SECNAV Spencer’s 243rd Marine Corps Birthday Message

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By Richard V. Spencer
Secretary of the Navy

To our Marines, civilians, families, and friends:

For 243 years, United States Marines have set the standard for military excellence, ready to respond at any time, in any place, whenever there is a need.

One hundred years ago, the enemy called them the Devil Dogs for the way they turned the tide at Belleau Wood. Seventy-five years ago, the shores and jungles of Tarawa shook with the determined charge of United States Marines. And fifty years ago, Marines like Gunnery Sergeant John Canley imposed order on the chaotic urban battlefield of Hue.

WASHINGTON (Oct. 18, 2018) Retired U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. John L. Canley, the 300th Marine Medal of Honor recipient, gives closing remarks at the Pentagon. From Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, 1968, in the Republic of Vietnam, Canley, the company gunnery sergeant assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, took command of the company, led multiple attacks against enemy-fortified positions, rushed across fire-swept terrain despite his own wounds, and carried wounded Marines into Hue City, including his commanding officer, in order to relieve friendly forces who were surrounded. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Daisha R. Johnson/Released)
WASHINGTON (Oct. 18, 2018) Retired U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. John L. Canley, the 300th Marine Medal of Honor recipient, gives closing remarks at the Pentagon. From Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, 1968, in the Republic of Vietnam, Canley, the company gunnery sergeant assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, took command of the company, led multiple attacks against enemy-fortified positions, rushed across fire-swept terrain despite his own wounds, and carried wounded Marines into Hue City, including his commanding officer, in order to relieve friendly forces who were surrounded. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Daisha R. Johnson/Released)

It was my honor to meet now Sergeant Major Canley (retired) and to add his name to the Hall of Valor following his receipt of the Congressional Medal of Honor. It was a reminder of the service and sacrifice of the unbroken line of patriots, from its beginning in the earliest days of the revolution, through the Marines it was my honor to serve alongside, to the warriors who stand watch throughout the globe today.

Polly and I are forever grateful for all that you, your families, and your loved ones do for our nation. Because of your hard work and dedication, the foundation for restoring readiness and increasing lethality has been set. But as we enter our 244th year of service, we must now build on that foundation with a committed sense of urgency. We are accountable for how and where we invest our time and our resources, and we must understand the readiness and lethality we gain from those investments.

Solve the problems in front of you. Send solutions up the chain, and empower those you command to do the same. Ask yourselves and each other how can we accomplish our mission better, faster, and more efficiently. With your help, I have no doubt we will leverage every resource, leading practice, and efficiency we can find with the professionalism, integrity, and accountability the American people have come to expect from the Corps after 243 years of honor and valor.

Happy Birthday, Marines. God bless you, God bless the United States Marine Corps, and God bless the United States of America. Semper Fi.


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SECNAV Spencer’s 243rd Marine Corps Birthday Message

Your Navy Operating Forward – Genkai Sea, Norwegian Sea, Philippine Sea

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NORWEGIAN SEA: An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 approaches for a landing aboard the command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), Oct. 27, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Turner/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.


NORWEGIAN SEA: Landing craft air cushion 84, assigned to Assault Craft Unit 4 and attached to the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21), transits the Norwegian Sea, Nov. 1, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Lydon Schwartz/Released)

GENKAI SEA: Sailors prepare to lower a float during a mine sweeping training evolution aboard the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Chief (MCM 14). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jordan Crouch/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) transits the Mediterranean Sea, Oct. 30, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan U. Kledzik/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 5, fast rope from an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat (HSC) 12, aboard the forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during exercise Keen Sword 19. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erwin Jacob V. Miciano/Released)

HELL, Norway: An M1A1 Abrams traverses a medium girder bridge assembled by Seabees from Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 1 and Marines from the 8th Engineer Support Battalion in Hell, Norway, during exercise Trident Juncture 2018, Oct. 21, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jeffrey J. Pierce/Released)

NORWEGIAN SEA: An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 approaches for a landing aboard the command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), Oct. 27, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Turner/Released)

WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN: A Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine participates in Exercise Keen Sword with Submarine Group 7 and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Sailors and staff. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Electronics Technician (Radioman) Robert Gulini/Released)

NORTH SEA: The guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) fires its MK 45 5-inch gun as part of a live-fire exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Raymond Maddocks/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: Sailors perform preflight checks on an E/A-18G Growler on the flight deck of the forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during exercise Keen Sword 19, Nov. 1, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class MacAdam Kane Weissman/Released)

NORWEGIAN SEA: The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) pulls alongside the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198) for a replenishment-at-sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joseph A.D. Phillips/Released)

OKINAWA, Japan: Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Nayyaamunhotep Stubbs signals landing craft utility 1633 to approach the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) to receive equipment for Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) efforts off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 29, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Mortensen/Released)

ALVUND, Norway: Marines and Sailors offload light armored vehicles, attached to 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, from a landing craft air cushion in Alvund, Norway, during an amphibious landing in support of exercise Trident Juncture 2018, Oct. 30, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Margaret Gale/Released)

NORWEGIAN SEA: The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) pulls alongside the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198) for a replenishment-at-sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joseph A.D. Phillips/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) fires its M45 5-inch gun as part of a live-fire exercise, Nov. 2, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Intelligence Specialist Matt Bodenner/Released)

NORWEGIAN SEA: The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) transits the Alvund Fjord, Oct. 31, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin Leitner/Released)

Tell us which photo best shows YOUR Navy Operating Forward !


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By Rear. Adm. Karl Thomas Commander, Task Force 70 This week, we wrapped up Keen …

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Your Navy Operating Forward – Genkai Sea, Norwegian Sea, Philippine Sea

Under Secretary Modly’s Remarks From USS Cleveland Announcement

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

Thank you for that kind introduction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This act states that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations to the City of Cleveland.

Go Navy. Beat Army.

Thank you for being here.


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Under Secretary Modly’s Remarks From USS Cleveland Announcement

Navy and Marine Corps Business Operations Reform Supports Global Operations

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Thomas Modly, Under Secretary of the Navy
Thomas Modly, Under Secretary of the Navy

For 243 years, the Navy and Marine Corps team has operated as the foundation of America’s military strength and forward-deployed presence, deterring conflict when possible, and ensuring that our nation is always ready to fight and win whenever and wherever required.

As our Navy regains readiness, restores lethality and prepares to compete against peers, near-peers and trans-national adversaries alike, we must strive to make our department as efficient, effective, and agile as possible to ensure that we can meet our nation’s call – now and into the future.

In order to achieve this, we must adopt the same aggressive readiness posture in our business processes as we do in every other aspect of warfare, and realize that what we do, whether Sailor, Marine or Civilian, impacts our ability to fight and win.

The business of the Department of the Navy is to man, train, and equip Navy and Marine Corps forces for global operations.

How we manage this business matters greatly to the success of our mission. That is why the Secretary of the Navy and I have announced today the release of the Department of the Navy’s Business Operations Plan for Fiscal Years 2019-2021.

The Business Operations Plan represents a strategic shift for the department, from oversight to leadership in ensuring that the DON’s business operations effectively and efficiently achieve its mission to man, train, and equip Navy and Marine Corps forces for global operations. Through greater accountability, more agile processes and better management of business operations, this plan will enable greater efficiencies, permitting the department to reallocate resources from business operations to readiness, seeking the advantages of new innovation ecosystems, and recapitalizing our naval forces for the future.

Our business plan aligns with the National Defense Strategy (NDS) lines of effort: Rebuild Military Readiness as We Build a More Lethal Joint Force, Strengthen Our Alliances & Attract New Partners, and Reform the Department’s Business Practices for Greater Performance and Affordability, and supports the nine objectives outlined in DOD’s Fiscal Year 2018-2022 National Defense Business Operations Plan (NDBOP).

As the Chief Management Officer (CMO) for the Department of the Navy, I will lead the implementation of our Business Operations Plan – and this is where I need your help.

I believe we are at an inflection point today. For our Navy and Marine Corps team to achieve continued success in the future will not only require more ships and aircraft and advanced technologies, but it will also require a shift in culture to an adaptable, fast, innovative, collaborative, and transparent organization. We all must embrace this shift. We all must rise to this challenge. 

This plan is our report to DoD, Congress, and the American people on how we are supporting the National Defense Strategy, prioritizing our efforts, measuring success and holding ourselves accountable. I expect this plan to exhibit the same agility we are seeking. It will respond and evolve to both our changing environment and to our successes and challenges. That it will change over time to adapt is a feature.

There is something in this plan for everyone in the department, and I encourage you all to look carefully at the plan to determine where you can contribute and how your actions will be measured to our Department’s success

181011-N-WM647-3022<br /> WATERS OFF THE KOREAN PENINSULA (Oct. 11, 2018) The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), left, steams alongside the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) 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. Benfold is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Elesia Patten/Released)

I am confident that, together, we can build the agile maritime force our nation needs. And by reforming the way we manage the business operations of the Department of the Navy we will find the additional resources our Sailors and Marines need to face current and future threats to our security.

This will not be easy, nothing worthwhile ever is, but our heritage unquestionably proves the Navy and Marine Corps team will always rise to meet a challenge. And this challenge is ours!

Thomas Modly
Under Secretary of the Navy



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Navy and Marine Corps Business Operations Reform Supports Global Operations

Special Report: Exercise Trident Juncture 18

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U.S. Navy Sailors are among 14,000 participants from the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Air Force in Exercise Trident Juncture 18 with 31 NATO allies and partner nations.

Trident Juncture 18 is designed to test NATO’s ability to plan and conduct a major collective defense operation – from troop training at the tactical level, to command over large elements of a NATO force.

The month-long exercise will take place in Norway and the surrounding areas of the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, including Iceland and the airspace of Finland and Sweden. The exercise will include a live portion, Oct. 25-Nov. 7, and a command post exercise, Nov. 14-23.

More than 50,000 participants – including U.S. service members – are expected to participate, utilizing approximately 150 aircraft, 65 ships and more than 10,000 vehicles in support of the exercise.

Be sure to bookmark and frequently visit this page to follow Trident Juncture 18.

Highlights

USS Harry S. Truman Strike Group Joins NATO for Trident Juncture

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and select ships from Carrier Strike Group Eight (CSG-8) joined U.S. Army, Air Force and Marine Corps service members Oct. 25 for the largest NATO exercise since 2015 – Trident Juncture 2018 (TRJE 18).

Read more on Navy.mil.

VESTFJORDEN (Oct. 24, 2018) The Royal Norwegian Navy Skjold-class fast patrol boat HNoMS Storm (P961) is underway alongside the U.S. Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) during flight operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Thomas Gooley/Released)
VESTFJORDEN (Oct. 24, 2018) The Royal Norwegian Navy Skjold-class fast patrol boat HNoMS Storm (P961) is underway alongside the U.S. Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) during flight operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Thomas Gooley/Released)

Ally Island Stands Watch over the North Atlantic

There is no NATO without the North Atlantic. Strong presence in this key region assures NATO’s collective security and Iceland is central. As I recently said in my second podcast, “On the Horizon,” the operational reality is that should conflict arise, whoever can exert control over this region can either protect or threaten all of NATO’s northern flank. Defense of the North Atlantic is thus synonymous with the sovereignty and security of the alliance.

Read more of Adm. John G. Foggo III’s blog on Navy Live.

U.S. Forces Ready for NATO Exercise Trident Juncture 18

More than 14,000 U.S. service members from the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps will take part in Exercise Trident Juncture 18, which begins Oct. 25, 2018.

The month-long exercise will take place in Norway and the surrounding areas of the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, including Iceland and the airspace of Finland and Sweden. The exercise will include a live portion, from Oct. 25-Nov. 7 and a command post exercise from Nov. 14-23.

Read more on Navy.mil.

USS New York Arrives in Reykjavik, Iceland

The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland, for a scheduled port visit Oct. 17.

The ship’s port visit serves to enhance U.S.-Iceland relations as the two nations work together with 31 allies and partner nations in the upcoming Trident Juncture exercise. Trident Juncture 18 will take place in Norway and the surrounding areas of the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, including Iceland and the airspace of Finland and Sweden.

Read more on Navy.mil.

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (Oct. 17, 2018) The amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) docks in Faxa Bay, Reykjavik, Iceland, with U.S. Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) as part of Exercise Trident Juncture 18. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Averi Coppa/Released)
REYKJAVIK, Iceland (Oct. 17, 2018) The amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) docks in Faxa Bay, Reykjavik, Iceland, with U.S. Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) as part of Exercise Trident Juncture 18. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Averi Coppa/Released)

Harry S. Truman Strike Group Enters Arctic Circle, Prepares for NATO Exercise

For the first time in nearly 30 years, a U.S. aircraft carrier entered the Arctic Circle Oct. 19 to conduct operations in the Norwegian Sea.

Accompanied by select ships from Carrier Strike Group Eight (CSG-8), the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) traveled north to demonstrate the flexibility and toughness of U.S. naval forces through high-end warfare training with regional allies and partners. USS America (CV 66) was the last ship to operate in the area, participating in NATO exercise North Star in September 1991.

Read more on Navy.mil.

NORWEGIAN SEA (Oct. 19, 2018) An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the "Red Rippers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11, launches from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Thomas Gooley/Released)
NORWEGIAN SEA (Oct. 19, 2018) An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the “Red Rippers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11, launches from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Thomas Gooley/Released)

Adm. Foggo Commemorates Battle of Atlantic Ahead of Trident Juncture Events in Iceland

Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic in Faxa Bay, Iceland, aboard the Icelandic Coast Guard Vessel Thor, Oct. 16, 2018.

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REYKJAVIK, Iceland (Oct. 16, 2018) Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, delivers remarks during a commemoration ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic in Reykjavik, Iceland, aboard the Icelandic Coast Guard vessel Thor. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Nelson/Released)
REYKJAVIK, Iceland (Oct. 16, 2018) Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, delivers remarks during a commemoration ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic in Reykjavik, Iceland, aboard the Icelandic Coast Guard vessel Thor. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Nelson/Released)


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Special Report: Exercise Trident Juncture 18

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 – Antarctica, Thailand, South China 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.

A Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), assigned to Naval Beach Unit 7, departs the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), Feb. 10, 2018 during Exercise Cobra Gold 2018. Marines assigned to the 3d Marine Division embarked the LCAC in a light armored vehicle (LAV). Cobra Gold is an annual exercise conducted in the Kingdom of Thailand from Feb. 13-23 with seven full participating nations. (U.S. Marine Corps motion imagery by Lance Cpl. Austin Weck)


ARABIAN GULF: An EA-18G Growler, assigned to the Cougars of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, prepares to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jimmi Lee Bruner/Released)

IWAKUNI, Japan: U.S. Navy MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 conducts a cross-country flight from their base at Naval Air Facility Atsugi to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Chris Kimbrough/Released)

FUJAIRAH, United Arab Emirates: U.S. Navy Sailors, assigned to Naval Cargo Handling Battalion 1 and Assault Craft Unit 1, unload a utility boat from USNS Seay (T-AKR 302) during Native Fury 18. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Eric Chan/Released)

SOUTH CHINA SEA: An EA-18G Growler assigned to the “Gauntlets” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 136 takes off from the flight deck of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jailene Casso/ Released)

Antarctica: The Military Sealift Command chartered ship MV Ocean Giant arrives at the ice-pier at McMurdo Station, Antarctica as part of Operation Deep Freeze 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Sarah Burford/Released)

LAEM CHABANG, Thailand: Military Sealift Command’s (MSC) large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Pililaau (T-AK 304) arrives at the port here to deliver equipment in support of Cobra Gold 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Grady T. Fontana/Released)

GULF OF THAILAND: Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Tiffanie Allenderriley signals to the pilot of a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter assigned to the “Wolfpack” of Heavy Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 466 as it takes off from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) in preparation for Cobra Gold 2018 (CG18). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Cosmo Walrath/Released)

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Your Navy Operating Forward – Antarctica, Thailand, South China Sea

Special Report: Hurricane Maria

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Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, Sept. 20, as a Category 4 storm with deadly flooding expected. The Defense Department had personnel and equipment already assisting authorities in the region that has seen two other powerful hurricanes, Irma and Jose, in recent weeks.

Coverage

Sept. 17

Sept. 19

Sept. 21

Northcom Providing Disaster Relief Following Hurricane Maria

U.S. Northern Command is fully engaged with federal, state and local mission partners as the command provides support to the response efforts for Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

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Sept. 22

GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico (Sept. 22, 2017) Rear Adm. Jeff Hughes (top left), Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2, embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), discusses joint operations in Puerto Rico with Army Brig. Gen. Dustin Shultz (top right), Commander, 1st Mission Support Command. Kearsarge is assisting with relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The Department of Defense is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 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 Jacob Goff/Released)
GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico (Sept. 22, 2017) Rear Adm. Jeff Hughes (top left), Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2, embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), discusses joint operations in Puerto Rico with Army Brig. Gen. Dustin Shultz (top right), Commander, 1st Mission Support Command. Kearsarge is assisting with relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The Department of Defense is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 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 Jacob Goff/Released)

Sept. 23

CARIBBEAN SEA (Sept. 23, 2017) 1st Sgt. Rafael Colon, a native of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, and the senior enlisted advisor for the 602nd Area Support Medical Company, 261st Medical Battalion, 44th Medical Brigade, Fort Bragg, N.C., gets accountability of his soldiers aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), in the Caribbean Sea. Members of the 602nd ASMC returned to the U.S. Virgin Islands to continue to assist with disaster relief operations in response to hurricanes Irma and Maria. The Department of Defense conducts Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations to assist civilian responders in saving lives, relieving human suffering and mitigating property damage in response to a catastrophic disaster. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Alleea Oliver/Released)
CARIBBEAN SEA (Sept. 23, 2017) 1st Sgt. Rafael Colon, a native of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, and the senior enlisted advisor for the 602nd Area Support Medical Company, 261st Medical Battalion, 44th Medical Brigade, Fort Bragg, N.C., gets accountability of his soldiers aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), in the Caribbean Sea. Members of the 602nd ASMC returned to the U.S. Virgin Islands to continue to assist with disaster relief operations in response to hurricanes Irma and Maria. The Department of Defense conducts Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations to assist civilian responders in saving lives, relieving human suffering and mitigating property damage in response to a catastrophic disaster. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Alleea Oliver/Released)

Sept. 24

CEIBA, Puerto Rico (Sept. 24, 2017) U.S. Marines assigned to Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), exit U.S. Navy Landing Craft, Utility 1657 to assist in relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Maria in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Sept. 24, 2017. The 26th MEU is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, and local authorities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with the combined goal of protecting the lives and safety of those in affected areas. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tojyea G. Matally/Released)
CEIBA, Puerto Rico (Sept. 24, 2017) U.S. Marines assigned to Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), exit U.S. Navy Landing Craft, Utility 1657 to assist in relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Maria in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Sept. 24, 2017. The 26th MEU is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, and local authorities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with the combined goal of protecting the lives and safety of those in affected areas. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tojyea G. Matally/Released)

Sept. 25

CEIBA, Puerto Rico (Sept. 25, 2017) U.S. Marines assigned to Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), conduct route clearing operations with Navy Sailors and local civilians to assist in relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Maria in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Sept. 25, 2017. The Department of Defense is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 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. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tojyea G. Matally/Released)
CEIBA, Puerto Rico (Sept. 25, 2017) U.S. Marines assigned to Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), conduct route clearing operations with Navy Sailors and local civilians to assist in relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Maria in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Sept. 25, 2017. The Department of Defense is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 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. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tojyea G. Matally/Released)

CEIBA, Puerto Rico (Sept. 25, 2017) U.S. Marines assigned to Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), conduct route clearing with Navy Sailors and local civilians to assist in relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Maria in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Sept. 25, 2017. The Department of Defense is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 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. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tojyea G. Matally/Released)
CEIBA, Puerto Rico (Sept. 25, 2017) U.S. Marines assigned to Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), conduct route clearing with Navy Sailors and local civilians to assist in relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Maria in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Sept. 25, 2017. The Department of Defense is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 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. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tojyea G. Matally/Released)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Sept. 25, 2017) Sailors and Marines attached to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), unload military field rations, known as MRE or meals, ready to eat, from an MV-22 Osprey aircraft at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Kearsarge and the 26th MEU are assisting with relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The Department of Defense is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 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 Eduardo Jorge/Released)
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Sept. 25, 2017) Sailors and Marines attached to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), unload military field rations, known as MRE or meals, ready to eat, from an MV-22 Osprey aircraft at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Kearsarge and the 26th MEU are assisting with relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The Department of Defense is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 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 Eduardo Jorge/Released)

Sept. 26

CEIBA, Puerto Rico (Sept. 26, 2017) U.S. Marines, Navy corpsmen, and Sailors with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), begin assessing medical and operational needs of Hima San Pablo Hospital as part of the humanitarian effort for victims of Hurricane Maria in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Sept. 26, 2017. The Department of Defense is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 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. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tojyea G. Matally/Released)
CEIBA, Puerto Rico (Sept. 26, 2017) U.S. Marines, Navy corpsmen, and Sailors with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), begin assessing medical and operational needs of Hima San Pablo Hospital as part of the humanitarian effort for victims of Hurricane Maria in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Sept. 26, 2017. The Department of Defense is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 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. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tojyea G. Matally/Released)

CEIBA, Puerto Rico (Sept. 26, 2017) Construction Mechanic 2nd Class John McConnell, center, assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), talks with a civilian employee after repairing a Hima San Pablo Hospital generator during relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Maria in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Sept. 26, 2017. The Department of Defense is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 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. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tojyea G. Matally/Released)
CEIBA, Puerto Rico (Sept. 26, 2017) Construction Mechanic 2nd Class John McConnell, center, assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), talks with a civilian employee after repairing a Hima San Pablo Hospital generator during relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Maria in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Sept. 26, 2017. The Department of Defense is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 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. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tojyea G. Matally/Released)

CEIBA, Puerto Rico (Sept. 26, 2017) U.S. Navy Lt. Robert R. Bryson, left, a physician assistant with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), discusses medical and operational needs of Hima San Pablo Hospital with its staff as part of relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Maria in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Sept. 26, 2017. The 26th MEU is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, and local authorities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with the combined goal of protecting the lives and safety of those in affected areas. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tojyea G. Matally/Released)
CEIBA, Puerto Rico (Sept. 26, 2017) U.S. Navy Lt. Robert R. Bryson, left, a physician assistant with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), discusses medical and operational needs of Hima San Pablo Hospital with its staff as part of relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Maria in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Sept. 26, 2017. The 26th MEU is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, and local authorities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with the combined goal of protecting the lives and safety of those in affected areas. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tojyea G. Matally/Released)

Sept. 27

CARIBBEAN SEA (Sept. 27, 2017) A Sailor signals the take off of a U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) in order to refuel during humanitarian relief efforts following the landfall of Hurricane Maria on the island of Dominica. The Department of Defense is supporting the 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 2nd Class Rawad Madanat/Released)


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Special Report: Hurricane Maria

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

From Sea to Space: NASA Selects Three Sailors for 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class

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Three Sailors are on their way to join the growing list of Navy astronauts!

NASA announced June 7 that Lt. Kayla Barron, Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Dominick and Dr. Jonny Kim were selected from a record breaking 18,300 applicants to join its 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class of just 12 people.

2017 NASA astronaut candidates. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of NASA)
2017 NASA astronaut candidates. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of NASA)

Barron, Dominick and Kim as well as their fellow astronaut candidates will return to Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in August to begin two years of training. Then, they could be assigned to any of a variety of missions, including: performing research on the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft built by commercial companies, and departing for deep space missions on NASA’s new Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket.

Get to know them below!

Lt. Kayla Barron

As a submarine warfare officer, Lt. Kayla Barron was a member of the first class of women to join the submarine community. The Washington native graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering in 2010. A Gates Cambridge Scholar, Barron earned a Master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Cambridge.

Lt. Kayla Barron (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of NASA)
Lt. Kayla Barron (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of NASA)

Her graduate research focused on modeling the fuel cycle for a next-generation, thorium-fueled nuclear reactor concept. Following graduate school, Barron attended the Navy’s nuclear power and submarine officer training before being assigned to USS Maine (SSBN 741), an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine homeported in Bangor, Washington. Barron qualified as a submarine warfare officer and completed three strategic deterrent patrols while serving as a division officer aboard Maine. At the time of her selection, Barron was serving as the Naval Academy’s superintendent’s flag aide.

Barron has been awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit commendations. She is a Trident Scholar and distinguished graduate of the Naval Academy.

Upon completion of two years of training as an astronaut candidate, Barron will be assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office while she awaits a flight assignment.

Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Dominick

Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Dominick, a Colorado native, earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of San Diego and a Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He graduated from U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. He has accumulated more than 1,600 flight hours in 28 aircraft models, 400 carrier arrestments, 61 combat missions and nearly 200 flight test carrier landings (arrested and touch-and-go).

Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Dominick (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of NASA)
Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Dominick (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of NASA)

Dominick was commissioned through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps following graduation from the University of San Diego in 2005 and reported to Pensacola, Florida, for flight training. He was designated as a naval aviator in 2007 and reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 106, Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia, for transition to the F/A‑18E Super Hornet. Following his initial training, Dominick was assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 143. He made two deployments to the North Arabian Sea, flying close air support missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While with Strike Fighter Squadron 143, Dominick was selected to attend the Naval Postgraduate School / U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Co-Operative Program, where he earned a Master of Science in Systems Engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School and graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.

Designated a developmental test pilot in 2013, Dominick was assigned to the fixed wing carrier suitability flight test department of Air Test Evaluation Squadron 23. There, he served as developmental flight test project officer for a variety of carrier suitability test programs, including MAGIC CARPET, Joint Precision Approach & Landing Systems, Infrared Search and Track Pod, and the precision approach and landing certification of aircraft carriers. He flew developmental flight tests in the F/A-18ABCD, F/A-18E/F, and EA-18G. Additionally, he contributed to the X-47B (Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike), V‑22, T-45, E-2C, C-2A and F-35C test programs.

In 2016, Dominick returned to an operational naval squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron 115, flying F/A-18E Super Hornets in the forward deployed naval forces stationed in Atsugi, Japan.

At the time of his selection as an astronaut candidate in June 2017, Dominick was at sea aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) serving as the department head for Strike Fighter Squadron 115.

Dominick was the 2015 Naval Test Wing Atlantic Test Pilot of the Year. He has been awarded the Strike Flight Air Medal (three awards); Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards)

Upon completion of two years of training as an astronaut candidate, Dominick will be assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office while he awaits a flight assignment.

Dr. Jonny Kim

Dr. Jonny Kim (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of NASA)
Dr. Jonny Kim (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of NASA)

Dr. Jonny Kim, a California native, trained and operated as a Navy SEAL, completing more than 100 combat operations and earning a Silver Star and Bronze Star with Combat “V”. Afterward, he went on to complete a degree in Mathematics at the University of San Diego and a Doctorate of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Kim enlisted in the Navy as a seaman recruit following graduation from Santa Monica High School in 2002. After completion of training at Naval Special Warfare, he was assigned as a special warfare operator to SEAL Team 3. He served as a combat medic, sniper, navigator and point man on more than 100 combat operations spanning two deployments to the Middle East before he was commissioned into the Medical Corps following graduation from the University of San Diego in 2012.

At the time of his selection in June 2017, Kim was a resident physician in emergency medicine.

Kim’s military decorations include the Silver Star Medal, Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”; Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V”; and various other service awards.

Upon completion of two years of training as an astronaut candidate, Kim will be assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office while he awaits a flight assignment.

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From Sea to Space: NASA Selects Three Sailors for 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class