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

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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From the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare (N2N6) “…we’re …

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

Your Navy Operating Forward – Gulf of Aden, Caribbean Sea, Philippine Sea

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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.


CARTAGENA, Colombia: A landing craft utility attached to Beachmaster Unit 2 prepares to land on the beach in Cartagena, Colombia for a humanitarian assistance training exercise during UNITAS 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Colbey Livingston/Released)

GULF OF ADEN: The dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Alan Shepard (TAK-E 3) transits the Gulf of Aden while conducting a vertical replenishment with the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) 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 Matthew Freeman)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) transits the Mediterranean Sea, Sept. 3, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan U. Kledzik/Released)

GULF OF ADEN: The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) transits the Gulf of Aden during a vertical replenishment while on 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 Matthew Freeman/Released)

CARIBBEAN SEA: U.S. Soldiers fast-rope onto the flight deck of the Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) during UNITAS 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Colbey Livingston/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Sailors remove chocks and chains from an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter, assigned to the “Vipers” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM 48), on the flight deck of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64), Sept. 3, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan U. Kledzik/Released)

GULF OF ADEN: The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) transits the Gulf of Aden during a vertical replenishment while on 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 Matthew Freeman)

SOUDA BAY, Greece: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) arrives in Souda Bay, Greece, Sept. 2, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan U. Kledzik/Released)

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia: The guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) transits the Atlantic Ocean en route to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a port visit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Yarborough/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: An AS-332 Super Puma helicopter transports stores during a vertical replenishment between the dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8) and the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker/Released)

U.S. 7TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS: A Royal Brunei navy boarding team approaches a vessel while participating in a visit, board, search and seizure practical scenario training during Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) 2018. (U.S. photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Micah Blechner/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: An AS-332 Super Puma helicopter takes off from the flight deck of the dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8) during a replenishment-at-sea with the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) in the Philippine Sea, Sept. 7, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Taylor King/Releaed)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) fires its 5-inch gun during a gunnery exercise with the Egyptian Naval Force and Hellenic navy while participating in Exercise Bright Star 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan U. Kledzik/Released)

GULF OF ADEN: An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter attached to the Blackjacks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21 offloads supplies from the dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Alan Shepard (TAK-E 3) while participating in an underway replenishment with the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) 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 2nd Class Chandler Harrell)

PHILIPPINE SEA: An MV-22 Osprey, assigned to the “Flying Tigers” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262, approaches the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) during flight operations in the Philippine Sea, Sept. 8, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker/Released)

GULF OF ADEN: The Whidbey Island-class amphibious landing dock ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) transits alongside the replenishment oiler USNS Laramie (T-AO 203), during a replenishment-at-sea, while on a scheduled deployment with the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brandon Williams-Church/Released)

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“Faces of the Fleet” is a collection of images of Sailors serving our country in …

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Your Navy Operating Forward – Gulf of Aden, Caribbean Sea, Philippine 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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From Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet Public Affairs On Aug. 24, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. …

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Louisville Navy Week Held

USS Michael Murphy the Protector

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

Lt. Michael P. Murphy, namesake of our USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), was tough – physically, mentally and morally.

From an early age he was known as “the Protector.” He looked out for others, whether family, friends or strangers. According to his parents, Maureen and Dan Murphy, of Patchogue, New York, he had a strong understanding of right and wrong and was a natural leader at an early age.


SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy, from Patchogue, N.Y. Murphy was killed by enemy forces during a reconnaissance mission, Operation Red Wings, June 28, 2005, while leading a four-man team tasked with finding a key Taliban leader in the mountainous terrain near Asadabad, Afghanistan. (U. S. Navy photo/Released)

His best friend, Owen O’Callaghan, was assigned to New York’s Engine 53 Ladder 43 fire station, which responded to the attacks of September 11, 2001. Lt. Murphy, along with members of his Navy SEAL team, wore the firefighters’ patch as a sign of solidarity in their fight against terrorists.

The crest of USS Michael Murphy is inspired by the design in the firefighting company’s patch. And, firefighters of Ladder 53 Engine 43 wear the Navy SEAL patch in return.

Nearly all Sailors – and many civilians – know the story of Lt. Michael Murphy and his awesome courage as he fought and died to save his fellow SEALs in Afghanistan, June 28, 2005.

Outnumbered and severely wounded in combat he purposely exposed himself to enemy fire to call in assistance for his team.

For his unwavering selfless courage Murphy received the Medal of Honor, awarded posthumously. We honor and remember his toughness – and his fairness.


The Medal of Honor rests on a flag beside a SEAL trident during preparations for an award ceremony for Lt. Michael P. Murphy. Murphy was killed by enemy forces during a reconnaissance mission, Operation Red Wings, June 28, 2005, while leading a four-man team tasked with finding a key Taliban leader in the mountainous terrain near Asadabad, Afghanistan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brandan W. Schulze/Released)

Lt. Murphy’s memory continues to inspire Sailors who serve and “lead the fight” aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy, homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

USS Michael Murphy has deployed three times in the past year, including with both Carl Vinson Strike Group and the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group.

Last year, Michael Murphy spent more than 200 days underway in the U.S. 3rd Fleet and U.S. 7th Fleet operating areas, conducted eight port visits in five countries and steamed 60,000 nautical miles.


Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-Class guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) prepare to participate in a fueling-at-sea with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jasen Morenogarcia/Released)

In 2018 Michael Murphy conducted South China Sea operations; making port visits to Guam and Manila, Republic of the Philippines and conducting Oceania Maritime Security Initiative operations with a U.S. Coast Guard detachment to protect fishing areas and enforce maritime laws.

Recently, Sailors of Michael Murphy represented the Navy at Fleet Week in Portland, Oregon before returning and deploying again.

During Fleet Weeks, the men and women of DDG-112 provided ship tours to thousands of people, including young people who had an opportunity to learn about namesake Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy.

In recent weeks we learned that a 14-year-old boy desecrated a memorial plaque in Lt. Michael P. Murphy Park in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York.


The guided-missile destroyer Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Michael Murphy (DDG 112) makes its way through New York Harbor in preparation for its commissioning Oct. 6. The new destroyer honors the late Lt. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy, a New York native. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Erik Swanson/Released)

While some people reacted with anger and hate, I was heartened to see the reaction of Michael’s parents, Dan and Maureen Murphy. Maureen is USS Michael Murphy’s sponsor.

Maureen Murphy said, “The boy who did this, he’s a child. He did something foolish. And everybody has done something foolish when they’re younger.” Michael’s father, Dan Murphy, said, “Michael was the type of person who would have wanted to take this person under his wing and talk to him. I hope they educate this young man.”

This kind of understanding, forgiveness and compassion is another kind of toughness, a kind all leaders need. It’s easy to see how their son grew to be the man he became.

In “Seal of Honor” author Gary Williams writes, “Michael was able to see both the good and bad in people … He inherently believed the best in people and always gave them the benefit of any doubt.”

When Michael was in the eighth grade – around the age of the teen who vandalized the plaque – he saw a group of boys bullying a special education student, trying to push the child into a locker. Michael stood up to them and got in a fight with several of them. It would not be the last time he would step up to bullies and lead the fight.

That’s when he earned the nickname “the Protector.”

Today, Sailors aboard USS Michael Murphy protect and defend our nation as part of Navy’s living legacy, dedicated to providing security and stability in the name of freedom.


The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) transits the Philippine Sea . (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel M. Young/Released)


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USS Michael Murphy the Protector

Reno / Carson City Hosts Navy Week

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Reno / Carson City Hosts Navy Week

New Mark VI Patrol Boat Command Opportunities: Q&A

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From Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs

Last year, U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Officers (SWOs) learned of two new and exciting opportunities in the Coastal Riverine Force. Junior SWOs on track to successfully complete their second division officer tours were notified of the opportunity to screen for command-at-sea billets serving in one of the Navy’s newest platforms, the Mark VI Patrol Boat. Following in the footsteps of the PT boats of World War II and the Riverines in Vietnam, SWOs now have a cutting edge platform and new opportunities for small unit leadership. Additionally, department heads requesting to screen for command early were notified of an opportunity to be slated to serve as a Mark VI company commander, commanding three of the boats. Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) Public Affairs Officer Cmdr. Cate Cook recently sat down with Capt. Stan Chien, commander, Coastal Riverine Group 1, and Lt. Cmdr. Tim Yuhas, the second tour department head and early command SWO detailer at Navy Personnel Command, to learn more about this opportunity in the Coastal Riverine Force.

Q1. Tell us more about this new opportunity and how it came to be.
A1. (Yuhas) In August of last year, Commander Naval Surface Forces announced the first opportunity for post-division officers and post-department heads to screen for command-at-sea billets as Mark VI Patrol Boat commanding officers and company commanders. These billets add to our early command inventory of Patrol Coastal Ships (PCs) and Mine Countermeasure Ships (MCMs) located around the World. The surface warfare community values command at sea – it’s the pinnacle of leadership – and for a talented group of board-screened junior officers they get to command as early as year five of commissioned service. Mark VI Companies are located in Little Creek, Virginia, and San Diego and deploy forward to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility. The Mark VI Patrol Boat commanding officer (lieutenant command) will have a crew of 11 people and be responsible for operating the 84-foot craft. The company commander (lieutenant commander command) will deploy with their three craft and provide operational command and control of the Mark VI as well as provide administrative and materiel support. They can expect to get underway with their company for one to three day patrols as the boats expand the operational reach of the Mark VI.

(Chien) The command position was created because operation of the Mark VI requires dedicated, resourceful leadership to safely maintain and fight these advanced patrol craft. The Mark VI is transforming the Coastal Riverine Force through extended reach and increased combat power. Currently junior officers that are part of the Mark VI crews are very capable of operating the platform, but the command position was created to attract the top performers of the surface community needed to seize the initiative and lead the Mark VI program through the maturation process required to fully integrate into the Chief of Naval Operations’ (CNO) Maritime Design.


IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (February 2, 2018) Capt. Stan Chien, commander of Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 1, speaks during a change of command ceremony held onboard Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach Feb. 8. The Coastal Riverine Force provides a core capability to defend designated high value assets throughout the green and blue-water environment and provides deployable adaptive force packages worldwide in integrated, joint and combined theaters of operations (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Boatswain’s Mate Nelson Doromal/Released)

Q2. Who is eligible?
A2. (Yuhas) This is a tremendous and rewarding opportunity that is open to the best and most fully qualified officers. The screening for lieutenant commander command (Mark VI company commander, PCs, and MCMs) remains unchanged – in fact, the screening board does not define who is screened to which assignment; slating is a function of the officer’s timing, preferences and needs of the Navy.
Division officers who wish to apply for Mark VI Patrol Boat commanding officers must meet the following requirements:
a) Attain formal designation letter as a SWO
b) Serve at least 36 months in a ship
c) Complete at least one deployment
d) Complete Basic Division Officer Course
e) Complete Advanced Division Officer Course (nuclear-qualified officers exempt)
f) Earn their Engineering Officer of the Watch qualification
g) Demonstrate sustained skills in shiphandling and seamanship while assigned to their ship
h) Screen for department head
i) Complete the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command screening

Q3. Some SWOs are unfamiliar with the Mark VI. What can you tell us about this platform?
A3. (Chien) Mark VI patrol boats are the newest platform in Navy Expeditionary Combat Command’s inventory. Eighty-four ft. in length, the Mark VI is a highly capable platform whose primary mission is to provide capability to persistently patrol littoral areas beyond sheltered harbors and bays for the purpose of force protection for friendly and coalition forces and critical infrastructure. Missions include security force assistance, high value unit shipping escort, visit board search and seizure support operations, and theater security cooperation. Crew sizes are small at maximum of 12 personnel, affording an opportunity at small unit leadership not found elsewhere in the Surface Warfare community, coupled with a strong sense of camaraderie. The crew consists of two full watch teams, each with a patrol officer, boat captain, coxswain, engineer/gunner, navigator and communicator/gunner.

Q4. When looking at what might be called the “traditional” career track of a SWO, the opportunity to command a Mark VI comes after a SWO’s second division officer tour at sea – a time when many SWOs are assigned a shore tour. What would you say to an officer who is hesitant to follow their second division officer tour with another tour at sea?
A4. (Chien) This new opportunity is not going to be for everyone – but if you are someone who thrives at sea and in leadership positions, we would consider it a privilege to have you join our team in the Coastal Riverine Force. The platform provides a unique opportunity to experience a small, tight knit community that integrates with other Navy units such as Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). Your experience in the “blue water” fleet will contribute significantly to the design of future mission sets realizing the full capability of these outstanding boats.

(Yuhas) Every situation is different – as such, Division Officers approaching the end of their 2nd DIVO tour need to assess their personal and professional goals. From the professional standpoint – you are correct – one can expect to leave their 2nd DIVO tour – spend approximately six months in their training pipeline before reporting to their craft. They will go through workups and should expect to have two deployments over the two year window they will be in Command. Our community has always valued “WUK” – water under the keel – there’s only one way to get WUK and that is at sea! I had a great friend and phenomenal SWO once say to me “Experience comes only after you need it” and it is the truth! You must build your experience base to become – more experienced! Why wouldn’t you want to start that as early as possible? By putting your name in the hat and being screened for early command – whether that is lieutenant or lieutenant commander command – you’ve signaled your intent and so has the Navy by trusting in you to lead our future. As that leader you will ensure our combat readiness and the solemn stewardship of our nation’s most prized possession – its sons and daughters. Who wouldn’t be humbled and honored by such an opportunity?

Q5. What are the professional and personal benefits of requesting to screen for Mark VI Patrol Boat Command? Will this tour make SWOs more competitive than their peers when it comes to future screening and promotion boards?
A5. (Chien) As any SWO knows, look for opportunities to lead early and often if you want to break out from the pack. The Mark VI Patrol Boat commanding officer tours are going to be extremely challenging but rewarding – there is no better place to hone your leadership and shiphandling skills while leading a dedicated team of Sailors than in the Coastal Riverine Force on one of the Navy’s newest platforms. The Surface community has generally rewarded those officers who command early with additional opportunities at the O-5 and O-6 level… and we expect to see the same thing for our Mark VI early command officers.

(Yuhas) When it comes to future promotion and screening boards, PERS-41 is working to ensure precepts are updated to clearly articulate to a board the value of Mark VI Command. We believe that an officer who has been screened by community leadership and successfully completes Command will be very competitive at any screening board. Further it’s worth noting that in a case where an officer screens but is not slated, that officer’s records will be updated with an early command screening code. That officer should also make sure that the words “SCREENED FOR LT COMMAND” are at the top of every FITREP that follows until they are screened for the next higher milestone. There are two reasons why an officer might be screened but not slated: their career timing and billet availability. If this happens it is not considered a negative reflection of that officer’s record, nor is there any indication of non-selection in the officer’s official record. By applying for Early Command, your record will get a hard look by some of our community’s strongest leaders. These are the same people who sit on commander command boards, etc. – it’s a free look to see how you are doing!


GUAM (April 6, 2017) A MK VI patrol boat, assigned to Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 1 Detachment Guam, maneuvers off the coast of Guam April 6, 2017. CRG 1 Detachment Guam is assigned to Commander, Task Force 75, which is the primary expeditionary task force responsible for the planning and execution of coastal riverine operations, explosive ordnance disposal, mobile diving and salvage, engineering and construction, and underwater construction in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alfred A. Coffield)

Q6. Aside from individual benefits, how will the Surface Warfare Community benefit overall from this initiative?
A6. (Chien) The surface warfare community will see real dividends from this early command opportunity. The junior officers selected to command Mark VI Patrol Boats will have a tremendous opportunity to mature their leadership, tactical and shiphandling skills throughout their tour with the Coastal Riverine Force. As these men and women grow in their Navy careers and advance to positions at sea with more responsibility, the skills they honed in the Mark VI will enhance the operational effectiveness of any ship in which they serve.

Q7. What kind of officer is the Coastal Riverine Force looking for to command its Mark VI patrol boats and companies?
A7. (Chien) For both the company and patrol boat command positions, we’re looking for bold, innovative and tactically-astute officers who are comfortable in positions of great authority and responsibility. The crews are small, so we need officers who can build a cohesive bond with and among the crew. Most importantly, and in keeping with the CNO’s focus upon toughness, we need officers who can fight and win with this incredible new patrol boat. The Coastal Riverine Force is professional group of Sailors with a unique mission spanning a variety of missions not found in any other communities. Coastal Riverine sailors will deploy to various locations throughout the world, in unit sizes ranging from five sailors to over 200, fulfilling the missions of embarked security teams, aircraft security teams, port and maritime infrastructure security, landside security, high value unit escorts and overt unmanned aerial systems surveillance missions.

Q8. What is a typical tour like?
A8. (Chien) Mark VI Patrol Boat tours will be 24 months in lengths and located in Little Creek and San Diego. Mark VI crew members should expect to deploy for seven out of every 18 months to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operations. Deployments to 5th fleet will be to Bahrain where Mark VI’s conduct exercises and operations with the Explosive Ordnance Disposal community and Joint units, provide High Value Unit escorts, maritime Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, littoral patrols, and support to maritime interdiction operations. Deployments to 7th fleet vary significantly from 5th fleet due to the geography of the Pacific. Mark VI deployments initiate from Guam and the main effort will be to expand the range and capabilities of the Patrol Boat to participate in Theater Security Cooperation efforts.

Q9. What does the training pipeline look like for the new Mark VI Patrol Boat Commanding Officer position?
A9.  (Yuhas) Slated Mark VI commanding officers can expect to go to the Surface Warfare Officers School for a portion of the Surface Commanders Course (SCC) – take a revised command assessment, attend Command Leadership School at The Naval Leadership and Ethics Center, also in Newport, and then proceed to NECC for follow-on training in order to give them the foundation they need to be successful. For those slated to lieutenant commander command, the pipeline will look much the same as it currently is: senior officer legal, command leadership, SCC, Shipride, TYCOM Indoctrination, command assessment (as needed) and NECC training (as appropriate). The pipeline for Mark VI commanding officers will generally take six months. Company commander training may take a little longer based on course availability.

Q10. If you could go back in time to the days when you were a Lieutenant, would you have pursued the opportunity to command a Mark VI patrol boat? If so, why?
A10. (Chien) Without hesitation. Trailblazers who compete for these positions have the opportunity to join an exclusive club comprised of some the Navy’s most respected leaders who also cut their teeth leading small, fast boats at sea. Just look at President John F. Kennedy and Adm. John D. Bulkeley…no one can deny the legacy they created in their leadership of small boat crews as Navy lieutenants during World War II. This is an incredible opportunity for a young officer and I would have considered it an honor and a privilege to have been given the chance to lead a small boat crew at sea.

(Yuhas) I wish it was available when I was leaving my DIVO tours! Command of a PC was challenging and yet the most rewarding tour I have had in the Navy so far. How awesome would it be to drive and lead a crew of Sailors in today’s version of a PT boat!

Q11. What should a DIVO and SWO do if they’re interested?
A11. (Yuhas) The first step is meeting all the prerequisites we discussed earlier – once you meet them please reach out to me so I can send you some templates for the Command Board that you will need to complete as well as the letters you need to get which will clear your way for the Early Command Board. The board is held semi-annually in June and November. I’m standing by to help get you into command – please send me an email (timothy.yuhas@navy.mil) or give me a call and we can talk (901.874.3485)!


MILLINGTON, Tenn. (Feb. 14, 2018) Lt. Cmdr. Tim Yuhas poses for an environmental portrait in his office at Navy Personnel Command at Naval Support Activity Mid-South. Yuhas details board-screened Early Command officers to MK VI, Mine Countermeasure and Costal Patrol Ships around the world. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew Riggs/Released)


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New Mark VI Patrol Boat Command Opportunities: Q&A

Your Navy Operating Forward – Souda Bay, Caribbean Sea, Philippine Sea

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PHILIPPINE SEA: Lt. Nicholas O’Neill, from Carson City, Nev., signals for the launch of an F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27 from the flight deck of the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier and flagship of Carrier Strike Group Five, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), during Annual Exercise 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)



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


PHILIPPINE SEA: Lt. Nicholas O’Neill, from Carson City, Nev., signals for the launch of an F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27 from the flight deck of the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier and flagship of Carrier Strike Group Five, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), during Annual Exercise 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)

CARIBBEAN SEA: The dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE 5) approaches the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) during a replenishment-at-sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Danny Ray Nuñez Jr./Released)

SOUTH CHINA SEA: An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Indians of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6 transports cargo from the dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Amelia Earhart (T-AKE 6) during a replenishment-at-sea with the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Spencer Roberts/Released)

STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA: A CH-47 Chinook helicopter assigned to the Washington Air National Guard, 1st General Support Aviation Battalion, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joseph L. Miller/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Vincent Tate signals an SA 330 Puma helicopter assigned to the dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE-8), during a vertical replenishment (VERTREP) with the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) during Annual Exercise 2017 (AE17). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeremy Graham/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: A Sailor handles ammunition for a .50 caliber machine gun during a crew-served weapons shoot aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Theron J. Godbold/Released)

SOUDA BAY: Sailors board a rigid-hull inflatable boat for a passenger and mail transfer from the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) in Souda Bay. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Krystina Coffey/Released)

WESTERN PACIFIC: Sailors operate explosive ordnance disposal robots in the aft mess decks of the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), during a career fair. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Janweb B. Lagazo/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: The Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier and flagship of Carrier Strike Group Five, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), steams the Philippine Sea during Annual Exercise 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)

SOUTH CHINA SEA: An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Indians of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6 transports cargo to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Spencer Roberts/Released)

COMODORO RIVADAVIA, Argentina: The first set of equipment from Undersea Rescue Command (URC) arrives in Argentina to support search and rescue operations for the Argentine submarine ARA San Juan (S-42), Nov. 19, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

U.S.5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS: Seaman Lea Sabino, assigned to the deck department aboard the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), stands the forward look out watch as the ship prepares to enter Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates for a scheduled port visit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Vance Hand/Released)

Tell us which photo best shows YOUR Navy Operating Forward !


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Your Navy Operating Forward – Souda Bay, Caribbean Sea, Philippine Sea

USS Somerset Shines on Maiden Deployment

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By Capt. Darren Glaser
Commanding Officer, USS Somerset (LPD 25)

SAN DIEGO (Oct. 14, 2016) — Line handlers assigned to Naval Station San Diego release the mooring lines as the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25), departs for a scheduled deployment. Somerset is a part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, which will serve in the U.S. 3rd, 5th, and 7th Fleet area of operation, providing maritime security operations, crisis response capability, theater security cooperation and forward naval presence. (U.S. Navy Photo by Seaman Kelsey Hockenberger/Released)
SAN DIEGO (Oct. 14, 2016) — Line handlers assigned to Naval Station San Diego release the mooring lines as the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25), departs for a scheduled deployment. (U.S. Navy Photo by Seaman Kelsey Hockenberger/Released)

As we departed Naval Base San Diego Oct. 14, 2016, for USS Somerset’s (LPD 25) maiden deployment, along with USS Makin Island (LHD 8) and USS Comstock (LSD 45) for operations in the U.S. 3rd, 5th and 7th fleets, I knew the ship and crew were more than ready. Now, as we prepare to return to San Diego on May 15, I want to share how Somerset shined on our maiden deployment.

We worked very hard transitioning from a pre-commissioning unit to a deployment ready U.S. Navy warship – first through the basic phase of training and then into the intermediate phase as integrated members of the Amphibious Squadron  5/11th Marine Expeditionary Unit team and the ‘Makin Island’ Amphibious Readiness Group. During this training, Somerset Sailors and Marines quickly learned to work together and completed certification in all mission areas we could be assigned to perform throughout a deployment. Since setting sail, the Makin Island Amphibious Readiness Group has collectively been engaged in numerous operations defending U.S. interests and maintaining freedom of the seas.

APRA HARBOR, GUAM (April 20, 2017) The amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) heads towards Guam for a scheduled liberty port visit. Somerset, with the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (11th MEU), was operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to enhance amphibious capability with regional partners and to serve as a ready-response force for any type of contingency. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob I. Allison/Released)
APRA HARBOR, GUAM (April 20, 2017) The amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) heads towards Guam for a scheduled liberty port visit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob I. Allison/Released)

As a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock (LPD) ship, Somerset offers the kind of innovation and cutting edge technology the surface Navy needs to meet future challenges at sea – both during this initial deployment and for years to come. The ship includes innovations in its external design that reduces the ship’s appearance on radars and a state-of-the-art command and control network. San Antonio-class ships were designed to be stealthy, have significant survivability features and an advanced computer technology to accomplish a broad range of missions. This class is the first amphibious ships in the U.S. Navy to feature these design innovations. High-tech systems, an integrated Ship Wide Area Network, video cameras located throughout the ship, and technology like the Consolidated Visual Information System allow the crew to monitor the vast array of systems onboard, while requiring fewer personnel at watch stations.

WATERS NEAR TRINCOMALEE, SRI LANKA (Nov. 22, 2016) Sailors aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) lower a rigid-hull inflatable boat with a knuckle-boom crane of the coast of Sri Lanka in preparation for a theater security cooperation exchange with the Sri Lankan military. Somerset and embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit were conducting the exchange with Sri Lankan forces in order to enhance tactical skill sets and disaster relief capabilities while strengthening the overall relationship between the two forces (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Chavez/Released)
WATERS NEAR TRINCOMALEE, SRI LANKA (Nov. 22, 2016) Sailors aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) lower a rigid-hull inflatable boat with a knuckle-boom crane of the coast of Sri Lanka in preparation for a theater security cooperation exchange with the Sri Lankan military. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Chavez/Released)

These advanced systems facilitate both external and internal flexibility to not only serve as a warfare commander in a strike group, but also gives the crew the ability to monitor vital ship system’s from traditional controlling stations like the bridge, as well as in other places like a joint planning room, the wardroom lounge or even the ship’s library and chapel. With shipboard innovations in technology like the Consolidated Visual Information System, it’s possible to be in the helo control tower and review all the parameters of online equipment in the engine rooms, keep an eye on all surface/air contacts while sitting in the wardroom or even steer the ship all the way back by the flight deck in our These unique capabilities have been in high demand and we have participated in major operational tasking throughout the deployment. A true testament to our resolve, we remained on station and at sea for as long as 76 consecutive days supporting missions.

Through our work, we demonstrated our commitment to readiness. Operations included several firsts for the United States and our partnering nation, Sri Lanka, as the first and largest U.S. Navy warship to conduct both Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) and air ship-to-shore operations on a Sri Lankan Naval Base and first ever theater security cooperation exercise with the Sri Lankan Navy (Marines). This enabled a first major military-to-military exercise, multiple exchanges and training events with the U.S. Marines and Sri Lanka forces. While Somerset already has three of its own rigid-hull inflatable boats, we embarked an additional two rigid-hull inflatable boats crewed by Assault Craft Unit 5 to support the Marine’s Maritime Raid Force operations. Our LCACs from Beach Master Unit 5 moved Marines and their equipment to beaches around the world during this deployment. Our ability to rapidly embark diverse joint forces, integrate them, deploy them close to the mission objective and support them in the execution of their mission sets has been critical to getting the job done this deployment. Additionally, we also took part in exercises and engagements with our valuable strategic partners in Oman and Djibouti.

SALALAH, OMAN (March 4, 2017) Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Brandon Kellum, from Harlem, N.Y., signals a vehicle onto a landing craft, air cushion (LCAC), assigned to Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 5, during exercise Sea Soldier 17. The annual, bilateral exercise is conducted with the Royal Army of Oman and is designed to demonstrate the cooperative skill and will of U.S. and partner nations to work together in maintaining regional stability and security. The amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25), with the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations designed to reassure allies and partners, preserve the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce and enhance regional stability. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amanda Chavez/Released)
SALALAH, OMAN (March 4, 2017) Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Brandon Kellum, from Harlem, N.Y., signals a vehicle onto a landing craft, air cushion (LCAC), assigned to Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 5, during exercise Sea Soldier 17. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amanda Chavez/Released)
GULF OF ADEN (Dec. 21, 2016) Lt. Taryn Cazzolii, right, the senior medical officer aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25), and Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Donahue, a Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 5 surgeon, operate on a patient during Somerset’s first ever onboard surgery. FST 5 is embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) in order to enhance surgical, casualty receiving and trauma treatment capabilities across the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). Somerset was deployed with the Makin Island and 11th MEU to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amanda Chavez/Released)
GULF OF ADEN (Dec. 21, 2016) Lt. Taryn Cazzolii, right, the senior medical officer aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25), and Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Donahue, a Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 5 surgeon, operate on a patient during Somerset’s first ever onboard surgery. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amanda Chavez/Released)

Using this technology, all of the impressive work is accomplished with a ship operating with lower manning levels than traditional ships of its size. Somerset, and the other San Antonio-class ships like it, are unique and forward-thinking surface warfare ships that bring a wide array of naval warfighting and Defense Support of Civil Authorities capabilities together in one package. Her distinctive characteristics make Somerset worldwide deployable for almost any mission – but I am the first to admit, the ship would only be a shell without the devoted Sailors and Marines. Each LPD-17 class can support up to 800 additional personnel, provide medical care (we have both surgical and dental capability) and it encompasses more than 23,000 square feet of vehicle storage space, more than double of the previous LPD-4 class it replaced. Somerset’s crew is both highly trained and prepared to support command and control, to on load and offload people, provisions and/or special equipment ashore.

Dedicated, highly trained and professional, the Somerset team is united to defend our country and to keep the seas safe and free. The ship’s array of accomplishments on this first deployment, from naval firsts with other countries to successfully carrying out traditional mission tasking, are a direct result of the hard work and service of the crew and their embarked 11th MEU counterparts on board. They are the heart of the ship – without them, the ship could not move operate and fight to deliver concentrated, projected combat power ashore or execute the vast number of humanitarian missions we have the flexibility to support.

Having served on several different ship classes in my career, I could not ask to serve on a more powerful surface warship or with a better crew! As one of the Navy’s three 9/11 Memorial ships, the memory of Flight 93’s courage and sacrifice lives on, embodied by Somerset’s Sailors and embarked Marines. Somerset has 22 tons of steel from one of two mining excavators present at the crash site, which stood witness to the crash of Flight 93, and later where an American flag was flown by first responders during the recovery operation. That steel was melted down and incorporated into the bow stem of this ship during its construction. That piece of history and courage through adversity is now a part of the backbone of this ship, it cutting through the water for both this crew as we return from our maiden deployment and future crews who will serve aboard this ship.

SOUTH CHINA SEA (Nov. 10, 2016) Capt. Darren Glaser, commanding officer of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25), and Lt. Col. Matthew Lundgren, commanding officer of Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (11th MEU), salute during a ceremony for the 241st birthday of the Marine Corps aboard Somerset.
SOUTH CHINA SEA (Nov. 10, 2016) Capt. Darren Glaser, commanding officer of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25), and Lt. Col. Matthew Lundgren, commanding officer of Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (11th MEU), salute during a ceremony for the 241st birthday of the Marine Corps aboard Somerset. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob I. Allison/Released)

Editor’s Note: Capt. Glaser’s service aboard Somerset began as this ship’s executive officer in October 2015 before assuming his current role as the ship’s third commanding officer.


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USS Somerset Shines on Maiden Deployment

Battle of Coral Sea leads to Midway: A comeback for U.S. Navy

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By Rear Adm. John Fuller
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

Seventy-five years ago today, May 12, 1942, American submarines inflicted the final major casualties of the Battle of the Coral Sea, a fight that tested the skill of our Navy on, under and above the sea.

The Battle of the Coral Sea etched names in our history and heritage: Rear Adm. Frank Jack Fletcher, Lt. “Jo Jo” Powers, Lt. Milton Ricketts, Dauntlesses Devastators aircraft (VB 2, VB 5, VS 2, VS 5, VT 2, VT 5), USS Hammann (DDG 412), USS Neosho (AO 23), USS Lexington (CV 2) and USS Yorktown (CV 5).

A mushroom cloud rises after a heavy explosion on board USS Lexington (CV 2), May 8, 1942. This is probably the great explosion from the detonation of torpedo warheads stowed in the starboard side of the hangar, aft, that followed an explosion amidships at 5:27 p.m. Note USS Yorktown (CV-5) on the horizon in the left center, and destroyer USS Hammann (DD 412) at the extreme left. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
A mushroom cloud rises after a heavy explosion on board USS Lexington (CV 2), May 8, 1942. This is probably the great explosion from the detonation of torpedo warheads stowed in the starboard side of the hangar, aft, that followed an explosion amidships at 5:27 p.m. Note USS Yorktown (CV 5) on the horizon in the left center, and destroyer USS Hammann (DD 412) at the extreme left. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

The enemy sank our aircraft carrier USS Lexington and so badly damaged another carrier, USS Yorktown, they thought it too was lost.

But the carrier, captain and crew were tough, resilient and determined. And so was our Navy.

On May 27, Yorktown made it back into the Pearl Harbor channel and eased into drydock at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, met by Adm. Chester Nimitz, who conducted an immediate inspection.

Back then, Sailors and civilians were still in recovery mode after the attacks of Dec. 7, 1941. Shipyard workers were repairing hulls, propellers and pumps on damaged ships.

Simultaneously, ashore at what is now known as Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, preparations were underway for the battle that would turn the tides in America’s favor in the war in the Pacific.

While Imperial Japan felt emboldened and confident after the destruction the Japanese inflicted to our Pacific Fleet battleships, we were quietly getting ready to engage in multiple domains, including cyber, through codebreaking.

At Station Hypo in Building One, Navy code breakers, led by Lt. Cmdr. Edwin Layton and Lt. Cmdr. Joe Rochefort, provided intelligence to Nimitz about the enemy’s plans to attack Midway Atoll. The surprise, combined with luck and courage, would give the Americans the edge despite the armada they faced at Midway.

Meanwhile, at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, workers, who had already been working for months to salvage, recover and repair warships in the harbor, would have to perform a miracle for Yorktown.

View of damage on USS Yorktown’s third and fourth decks, amidships, caused by a 250 kilogram bomb hit received during the Battle of Coral Sea. This view looks forward and to starboard from the ship's centerline at frame 110. The photographer is in compartment C-301-L , shooting down through the third deck into compartment C-402-A. The large hole in the deck was made by the bomb's explosion. Many men were killed or badly injured in C-301-L, a crew's messing space that was the assembly area for the ship's engineering repair party. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
View of damage on USS Yorktown’s third and fourth decks, amidships, caused by a 250 kilogram bomb hit received during the Battle of Coral Sea. This view looks forward and to starboard from the ship’s centerline at frame 110. The photographer is in compartment C-301-L , shooting down through the third deck into compartment C-402-A. The large hole in the deck was made by the bomb’s explosion. Many men were killed or badly injured in C-301-L, a crew’s messing space that was the assembly area for the ship’s engineering repair party. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

Nimitz ordered the ship to be ready in three days.

According to historian Thomas Cutler, “Civilian yard workers swarmed aboard armed with a different arsenal of war – hammers, acetylene torches and the like – and soon the ship echoed with a cacophony of frantic but purposeful activity. Working around the clock in temperatures sometimes reaching 120 degrees, these workers labored in an eerie world of pulsating light, choking smoke, pungent fumes and a racing clock. Three days later, the resurrection was complete. Yorktown steamed down the channel, headed for sea and ‘rendezvous with destiny,’ civilian workers spilling from her insides into small boats alongside as she went.”

Cutler said the U.S. Navy’s victory at the Battle of Midway is shared by those workers here at Pearl Harbor. “The miracle began when others fought exhaustion and the clock to do the seemingly impossible.”

Japanese facilities burning on Tanambogo Island, east of Tulagi, Aug. 7, 1942 – the Battle of Guadalcanal invasion's first day. This view looks about ESE, with Gavutu Island to the right, connected to Tanambogo by a causeway. Small island to the left is Gaomi. The Florida Islands are in the distance. Photographed from an SBD aircraft based on one of the supporting U.S. aircraft carriers. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Japanese facilities burning on Tanambogo Island, east of Tulagi, Aug. 7, 1942 – the Battle of Guadalcanal invasion’s first day. This view looks about ESE, with Gavutu Island to the right, connected to Tanambogo by a causeway. Small island to the left is Gaomi. The Florida Islands are in the distance. Photographed from an SBD aircraft based on one of the supporting U.S. aircraft carriers. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

The war in the Pacific started in Pearl Harbor and so did the comeback.

After Midway, our Sailors and Marines continued to fight across the Pacific and northward from Guadalcanal, eventually defeating Imperial Japan and setting the stage for greater freedom, democracy and prosperity.

Editor’s note: Fuller is finishing up his tour as commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. He is slated to become commander of Carrier Strike Group 1 this summer.


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Battle of Coral Sea leads to Midway: A comeback for U.S. Navy