Navy Band Orchestrates Partnerships in Africa

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The band exists at the tactical level of relationship building. At the boundary between cultures, the band is the bridge. –Adm. James G. Foggo, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa

By Musician 1st Class Joseph Schoonmaker

The U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band’s brass band, “Topside,” just returned from a six-week deployment to the Gulf of Guinea aboard USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) in support of Africa Partnership Station (APS). The deployment took us to Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cabo Verde, each country providing unforgettable opportunities to make connections with people from all walks of life, with diverse cultural backgrounds, using the universal language of music.


ROTA, Spain (July 2, 2019) The Spearhead-class expeditionary transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) departing Rota, Spain for an Africa Partnership Station deployment to the Gulf of Guinea. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Travis Simmons/Released)

The purpose of this deployment was to strengthen partnerships and demonstrate U.S. commitment to West African partners. The mission focused on small boat maintenance, maritime law enforcement, Navy medicine, and community relations outreach, with embarked teams from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard as well as Sailors from the Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish navies.

“Topside” is a traditional “New Orleans-style” brass band. We take great pride in the diversity of music we represent, and in preparation for our performances in Africa, we tried to learn at least one song from each country on the deployment schedule. We do this to demonstrate respect for their culture and to grow as musicians. It also opens the door to collaborating with local musicians, creating unique moments in live performances. We have found audiences from Italy to Latvia to West Africa to be very appreciative that we have invested the time and energy to engage with their music. When we visit countries where language provides a barrier to interaction, music acts as an international language. With the connection of music, the band helps build true and lasting partnerships. As I like to say during concerts and workshops, we are not there to impose our culture but rather to offer a true exchange where each side learns and grows.


DAKAR, Senegal (July 9, 2019) – Musicians from the U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band Topside perform with local musicians during an Africa Partnership Station community engagement at the Blaise Senghor Regional Culture Center of Dakar, Senegal. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Travis Simmons/Released)

We met the USNS Carson City in Dakar, Senegal. At the U.S. Embassy’s 4th of July celebration, we were joined onstage by the popular djembe drummer “Papis.” We also enjoyed a collaborative performance with musicians, dancers, and actors from the National School of Arts, during which they taught us a Senegalese folk song. Our African music education became a theme and the key to our relationships during APS. Prior to the trip, we learned “Conquer the World” by Youssou Ndour featuring Akon. We used both songs throughout the deployment. The highlight event in Dakar was a concert at the African Renaissance Monument during the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament. The crowd, watching the matches on a big-screen TV, joined us for a rousing rendition of “7 Nation Army,” which is used worldwide as a stadium chant, just as Benin won a penalty shootout. The energy was electric and created a truly memorable experience for the band and the crowd.


DAKAR, Senegal (July 4, 2019) The Naval Forces Europe Band’s New Orleans brass band, Topside, performs during a 4th of July celebration at the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, July 4, 2019. The NAVEUR Band supports commander, Naval Forces Europe and Africa/Joint Forces Command Naples, and commander, U.S. 6th Fleet priorities, which serve to enhance international community relations among partner nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ford Williams/Released)

The next leg of the trip was in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. For our performances and radio interviews, the band was accompanied by two French-speaking U.S. Navy Sailors with local connections. The diversity of the band provided us with an opportunity for genuine local interaction. One of the Sailors, a naval reservist who grew up in Abidjan, taught us an Ivorian folk melody. We played it for the radio shows as well as live audiences. The students from the University of Felix Houphouet Boigny gave us one of the most enthusiastic receptions we’ve ever seen, singing, dancing, and chanting, “USA! USA!”


ABIDJAN, Cote D’Ivoire (July 16, 2019) The Naval Forces Europe Band’s New Orleans brass band, “Topside”, is interviewed by local media during a tour of the Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) while the ship is in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ford Williams/Released)

ABIDJAN, Cote d’Ivoire (July 17, 2019) – Lt. Lynda Amegee, from Lome, Togo, dances while U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band, Topside, performs during an audio recording for Al Bayane 95.7 FM radio station in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, while the Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) is in port. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Travis Simmons/Released)

ABIDJAN, Cote d’Ivoire (July 18, 2019) – The U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band New Orlean’s brass band, Topside, performs alongside a child during a community relations project at the SOS Children’s Village Abobo Gare. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sara Eshleman/Released)

Our next stop, Sekondi, Ghana, offered further proof of West African hospitality with a welcome party featuring Ghanaian bands accompanied by traditional dancers, gifts of soccer-style scarves, and a red, white, and blue cake. We teamed up for a reggae jam session with a Ghanaian Navy Band in Tema, having a musical conversation. Previously, while underway from Cote d’Ivoire to Ghana, we learned a folk melody from several Ghanaian Sailors who joined Carson City for a few days. As with each country on this trip, audiences immediately recognized the tune and sang along. The music not only brings the musicians together but also, through dancing and singing, encourages the relationships of the other APS crew members with our host-nation partners.


SEKONDI, Ghana (July 21, 2019) Chief Musician Justin Belka, a trumpeter for the U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band’s New Orleans brass band, Topside, plays alongside the Ghanian band Rhythm 360 while the Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) is in Sekondi, Ghana. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ford Williams/Released)

TAKORADI, Ghana (July 22, 2019) – Takoradi residents dance as the U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band, Topside, embarked aboard the Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7), parades through the streets of Takoradi, Ghana. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sara Eshleman/Released)

Nigeria brought a welcomed return to Lagos for our band, as we had previously visited during exercise Obangame Express, a large collaborative naval exercise in March of this year. During that exercise, we were introduced to Freedom Park, a special place in the life of the city. We thought it would be a great place to perform, not knowing we would get that opportunity just five months later. Our Nigerian song of choice was “Water No Get Enemy” by afro-beat legend Fela Kuti. Rehearsal leading up to our first performance had a different energy as everyone understood the significance of playing the music of such a significant cultural icon as Fela Kuti, while in the very place he had cultivated a following that would eventually spread throughout Africa and the world. Even understanding the significance of the moment, we could have never imagined the reaction we received. The audience practically jumped out of their seats when we hit the first note! The next day, we performed the same song on Silverbird TV, reaching millions of viewers in and beyond Lagos. Playing Fela Kuti in that city and getting that reaction was a special, unforgettable moment in our musical careers. This demonstrates the power and impact of maintaining relationships with our partners. Our previous trip to Nigeria served to enhance our visit during APS.


LAGOS, Nigeria (July 28, 2019) – U.S. Naval Forces Europe’s New Orleans brass band “Topside,” embarked aboard the Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) performs at Johnson Jakande Tinubu Park in Lagos, Nigeria. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sara Eshleman/Released)

LAGOS, Nigeria (July 30, 2019) – Band members from U.S. Naval Forces Europe’s New Orleans brass band, “Topside,” embarked aboard the Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7), perform as musical guests on the television show “Today on STV” at SilverbirdTV in Lagos, Nigeria. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sara Eshleman/Released)

Cabo Verde closed out the deployment for us. We were privileged to play “Sodade,” a beautiful Cabo Verdean ballad, outside the municipal market in downtown Mindelo. The band played softly and let the crowd carry the tune. It was a special moment and a wonderful reflective way to close out our time in Africa. It was the last in a series of outstanding, often unscripted, shared experiences that served as the lasting hallmarks of our deployment.


MINDELO, Cabo Verde (Aug. 8, 2019) – U.S. Naval Forces Europe’s New Orleans brass band “Topside,” embarked aboard the Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7), performs on the streets of Mindelo, Cabo Verde. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sara Eshleman/Released)

MINDELO, Cabo Verde (Aug. 8, 2019) – U.S. Naval Forces Europe’s New Orleans brass band “Topside” performs during a media tour on the flight deck of the Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) in Mindelo, Cabo Verde. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sara Eshleman/Released)

All told, we performed 40 times for live and broadcast audiences exceeding 15 million. The social media impact has been significant and is, in fact, ongoing. This mission was a pitch-perfect example of what Navy bands are capable of and how they can contribute to broader goals of the Navy and the United States. On a personal note, this deployment has been the highlight of my career thus far and an experience for which I am profoundly grateful.


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Navy Band Orchestrates Partnerships in Africa

Pacific Northwest CDS: How to Use Your Voice, Invoke Positive Change, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

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By MC1 Sarah Villegas, Office of the MCPON

Known for its sprawling mountains, pine forests, and rivers of coffee, the Pacific Northwest (PNW) is a picturesque tourist destination.

It’s also home to several navy bases — serving critical warfare areas and providing an environment for the fleet to train, repair and replenish. 

MyNavyHr recently brought Navy leadership and detailers to meet with PNW Sailors to share more on current and upcoming initiatives while giving attendees the chance to share feedback during a Career Development Symposium.


The forum was about practicing radical candor on both ends: admirals and seamen alike, being transparent about limitations and opinions respectively. Imagine having the chance to tell “them” how much you dislike a policy or have a bone to pick with the process of picking orders? Sailors were able to do just that. Rather than being penalized for criticism, they were encouraged to speak up and offer solutions as to how we can work to fix issues and improve the Navy. 

This is where the whole process starts. Leaders like MCPON, the Chief of Naval Personnel, and the commander of Navy Personnel Command hit the road to find out what you need most. They visit ships, submarines and air squadrons to see what our folks need in order to accomplish the mission, while taking care of themselves and their families. 

Fulfilling those needs may involve various types of actions such as requesting increased funding in the budget, mining for innovative ideas, to finding compromises that work best for the Sailor and the Navy at large. From their visit to the deckplates, leadership then takes feedback and new ideas back to Washington D.C. to discuss with other senior leaders, such as the Chief of Naval Operations, Secretary of the Navy, and, as necessary, congressional members.   

Admittedly, positive change and addressing some of our most vexing challenges can be a slow moving process, often requiring additional funding, approval at various levels, and congressional support.


190227-N-YG104-0026 WASHINGTON (February 27, 2019) Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith departs the Russell Senate Building, near the U.S. Capitol building, after testifying on Military Personnel Policies and Military Family Readiness during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel. Smith shared testimonies that advocated for child care, housing, and Sailor 2025 initiatives. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication 1st Class Sarah Villegas/Released)

MCPON Testifies to Congress, Advocates for Quality of Life Resources

Some issues are easier to identify and solve than others. The feedback we get from Sailors on the deck plates is only part of the equation. Other parts include Facebook Live events, questions and comments on command social media pages, external media coverage, and other types of events, for instance, the National Discussion on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at America’s Colleges, Universities and Service Academies

From these multiple sources, themes start to emerge, priorities determined, and perspective solutions become clearer. This all results in the wheels of positive change in the Navy to begin turning internally — and the wheels are always turning whether you seem them or not. 

This is why it’s crucial that you speak up — in a constructive manner — and share your insights. More than saying “it sucks,” share your ideas on how we can make it better for you, your Sailors, your family, and everyone that follows. After all, it’s your Navy. We are fortunate to live in an era where leadership believes that your voice is critical in solving the issues at hand. And, increasingly, there a multiple avenues of communication that are easier and more direct. Sure, it might seem intimidating to stand up and ask MCPON or an admiral a question, but remember, these leaders come to listen.  

The purpose of the many efforts discussed at CDS is to remove distractions that stand in the way of readiness. “Instead of standing in line at PSD or wasting your time trying to fix your pay, we want you to be able to perfect your craft while knowing that you and your family are well cared for.” -MCPON Smith 


The Navy is home to tremendous opportunities. As with any organization, it must continuously evolve and remedy issues in order to make it better for those who are a part of it. In order to reduce administrative distractions, there are projects underway to consolidate and improve communication between databases, so that a Sailor has to input one piece of information one time. Some of these creaky databases date back decades! That’s just one example that shows the mountains we’re climbing to modernize our personnel systems.

Commonly Asked Questions from CDS PNW:

Q: How does the Meritorious Advancement Program affect quotas? 

A: 10 percent of the total fiscal year 2019 advancement quotas have been allocated to 2019 MAP Season Two. NAVADMIN 176/19

Q: What’s the latest on Tuition Assistance?

A: Beginning Oct. 1, 2019, enlisted Sailors and officers must complete a minimum of two years of service before becoming eligible to use TA or NCPACE instructor-led or Distance Learning (DL) courses. This requirement may not be waived. In addition, TA and NCPACE (DL) funding is capped at 12 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) per fiscal year (FY) and a total of 120 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) in a career.  Most Sailors in recent years have only used up to an average of nine semester hours annually. NAVADMIN 114/19

Q: What is the Navy doing about increasing the availability of child care? 

A: The Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC), which oversees the CDCs and MCCYN, is working hard to address the child care capacity shortfalls issue. While the Navy has made significant headway to meet the demand for child care Navy-wide through the combination of military-operated and approved community-based programs, there is more work to do. In FY20, Navy has budgeted increased funding for child care to add 1,000 new spaces through community partnerships. 

Q: Why is the Navy including planks to the Navy PRT? 

A: The plank is a better test of core strength and endurance and will likely reduce lower back injuries or strain due to poor form when doing the curl-up. The plank will be a timed event with scoring based on the amount of time a Sailor can maintain the plank position. Currently, the goal is to release these changes in calendar year 2020.

Q: What about beards?

A: No changes to the current policy are being considered. Safety continues to be the primary concern. In March 2016, the Naval Safety Center conducted a study to consider how facial hair affects the proper fit of respirators worn to conduct many duties in the Navy. The results showed that in general, the presence of beards and wide sideburns had a detrimental effect on the performance of the respirators. The study concluded that facial hair interferes with the seal and degrades respirator performance.

Obviously some of these are of much greater importance than others — depending on your circumstances both professionally and personally. These issues aren’t to be taken lightly, because they directly correlate to the livelihood, well-being, and retention of skilled Sailors.

Even if you don’t have a CDS coming to you anytime soon, you’re encouraged to reach out and reach up. Write a point paper, send an email to (usnpeople@navy.mil), or connect with the Navy on social media to shape the future of our Navy. Not only are you allowed, but you’re encouraged to do so. 

Just as the PNW is riddled with rugged terrain and obstacles to overcome, so is your service. Anything worth doing will have its challenges — but it’s better to be equipped with the gear and resources you need to get to the top of that mountain. 


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Pacific Northwest CDS: How to Use Your Voice, Invoke Positive Change, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Naval Aviation On Its Way to Achieve Readiness Goal

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By Adm. Robert Burke
Vice Chief of Naval Operations

It has been less than a year since the Navy set out to restore strike fighter readiness rates to 80 percent, and the one-year deadline of Oct. 1 is approaching. For the aviation community, the endeavor to increase the mission-capable rate of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets posed a challenge that Naval Aviation leadership attacked with fervor.


PACIFIC OCEAN (March 12, 2019) F/A-18E Super Hornets from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 136 “Knighthawks” fly in formation during a photo exercise over the California coast. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe)

It is with good reason that the Naval Aviation community has risen to this challenge. For over 100 years, carrier aviation has led the way in power projection and bringing the fight to our adversaries. In WWII, the aircraft carrier replaced the battleship as the most powerful offensive naval weapons system as the battles between fleets were increasingly fought outside of the ships’ gun ranges. The Battle of Coral Sea was the first air-sea battle in history, and the lessons learned by the Naval Aviators during that battle helped form new tactics and techniques that led to a decisive victory and the turning point of the War in the Pacific during the Battle of Midway.

Today, U.S. Navy carriers routinely deploy worldwide, in harm’s way, providing our national leadership credible options ranging from deterrence to major combat operations, without the need to consult another host nation.

I recently completed an informative trip to Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic at NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach to get a first-hand look at the changes to aviation maintenance practices and to gain insight on the challenges and priorities of aviators and maintainers.


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Aug. 7, 2019) Cmdr. Brandon M. Scott, commanding officer of the “Gladiators” of Strike Fighter Wing (VFA) 106, right, discusses hangar condition with Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Adm. Robert P. Burke during a hangar tour on board Naval Air Station Oceana. Burke visited VFA-106 to meet with command leadership and discuss aviation readiness. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mark Thomas Mahmod/Released)

Under the leadership of Commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic and CSFWL, the east coast Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 was the most recent squadron to initiate reforms under the Naval Sustainment System (NSS), starting in April of this year. VFA-106 has the largest inventory of Super Hornets on the flight line, as they are responsible for training newly-winged aviators for the fleet.


PACIFIC OCEAN (July 12, 2019) Sailors direct an F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to the “Tomcatters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31, on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Pyoung K. Yi/Released)

In short, this squadron is the largest contributor to the strike fighter readiness recovery. Since VFA-106 maintenance performance impacts overall Super Hornet readiness status more than any other squadron, the recent implementation of NSS procedures had a significant impact on the overall goal. Like the pioneering naval aviators in WWII rapidly incorporated lessons learned between Coral Sea and Midway, VFA-106 learned from the FRS squadron at NAS Lemoore who completed early iterations of NSS changes. This rapid learning and improvement drove VFA-106 to reduce maintenance turnover timeframes, raise the average mission capable (MC) aircraft numbers, and return several long-term down aircraft to a flying status.

I spoke with two plane crew chiefs – both junior Sailors – to ask what they thought of the new processes. With pride, they both spoke of ownership, of learning the whole aircraft, well outside of their rating expertise, and of true teamwork. This is a great example of U.S. Navy Sailors being given tremendous responsibility – and running with it!

This effort is a testament to the adaptability and determination of the aviators and maintainers in the VFA community and VFA-106. The squadron is reaching the point where lack of MC aircraft is no longer a limiting factor to pilot production, even when supporting operations in multiple locations or underway on the aircraft carrier. These are powerful results that will ensure we have enough instructors and pilots in the future.


LEMOORE, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2019) Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class Joshua Norris, center, a Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) Lemoore instructor, observes student Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class Jamie Kenney as she troubleshoots simulated issues on the F/A-18 aircraft ALR-67 system. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Aviation Machinist’s Mate Alvin Zuilan)

Success at VFA-106 is one example of how the Naval Aviation Enterprise is working together to achieve our 80 percent readiness goal. Because NSS addresses all elements of aviation maintenance – people, parts and processes – to make permanent changes that increase aviation readiness and lethality, we are seeing improvements that are sustainable for the future. Through collaboration and a whole-of-aviation approach, the Naval Aviation Enterprise is on its way to achieve and sustain its readiness goal.

It is a remarkable time for Naval Aviation, and I’m proud to have seen the determination, passion and professionalism during my visit. Keep up the hard work, and I’ll see you in the fleet!


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Naval Aviation On Its Way to Achieve Readiness Goal

Grand Junction Celebrates Its First Navy Week

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Naval Aircrewman 2nd Class Charles Hardmon, from Egg Harbor Township, N.J., assigned to USS Constitution, gives a presentation to campers of East Camp at the Lincoln Park Recreation Center as part of Grand Junction Navy Week. T(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey Scoular/Released)



Grand Junction, Colorado might be a land-locked state and hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean, but that didn’t stop the Navy from sailing into town July 22 – 28 to celebrate the town’s first ever Navy Week. Navy Week is an outreach program that travels to cities without a significant Navy presence, giving people who might never otherwise interact with the Navy, an opportunity to learn what the U.S. Navy does.  The weeklong engagement also plays a vital role in connecting the American public with Sailors, assets and Navy equipment introducing local communities with an understanding of why having a strong Navy is so invaluable to our country. Both residents and Sailors interacted in outreach events providing the opportunity for visible awareness of the mission, capabilities and importance of the U.S. Navy.


Future Sailors from Navy Recruiting Division (NRD) Metropolitan took the oath of enlistment from Rear Adm. Bret Batchelder, senior executive host of Western Slope Navy Week, at the Colorado National Monument, July 24. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Holly L. Herline)

Naval Aircrewman 2nd Class Charles Hardmon, from Egg Harbor Township, N.J., assigned to USS Constitution, gives a presentation to campers of East Camp at the Lincoln Park Recreation Center as part of Grand Junction Navy Week. T(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey Scoular/Released)

The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, diamond pilots perform the “Diamond 360” maneuver in a demonstration at the Grand Junction Air Show in Grand Junction, Colo. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Gordon/Released)

Capt. Fred Goldhammer, commanding officer of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), gives a flag flown aboard Mesa Verde to the family of Mesa County Sherriff’s Deputy Derek Greer at a memorial service for Greer during Navy Week Grand Junction. Greer, a Navy veteran, was killed after responding to 911 reports of a masked man with a gun. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey Scoular/Released)

Lt. j.g. Antonio Alamazan, assigned to the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), speaks with local radio station about the Navy and ship during the Western Slope Navy Week and Mesa Verde Namesake visit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brent Pyfrom/Released)

Lt. Cmdr. David Gardner, the public affairs officer assigned to the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, interacts with fans at America’s Navy’s Virtual Reality Experience during the Grand Junction Air Show at Grand Junction, Colo. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Gordon/Released)

Naval Aircrewman 2nd Class Charles Hardmon, from Egg Harbor Township, N.J., assigned to USS Constitution, takes a selfie with West Camp summer campers at West Middle School during Grand Junction Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey Scoular/Released)

Sailors from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 117 meet with Army veteran Ann Reynolds, who recently turned 100 years old, during a Meals on Wheels Mesa County meal delivery, July 23, 2019. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Holly L. Herline/Released)

Rear Adm. Brett C. Batchelder, director of Maritime Operations (N04), U.S. Fleet Forces Command, speaks at a memorial service for Mesa County Sherriff’s Deputy Derek Greer during Navy Week Grand Junction. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey Scoular/Released)

Naval Aircrewman 2nd Class Charles Hardmon, from Egg Harbor Township, N.J., assigned to USS Constitution, gives a presentation to West Camp summer campers at West Middle School during Grand Junction Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey Scoular/Released)

Check to see if a Navy Week is coming to your community.  Scheduled cities remaining in 2019 are:

– Boise, Idaho, Aug. 19-25

– St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 2-8

– Wichita, Kan., Sept. 9-15

– Charleston, W.V., Oct. 14-20


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Grand Junction Celebrates Its First Navy Week

National Nurses Week

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (April 17, 2018) Lt. Amy Moore, a Navy reserve nurse at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Multi-Service Unit, readies an IV for use. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel/Released)



In observance of National Nurses Week, a big thank you to the dedicated U.S. Navy nurses around the world for all their hard work providing care, and the important roles they play not only for military service members and their families, but also for all people in need!


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (April 14, 2017) Kim Baughman, a registered nurse at the Naval Hospital Jacksonville maternal infant unit, checks a newborn’s reflexes. Nurses Week is May 6-12, celebrating nurses who lead the charge for health and wellness. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel, Naval Hospital Jacksonville/Released)

MAYPORT, Fla. (Nov. 10, 2016) Capt. Mary White, a nurse practitioner at Naval Branch Health Clinic (NBHC) Mayport’s Pediatrics clinic, examines a child experiencing cold symptoms. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel/Released)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (April 9, 2019) Ensign Pauline Gachalian hands a newborn boy to his mother, Petty Officer 2nd Class Emily Smith, at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Maternal Infant Unit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacob Sippel/Released)

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 3, 2018) Lt. Allison Christ, left, an intensive care unit registered nurse at Naval Medical Center Balboa in San Diego, and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Brittanie Haring right,, a native of Massillon, Ohio, place a chest tube in a simulated patient using augmented reality glasses as part of a tele-medical training exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelsey L. Adams/Released)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Sept. 14, 2018) Ensign Michelle Araya, a registered nurse, checks on Cpl. Nicholas Digregorio and his wife as they hold their newborn twin girls at Naval Hospital Jacksonville. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel/Released)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (April 17, 2018) Lt. Amy Moore, a Navy reserve nurse at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Multi-Service Unit, readies an IV for use. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel/Released)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (March 29, 2018) Lt. j.g. Wesley Limberg, a registered nurse at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Labor and Delivery unit, asks Carolina Wilson questions about her pregnancy. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN (April 23, 2018) Nurses assigned to the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) give reports on incoming patients during a mass casualty drill. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelsey L. Adams/Released)


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National Nurses Week

Maintaining Trust of Our Sailors and Families Residing in Public Private Venture and Government Housing

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From Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith

Trust and confidence are the foundational bedrock upon which effective command rests. These principles are directly tied to our mission; if we lose the trust of our Sailors, Marines and their families, if they are disconnected or distracted, the entire team suffers. The Sailors and Marines in our care must be confident that when they bring a problem to their chain of command – preferably to their division officer and their division chief – their command leadership will advocate tirelessly on their behalf.

We are facing an urgent issue affecting not only the trust and confidence of our Sailors and their families, but also their health, safety and well-being. As we have discovered, in some cases the condition of our government and public private venture family housing aboard our installations is not where it should be. Our Sailors and their families deserve safe, quality living quarters and commands must advocate for our Sailors and their families. To that end, we are prioritizing efforts to better understand our Sailors’ living conditions in on-base government family and PPV housing, to ensure that as residents, they are provided with the quality of life they have earned and deserve.Our Sailors and their families deserve safe, quality living quarters and commands must advocate for our Sailors and their families.

What went wrong? The government role in the privatized partnership arrangement has become too passive, leaving the day-to-day operation of the housing program to the residents and the private partners. We need to re-engage, especially at the command level, to advocate for our Sailors. CNIC, with support from OPNAV and NAVFAC, is on the job, already engaged in actions that will increase oversight of the partners, introduce improved quality assurance of the housing operations, follow-up on issues, add feedback mechanisms after trouble calls are closed out, focus on improved customer service, and begin a robust series of resident engagements ranging from email and social media outreach, town halls, and home visits by invitation. These efforts will be supplemented by command action on behalf of our Sailors and their families: 100 percent contact with all of your Sailors to invite them to specifically share their housing situation, experiences and unresolved issues. They may choose to decline these conversations, and they must not be pushed or pressured. During these conversations, for those in PPV or government housing, commands will offer to visit their residence if they desire. But visit or not, 100 percent of PPV residents will be engaged by their chain of command to ensure we understand their situation.

No later than April 15, 2019, every Sailor residing in PPV or government housing will be afforded an opportunity for a visit from their command at their residence. The purpose of these visits is threefold:

  • to raise our Navy awareness of family living conditions
  • to personally observe any issues affecting the home and to understand any actions being taken to address them
  • if a problem is found, to help your Sailor and their family get the problem resolved. In short, the purpose of the visit is to be their advocate.

This is not an inspection program; visits are to be strictly voluntary, by invitation only, and executed in accordance with the process set forth below.

Every Sailor with a PPV or government residence will be personally asked by their division officer if they would like to schedule a time for a visit from leaders in their command, ideally their division chief and division officer, to put eyes on any problems that the Sailor and their family are experiencing. It will be made clear to the Sailor that allowing the visit is purely voluntary and there will be no negative ramifications should either the Sailor or the Sailor’s family member decline a visit. Sailors and families will have an opportunity to ask any questions about the visit. If Sailors and families agree to a visit, a two-person team, ideally the Sailor’s division officer and division chief, will conduct the home visit. During the visit, command leadership will discuss how any problems are being resolved. The discussion should include the Sailor and all other adult family members living in the residence, provided the family member desires to participate.

For officers in PPV or government housing desiring a visit, use a similar approach, with at least one of the visiting team being senior to that of the officer whose residence will be visited (e.g., the respective department head for a division officer).

Finally, the command will vigorously assist families to get problems fixed, using existing procedures. If the Sailor declines a visit, the division officer will offer to discuss any housing issues with the Sailor or their family members by phone. In taking these steps, we will enhance understanding between the command and each Sailor and their family.

... the command will vigorously assist families to get problems fixed ...

Each team will consist of officers and/or chief petty officers only. In general, the most appropriate approach will be visits conducted by division officers and divisional leading chief petty officers. The uniform for the visit will be determined by the unit commanding officer. A minimum of one day prior to the scheduled visit, the senior member of the visit team will call or meet with the Sailor (or adult family member, if deployed) to be visited in order to confirm the time and date of the home visit.

At the beginning of the visit, the purpose of the visit will be explained to both Sailor and family and any datasheet used to record the information gathered during the visit will be shown to both. It is important to note that these visits are not inspections; they are by invitation of the residents and specifically intended to allow residents to raise concerns. The Sailor and family may end the visit at any time and for any reason. If at any time during the visit, the team believes that the visit is unfolding in an unhelpful way, the team leader will end the visit and report back to the unit commander. Before departing the residence, the visit team will offer to address any issues raised during the visit and to commit to following up on the issue with the Sailor. For instances where a Sailor reveals issues in PPV or government housing but declines a visit, the command will assist the Sailor by contacting the installation commanding officer, executive officer, command master chief and housing director

Special considerations:

  • Be sensitive to privacy concerns. There may be Sailors and families who will feel a visit to their home is a violation of their privacy. We must respect this view. The goals and methods of home visitation must be presented in a positive manner to ensure families understand that the visits have been designed exclusively to ensure their health and safety and to promote their quality of life. Visits will only proceed with the informed consent of the Sailor (or adult family member living in the residence, if the Sailor is deployed). All commands will take measures to ensure that we build trust through this process.
  • There cannot be even the hint of retaliation or retribution. It should be the goal of every command that their Sailors bring these and other issues to their command leadership for resolution. Leadership, especially small unit leadership, should be eager to resolve these problems on behalf of their Sailors. These are often sensitive issues, often emotional, and each of us needs to adopt an attitude of seeking to understand and fix problems through frank and helpful conversations.
  • Leaders shall not attempt to be property managers, personal finance counselors or admin specialists. They need to stand side-by-side with the Sailor while engaging with the base CO and base housing office through existing processes if issues are raised.
  • For instances where a Sailor discloses issues with a private landlord not in PPV housing, you can help here too. Often, the best move is to direct the Sailor to meet with the local Region Legal Service Office who have legal assistance attorneys trained and experienced in local landlord-tenant law.

Unit commanders shall prepare implementation guidance required for visit teams from their command. Prior to beginning command visits, the cognizant staff judge advocate and/or offices of general counsel attorney shall be consulted.

No actions taken in support of this NAVADMIN shall replace business agreement manager responsibilities with regard to the ongoing execution of PPV operating agreements. Specifically, visit teams and commands shall not engage with PPV partners directly to ensure discrepancies are corrected. All necessary corrective actions shall be referred to installation commanders for action in accordance with existing approved procedures.

ISICs and TYCOMs shall ensure 100 percent of families of deployed commands are contacted and offered a visit. In all cases, visits shall be conducted no later than April 15.

Visits of residences aboard Army, Air Force and Marine Corps installations shall be recorded and issues referred from unit commanders to the respective host installation and passed as information to the appropriate regional commander area of responsibility.

CNIC and regional commands shall be available if requested to provide advice to installations and tenant commands on Family Housing policy, and associated legal concerns through April 15.

All home visitation records will be submitted to the designated representative of the unit commander, ISIC or TYCOM as appropriate.

Observations taken are not considered records for purposes of the Privacy Act, nor will the observations be made part of a system of records. However, all home visitation records will be handled and secured as if those records were personally identifiable information to protect the privacy of visited families.

All home visitation records will be destroyed no later than one year after the date of the home visit.

Observations recorded will not be used for the completion of evaluations and fitness reports.

CNIC is responsible for providing additional guidance and answering questions from commands in response to this NAVADMIN. Unit commanders shall address questions through host installations to the local regional commander prior to elevating issues and concerns to CNIC.

Unit commanders shall notify their chain of command when all Sailor-families have been contacted and when all visits are complete. Echelon Two commanders shall notify CNIC when 100 percent contact is achieved and when visits are complete. The master database for all PPV issues brought to leadership attention resides at the base housing office level, hence the importance of all issues being provided to the installation command and housing office team for tracking and resolution....it is essential that we strengthen the bonds of trust and confidence with our Sailors and their families.

I realize this is an intrusive “ask” for a lot of folks who are already doing a lot of important work. However, it is essential that we strengthen the bonds of trust and confidence with our Sailors and their families. Let’s get to it.

Editor’s note: This blog was adapted from NAVADMIN 043/19 that was released Feb. 23, 2019.


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Maintaining Trust of Our Sailors and Families Residing in Public Private Venture and Government Housing

Your Navy Operating Forward – East China Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Caribbean Sea

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ARABIAN GULF: The guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), front, is underway alongside the French navy frigate FS Courbet (F712) and a French AS-565 Panther helicopter during a three-week integration of Courbet with Task Force 55. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)



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


PHILIPPINE SEA: An E-2D Hawkeye launches off the flight deck of the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during exercise Keen Sword 19. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kyleigh Williams/Released)

SOUDA BAY, Greece: Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) pose for a command photo during the ship’s port visit to Naval Station Souda Bay, Greece, Nov. 8, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan U. Kledzik/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) transits the Mediterranean Sea, Nov. 5, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan M. Breeden/Released)

MANAMA, Bahrain: Salvage operations specialists from Naval Sea Systems Command deploy a Class-V ocean skimmer onboard Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain during an emergency spill response demonstration. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Eric S. Garst/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: The guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), front, is underway alongside the French navy frigate FS Courbet (F712) and a French AS-565 Panther helicopter during a three-week integration of Courbet with Task Force 55. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), left, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181), right, are underway in formation with 16 other ships from the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) during Keen Sword 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaila V. Peters/Released)

SOUDA BAY, Greece: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) departs Naval Station Souda Bay, Greece, following a scheduled port visit, Nov. 8, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan U. Kledzik/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: An AH–1Z Viper helicopter, attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 166 (Reinforced), flies above the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) in the Mediterranean Sea, Nov. 1, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan M. Breeden/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73), left, and the U.S. Coast Guard Island-class patrol cutter USCGC Monomoy (WPB 1326) transit the Arabian Gulf during exercise Eastern Sailor 19. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Samantha P. Montenegro/Released)

EAST CHINA SEA: The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) prepares to come alongside the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199) for a replenishment-at-sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sarah Myers/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), left, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181), right, are underway in formation with 16 other ships from the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) as aircraft from the U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force fly overhead in formation during Keen Sword 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erwin Jacob V. Miciano/Released)

CARIBBEAN SEA: The dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12) conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) to bring on fuel. Comfort is on an 11-week medical support mission to Central and South America as part of the U.S. Southern Command Enduring Promise initiative. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Benjamin T. Liston/Released)

ARABIAN GULF: Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Brandon Taylor, left, fires a .50-caliber machine gun under the instruction of Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Griffin Vancil during a live-fire exercise aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)

WATERS OFF THE COAST OF SAIPAN: The amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) heads to Saipan for Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) relief efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Mortensen/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) cruises in formation with other ships from the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) during Keen Sword 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Timothy M. Black/Released)

Tell us which photo best shows YOUR Navy Operating Forward !


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Your Navy Operating Forward – East China Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Caribbean Sea

Getting from Vulnerable to Cyber Secure

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By George Bieber
Naval Information Forces Public Affairs

We are in the cyber fight 24/7. Ransomware attacks, identity theft and online credit card fraud can be devastating, and these are just a few of the many types of malicious software and network attacks. If you’ve never been the victim of a breach, consider yourself lucky, but don’t let your luck lead you to complacency.

Below are tips recommended by military and private sector computer experts to better protect your personal information online:

  • Install an antivirus and update it.
    Antivirus software and updates are automatically covered at our worksites by Naval Information Forces’ Information Technicians (IT) Sailors at numerous commands around the globe and Navy/Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) via Naval Network Warfare Command (NETWARCOM). For your computers at home, download antivirus software, which will help protect your computer against viruses and malware.
  • Explore security tools you install.
    Many excellent apps and settings help protect your devices and your identity, but they’re only valuable if you know how to use them properly. Ensure your antivirus is configured and working correctly.
  • Use unique passwords for each account.
    One of the easiest ways hackers steal information is by getting a batch of username and password combinations from one source and trying those same combinations elsewhere. The single best way to prevent one data breach from having a domino effect is to use strong, unique passwords for every online account, preferably featuring 14 characters that combine upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.
  • Get a VPN and use it.
    Any time you connect to the nternet using a Wi-Fi network that you don’t recognize, use a virtual private network, or VPN. A VPN hides your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic, providing enhanced online security to the user.
  • Use two-factor authentication.
    Two-factor authentication means you need to pass another layer of authentication other than a password. This could include a fingerprint, facial recognition or a text. If the data or personal information in an account is sensitive or valuable, and the account offers two-factor authentication, you should enable it.
  • Use passcodes.
    Use a passcode lock on every smart device to protect your personal data. Many smartphones offer a four-digit PIN by default. Set a strong passcode, not an obvious four-digit PIN such as 1-4, last four digits of a Social Security Number, birthday or phone number.
  • Use different email addresses for different accounts.
    Consider maintaining one email address dedicated to signing up for apps that you want to try, but which might have questionable security, or which might spam you with promotional messages. After you’ve vetted a service or app, sign up using one of your permanent email accounts. If the dedicated account starts to get spam, close it and create a new one.
  • Clear your cache.
    To better protect that information that may be lurking in your web history, be sure to delete browser cookies and clear your browser history on a regular basis. To clear your cache, simply press Ctrl+Shift+Del to bring up a dialog that lets you choose which elements of browser data you want to clear.
  • Turn off the ‘save password’ feature in browsers.
    When you install a third-party password manager, it typically offers to import your password from the browser’s storage. If password managers can do that, you can be sure some malicious software can do the same.
  • Don’t fall prey to click bait.
    Click bait doesn’t just refer to cat compilation videos and catchy headlines. It can also include links in email, messaging apps and on social media sites. Phishing links masquerade as secure websites, hoping to trick you into giving them your credentials. Drive-by download pages can cause malware to automatically download and infect your device. Don’t click links in emails or text messages unless they come from a trusted source, and even then you should exercise caution.
  • Protect your social media privacy.
    Make sure you’ve configured each social media site so that your posts aren’t public. Think twice before revealing too much in a post, since your friends might share it with others. With care, you can retain your privacy without losing the entertainment and connections of social media.

Following these simple guidelines will help decrease your vulnerability in the cyber battlespace, and ensure that your personal data is better protected.


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Aegis Integration and Wayne E. Meyer

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

On Sept. 13, we welcomed USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) to her new homeport here at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.


The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and its crew arrive to their new homeport at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Corwin M. Colbert/Released)

USS Wayne E. Meyer is named for Rear Adm. Meyer, considered the father of Aegis, our Navy’s centralized, automated, command-and-control radar and computerized weapon control system. It’s the Navy’s universal – and integrated – computerized system aboard our guided-missile cruisers and destroyers, including USS Wayne E. Meyer.

Brought to life by Meyer and his team in the early 70s, the Aegis combat system is able to detect threats from all around our ships – as many as 250 targets at the same time. Aegis can detect enemy threats in the air nearly 300 miles away.


Rear Admiral Wayne E. Meyer, USN (covered)

Our leaders, from the chief of naval operations to the fleet and type commanders, remind us we steam today in a fast-paced, complex and frequently uncertain world. It’s a world with evolving threats and unpredictable potential adversaries. That’s one reason we can be extremely grateful for the steady and extremely capable Aegis system.

Meyer developed the system while director of surface warfare at the then-new Naval Sea Systems Command. It was just at the end of the Vietnam War but still in the heat of the Cold War, when Meyer brought together a team of top-notch engineers, his “true believers” – STEM volunteers who were willing to stake their reputations on making Aegis a reality.

Meyers integrated women on his team because he saw their skills and ability as well as their determination as members of his team.


Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) fire a Mark 38 25mm machine gun system during a live-fire exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelsey L. Adams/Released)

He and his volunteers believed in the mission, and their hard work paid off for generations who followed.

The women and men aboard the USS Wayne E. Meyer are also volunteers – professionals who can lead, serve with integrity, rise to a challenge together and critically self-assess their performance. They are committed to continuous improvement and warfighting readiness in service to our nation.

Over the past two years DDG-108 conducted two deployments to the western Pacific, leading the fight for the Carl Vinson Strike Group. In 2017, USS Wayne E. Meyer served as air and missile defense Commander to ensure the safety of the strike group for its six-month deployment. During the 2017 deployment, DDG-108 conducted exercises and drills with key allied partners, the Republic of Korea Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.


The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108), foreground, transits the East China Sea with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Murasame-class destroyer JS Samidare (DD 106), right, and the aircraft USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)

In March 2018, USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) made a historic port visit to Da Nang, Vietnam – the first time a U.S. aircraft carrier visited the country since the end of the Vietnam War in 1973. That was the same year coincidentally – 45 years ago –  that Meyer and his team installed Aegis installed aboard the first test ship, USS Norton Sound (AVM 1).


Sailors assigned to Carl Vinson Strike Group participate in stilt walking during a visit to SOS Children’s Village as part of a community service event during a port visit in Da Nang, Vietnam. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Daniel P. Jackson Norgart/Released)

Today, our Navy continues to develop, test and deploy innovative systems on our ships here in the Pacific, including those on the Pearl Harbor waterfront. Aegis continues to evolve as well, embracing new changes in technology. Increasingly, we are also embracing the potential and need for Aegis Ashore.

With the arrival of USS Wayne E. Meyer, named for the “father of Aegis,” to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, we see a dedicated commitment to integrating and maintaining the most technologically advanced ships in the Pacific with updated and advanced capabilities.

I join with the rest of our region/MIDPAC team in welcoming – and integrating – the Sailors and families of USS Wayne E. Meyer as the newest member in our ohana.

Editor’s note: This is the eleventh in a series of namesake blogs by Rear Adm. Brian Fort highlighting the surface ships homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.


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Navy Week Held in Fargo

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Sailors assigned to USS Constitution teach Lisa Budeau and Jordan Schroeer, news anchors for North Dakota Today, how to tie knots during Fargo Navy Week. Fargo, N.D. is one of select cities to host a 2018 Navy Week, a week dedicated to raising U.S. Navy awareness through local outreach, community service, and exhibitions. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey Scoular/Released)



Navy Week Fargo was held July 23-29 in conjunction with the Fargo Air Show to increase exposure and allow our Sailors to showcase our mission, capabilities and achievements of the U.S. Navy. Navy Weeks serve as a principal outreach effort into areas of the country without a significant Navy presence to provide residents the opportunity to meet Sailors firsthand.  


Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Cory Van Beveren, from Countryside, Ill., assigned to USS Constitution, teaches a child how to tie knots at Bennett Boys & Girls Club during Fargo Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey Scoular/Released)

Engineman 2nd Class Jamie Vetter, assigned to Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Fargo, watches the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, practice demonstration during Fargo Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David R. Finley Jr./Released)

A child at the Fargo Public Library conducts the Navy Band Great Lakes ceremonial band during their performance at Fargo-Moorhead Metro Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wyatt Anthony/Released)

Sailors assigned to USS Constitution teach Lisa Budeau and Jordan Schroeer, news anchors for North Dakota Today, how to tie knots during Fargo Navy Week. Fargo, N.D. is one of select cities to host a 2018 Navy Week, a week dedicated to raising U.S. Navy awareness through local outreach, community service, and exhibitions. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey Scoular/Released)

Musician 3rd Class Danlie Cuenca, assigned to Navy Band Great Lakes, performs at a free concert held at the Fargo Theater during the 2018 Fargo Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kleynia R. McKnight/Released)

Construction Electrician 2nd Class Benjamin Phelps, assigned to Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Fargo, helps a student program her robot at Minnesota State University Moorhead’s College for Kids summer camp during Fargo-Moorhead Metro Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David R. Finley Jr./Released)

Lt. Mack Jamieson, from Fulton, Miss., assigned to the Navy Office of Community Outreach, takes a selfie with children from the YMCA and local Boys & Girls Clubs at Island Park in Fargo, N.D., during Fargo-Moorhead Metro Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wyatt Anthony/Released)

Dr. Tim Mahoney, mayor of Fargo, N.D., poses for a photo after performing a jump with the U.S. Navy parachute team, the Leap Frogs, during Fargo-Moorhead Metro Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wyatt Anthony/Released)

Musician 1st Class Aaron Deaton, from Parkersburg, W.Va., assigned to Navy Band Great Lakes, plays taps during a wreath-laying ceremony for the members of the Gato-class submarine USS Robalo (SS-273) during Fargo-Moorhead Metro Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wyatt Anthony/Released)

Lt. Monica Killoran, and Ensign Keaton Brenneman, assigned to Naval Oceanography Operations Command, help Cambrie Wickham pull the cord to launch a water bottle rocket science project at the Minnesota State University Moorhead College for Kids and Teens Camp during Fargo Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kleynia R. McKnight/Released)

Navy Diver 2nd Class Joseph Sarge, from Redding, Pa., assigned to Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, talks to children in the YMCA and local Boys & Girls Clubs while wearing a bomb disposal suit at Island Park in Fargo, N.D., during Fargo-Moorhead Metro Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wyatt Anthony/Released)

Rear Adm. Gene F. Price, commander of Naval Information Force Reserve, tours the North Dakota State University Research and Creative Activity Center during Fargo-Moorhead Metro Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wyatt Anthony/Released)

Rear Adm. Gene F. Price, commander of Naval Information Force Reserve, meets with the mayors of Dilworth, Minn., Fargo, N.D., West Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn., during Fargo-Moorhead Metro Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wyatt Anthony/Released)

Would you attend a Navy Week celebration near you ?


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Navy Week Held in Fargo