Tripoli: Then and Now

Image 170916-N-NO101-001-1024x576.jpg

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!


Comments

comments

Visit link: 

Tripoli: Then and Now

SECNAV Spencer’s Message to the Navy and Marine Corps Team

Image 170803-N-XW558-001-240x300.jpg

On Aug. 3, 2017, Richard V. Spencer, a native of Connecticut, was sworn in as the 76th secretary of the Navy. The following is his opening statement:

Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer
Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer

Sailors, Marines and civilian teammates,

It is with great excitement and humility that I take on the role of your 76th Secretary of the Navy. The excitement is born from the challenges and opportunities that we face now and in the near future.

Due to your consistent ability to successfully deliver on all demands put before you, there is a commensurate level of expectation for more of the same going forward. Therein lies the challenge we face and prudency says we should expect that challenge to grow as the threats around the world continue to increase.

Within every challenge lies opportunity and I urge everyone to adopt that point of view. Every member involved in the Navy-Marine Corps team has the opportunity to make a contribution towards a more effective, versatile, resilient and lethal organization.

You, as a member of this team, will have access to a wide range of resources. Those resources must be applied in the most impactful manner possible in order to enhance our ability to deliver when called to fight. I look to each of you to seize the opportunity and contribute to enhancing the effort.

I am humbled to be in the position to lead an enterprise that is manned with such a stunning amount of proven talent. Our Nation’s all volunteer force, and supporting teammates, are second to none. That is because of you.

I believe that the most valuable asset within an organization is the high-performing human component. We will work together to ensure we have the best, sustainable environment in order to continue our history of delivering when requested.

Make no mistake, we are facing a threat level that has not been witnessed for quite some time and urgency is the manner in which we must all act as the complexity of threats increase in size and scope. We must all be focused on the pointed end of the spear.

I eagerly look forward to working with you as we step out to face the challenges set before us and embrace the opportunities that lie within those challenges.

Editor’s note: Follow SECNAV Spencer on social media at Facebook.com/SECNAV76 and at Twitter.com/SECNAV76.


Comments

comments

This article: 

SECNAV Spencer’s Message to the Navy and Marine Corps Team

Diving with Sharks

Thumbnail

Shark-Panel-croppedIn honor of Shark Week, we’ve compiled some interesting facts about the Defense Department’s ties to sharks.

Fact #2:

Navy divers spend some of their time getting into SHARK tanks in aquariums around the country…on purpose! The Navy’s community relations efforts send sailors out into communities that don’t have a large Navy presence so that those communities can understand what their country’s sea service can and does do every day. This type of public engagement – including diving into shark tanks at your local aquarium – is crucial to engendering trust and confidence with our fellow Americans in their all volunteer force.

Want to know more about Navy divers? Here is their job description from the Navy:

As a Navy Diver, you will be part of an extraordinary brotherhood. You will journey anywhere from the darkest depths of the world’s oceans to freezing arctic-like conditions underneath icebergs. Accomplishing a number of tasks only few can perform. All with the focus to achieve.

In this role you can expect to:

  • Perform a variety of diving salvage operations and special diving duties worldwide
  • Take part in construction and demolition projects
  • Execute search and rescue missions
  • Support military and civilian law enforcement agencies
  • Serve as the technical experts for diving evolutions for numerous military Special Operations units
  • Provide security, communications and other logistics during Expeditionary Warfare missions
  • Carry out routine ship maintenance, including restoration and repair

Your strength and determination will prove you are anything but a typical diver.

Editor’s Note: “Dive in shark tanks” has been submitted as a revision to this job description via the U.S. Navy.

Have you seen a Navy diver in a tank near you? Share your story in the comments section below!

Today’s photos all come to us with the same caption:
Navy Master Chief Diver Joe Howard answers questions from the crowd while “swimming” with the sharks at the Newport, Ky., Aquarium, Sept. 1, 2011, during Cincinnati Navy Week 2011.  (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Davis Anderson/Released)

Check out these other posts:

This article – 

Diving with Sharks

Locks of Love

Thumbnail

A few years ago, a college friend of mine had mentioned that she wanted to donate her hair to Locks of Love. I had never heard of it before, so I decided to look it up. Basically, the organization takes donated hair and turns it into wigs for needy children who have lost their own hair. Excellent idea!

Now, it does take quite a long time for hair to grow long. So, donating all of your hair to the organization is most certainly a good cause. One particular Army Captain is doing just that.

It takes years for hair to grow long, but only a few seconds to remove it. Army Sergeant Rebecca Schwab tells us about one Army Captain who’s giving it all up for a good cause.

Check out these other posts:

Continued: 

Locks of Love

Worth A Thousand Words: Say Goodbye Girls

Thumbnail

Photo: A Marine bids farewell to his wife and two daughters as elements of the famed Second Marine Division leave for the West Coast. Official U.S. Marine Corps Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval History & Heritage Command.

A Marine bids farewell to his wife and two daughters as elements of the famed Second Marine Division leave for the West Coast, Aug. 1950. (U.S. Marine Corps photo courtesy of Naval History & Heritage Command/Released)

Check out these other posts:

Original post – 

Worth A Thousand Words: Say Goodbye Girls

Top Tech: Transparent Spinel Ceramic

Thumbnail

Top Technology is an Armed with Science series that highlights the latest and greatest federal laboratory inventions which are available for transfer to business partners. Want to suggest an invention? Email us at science@dma.mil

Transparent Spinel Ceramic in action.  (photo provided by the Naval Research Laboratory)

Transparent Spinel Ceramic in action. (photo provided by the Naval Research Laboratory)

Technology: Transparent Spinel Ceramic

Agency: Naval Research Laboratory

The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed a suite of processes to create transparent spinel ceramic, which is superior to the glass, sapphire, and other materials traditionally used for applications such as high-energy lasers, windows, and lightweight armor.

What is it?

It’s a new kind of material using a unique new process.

Commonly-used vacuum hot presses are utilized to sinter spinel powder into transparent solid materials. Sintering is a method used to create objects from powders.  The NRL method includes a novel spray-coating process to uniformly coat the spinel powder particles with a sintering aid. As a result, the amount of sintering aid required is reduced significantly, while still allowing the end product to be sintered to full density and transparency.

Additionally, the sintering process was modified to completely eliminate residual LiF through evaporation and thereby avoids unwanted chemical reactions.

What does that mean?

It means that the Naval Research Lab has created a process that reinvents the material of the wheel, so to speak.  Creating transparent materials is nothing new; humans were doing that in the ancient world. However, the type of material this is – and the way the military could use it – is really what sets it apart.  This kind of transparent spinel ceramic could be used to produce consumer electronics, high energy lasers, event transparent armor.

Think about that for a second.  Transparent armor.  If you could get it to change color and restore stamina we’re that much closer to a video-game like armor reality.

What does it do?

Let’s break it down to the basics.  NRL’s transparent spinel ceramic can be used to make the work of the service member a little easier, more effective, or lightweight.  Some of the applications involve new awesome window choices (the stronger and more durable the better, especially on deployment) and of course the awesome aforementioned armor.  The transparent spinel ceramic can also be paired with its patented BGG glass material.   Why would you want to do that, you ask?  Well, the pairing offers excellent optical transmission in the visible and mid-infrared wavelength range.  The low cost, ease of use, and production offered by glass provides additional advantages.

How can this help?

Okay, so let’s talk about the advantages.  The transparent spinel ceramic provides excellent transmission in visible wavelengths and mid-wavelength infrared (0.2-5.0 microns).  This is superior to sapphire.  The material is also versatile; able to process scalability to large sizes and complex shapes.  It is strong, rigid, and environmentally durable.  Not to mention cost effective.  The reduced manufacturing cost over existing technologies is a definite plus.  Also it’s easy to make in general.  High reproducibility, high yield.

My take?

Creating better, more effective materials is the name of the game when it comes to innovation.  We’ve come a long way since the ancient Romans made clear glass trendy and popular (thanks to manganese dioxide, of course).  This is another step in that progressive bigger-and-better evolution.  When it comes down to it, any advent that allows soldiers to be safer/more protected and is cost effective is going to have some serious advantages.

The military has often been at the forefront of technological innovation, constantly seeking affordable, long-lasting solutions to problems that impact not only service members, but humanity in general.  Imagine what could happen if we started using this kind of material on our typical glass products?  I think my cat will have a harder time with her cat gravity experiments (see: breaking stuff) if that’s the case.

It looks like plastic may have a real run for its money.  Is transparent spinel ceramic going to be the next big thing?  I guess that’s up to you.

Want to learn more?  Click here for more information on this technology!

Are you interested more federal inventions? The Naval Research Laboratory has a broad portfolio of technologies that are available for commercialization. Visit their official website to learn more!

———-

Jessica L. Tozer is a blogger for DoDLive and Armed With Science.  She is an Army veteran and an avid science fiction fan, both of which contribute to her enthusiasm for technology in the military.

Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

Check out these other posts:

Original post – 

Top Tech: Transparent Spinel Ceramic

Worth A Thousand Words: I Got Your Back

Thumbnail

Photo: Sailors prepare to attach pallets to an SH-60B Seahawk helicopter assigned to the “Island Knights” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 49 during a vertical replenishment on the flight deck of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) on July 7, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Kelly/ Released)

Sailors prepare to attach pallets to an SH-60B Seahawk helicopter assigned to the “Island Knights” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 49 during a vertical replenishment on the flight deck of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) on July 7, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Kelly/Released)

Check out these other posts:

Visit source:  

Worth A Thousand Words: I Got Your Back

LSP Preparing Marines for Higher Education

Thumbnail

A Marine supervises from the center of The Basic School permanent personnel battalion during a 10-mile hike aboard the westside of Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., June 28, 2013. This was the first hike The Basic School has done for regimental physical training in the last 3 years. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cuong Le/Released)

A Marine supervises from the center of The Basic School permanent personnel battalion during a 10-mile hike aboard the westside of Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., June 28, 2013. This was the first hike The Basic School has done for regimental physical training in the last 3 years. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cuong Le/Released)

Ensuring quality education and admission support from institutions of higher learning is crucial to a smooth transition.  There are many programs available outside of government but the military services are also interested in developing complimentary programs for those veterans wishing to compete and place through traditional school admissions processes. The Marine Corps created the Leadership Scholar Program (LSP) to assist exiting Marines gain admission to colleges and universities for their desired undergraduate program.

Marines who are selected into the program are given top-notch support throughout the transition and admission process.  This support includes assisting Marines in the application process, coordinating interviews with admission officers, providing consistent updates on application status, and offering a single point of contact to answer any and all questions.  Sgt. Michael Liao will be separating in June and thanks to the LSP will be attending Princeton University.  He stated, “The Leadership Scholar Program plays a critical role by advocating on behalf of Marines, to college admissions boards.”  Many times it can be difficult for service members to portray all the experiences and expertise gained while serving to an admissions board.  LSP takes an active approach to giving Marines an opportunity to communicate these unique skills in person.

Another aspect of LSP is a partnership with colleges and universities.  When a college or university signs on to participate in the Leadership Scholar Program they are committing to secure acceptance of qualified applicants.  Through this partnership the colleges/universities provide the LSP with all necessary admission requirements, timelines, academic criteria, and reporting instructions.  Relationships built between the Marine Corps and these institutions provide an avenue for Marines to receive dedicated admission support and interviews when needed.

To be eligible to participate in the LSP, Marines must be high school graduates and possess a minimum combined score of a 70 on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) and a General Technical (GT) score of 115 or higher.  Applicants are screened to ensure they meet the requirements of the institution to which they wish to apply and then forwarded to the admissions office for a final decision.  Marines usually start the LSP application process at least 12 months before leaving active duty. 

Through these efforts the admissions process is less daunting as LSP acts as the conduit to helping Marines navigate into the school do their choice.  Former Marine, Joseph Prive speaks of his LSP experience, “I attended a few LSP-sponsored meetings with admissions counselors from elite universities, and I then realized that even I could be a successful student, pursue my interests, and enjoy it.  LSP provided me with direction, encouragement and confidence when I needed it the most.”  Currently, the LSP has over 238 institutions in 45 States and the District of Columbia participating, with a long range goal of having at least two colleges/universities in each State.  These partners recognize that a Marine’s experience while in the military make them well-suited for success in an academic environment.

Get more information on the Leadership Scholar Program

Rosye Cloud is Director of Policy for Veterans, Wounded Warriors, and Military Families

Check out these other posts:

See the original post: 

LSP Preparing Marines for Higher Education

Reserve F-16 Pilot Helps Squelch Wildfires Across West

Thumbnail

Photo

A small and maneuverable Beech King Air, like the one flown by Lt. Col. Paul Delmonte while on the job with the U.S. Forest Service, pulls away after leading a tanker to a retardant drop spot over a wildfire. During peak fire season, May to October, forest service lead plane pilots can assist in putting out as many as 60 fires. (Courtesy photo)

By Kari Tilton
419th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Air Force Reserve F-16 pilot Lt. Col. Paul “Buster” Delmonte flies several types of aircraft as part of his full-time civilian job, but instead of dropping bombs he delivers an entirely different kind of weapon.

Delmonte, the 466th Fighter Squadron commander, is an aerial firefighter and aviation safety manager with the U.S. Forest Service. Between May and October each year, he flies above fiery mountain ranges to drop smokejumpers and direct the delivery of fire retardant.

He’s currently in Durango, Colo. with more than 1,400 forest service personnel to extinguish the West Fork Complex Fire, which as of today has consumed more than 83,000 acres. He’s also working alongside Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard aircrews deployed there with specially equipped C-130s that are dropping thousands of gallons of retardant on the blazing wilderness area.

Just like flying in a combat zone, conditions above wildfires are often rough and the drop zones are always challenging.

“Typically, we drop the smokejumpers over tight clearings in the forest canopy,” Delmonte said. “It takes about 30 minutes to empty the plane and it can be challenging to maneuver through narrow canyons while steering clear of trees and other obstacles.”

“If the fire is big, often times smoke combined with the angle of the sun will make it extremely difficult to see,” he added.

When transporting smokejumpers, Delmonte flies either a DHC-6 or DC3-TP aircraft. Both are known for their ability to fly at slow speeds and in tight circles. The smokejumpers jump from the aircraft, parachuting into rugged terrain to reach areas that are hard to access by road.

When fire retardant is the weapon of choice, Delmonte flies as “lead plane” in a Beech King Air, a smaller, highly maneuverable aircraft. His role is to orchestrate the location and timing for large forest service tankers to drop the retardant, foam or water.

“We have a smoke generator onboard – similar to airshow aircraft – so we can mark the start point and designate the best course for the tankers,” Delmonte said. “Piloting the lead plane is much like being an F-16 FAC-A (forward air control – airborne). I get the objectives and priorities from the ground incident commander and then go to work sequencing other aircraft over the target.”

The forest service can send Delmonte anywhere in the U.S., but he typically covers hot spots in the western U.S. like New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, Montana and California where wildfires are most common in the hot, dry summer months.

During a busy season, a lead plane pilot can assist in putting out as many as 60 fires, he said. So far this year, he’s been called to New Mexico, California, Idaho and Colorado.

But with weather reports calling for a record-setting heat wave across the western U.S. this weekend, things are likely just warming up.

“I expect I’ll get busier real soon, as July and August are typically our biggest months,” he said.

Check out these other posts:

Original article:

Reserve F-16 Pilot Helps Squelch Wildfires Across West