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Welcome home to San Diego USS Abraham Lincoln
SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2020) New dad, Chief Mass Communication Specialist Mike Lenart, holds his child for the first time moments after the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) arrives at Naval Air Station North Island after a ten-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation. With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deployed strike assets include staffs and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Michael Singley
SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2020) New dad, Chief Mass Communication Specialist Mike Lenart, holds his child for the first time moments after the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) arrives at Naval Air Station North Island after a ten-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation. With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deployed strike assets include staffs and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Michael Singley

Divider BarUSS Abraham Lincoln arrives in San Diego after an around-the-world deployment
by Ensign Molly Fresher, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group arrived at Naval Air Station North Island Jan. 20, marking the end of a 10-month deployment to the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation.
The strike group deployed April 1 from Norfolk, Virginia, in support of maritime stability and security. With flagship USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), embarked airwing Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, and the staffs of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2, the strike group steamed east all the way around the world.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the work that our team accomplished during this deployment,” said Rear Adm. Michael Boyle, commander, CSG 12. “Over the course of 10 months the Sailors of the Abraham Lincoln Strike Group made a difference in some of the world’s most critical waterways, ensuring the free flow of commerce and deterring aggression through strength and readiness. They can return home knowing that their service to our Navy and our Nation made a positive difference.”
The 295-day deployment is the longest carrier deployment in the post-Cold War era.
Read more....

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VA introduces 'Solid Start' to provide support to veterans
Program provides vets supportive contact and information to enable success
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in collaboration with the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, introduced VA Solid Start which will proactively contact all newly separated service members at least three times during their first year of transition from the military.
Read more....

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Acting SECNAV names two subs for greatest-gen heroes of Pearl Harbor
WASHINGTON - The Navy will name its two newest Virginia-class (SSN 774) fast-attack nuclear submarines after the American heroes of the Greatest Generation who perished in the former USS Oklahoma (BB-37) and USS Arizona (BB-39), bringing those hallowed names back into active-duty service after more than three quarters of a century. Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly proclaimed his decision to name the next two submarines, SSN-802 and SSN-803, respectively, on Dec. 23.“It’s my fondest wish that the citizens of the great states of Arizona and Oklahoma will understand and celebrate our Navy’s desire to memorialize the 1,177 heroes who perished in USS Arizona and the 429 more in USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, 1941,” said Modly. Generations have visited the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Oahu, Hawaii, comprising the USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma and USS Utah memorials, in addition to six officer bungalows, three mooring quays, and the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.

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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
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

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Local military news
Welcome home: We're so happy to see you ....
SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2020) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Seaman Tyler Morris, from Paradise, Calif., reunites with his family during the homecoming of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Lincoln returns to Naval Air Station North Island after a ten-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Danielle A. Baker
SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2020) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Seaman Tyler Morris, from Paradise, Calif., reunites with his family during the homecoming of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Lincoln returns to Naval Air Station North Island after a ten-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Danielle A. Baker.

SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2020) Family and friends hold signs to welcome home Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Lincoln returns to Naval Air Station North Island after a ten-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Danielle A. Baker SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2020) Family and friends hold signs to welcome home Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Lincoln returns to Naval Air Station North Island after a ten-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Danielle A. Baker
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SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2020) Navy Counselor 1st Class Solimar Velazco mans the rails aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) as it arrives at Naval Air Station North Island after a ten-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation. With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deployed strike assets include staffs and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Tristan Kyle Labuguen
SAN DIEGO (Jan. 20, 2020) Navy Counselor 1st Class Solimar Velazco mans the rails aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) as it arrives at Naval Air Station North Island after a ten-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation. With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deployed strike assets include staffs and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Tristan Kyle Labuguen.

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Seal Beach again picked as Best Small Navy Installation in the Southwest
by Gregg Smith, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Public Affairs
SEAL BEACH, Calif. (NNS) -- For the third time in four years, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach has been selected as the winner of the Commander, Navy Region Southwest Installation Excellence Award for Small Installations.
The award recognizes bases for superior support to the fleet, cost savings, and innovative improvements to facilities, quality of life, safety, and environmental sustainability.
“Competition this year was tough, and all of our bases have had some truly outstanding accomplishments,” said the Commander of Navy Region Southwest, Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar.
“However, the exceptional work by the Seal Beach team really stood out.”
In recent years base personnel have led efforts to curb the use of energy and water, build a new ammunition pier, upgrade the gym and family housing units, and improve the safety and security of base operations.
“It is a true honor and privilege to be a part of this great organization, and we would not have been selected for this recognition without everyone’s hard work and dedication," said weapons station Commanding Officer Capt. Jason Sherman. "Our efforts at constant improvement, collaboration and teamwork have really paid off, and I’m looking forward to seeing how we fare at the national level."
The weapons station will next represent the Southwest region in the competition for the best small installation Navy-wide. That contest is scheduled to be decided by January 2020.
In 2012 and 2016 the base and its two detachments in Fallbrook and Norco, Calif. went on to win honors as the best small installation in the U.S. Navy.
Commencing operations in 1944 as a Naval Ammunition and Net Depot, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach provides munitions to a majority of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

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National military news
5th anniversary of CARAT exercise closes with year’s end
by MC1 Gregory Johnson
SINGAPORE - The close of 2019 marks the end of the 25th anniversary of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series, the U.S. Navy’s oldest and longest running regional exercise in South and Southeast Asia. For 25 years, the U.S. and partner nations have used CARAT as a premier bilateral and multilateral training forum to address maritime security interests.Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, commander of Logistics Group Western Pacific/Task Force 73, who leads CARAT for the U.S. Navy, said the quarter-century milestone was an opportunity to reflect on the value of pairing long-standing partnerships with an adaptable exercise.“This is what enduring partnerships looking like,” said Tynch. “CARAT may be our oldest exercise, but it has never been more relevant. Each year, we build on the shared mission and strong relationships built over decades, and, with our partners, tackle the tough challenges.” ... Refer to https://www.cpf.navy.mil/news.aspx/130542.

Pentagon warns service members not to use home DNA kits
The Pentagon recently warned that military personnel shouldn’t use at-home DNA kits such as 23andme or Ancestry. The advisory, initially obtained by Yahoo News, said such kits could pose a security risk. It also warned military personnel are being targeted by the companies with discounts encouraging them to purchase the at-home kits.“Exposing sensitive genetic information to outside parties poses personal and operational risks to Services members,” the memo noted. “These (direct-to-consumer) genetic tests are largely unregulated and could expose personal and genetic information, and potentially create unintended security consequences and increased risk to the joint force and mission.” ... Refer to https://www.stripes.com/news/us/don-t-use-home-dna-kits-pentagon-warns-service-members-1.612655.

Pentagon proposal cuts an FFG(X) and an attack submarine out of the budget
by David B. Larter
LANSDALE, Pa. - A small but potentially significant change in the Pentagon’s five-year budget projection slows down the buying profile for the Navy’s new frigate, which is expected to be awarded in 2020, according to a memo from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to the Department of Defense obtained by Defense News. The Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan submitted to Congress with the 2020 budget showed the Navy planned to buy one FFG(X) in 2020, then it had planned to buy two every year until 2030, when it would buy the last of the planned 20-ship program. That would mean the next future-year defense program, or FYDP, in the 2021 budget would be for 10 FFG(X). ... Refer to https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/12/25/pentagon-proposal-cuts-an-ffgx-and-an-attack-submarine-out-of-the-budget/.

Climate change opens door to Arctic for competitors, DOD official says
by Terri Moon Cronk
The Arctic is a region where strategic trends are amplified by the effects of the changing climate and physical environment, a lead Defense Department official said on Capitol Hill, Dec. 10. Most notably, “the Arctic continues to grow more accessible as the sea ice diminishes,” said Victorino Mercado, acting assistant defense secretary for strategy, plans and capabilities. That means the Arctic is becoming more navigable over greater periods of time, resulting in increased interest and activity in the region, he said. Countries are exploring the potential of Arctic shipping routes, and opportunities in natural resource development and tourism, he said. Mercado made his remarks before the House Armed Services Committee, subcommittee on intelligence, emerging threats and capabilities, in a hearing on climate change in the era of strategic competition.“The door is open to increase activity in the Arctic by the United States, our allies, partners, but also our strategic competitors,” he said. ... Refer to https://www.defense.gov/explore/story/Article/2040295/climate-change-opens-door-to-arctic-for-com.

Marines offer up to $90K in bonuses for reenlistments
The Marine Corps is offering up to $90,000 in retention bonuses for high-demand career fields, including Raiders, reconnaissance and explosive ordnance disposal, as it seeks to retain young Marines with key skills.
The selective reenlistment bonuses for FY 2020 include incentives for aviation maintenance, air traffic controllers, infantry squad leaders and Marines willing to make a lateral move to select specialties such as intelligence and cyberdefense, a command bulletin issued Friday said.
“Retaining our experienced and qualified Marines remains one of the Commandant’s highest priorities,” it said. “Achieving retention goals is vital for shaping and sustaining the Marine Corps’ enlisted force.”
Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said in a letter last October that the Corps needed to recruit 38,500 new members to fill gaps in the ranks.

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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 utr@usosandiego.org to make your appointment. This program is offered at both USO San Diego centers.

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