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)

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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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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)

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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

First CVN to Complete an OFRP Cycle: Ike enters Norfolk Navy Shipyards for maintenance and modernization to start her second OFRP Cycle

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By Rear Admiral Bruce H. Lindsey
Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) transited from Naval Station Norfolk to the Norfolk Naval Shipyards on Aug. 5 to begin her second Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP) Maintenance Phase. Her first OFRP Sustainment Phase is now complete, and after much success supporting the fleet, the ship will now undergo maintenance and modernization.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (Aug. 5, 2017) The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) transits the Elizabeth River during the ship's transit to Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan T. Beard/Released)
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (Aug. 5, 2017) The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) transits the Elizabeth River during the ship’s transit to Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan T. Beard/Released)

What an amazing job Ike and her crew did during the second portion of her Sustainment Phase, which came directly on the heels of a combat deployment that lasted from June 1 to December 30, 2016. During her seven months of post deployment Sustainment Phase, Ike maintained its ability to deploy fully combat ready within 30 days or less. Twice during this period, the carrier was called upon to execute a Fleet Synthetic Exercise – Sustainment (FST-S) and an at-sea Sustainment Exercise (SUSTEX) that included an Integrated Live Fire (ILF) event. These two exercises demonstrated Ike’s ability to deploy and conduct integrated planning and execution of at-sea combat operations. To accomplish this, every department aboard the ship had to be at the top of their game and constantly maintain the highest standards of readiness for months on end.

As any Sailor can tell you, maintaining this level of readiness for an aircraft carrier, let alone an entire carrier strike group, is no easy task. Between seven underway periods to conduct carrier qualification requirements to ensure proficiency and train the next generation of aviators, as well as the integrated sea combat exercises, Ike CSG worked around the clock to stay proficient in the event they were needed by the National Command Authorities.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (Aug. 9, 2017) Aviation Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Sasha Holcomb uses a needle gun to remove the deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Marques M. Franklin/Released)
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (Aug. 9, 2017) Aviation Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Sasha Holcomb uses a needle gun to remove the deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Marques M. Franklin/Released)

In addition to training requirements, we also kept Ike maintained as if she was on deployment. This meant that any time there was an issue with equipment, we jumped on fixing it. We maintained manning levels at deployment levels and kept them there throughout the entire Sustainment Phase.

Now, with USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) scheduled to return from deployment on Aug. 21 and enter into the second half of her Sustainment Phase, Ike’s crew can now focus on the beginning of her second OFRP cycle – a six-month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) in which Sailors and shipyard workers will work together to upgrade systems and rehabilitate spaces throughout the ship.

The numerous accomplishments of Ike’s Sailors during all phases of her first OFRP cycle have illustrated that OFRP is making a critical difference in the Navy’s ability to generate highly trained and lethal combat forces to meet the threats of today, and the threats of the future.

As Ike begins her second OFRP cycle with her induction into the Maintenance Phase at Norfolk Naval Shipyards, we must ensure OFRP’s four functions of:

  1. Rotating the force
  2. Surging the force if required
  3. Maintaining and modernizing the force
  4. Resetting the force in stride such that the fleet remains operationally ready to respond to world events.
ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 27, 2017) The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56), the dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Robert E. Perry (T-AKE 5) transit the Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jessica L. Dowell/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 27, 2017) The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56), the dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Robert E. Perry (T-AKE 5) transit the Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jessica L. Dowell/Released)


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First CVN to Complete an OFRP Cycle: Ike enters Norfolk Navy Shipyards for maintenance and modernization to start her second OFRP Cycle

USS Gerald R. Ford Ushers in New Age of Technology and Innovation

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By Rear Adm. Bruce Lindsey
Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

On July 22, the U.S. Navy will commission the nation’s newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). For the first time in more than 40 years, in a ceremony certain to be memorable, the Navy will commission the lead ship of a new class of aircraft carriers.

NEWPORT NEWS (April 8, 2017) The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) underway on its own power for the first time. The first-of-class ship – the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years – will spend several days conducting builder's sea trials, a comprehensive test of many of the ship's key systems and technologies. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ridge Leoni/Released)
NEWPORT NEWS (April 8, 2017) The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) underway on its own power for the first time. The first-of-class ship – the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years – will spend several days conducting builder’s sea trials, a comprehensive test of many of the ship’s key systems and technologies. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ridge Leoni/Released)

How will the fleet’s incorporation of the Gerald R. Ford class add to the already impressive combat power supplied by the nation’s 10 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers?

Gerald R. Ford will leverage design changes from bow to stern and from keel to mast, enabling ships of the class to fly today’s carrier aircraft with improved efficiency and ready to accommodate future manned aircraft and unmanned aerial systems.

With the Gerald R. Ford’s island scaled down and set farther aft, the flight deck has more usable area than a Nimitz class aircraft carrier, with this improved flight deck geometry, she can provide more efficiently prepare, launch and recover aircraft of today and of the future.

The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) has replaced the traditional steam-powered catapults of the Nimitz-class. Using stored kinetic energy and solid-state electrical power conversion, EMALS provides greater control and precision when launching aircraft, expanding the ship’s operational capability to launch more types of planes, from heavy strike fighter jets to light unmanned aircraft.

The Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) system will recover aircraft in a wider range of environmental and operational conditions than is currently possible. Like EMALS, AAG will enable the Gerald R. Ford class to operate new air vehicle systems that require capabilities beyond that of today’s Nimitiz class aircraft carriers.

Other design changes provide for the comfort and well-being of the Sailors in the crew, air wing and embarked staffs in Gerald R. Ford. Crew members will find more privacy in redesigned sleeping areas with fewer racks per room and easier access to restroom and shower facilities. Separate spaces hold crew recreation and television viewing areas, providing consistent quiet for sleeping crew members. Wider passageways make travel through the ship more efficient in both peace and combat. Well-equipped gyms enable a variety of exercise routines. Increased air conditioning capacity adds to crew comfort and reduces maintenance caused by high heat and humidity. Even the lighting is better; 44,000 high-efficiency fluorescent T-8 light bulbs produces more light and last nearly twice as long as lighting on a Nimitz-class carrier.

In all, 23 new or modified systems distinguish Gerald R. Ford from aircraft carriers of the Nimitz-class, bringing increased safety, effectiveness and efficiency to the ship’s crew members, flight deck, propulsion system, electric plant, machinery control and integrated warfare systems.

NORFOLK (April 14, 2017) The aircraft carrier Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) pulls into Naval Station Norfolk for the first time. The first-of-class ship - the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years - spent several days conducting builder's sea trails, a comprehensive test of many of the ship's key systems and technologies. (U.S. Navy photo by Matt Hildreth courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries/Released)
NORFOLK (April 14, 2017) The aircraft carrier Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) pulls into Naval Station Norfolk for the first time. The first-of-class ship – the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years – spent several days conducting builder’s sea trails, a comprehensive test of many of the ship’s key systems and technologies. (U.S. Navy photo by Matt Hildreth courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries/Released)

Following the commissioning of Gerald R. Ford, the Navy will complete the ship’s outfitting and testing and will prepare this lead ship for its first operational deployment – sending the next generation of aircraft carrier capabilities forward in service to the nation. The second ship of the Gerald R. Ford class, future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), is well along in construction, and the shipbuilder has begun work on the third ship, future USS Enterprise (CVN 80). These aircraft carriers, the most technologically advanced in the world, will serve alongside and complement the 10 ships of the Nimitz class, keeping America’s Navy on the forefront of today’s rapidly-evolving operational environment.

Commissioning of Gerald R. Ford will celebrate the contributions of tens of thousands of active duty Sailors, government civilians, and private sector patriots who envisioned, designed and built the lead ship of a new class of aircraft carriers, unmatched by anything else in the world.

The age of the Ford-class carrier has arrived and I am confident that these ships will continue to push the envelope for technological advancements and enable the United States to not only maintain , but to increase our maritime superiority throughout the world for the next 50 years plus.

Editor’s note: The commissioning ceremony will be webcast starting at 10 a.m. (EDT).


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USS Gerald R. Ford Ushers in New Age of Technology and Innovation

Your Navy Operating Forward – Sulu Sea, Bohol Sea, South Pacific

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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.


BOHOL SEA: The littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) transits the Bohol Sea during an exercise with the Philippine navy during the Maritime Training Activity Sama Sama 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven Leigh Ellis/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Sailors transport ordnance on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mario Coto/Released)

JEBEL ALI, United Arab Emirates: The amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) prepares to depart Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean Furey/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: Sailors assigned to Coastal Riverine Squadron (CRS) 3, Task Group (TG) 56.7, pilot 34-foot patrol boats in the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean Furey/Released)

GULF OF MEXICO: Huntington Ingalls Industries’ shipbuilding division announced the amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27) has completed its first set of sea trials. (U.S. Navy photo by Lance Davis)

SOUTH PACIFIC: Lt. Miranda Krasselt and Lt. Chris Williams signal for the launch of an aircraft on 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/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) operates in the Mediterranean Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Xavier Jimenez/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: The guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the French navy Durance-class replenishment tanker FS Var (A608) during Exercise Spartan Kopis 17. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Bryce Bruns/Released)

SYDNEY, Australia: The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) transits the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. T. T. Parish/Released)

SULU SEA: Sailors assigned to the “Wildcards” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23 prepare to hoist a dummy on a litter into an MH-60S Seahawk during a medical drill aboard the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven Leigh Ellis/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN: The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) fires its Mark 45 5-inch gun during a live-fire exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelsey J. Hockenberger/Released)

Tell us which photo best shows YOUR Navy Operating Forward !


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Your Navy Operating Forward – Sulu Sea, Bohol Sea, South Pacific