Admiral Harry Harris Jr., Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, delivers the keynote address at the commissioning of the USS John Finn in Hawaii.
New SD ship: Hawaii hosts USS John Finn commissioning 7/15/2017
From Department of Defense
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy commissioned its newest guided-missile destroyer, the future USS John Finn (DDG 113), during a 10 a.m. HAST ceremony Saturday, July 15, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
The new destroyer honors Chief Aviation Ordnanceman John Finn, who received the Medal of Honor for heroism during the first attack by Japanese airplanes at Pearl Harbor. While under heavy machine gun fire, Finn manned a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on an instruction stand in a completely exposed section of the parking ramp. Wounded multiple times, he had to be convinced to leave his post. After receiving first aid treatment, he overcame the effects of his injuries and returned to the squadron area to supervise the rearming of returning planes. Finn served throughout the war, earning a commission and eventually being promoted to the rank of lieutenant. He passed away in May 2010 at the age of 100.
Adm. Harry Harris, commander, U.S. Pacific Command, delivers the ceremony's principal address. Mrs. Laura Stavridis, wife of retired Adm. James Stavridis, serves as the ship's sponsor.
"The commissioning of USS John Finn marks the beginning of what will be decades of exceptional service for this ship," said the Honorable Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the Navy. "During World War II, Chief Finn distinguished himself through heroic service to his fellow Sailors and our nation. I know the men and women who make up the crew of USS John Finn will carry his legacy forward with the same selfless service he distinguished more than 75 years ago."
Designated DDG 113, John Finn is the 63rd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and the first of her class commissioned since USS Michael Murphy joined the fleet Oct. 6, 2012. John Finn will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. John Finn will be capable of engaging in air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare, including Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capabilities.
The sting of the Bee by MC2 Charlotte C. Oliver,
Defense Media Activity
The Seabees, affectionately called "Dirt Sailors," have been present in every war and conflict since World War II. But these tough men and women do more than build latrines and airstrips; they are also trained to defend what they build. Throughout 2017, the Navy will celebrate 75 years of the Seabees, their mettle and their "can do" spirit.....read more
Infantry Marines getting new vehicles
Infantry Marines will soon receive ultralight off-road vehicles that will improve mission readiness by providing rapid logistics support in the field.
Program Executive Officer Land Systems, the Corps’ acquisition arm for major land programs, is expected to deliver 144 Utility Task Vehicles to the regiment-level starting later this month—a mere six months from contract award. The rugged all-terrain vehicle can carry up to four Marines or be converted to haul 1,500 pounds of supplies. With minimal armor, the UTV can quickly haul extra ammunition and provisions, or injured Marines, while preserving energy and stealth.........read more
Military couple assignment policy: 5 things to know
The Navy realizes how important families are, and when they're not whole it can add stress to a Sailor's life. Collocation of dual-military couples is part of supporting families. It is a priority, along with balancing fleet readiness. The revised policy updates the collocation and distribution procedures and makes orders negotiation less cumbersome........ read more
Navy Pregnancy and Parenthood mobile app available
"Pregnancy and parenthood can be compatible with a successful military career when Service members and the Command both understand their roles and responsibilities, said Capt. Candace Eckert, director of N1 Diversity. "This app makes that task easier by identifying regulations, instructions and references from a wide variety of sources and offering them in one easy-to-use app. The app includes information regarding assignments, retention, separation, standards of conduct and much more." ......read more
Separation policy update
To protect Sailors and Marines suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or any other diagnosed mental health condition, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has made his department the first in the military to assure such conditions are considered before separating a service member. ......read more
Nimitz Carrier Strike Group begins Malabar 2017 7/10/2017
From Carrier Strike Group 11 Public Affairs
BAY OF BENGAL (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines assigned to the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, the Indian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) commenced the Malabar in-port portions in Chennai, India, July 9.
The maritime exercise Malabar, which was first held in 1992, occurs annually to improve interoperability between U.S., Indian, and Japanese maritime forces. The exercise enhances maritime relationships and demonstrates credible naval power in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
"The exercise continues to grow because we are bringing in more ships and we are bringing together three countries," said Cmdr. Vernon H. Stanfield, from Pittsburgh, and the Nimitz Strike Group operations officer. "We make sure that we strengthen our partnerships, and we learn from the experience so that we continue to become more proficient in the future."
The tri-lateral, two-phase exercise is held in Chennai, India and in the waters of the Bay of Bengal. The exercise emphasizes high-end warfighting skills, maritime superiority and power projection. Crews will practice surface and antisubmarine warfare maneuvers, perform medical exchanges, hold explosive ordnance disposal training, and conduct visit, board, search and seizure operations. It also provides the opportunity for the participating nations to build upon their common values and shared seafaring tradition while fostering security and stability in the region through common national goals.
"Each time we do one of these exercises it's a learning curve on how to coordinate with other units," said Cmdr. Bill Selk, from Phoenix, and the Nimitz operations officer. "For Malabar, we are doing the same things but now it's just with other countries. We are learning how to integrate with the Indian Navy. We do this exercise annually so that we can keep those skills honed."
Malabar 2017 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises that has grown in scope and complexity over the years to address the variety of shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific where the U.S. Navy has patrolled for more than 70 years promoting regional peace and security. Nimitz is currently on deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group consists of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Princeton (CG 59), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 staff, and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9. The deployed units from DESRON 9 include the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Howard (DDG 83), USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and USS Kidd (DDG 100).
Navy updates wear of earrings and ball caps for women 6/21/2017
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Wednesday, the Navy released NAVADMIN 146/17, which announces several uniform changes that are effective immediately.
Officially authorized in the message is the decision by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson to permit women to wear a hair bun through the rear opening of a command or Navy ball cap. The change was prompted by a question from a San Diego Sailor June 6.
"Effective immediately you can now wear your cap with the bun through the hole in the back above the strap," Richardson said in a Facebook video to the Fleet announcing the change June 8. "I think this will be more comfortable and will look a lot better. Thanks to the Lt. j.g. out there for making that known to me. We promised to fix it and now it's fixed."
The other grooming standard change for women announced in this NAVADMIN authorizes the wear of white pearl or white synthetic pearl earrings with Dress Uniforms and round cut white diamonds or white synthetic diamonds with Dinner Dress Blue and White Jacket uniforms. Earrings must be 4 millimeter - 6 millimeter (approximately 1/8 inch - 1/4 inch) in size.
Additionally, pregnant Sailors now can purchase the NWU Type III maternity uniform if the Type I version is not available. This change is in response to the reduction in the production of the Type I uniform.
NAVADMIN 146/17 also authorizes approval for wear of two joint command badges.
Sailors assigned to the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) are now authorized to wear command identification badges for the duration of their assignments at those units. Full description of the badges and manner of wear can be found in the NAVADMIN.
Finally, Navy will transition to a Standard Prisoner Uniform to enhance correctional security. Prisoners in a pre-trial status will wear a brown uniform while post-trial prisoners will wear a khaki-color variant of the pre-trial uniform. The NAVADMIN contains complete descriptions of the uniforms.
For complete information on the updates to uniform policy, see NAVADMIN 146/17 at www.npc.navy.mil.
SRB update released 6/21/2017
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Wednesday, the Navy released an update to the Selective Reenlistment Bonus (SRB) award plan for active component (AC) and full time support (FTS) Sailors in NAVADMIN 144/17.
This NAVADMIN updates the December SRB plan released in NAVADMIN 284/16, and decreases 14 award levels and removes six skills from the list. There are no award level increases or additions in this update.
This is the second update to the SRB plan this fiscal year.
SRBs serve as an incentive for those Sailors with critical skills to remain in the Navy.
Sailors can keep abreast of award changes through the Navy's SRB webpage at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/career/enlistedcareeradmin/Pages/SRB.aspx/ and review the NAVADMIN, which contains a complete listing of changes to skills award levels eligible for SRBs.
Enlisted community managers continuously monitor the health of their community to maintain acceptable manning levels in critical skills, and recommend adjustments to SRBs when necessary.
Skill removals and award level decreases take effect 30 days after notification through release of the NAVADMIN or posting on the Navy Personnel Command website, whichever is earliest.
Eligible Sailors desiring SRB reenlistment are encouraged to work with their command career counselors, command master chiefs and chain of command to discuss timing of reenlistment and procedures well before their EAOS. Requests are required to be submitted a minimum of 35 days prior to the requested reenlistment date.
NAVADMIN 144/17 can be read at http://www.npc.navy.mil/.
New High Year Tenure policy for E-4 through E-6 announced 6/21/2017
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy is increasing its High Year Tenure policy for active component and Full Time Support E-4 through E-6 Sailors by two years in an effort to improve sea duty manning, the service announced Wednesday in NAVADMIN 143/17.
The updated policy, which sets the maximum number of years a Sailor may serve based on rank, will go into effect Aug. 1, 2017.
The updated HYT changes for active and FTS Sailors are:
- E-4: increases from 8 years to 10 years
- E-5: increases from 14 years to 16 years
- E-6: increases from 20 years to 22 years
Extending the time an individual may serve provides Sailors more opportunities to advance, and the Fleet with critical manning. We anticipate this change could potentially allow more than 2,800 experienced Sailors to remain in the Navy, filling key sea duty and other high priority billets by the end of 2018.
HYT for all other active duty and FTS enlisted pay grades, as well as enlisted Selected Reserve Sailors, remains unchanged.
The Navy will continue to offer HYT waivers for enlisted Sailors who volunteer for sea duty on a case-by-case basis.
Sailors who have reached HYT with an approved date for separation or Fleet Reserve (retirement) on or after Aug. 1, 2017, but before Jan. 1, 2018, have until July 31, to request cancellation of their orders or execute their orders as originally planned.
Sailors affected by this change to HYT who decide to continue their service in the Navy can take the September, cycle 236, Navy wide petty officer advancement exam or the January 2018 cycle 238 E-7 exam if they maintain advancement eligibility.
Complete information on HYT policy can be found at www.npc.navy.mil/CAREER/RESERVEPERSONNELMGMT/
More information on order processing, assignments and reenlistment/exertion process can be found in NAVADMIN 143/17 on www.npc.navy.mil.
SoCal military news
USS Sterett deployment extended 7/7/2017
by Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- U.S. Pacific Fleet ordered the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) to extend the previously scheduled deployment in the Western-Pacific until the end of August.
The reduced availability of destroyers in the region after the damage to USS Fitzgerald necessitated the extension of Sterett in order to provide responsive capability and presence in the region.
The extension represents an approximate one month addition to the deployment schedule of Sterett and embarked helicopter detachment from Helicopter Maritime Squadron (HSM) 49.
Sterett and HSM 49, along with the command staff of Destroyer Squadron 31, USS Dewey (DDG 105) and embarked HSM 78, deployed from San Diego as part of the Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group (SAG) under Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet control, Mar. 31.
Since deploying in March, Sterett has participated in joint exercises with the U.S. Air Force and several multilateral exercises with naval units from Japan, France, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Thailand, as well as maritime maneuvers with China. Sterett additionally welcomed distinguished visitors to include Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John M. Richardson; Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Scott Swift; members of the House Armed Services Committee, and the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy. Third Fleet constantly coordinates with U.S. 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions based on their complementary strengths to promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the entire Pacific theater of operations.
SAN DIEGO (June 30, 2017) Capt. Brian Davies, center, commanding officer of Commander, Submarine Squadron 11, presents Cmdr. Mark Hazenberg, commanding officer of Undersea Rescue Command and Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Francisco Lazarin, senior enlisted leader of URC with the Battle Effectiveness award on Naval Air Station North Island, June 30. The Battle Effectiveness award recognizes sustained superior performance in an operational environment. A command must achieve superior performance in certifications and qualifications within their organization. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Derek Stroop
Undersea Rescue Command awarded Battle "E" 7/7/2017
by MC1 Ronald Gutridge,
Commander, Submarine Squadron 11 Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Capt. Brian Davies, commodore, Commander, Submarine Squadron 11, presented the 2016 Battle Effectiveness (Battle "E") award to the Undersea Rescue Command (URC), June 30, at Naval Air Station North Island.
Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC) announced the award an official message released to the submarine force Jan. 1.
The Battle "E" is an award of merit presented to the most proficient submarine or command crew in each squadron and recognizes sustained superior technical performance and continual combat readiness throughout the year.
Crews must demonstrate superior achievement during certifications and qualifications, to be nominated for the award. The awards are presented by the commodore of each squadron to the unit under their command that has demonstrated the highest level of battle readiness during the evaluation year. Sailors who were assigned to URC from Oct. 15, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2016 are authorized to wear the Battle "E" ribbon.
"The competition for Battle Effectiveness awards was extremely tough," said Rear Adm. Frederick J. Roegge, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, in a message to the force. "These awards recognize commands which were evaluated during the past year to have attained the highest overall or departmental readiness to carry out their wartime task. Each crew member of an award winner can be justifiably proud of their contributions to improve Pacific performance. I am extremely proud of your outstanding performance. Well done and congratulations!"
"This awarding of the Battle Effectiveness 'E' is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Undersea Rescue Command and Phoenix International, Inc. team in maintaining and operating the U.S. Navy's sole submarine rescue capability at superior readiness levels and executing submarine rescue mobilization and diving operations in international exercises at a world class level," said Cmdr. John Doney, Commander, Submarine Squadron 11 deputy of URC. "Only a handful of nations execute submarine rescue operations at this peak performance level and Undersea Rescue Command is at the forefront within this select community."
URC's mission is worldwide submarine assessment, intervention, and rescue. As a leader in undersea rescue, URC conducts numerous undersea exercises and conferences throughout the world. URC is comprised of approximately 145 personnel - 45 active-duty officers and enlisted Sailors, 35 contractors, and around 65 reservists.
"I am incredibly proud of all the hard work the men and women here at URC have done," said Lt. Cmdr. John Babick, executive officer, URC. "We have a phenomenal team of dedicated professionals who work tirelessly to ensure they are ready when the time comes to rescue Sailors from a submerged, disabled submarine anywhere in the world. Everyone here at URC is 100 percent dedicated to rescuing survivors regardless of nationality."
URC's undersea rescue capabilities include the Remotely Operated Vehicle, Submarine Rescue Chamber, and the Pressurized Rescue Module. URC is assigned to Submarine Squadron 11, which consists of five Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered fast-attack submarines, and the floating dry-dock Arco (ARDM 5).
Vets for Pets fundraiser held 6/22/2017
by MCSN Chanel L. Turner, Navy Public Affairs Support Element
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Volunteers hosted the "Vets for Pets" pet food and supply drop off fundraiser at Balboa Park June 17.
All donations will go to a variety of different service providers, including Father Joe's Villages, to aid homeless veteran pet owners in the San Diego area.
Army Veteran Mark A. Barlett, and Marine Corps Veteran David Arambula teamed up with James Elia, and Dave A. Myers to organize the event. They advertised through social media, the local news, and newspapers to request items such as pet food, leashes, toys, kennels, and blankets. Their efforts included a month-long online fundraiser.
"Pets provide such comfort to all of us," said Meyers, "Our [veterans] sacrificed so much, the least we can do is give back to them."
Arambula explains his personal connection with the underserved veterans they're providing for.
"As veterans, the core values follow us long after we separate," said Arambula, "No matter an individual's circumstance, no one can take away a veteran's title. It all boils down to taking care of our own."
Thoughout the afternoon, dog park visitors and patrons dropped off pet supplies at the Balboa dog park location to support the campaign. Many have loved ones who served or have served themselves, such as Perry T. Yee, a Navy veteran, former SEAL and CEO of Active Valor, a non-profit who creates a community for veterans transitioning out of the military.
"I know how important a dog is in a person's life," said Yee. "My dog saved me when I got out of the Navy, so if we can help other groups in our community that share same passion, we're all in."
Andrea B. Bamsky, a chiropractor that treats patients with PTSD and other anxiety disorders, contributed and inspired one of her patients to donate as well.
"My wife is a Marine veteran," said Bamsky. "We have a lot of veterans in our community that are financially challenged and I just wanted to show my support."
According to the Regional Task Force on the homeless report in 2016, San Diego has seen a 19 percent increase of homeless citizens.
"The power of community showed up today," said Bartlett. "We have the power to be the change we want to see in the world."
The event succeeded with 1400 pounds of dog food, a significant amount of other pet supplies, over 2 thousand dollars in donations that will go to pet vaccines and other treatments.
National military news Navy celebrates 2017 LGBT Pride Month From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy joins the nation in recognizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month throughout June.
ALNAV 006/17 encourages participation in all the heritage celebrations and special observances throughout the year. The Department of Defense (DoD) began observing LGBT Pride Month in 2012.
Initially established as "Gay and Lesbian Month" by Presidential Proclamation in 2000, LGBT Pride Month recognizes the accomplishments of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
The LGBT community is part of One Navy Team that contributes their diverse talents, skills and service to the strength of the force.
"To remain the finest seagoing fighting force, the Navy needs men and women who are the right fit for the right job regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, creed or gender identity," said Capt. Candace Eckert, Special Assistant for Inclusion and Diversity. "Our goal is to ensure that the mission is carried out by the most qualified and capable Sailors. If an individual can meet the Navy's standards, they should be afforded the opportunity to be part of the One Navy Team."
The Navy is committed to recruiting and retaining top talent regardless of race, class, sex or background. A diverse, inclusive environment allows diversity of thought and innovation to thrive.
In 2016, the DoD instituted a policy change allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military as their preferred gender.
For service members, repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in 2011 allowed gay, lesbian and bisexuals to serve openly in the United States Armed Forces.
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (May 27, 2017) An undated photo of the future USS Washington (SSN 787). The Navy accepted delivery of the 14th submarine of the Virginia-class May 26. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries by Matt Hildreth Future USS Washington (SSN 787) delivered to the Navy 5/27/2017
From Team Submarine Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Washington (SSN 787), the 14th submarine of the Virginia-class, May 26.
Washington is the fourth of eight Virginia-class Block III submarines and the seventh of the class to be delivered to the Navy by Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia. Washington began construction in September 2011 and will be commissioned later this year in Norfolk, Virginia. The submarine's sponsor is Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of the 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
"Washington's delivery continues our commitment to deliver Virginia-class submarines within budget and ready to deploy and execute Fleet tasking," said Capt. Mike Stevens, Virginia-class submarine program manager."
Washington will be the third U.S. Navy ship, and first submarine, to be commissioned with a name honoring the State of Washington. The previous two ships were an armored cruiser, (ACR 11), which served under the name from 1905 to 1916, and a World War II battleship (BB 56), decommissioned in 1947.
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. This, among other design changes, reduced the submarines' acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.
Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world's littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility, and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities - sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.
United Through Reading® Deploying? Service members invited to record stories for family at San Diego USO
United Through Reading® is a program helping ease the stress of separation for military families by having deploying or deployed service members read children’s books aloud via DVD for their family to watch at home. This powerful program is available to all military units. It provides service members a chance to make lasting connections from afar. The DVD recording and the book are mailed to the child and family back home.
Service members who are leaving for training can also take part in this program. Being a parent is not required; service members can send the DVD & book(s) to any special child in their life such as younger sister or brother, niece, nephew or godchild.
On the day of the recording, service members are encouraged to dress in the attire they will be wearing while deployed/training, but this is not required. The room is private, so any special message, or those fun reading voices, will only be heard by the recipient of the DVD recording. USO San Diego has books available, or service members can bring their own. Our volunteers will help set up the camera and then leave the room. The DVD can hold a 30 minute recording.
Please e-mail USO San Diego Staff Member Nichole Duarte at email@example.com to make your appointment. This program is offered at both USO San Diego centers.