Your Navy Operating Forward –

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Your Navy Operating Forward –

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

Presidential Sailors

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On this President’s Day weekend, we’re taking a look at the Sailors who went from shipmates to presidents.

WASHINGTON (Feb. 16, 2018) A graphic illustration depicting the Presidents who have served in the U.S. Navy. (U.S. Navy graphic by Kirsten Sisson/Released)
WASHINGTON (Feb. 16, 2018) A graphic illustration depicting the Presidents who have served in the U.S. Navy. (U.S. Navy graphic by Kirsten Sisson/Released)


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Presidential Sailors

Wishing the Men and Women of Naval Aviation Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year

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By Rear Adm. Roy Kelley
Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

I want to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season. This is a very special time of year and I hope you are able to enjoy the holiday break and recharge from what has been an exciting year for naval aviation.

Seeing all that has been accomplished in 2017 illustrates to the world that our Navy continues to showcase durability and superiority. We wished fair winds and following seas to the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group as they deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) was awarded the Battle “E” in March for her superior performance and completed sea trials in late July, following an exceptionally executed planned incremental availability. The Navy commissioned our newest aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), which continues to surpass expectations each time she gets underway.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 28, 2017) An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 flies over USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). The aircraft carrier was underway conducting test and evaluation operations.(U.S. Navy photo by Erik Hildebrandt/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 28, 2017) An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 flies over USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). The aircraft carrier was underway conducting test and evaluation operations.(U.S. Navy photo by Erik Hildebrandt/Released)

Our deploying air wings set operational records while bringing the fight to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Carrier Air Wings 3 and 8 flew a combined 13,247 sorties, delivered 3,110,000 pounds of ordnance, logged 64,268 flight hours and successfully completed 20,868 traps. These are truly staggering numbers that highlight the power and flexibility of naval aviation.

This year’s hurricane season tested our nation’s fortitude. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria devastated parts of the United States, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. These storms tested our ability to quickly respond to a humanitarian crisis. Within hours of receiving their orders, the Dusty Dogs of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7 and the Dragon Whales of HSC-28 were ready to support relief efforts. Deployed to the front line of these disasters, they demonstrated the best of our humanity. In Texas alone, Navy aircrews completed 358 rescues, including 22 dogs and five cats. No matter where the storms hit, naval aviation performed superbly and served as a shining example of the Navy’s readiness and capability.

DOMINICA (Sept. 24, 2017) Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Andy Blessing "fist bumps" an evacuee on an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 (HSC-22), attached to the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), during humanitarian aid operations on the island of Dominica following the landfall of Hurricane Maria. The Department of Defense was supporting United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the lead federal agency, in helping those affected by Hurricane Maria to minimize suffering and is one component of the overall whole-of-government response effort. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Molina/Released)
DOMINICA (Sept. 24, 2017) Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Andy Blessing “fist bumps” an evacuee on an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 (HSC-22), attached to the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), during humanitarian aid operations on the island of Dominica following the landfall of Hurricane Maria. The Department of Defense was supporting United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the lead federal agency, in helping those affected by Hurricane Maria to minimize suffering and is one component of the overall whole-of-government response effort. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Molina/Released)

The success of our Navy has always stemmed from the valuable contributions of Sailors, civilians and contractors working together as a team. For all you have done to contribute to the successes of 2017, I want to say, “Thank you!” Our Navy family and mission depend on each and every one of you.

As we bring this year to a close, take time to enjoy this holiday season with your family and friends while reflecting on the many achievements you worked so hard to accomplish. Our great nation is safe and free because of your efforts and millions of Americans are grateful for your service and sacrifice. Happy holidays!


INDIAN OCEAN (Nov. 24, 2017) 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)


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Wishing the Men and Women of Naval Aviation Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year

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

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)

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

Tripoli: Then and Now

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By Capt. Kevin P. Meyers
Commanding officer, PCU Tripoli

Having just passed the 30-year mark of service to this great Navy, I have seen quite a bit of history and experienced many memorable events. There are moments which give you pause, due to their timelessness and their place in our Navy’s heritage. The christening of a ship, for me, is one of them.

I recently had the honor to attend the christening of the future USS Tripoli (LHA 7) in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Tripoli’s sponsor, Lynne Mabus, wife of our 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, deftly shattered the bottle of sparkling wine across the ship’s bow. Those in attendance or who watched the video of the event know that was a “home run” swing if there ever was one.

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (Sept. 16, 2017) Ship's sponsor Lynne Mabus, smashes a bottle of sparkling wine against the bow of the future amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA 7) during the ship's christening ceremony. Also pictured, left to right, are Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss.; Capt. Kevin Meyers, Tripoli's prospective commanding officer; acting Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Dee; Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias; and former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy Huntington Ingalls Industries by Lance Davis/Released)
PASCAGOULA, Miss. (Sept. 16, 2017) Ship’s sponsor Lynne Mabus, smashes a bottle of sparkling wine against the bow of the future amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA 7) during the ship’s christening ceremony. Also pictured, left to right, are Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss.; Capt. Kevin Meyers, Tripoli’s prospective commanding officer; acting Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Dee; Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias; and former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy Huntington Ingalls Industries by Lance Davis/Released)
PASCAGOULA, Miss. (May 1, 2017) The future USS Tripoli (LHA 7) is launched at Huntington Ingalls Industries. Tripoli was successfully launched after the dry-dock was flooded to allow it to float off for the first time. Tripoli incorporates an enlarged hangar deck, enhanced maintenance facilities, increased fuel capacity and additional storerooms to provide the fleet with a platform optimized for aviation capabilities. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
PASCAGOULA, Miss. (May 1, 2017) The future USS Tripoli (LHA 7) is launched at Huntington Ingalls Industries. Tripoli was successfully launched after the dry-dock was flooded to allow it to float off for the first time. Tripoli incorporates an enlarged hangar deck, enhanced maintenance facilities, increased fuel capacity and additional storerooms to provide the fleet with a platform optimized for aviation capabilities. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

The Sailor in me is filled with a range of emotions; I feel all at once humbled, proud and excited. I am humbled by the sheer magnitude of this 45,000-ton mighty warship, proud beyond measure to be her first commanding officer and lead this amazing crew, and excited at our future endeavors.

During time-honored traditions like a ship’s christening, the best way to appreciate what the future holds is to fully appreciate where the past has brought us.

As a student of history, the comments by Vice Adm. Walter E. “Ted” Carter, 62nd superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, in his remarks at christening were enlightening. He spoke fondly of the Tripoli Monument, which now sits on the grounds of the Naval Academy.

For a bit of context, the ship’s name, Tripoli, harkens back to our nation’s first foreign conflict, the War with the Barbary Pirates. In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson dispatched ships instead of paying tribute and our nation’s flag was raised on foreign soil for the first time. The Marine Corps Hymn celebrates the bravery of our early Marines with the line “To the shores of Tripoli.” LHA-7, the future USS Tripoli, will be the third to bear the name.

The Tripoli Monument, I learned, is actually our nation’s oldest military monument. Carved in Livorno, Italy, in 1806 to honor the heroes of that war, it was brought to the United States aboard USS Constitution. Its first home was the Washington Navy Yard, where it sustained damage there during the War of 1812. It was then moved to the west front terrace of the U.S. Capitol, facing the National Mall in 1831, and stood there until 1860 when it was moved to the Naval Academy.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Sept. 15, 2017) The Tripoli Monument is pictured at the U.S. Naval Academy (U.S. Navy courtesy photo/Released)
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Sept. 15, 2017) The Tripoli Monument is pictured at the U.S. Naval Academy (U.S. Navy courtesy photo/Released)

As I reflect on the christening of LHA-7 Tripoli and the Tripoli monument, I find it an interesting juxtaposition. The monument—with its column, sculptures and mass of stone—resting stoically on the Naval Academy campus the last 157 years and the enormous mass of steel – Tripoli. The Tripoli Monument honors the brave men who fought our Nation’s first war centuries ago, I trust the Sailors and Marines who serve aboard Tripoli will continue to honor their forbearers. What a proud day for our Navy and our nation!


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Tripoli: Then and Now

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

Navy Comes to the Big Sky Country

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The first-ever Navy Week in Montana took place Aug. 14-20, coinciding with the Montana State Fair. Three cities, Billings, Bozeman and Helena, hosted events that drew thousands of local residents who interacted with Sailors who shared their knowledge, talent and professionalism.  Navy Weeks serve as our principal outreach effort into areas of the country without a significant Navy presence.  The program helps Americans understands that their Navy is deployed around the work, around the clock, ready to defense America at all times.


Rear Adm. Michael Holland, director of Maritime Headquarters at U.S. Pacific Fleet , meets with a Navy veteran at the Montana VA Medical Center during Montana Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Noble/Released)

Musician 2nd class Dan Webber, assigned to the U.S. Navy Band Northwest popular music group, Passage, performs at the St. John’s Summer Concert Series during Navy Week Montana. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James Vazquez/Released)

Sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team perform at the Montana Fair during Navy Week Montana. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James Vazquez/Released)

Builder 1st Class William Anderson, left, assigned to the Naval Construction Training Center, speaks with Jon Arneson, host of the radio show “Voices of Montana,” during Navy Week Montana 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James Vazquez/Released)

Lt. Anthony Snuck, assigned to the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team, interacts with local children during a community relations event at the Billings Montana Family YMCA as part of Navy Week Montana. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James Vazquez/Released)

Builder Second Class Clifford Simmons, assigned to Naval Construction Group (NCG) 2, studies the Wall That Heals, a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, during Navy Week Montana 2017. (Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mark Meredith/Released)

Lt. j.g. Jason Moyer, left, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 3, teaches a local child how to maneuver an EOD robot during a community relations event at St. Vincent Hospital’s Pediatric Unit as part of Navy Week Montana. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James Vazquez/Released)

Sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard perform at the Yellowstone Valley Farmers Market during Navy Week Mont. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James Vazquez/Released)

Lt. j.g. Jason Moyer, right, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 3, teaches area children how to float at a community relations event at the Billings Montana Family YMCA during Navy Week Montana 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James Vazquez/Released)

Have you ever attended a Navy Week event ?


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

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Navy Comes to the Big Sky Country

Your Navy Operating Forward – Philippine Sea, Coral Sea, Arabian Gulf

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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.


ARABIAN GULF: Aviation Structural Mechanic (Equipment) Airman Hayden Ward directs an E-2D Hawkeye early warning and attach aircraft assigned to the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121 on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston A. Mohr/Released)

SANTA RITA, Guam: A Mark VI patrol boat assigned to Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 1, Det. Guam, and operated by Coastal Riverine Squadron (CRS) 2, pulls alongside the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) during a proof of concept exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaleb R. Staples/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: A harpoon missile launches from the missile deck of the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) off the coast of Guam. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaleb R. Staples/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: Explosive ordinance disposal personnel participate in a fast-rope exercise with an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter, from the “Eightballers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Aug. 22, 2017, in the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston A. Mohr/Released)

CORAL SEA: Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 10, assigned to the Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7, approaches the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) during a certification exercise (CERTEX). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Cosmo Walrath/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the “Eightballers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 prepares to deliver ordnance to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during a replenishment-at-sea in the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ian Kinkead/Released)

THEOULE-SUR-MER, France: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) departs Theoule-sur-Mer, France. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan U. Kledzik/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) transits the Arabian Gulf while deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Elesia K. Patten/Released)

CORAL SEA: Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1651 departs the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) to transfer personnel to shore during a certification exercise (CERTEX). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Alexandra Seeley/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: A MQ-8B Firescout unmanned aerial vehicle takes off from the flight deck of the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaleb R. Staples/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: A Sailor checks the cockpit of an F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the “Black Knights” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154 while an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the “Wolf Pack” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75 prepares to land aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Leon Wong/Released)

CORAL SEA: Landing craft utility (LCU) 1666, assigned to Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7, approaches the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) during well deck operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeanette Mullinax/Released)

GUAM: Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 fast-rope from MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopters assigned to the “Island Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 at Naval Base Guam. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Benjamin A. Lewis/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the “Death Rattlers” of Marine Strike Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 323 prepares to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Elesia K. Patten/Released)

Tell us which photo best shows YOUR Navy Operating Forward !


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The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) was involved in a collision with …

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Your Navy Operating Forward – Philippine Sea, Coral Sea, Arabian Gulf