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)

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Navy Week Held in Fargo

Past, Present and Future Links with Spain

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By Adm. James G. Foggo III
Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa

A young, tenacious immigrant and mariner from Spain arrived on our shores before we were a country. He joined the revolutionary cause as a naval officer in the South Carolina Navy and was quickly given his own ship to command. During the Siege of Charleston in 1780, a cannonball broke his arm, and he was captured. After a prisoner exchange, he volunteered to fight alongside General Washington. Ultimately, he helped the United States earn its independence. He settled in the new country and started a family. His name: Jordi Farragut, born in Minorca, Spain.

Besides giving our country selfless heroism, unwavering patriotism, and irrefutable courage, Farragut and his Scottish-Irish-American wife Elizabeth also gave us their son, who would become our first admiral and a U.S. Civil War hero: David Glasgow Farragut. And Minorca – besides giving us Jordi Farragut – gave us our base at Port Mahón for our Mediterranean Squadron (the predecessor of U.S. 6th Fleet) and a floating naval school (the predecessor of the U.S. Naval Academy).

For this reason, my trip to Minorca was to celebrate the strong historical links between our great countries. Along with my friend and Chief of the Spanish Navy, Adm. Gen. López Calderón, we attended events organized by The Legacy aimed at celebrating the naval bond between our two countries. We also hosted our friends aboard USS Donald Cook. The Legacy’s website aptly capture the spirit of this past weekend: “encourage and promote ties between the two countries based on the cherished relationship that has united us since before the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.”

I had the opportunity to personally thank the Commanding General of the Balearic Islands, as well as Adm. Gen. López Calderón for their unflinching support to the security of Europe, the collective defense of NATO and to the United States.

MINORCA, Spain (June 16, 2018) Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, right, and the Chief of Staff of the Spanish navy Adm. Gen. López Calderón pose for a photo with USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) in the background before a commemoration ceremony honoring the 150-year legacy of Adm. David Farragut. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan Riley/Released)
MINORCA, Spain (June 16, 2018) Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, right, and the Chief of Staff of the Spanish navy Adm. Gen. López Calderón pose for a photo with USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) in the background before a commemoration ceremony honoring the 150-year legacy of Adm. David Farragut. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan Riley/Released)

Our conjoined naval history began with the Farragut family and Minorca, but over the past 200 years it has continued to strengthen and expand, particularly after we became NATO allies and shared common strategic national security goals that paved the way for Spain to welcome our Sailors and ships in Rota and our service members to the Morón Air Base.

In the 1960s, Rota became an important port for our submarines. Today, Rota is the home away from home for our Sailors stationed on our four Forward-Deployed Naval Forces Europe multi-mission, Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers: USS Carney, USS Donald Cook, USS Porter, and USS Ross. Our four ships are part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach. They’re able to immediately respond to any crisis in the region and participate in exercises. I consider them among my top priorities as commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and Allied Joint Force Command Naples.

Our forces in Rota are a key element to our mutual national security and maintaining stability in the region. In 2017, USS Porter, along with USS Ross, launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Al Shayrat airbase in Syria in response to the Assad regime’s chemical weapon attack on its own civilians, thereby degrading the regime’s ability to conduct future chemical attacks from that location. In the Spring, Rota-based ships once again played a role in a combined attack to degrade Syria’s chemical weapons, research and storage facilities.

In recognition of history, it seems appropriate USS Porter is forward deployed to Spain. The ship’s namesake, Commodore David Porter, was Adm. Farragut’s foster father. When Farragut’s mother succumbed to yellow fever when he was young, Jordi Farragut asked Porter, who was a close personal friend, to watch over his son. In fact, Adm. Farragut’s birth name was James, but he changed it to David, in honor of David Porter.

Beyond graciously hosting our ships that are part of NATO’s integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) capability, Spain’s direct contributions to NATO’s IAMD are noteworthy. This past October, the Spanish frigate SPS Álvaro de Bazán (F 101) successfully fired an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile against an incoming anti-ship cruise missile during the live-fire IAMD exercise Formidable Shield.

This was the first time NATO’s smart defense concept was demonstrated with ships serving as air defense units protecting naval ballistic missile defense units. We look forward to Spain’s participation in Formidable Shield 2019.  IAMD is another top priority.

As a Southern European NATO Ally, Spain is a particularly critical partner in another of my top priorities: the NATO Strategic Direction South Hub. It is the Alliance’s bold new initiative to connect, consult and coordinate with countries across the Middle East and North Africa. It brings together willing participants to devise holistic and collaborative approaches to monitor and assess destablizing conditions that proliferate violent extremism. I firmly believe that if we can assist in stabilizing some of these regions and give people a reason to stay in their home countries, they will not feel compelled to leave. It can help prevent future refugee crises, and avoid the significant burden mass migrations can have on the economies of Europe. This is a security priority but also a humanitarian one.

While our military-to-military relationship with Spain is strong and healthy, and our commitment to NATO is rock solid, our strongest bond is simply as people coming together around similar principles and values.

The last time I visited Spain about a month ago, I was in Valencia to thank and recognize Spanish surgeon Dr. Pedro Cavadas. Dr. Cavadas and his outstanding medical team were able to reattach one of our Sailor’s right hand that was severed during an industrial accident at sea. Given the precious amount of time lost in transporting the Sailor from the submarine to Hospital de Manises in Valencia, it required an extremely talented team to move quickly to save his hand. Today, our Sailor is expected to make a full recovery.

VALENCIA, Spain (May 4, 2018) – Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, left, shakes the hand of Dr. Pedro Cavadas, a neurosurgeon at Hospital de Manises in Valencia, Spain, after awarding him the Civilian Meritorious Service Award at the hospital. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Nelson/Released)
VALENCIA, Spain (May 4, 2018) – Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, left, shakes the hand of Dr. Pedro Cavadas, a neurosurgeon at Hospital de Manises in Valencia, Spain, after awarding him the Civilian Meritorious Service Award at the hospital. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Nelson/Released)

Of course, I also can’t pass up the opportunity to highlight a personal connection with someone who is considered a hero in Spain and to the United States: Alejandro Villanueva – a decorated war hero and a pro football player with the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose parents are Spanish. My son went to West Point with Alejandro, and my wife Cindy and I know his parents well.  Villanueva served three tours in Afghanistan as a U.S. Army Ranger and paratrooper. Today, he traded the battlefield for a football field.

These are the type of stories that endure, and we must never forget the links that form the strong bond between our countries and our great navies. Our relationships are strengthened by our history, our integrations today, and the engagements we are planning for the future. The U.S. Navy has a great legacy with Spain that began with a young Minorcan mariner that helped us win our independence. I am thankful this legacy continues with heroes like the Valencian surgeon who gave one of our Sailors a chance to live a normal life. Long live Spanish-American friendship!

Editors note: This blog was published June 18, 2018, on the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. 6th Fleet website.


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Past, Present and Future Links with Spain

New Mark VI Patrol Boat Command Opportunities: Q&A

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From Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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New Mark VI Patrol Boat Command Opportunities: Q&A

PCU Colorado (SSN 788)

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About the Boat

When and where is the commissioning ceremony?
The commissioning ceremony will be held at Naval Submarine Base New London on March 17, 2018.

How many other submarines does the U.S. Navy currently have?
There are currently three classes of SSNs (attack submarines) in service; the Los Angeles, Sea Wolf and Virginia class (50 in total). The Navy also has guided missile submarines and ballistic missile submarines too.

What makes the Virginia class different?
The Virginia-class submarines are better capable to operate in littoral waters. They additionally can be configured to support special operations forces (SOF) by converting a torpedo room into an area for SOF personnel and their equipment. Additionally, diving operations can occur with greater ease due to a large lock-in/lock-out chamber for divers. Block III submarines feature a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles, among other design changes that reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.

Where was the Colorado constructed?
Virginia-class submarines are built under a joint construction contract between General Dynamics’ Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding. GD Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding are the only two U.S. shipyards capable of building nuclear-powered vessels.

When was the keel laid?
March 7, 2015

When was the ship christened?
December 3, 2016

When did PCU Colorado pass the required inspections by the Navy?
Colorado successfully completed the independent Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) trials, which evaluates the submarine’s seaworthiness and operational capabilities. During INSURV trials, the crew took the submarine to test depth and tested the submarine’s propulsion plant and material readiness. The sub was delivered to the Navy on Sept. 21, 2017.

Who is USS Colorado’s sponsor?
The ship’s sponsor for USS Colorado is Annie Mabus. Annie was born in Jackson, Mississippi. Early in her life, she moved with her family to Saudi Arabia when her father, former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, served as ambassador to the Kingdom. She returned to Mississippi for her schooling and remained there through high school. During that time, she also traveled, studying in France and seeing much of the world. Annie is a swimmer, who has competed throughout her life, winning a state championship as a high school junior.

Annie attended New York University, where she studied art history and studio art. She completed several internships at major art institutions, including The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art. She graduated with honors from NYU in 2014 and has remained in New York. After graduation, she was appointed VIP manager at the Museum of American Art’s summer music series, and currently assists an art and cultural advisor with international projects. Annie plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in museum curation.

The Navy plays an immensely important role in Annie’ life. With her father’s appointment as secretary, Annie was welcomed into the Navy family and created life-long friendships with many Sailors and Marines. She was named an honorary member of the U. S. Naval Academy’s 23rd Company in recognition of her close connection with the academy and the Brigade of Midshipmen. Her place within the Navy family was cemented when she was named ship sponsor of Colorado, and she looks forward to a lifelong relationship with the submarine and its crew.

When was the ship named?
The Secretary of the Navy announced June 25, 2012, that SSN-788, the 15th Virginia-class submarine, would be named after the state of Colorado.

How big is the PCU Colorado?
377 ft. long; 34 ft. wide; approximately 7,800 tons submerged

How fast can the PCU Colorado go?
25+ knots submerged

What history does the USS Colorado name have in the Navy?
There have been two ships in the U.S. Navy named after the state of Colorado and one named after the Colorado River.

  • The first USS Colorado (Screw Frigate) was a 3500-ton three-masted steam frigate commissioned in 1858 and named after the Colorado River. During the Civil War she participated in the Union Navy’s Gulf Blockading Squadron. She participated in the first naval engagement of the Civil War when she attacked and sank the Confederate private schooner Judah off Pensacola, Florida. She captured several vessels and engaged four Confederate steamers.
  • The second USS Colorado (AC 7) was an armored cruiser of the 13,900 ton-Pennsylvania class and was commissioned in 1905. After initial operation on the east coast she served in the Pacific alternating between the Asiatic Station and the eastern Pacific. She was renamed Pueblo on Nov. 9, 1916, to free up the name for the new battleship Colorado. After a yard period, she returned to Mexico, to blockade interned German ships.
  • The third USS Colorado (BB 45) was the lead ship of the class and was commissioned on Aug. 30, 1923. She displaced 32,600 tons with a length of 624 feet. She served in European waters in 1923 and 1924 before transferring to the Pacific. Prior to WWII she served with the Pacific fleet and helped in the search for missing aviator Amelia Earhart in 1937. She earned seven battle stars for her service in WWII. She supported operations in the Gilberts, Marshalls (Enitwetok and Kwajalein), Marianas (Saipan and Guram), Leyte, Luzon (Mindoro and Lingayen Gulf), Okinawa and Tinian. On July 24, 1944, while bombarding Tinian, she was hit by enemy shore batteries, suffering serious casualties to topside personnel. Colorado’s next combat duty was off Leyte in November 1944, where she was hit by two Kamikaze suicide planes. She was tied up next to USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay for the signing of the surrender of Japan. She was decommissioned in 1947.

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PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. (Jan. 12, 2018) Pre-Commissioning Unit Colorado (SSN 788) Commanding Officer Cmdr. Reed Koeep, Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Col and Chief of the Boat, Master Chief Freddie Richter post for a photo. Colorado is the 15th Virginia-class attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned March 17, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeffrey M. Richardson/Released)
PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. (Jan. 12, 2018) Pre-Commissioning Unit Colorado (SSN 788) Commanding Officer Cmdr. Reed Koeep, Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Col and Chief of the Boat, Master Chief Freddie Richter post for a photo. Colorado is the 15th Virginia-class attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned March 17, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeffrey M. Richardson/Released)

Commanding Officer
Cmdr. Gregory R. Koepp II, a native of Picayune, Mississippi, graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. He received his commission through the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate program after completing Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida. Upon completion of nuclear power training and the Submarine Officer Basic Course in 2002, Koepp reported onboard USS Tennessee (SSBN 734) in King’s Bay, Georgia, serving as a division officer in engineering and tactics while completing four strategic deterrent patrols. In 2005, he reported ashore to Commander, Navy Recruiting Command as Nuclear Training and Accessions Officer.

Following Submarine Officer Advanced Course in 2007, Koepp relieved as the Navigation and Operations Officer onboard USS Virginia (SSN 774) in Groton, Connecticut. During this tour, the ship deployed to the Europe and Africa areas of responsibility, and was awarded the Battle “E” in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, he reported ashore to Commander Submarine Squadron Four as the Squadron Operations Officer in Groton.

In 2013, upon completion of Submarine Command Course, Koepp relieved as Executive Officer onboard USS Buffalo (SSN 715) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. During this tour, the ship completed a Pre-Inactivation Restricted Availability and a Theater Anti-Submarine Warfare Surge Deployment. In 2015, he reported ashore to Nuclear Power Training Unit in Charleston, South Carolina as executive officer.

Koepp has completed a Masters in Engineering Management degree at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and Joint Professional Military Education through the Air University Air Command and Staff College and National Defense University.

Executive Officer
Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Col is a native of Modesto, California. He was selected for the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate Program and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computational Physics from University of Nevada – Las Vegas and commissioned through Officer Candidate School in 2003.

Following completion of nuclear power training, he reported to USS Alaska (SSBN 732) (GOLD) in 2005 where he served as Electrical Assistant, Main Propulsion Assistant, Damage Control Assistant, and Assistant Engineer. USS Alaska (GOLD) completed two strategic deterrent patrols, one Commander’s Evaluation Test, and a change of homeport to Norfolk Naval Shipyard for an Engineered Refueling Overhaul.

Following Submarine Officer Advanced Course in 2010, Col reported to USS Topeka (SSN 754) as the engineer officer. While onboard, the ship completed deployments to U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility and to the Western Pacific, and conducted an Arctic transit to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for an Engineered Overhaul.

Col reported to PCU Colorado (SSN 788) in October 2015 as executive officer.

Ashore, his assignments have included earning a Master of Science Degree in Engineering Acoustics from Naval Postgraduate School, and Naval Submarine School.

Chief of the Boat
ETVCM (SS) Freddie Richter was born in Garfield, New Jersey, and entered the Navy in May of 1999. Upon completion of recruit training at Great Lakes, Illinois and Basic Enlisted Submarine School (BESS) in Groton, Connecticut, he attended Electronics Technician “A” School in Groton.

His first operational command was onboard USS Honolulu (SSN 718) in Pearl Harbor, HI. Onboard Honolulu, he completed his submarine warfare qualification, two Western Pacific deployments and one U.S. Central Command deployment before attending Electronics Technician “C” School in Groton. Upon graduation, he transferred to the USS Helena (SSN 725) in April 2004 as the navigation leading petty officer. Following his tour onboard USS Helena, Richter reported to Submarine Learning Facility (SLF) in Norfolk in June 2006. It was on this tour where he was advanced to chief petty officer and qualified as a master training specialist.

Following his tour at SLF, he reported back to Pearl Harbor onboard the USS Hawaii (SSN 776) for duty as the assistant navigator. He completed two highly successful Western Pacific deployments, earned the 2010 and 2012 SUBRON 1 Battle “E”, two consecutive Red and Green Navigation “N”, advanced to the rank of senior chief petty officer and completed qualification as a chief of the boat.

In June 2013, he reported as the assistant navigator on the staff of Naval Submarine School where he trained future submarine assistant navigators while preparing 18 homeported submarines for deployment to the North Atlantic and Middle East area of responsibility and was advanced to master chief petty officer.

In November 2015, he was selected to serve as a chief of the boat, completed the Senior Enlisted Academy course and Command Master Chief/Chief of the Boat Capstone course before reporting to the PCU Colorado (SSN 788) in May 2016 as chief of the boat.

Ship’s Sponsor
Annie Mabus was born in Jackson, Mississippi. Early in her life, she moved with her family to Saudi Arabia when her father, former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, served as ambassador to the Kingdom. She returned to Mississippi for her schooling and remained there through high school. During that time, she also traveled, studying in France and seeing much of the world. Annie is a swimmer, who has competed throughout her life, winning a state championship as a high school junior.

Annie attended New York University, where she studied art history and studio art. She completed several internships at major art institutions, including The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art. She graduated with honors from NYU in 2014 and has remained in New York. After graduation, she was appointed VIP manager at the Museum of American Art’s summer music series, and currently assists an art and cultural advisor with international projects. Annie plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in museum curation.

The Navy plays an immensely important role in Annie’ life. With her father’s appointment as secretary, Annie was welcomed into the Navy family and created life-long friendships with many Sailors and Marines. She was named an honorary member of the U. S. Naval Academy’s 23rd Company in recognition of her close connection with the academy and the Brigade of Midshipmen. Her place within the Navy family was cemented when she was named ship sponsor of Colorado, and she looks forward to a lifelong relationship with the submarine and its crew.

Commander, Submarine Forces/Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic
Commander, Allied Submarine Command
Vice Adm. Joseph Tofalo grew up in upstate New York and graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. He also holds a Master of Science in Engineering Management from Catholic University of America. His father was a 35-year career naval officer and his mother, a Navy Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVE) – one of the first enlisted women in the Navy.

A career submarine officer, his at-sea assignments include: USS Flasher, USS Michigan and USS Montpelier. His at-sea command assignments were as commanding officer, USS Maine and commander, Submarine Squadron (COMSUBRON) 3.

Staff assignments include: three assignments on Commander, Submarine Forces staff; two assignments on Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces staff; four assignments on the chief of naval operations staff; U.S. Joint Forces Command; and the Joint Staff.

Selected for rear admiral in December 2009, his first flag assignment was as assistant deputy chief of staff for Global Force Management and Joint Operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command. In August 2011, he relieved as commander, Submarine Group 10, and in December 2013 as director, Undersea Warfare on the chief of naval operations staff in the Pentagon.

Tofalo assumed his current duties in September 2015. As commander, Submarine Forces he is the Undersea Domain lead, and is responsible for the submarine force’s strategic vision. As commander, Submarine Force Atlantic, he commands all Atlantic-based U.S. submarines, their crews and supporting shore activities. These responsibilities also include duties as commander, Task Force (CTF) 144, CTF 84; commander, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Forces Western Atlantic; and CTF 46. As commander, Allied Submarine Command, he provides advice to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Strategic Commanders on submarine related issues.

Naval Submarine Base New London Commanding Officer
Capt. Paul Whitescarver became the 51st commanding officer of Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton in December 2015.
A native of Roanoke, Virginia, Whitescarver enlisted in the Navy in August 1980, serving 11 years in the enlisted ranks before being selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program. Graduating from Virginia Tech in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, he then completed his initial officer nuclear power and submarine training.

At sea, he has served in the submarines USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (SSN 708), USS Norfolk (SSN 714), and USS Alabama (SSBN 731). Whitescarver commanded USS Scranton (SSN 752) from 2009 to 2012.

Ashore, his assignments have included service on the Joint Staff and the Chief of Naval Operations staffs. On the Joint Staff, he was the executive assistant for the deputy for Force Application and director for Chemical, Radiological, Biological and Nuclear Defense in the Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment Directorate, J-8. On the CNO staff, he was Nuclear Enlisted Program and community manager for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program for the Chief of Naval Personnel, N-1.

Prior to taking command of Naval Submarine Base New London, he most recently served of the staff of Commander, Submarine Forces Atlantic (CSL) in Norfolk, as the operations officer.

Among various personal and unit awards, Whitescarver was the recipient of the Naval Submarine League Charles Lockwood Award for Submarine Excellence in 2001. He is also a graduate of Naval Post Graduate School with a Master of Arts degree in National Security Affairs.

Boat’s Crest

USS Colorado's Crest

The crest of USS Colorado (SSN 788) is contained within the silhouette of the head of a charging mustang, symbolizing the determined nature of the great state of Colorado. This nature of unbridled determination will carry on in the attitude of the crew of Colorado. The fundamental elements of the background are derived from the state of Colorado. Above the waterline lies the white, snow-covered Rocky Mountains standing tall over the landscape and concealing destructive power within their icy ridges. These mountains represent the mighty and majestic nature of submarines. Upon the reflection in the water rests a submarine, representing USS Colorado, transiting forward, into the unknown. Along the collar of the horse lie seven stars that represent the Battle Stars awarded to the battleship USS Colorado (BB 45) for exemplary service in World War II, and reflect the spirit of excellence present in the crew aboard the new USS Colorado. Finally, the Latin motto, Terra Marique Indomila translates to “untamed by land and sea.” Although only three words and a straightforward translation, the motto actually has three distinct meanings:

  • Terra: Untamed by land throughout history
  • Marique: Untamed by the sea
  • Terra Marique Indomita

Together, the motto recognizes the spirit of USS Colorado, both the ship and her crew, a spirit that remains untamed by the rugged terrain and weather extremes of land, and untamed by the rough waves and dark depths of the sea.

From late 2014 into early 2015, the commissioning committee coordinated a competition to design the official crest of the USS Colorado. In April 2015, after receiving over 100 submissions from all across the world, the committee and the crew of PCU Colorado evaluated the submissions and ultimately selected the design of Michael F. Nielson, to serve as the ship’s official crest. After the selection, the designer was contacted to provide some personal background information and finalize the design. It was at that time the command and the committee learned that the designer was both a naval officer and Colorado native who was completing initial training for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, and had orders to report to PCU Colorado. After completion of his training in October 2015, Lt. j.g. Nielson reported to PCU Colorado as one of the first two junior officers.

History

Evolution of Subs Infographic

The Traditions of Ship Commissionings

Ship Commissionings Infographic

Colorado I (Screw Frigate)

Colorado II (Armored Cruiser No. 7)

Colorado III (BB-45)


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PCU Colorado (SSN 788)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


INDIAN OCEAN (Nov. 24, 2017) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the “Indians” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6 prepares to land aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Spencer Roberts/Released)


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