony for the end of the War in the Pacific. At the time, Missouri was flagship of Adm. William “Bull” Halsey.

Adm. Chester Nimitz and Adm. E. J. King handpicked Halsey to serve as the wartime commander of the South Pacific for a reason. They needed someone with his “very particular set of skills,” to quote Liam Neeson. They needed him Halsey to take command in the South Pacific, where, according to the historical record, other Navy leaders were overly cautious and risk averse.

Halsey took charge in the Solomons, where our Marines were in a bitter fight with Imperial Japanese forces. He gathered all available ships, ordered mechanics to work around the clock to repair ships and make them battle-read, maximized use of patrol torpedo boats (to great effect) and changed the maritime strategy from strictly defense to bold offense – willing to take cruisers and destroyers to engage with more powerful Imperial Japanese Navy battleships.

PEARL HARBOR (Sept. 2, 2017) Service members parade the colors aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Justin R. Pacheco)
PEARL HARBOR (Sept. 2, 2017) Service members parade the colors aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Justin R. Pacheco)

No wonder the United States Marine Corps loves him to this day. Marines defended Henderson Field and beat back enemy forces throughout late summer and early fall of 1942. Then, on Friday, Nov. 13, under Halsey’s orders, Adm. Daniel Callaghan led a fierce and deadly fight against the enemy in Sealark Channel off Guadalcanal.

In a close and thunderous gunfight, five American cruisers and eight destroyers went up against two enemy battleships, one cruiser and 14 destroyers. The result: brutal wounds, terrible damage and significant losses on both sides. Callaghan lost four ships and was himself killed, but Imperial Japan lost one battleship and two destroyers – their seeming invincibility was smashed.

Halsey was deeply saddened by the losses of his Sailors and ships. Nevertheless, he and Nimitz considered the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in the South Pacific one of the key turning points of the war.

The Battle of Guadalcanal would wage on for several more months, but the clear naval victories in November meant that our Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen would continue rising to the challenge to advance up the “ladder” toward Japan. At Guadalcanal, they stood taller, they held the line and they set the course to peace.

PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 11, 2017) The guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) transits the Pacific Ocean during a strait transit show of force exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Paul L. Archer/Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 11, 2017) The guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) transits the Pacific Ocean during a strait transit show of force exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Paul L. Archer/Released)

Today, we have 10 homeported ships in Pearl Harbor ready to protect freedom, security, stability and prosperity in the Pacific, and one of those ships is namesake to the take-charge admiral who ensured victory at Guadalcanal. The guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey’s motto is a quote from Halsey, “Hit hard, hit fast, hit often.”

Like any of us, Adm. Bull Halsey was far from perfect. But in 1942, he was the right leader at the right place at the right time. If our call comes to “fight tonight” we will need bold leaders like Halsey who can inspire and lead warfighters. Semper Fi. Semper Fortis.

Editor’s note: Rear Adm. Brian Fort assumed command at Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific Aug. 9. He was invited to speak to the community at the End of World War II ceremony aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial, which makes its home in Pearl Harbor.


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Bull Halsey: Right Navy Leader at Right Time