WASHINGTON (May 24, 2018) President Donald J. Trump presents the Medal of Honor to retired Master Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Britt Slabinski during a ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C. Slabinski received the Medal of Honor for his actions during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan in March 2002. (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Raymond D. Diaz III.
President Trump awards Medal of Honor to retired Navy SEAL
by MC2 Class Paul L. Archer
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- On May 24, retired Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL), Britt Slabinski became the 12th living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery displayed in Afghanistan.
Critical Days of Summer underway
by Susanne Greene, Naval Safety Center Public Affairs
NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy recognizes the period from Memorial Day through Labor Day as the "Critical Days of Summer," a time when many Sailors are enjoying time off for leave and recreational activities and there's an increased chance to get hurt without proper risk management. An average of 17 Sailors die per year on average due to off-duty mishaps.
"The Critical Days of Summer are the most dangerous times of year, but are much safer if we keep our awareness high," stated Don Borkoski, Traffic and Recreation Off-Duty Specialist at the Naval Safety Center.
The loss of one life is too many and the Naval Safety Center recently launched an awareness campaign with summer safety training, available on the command's website.
Borkoski also recommended taking advantage of motorcycle training and mentorship programs this summer for those who ride, since motorcycle fatalities always increase during the summer months and over the last five years have accounted for 22 fatalities during the Critical Days of Summer.
The other leading causes of off-duty deaths are drowning, falling, and alcohol.
"If you start your summer activity with alcohol," stated Borkowski, "we may likely be reading about your mishap."
The leading injury causes are motorcycle crashes, falls, sports injuries, injuries from lawn and yard work, and heat over-exposure.
The number of summer injuries and deaths can be greatly reduced by managing risks, improving awareness of hazards and implementing mitigation controls. The same skills taught in Operational Risk Management (ORM) training apply off-duty as well and will allow Sailors to have fun this summer without becoming a statistic.
Infantry Marines getting new vehicles
Infantry Marines 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, delivered 144 Utility Task Vehicles to the regiment-level 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
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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Ronald Reagan Strike Group departs for patrol
From Commander, Task Force 70 Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The forward-deployed Ronald Reagan Strike Group departed Yokosuka, Japan, May 29, for a regularly scheduled patrol to operate in the western Pacific Ocean.
Ronald Reagan Strike Group will be conducting training in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations supporting security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
"[Ronald Reagan Strike Group] is very excited to get underway and begin to train and operate together, as well as with our allies and partners," said Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, commander, Commander Task Force 70. "As we get underway for these operations we will continue to represent the United States as the security partner of choice in the region, to ensure freedom of the seas, drive stability and security and to promote adherence to a rules-based international order."
Reagan successfully completed sea trials, May 17, in preparation for the patrol.
"I'm very proud of the hard work and diligence of all of the incredible Sailors in the strike group," Dalton said. "The Ronald Reagan Strike Group is ready to get underway to perform our mission in all respects and to answer the call of our nation and our allies."
The Ronald Reagan Strike Group also includes the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Chancellorsville (CG 62).
USS Milius Joins forward deployed Naval Forces in Yokosuka, Japan
by Garrett Zopfi
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile-destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) arrived at U.S. Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka, to become part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) in Japan, Tuesday, May 22.
The arrival of Milius to the 7th Fleet adds another upgraded Aegis Baseline 9 destroyer to the waterfront in Yokosuka.
"The crew has trained extremely hard to get the ship fully certified and ready for tasking," said Milius Commanding Officer Cmdr. Jennifer Pontius. "There is a lot of planning and preparation that goes into getting a ship ready to forward deploy and to transition a crew and their families overseas; I could not be prouder of this crew and their hard work."
Milius moored pier-side to the sounds of the 7th Fleet band's fanfare and cheers from family and friends.
On hand to welcome Milius to their new home Tuesday, were senior members of the naval forces leadership in Yokosuka, including Fleet Activities Yokosuka's Commanding Officer, Capt. Jeffrey Kim.
"Fleet Activities Yokosuka is very happy to welcome the entire Milius team, including their families, to their new home," said Kim, who oversees the U.S. Navy's largest overseas installation.
"As a community, we look forward to supporting USS Milius as one of 13 Forward Deployed Naval Force ships stationed here in Yokosuka."
"My crew and I are very excited to arrive in Yokosuka today and join this elite team of Forward Deployed Naval Forces," said Pontius. "For more than 50 years, the U.S.-Japan alliance has been the foundation of peace, security and the cornerstone of U.S. engagement in the region. We aim to foster and strengthen that bond with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the local community."
The excitement of service overseas wasn't lost on the crew who, after months of preparation, are anxious to explore their new home and be reunited with their families.
Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers perform key roles in support of carrier strike groups, expeditionary strike groups or surface action groups. Destroyers are capable of sustained combat operations supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.
These combatants operate in a network centric warfare environment and execute multi-mission tasking to include air, surface, undersea, space and cyber warfare. Destroyers coordinate with units of a task group to conduct naval operations and execute the Maritime Strategy under a naval component commander.
Maintaining the most technologically advanced ships is vital to support the United States' commitment to the security, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.
Milius left its former home port of San Diego, April 20.
SoCal military news
TSC San Diego conducts frocking ceremony
by Lt. j.g. Ronald E. Ceballos,
Training Support Center San Diego Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Training Support Center (TSC) San Diego advanced four Sailors to the next paygrade during a frocking ceremony May 24.
TSC San Diego Commanding Officer Capt. Michael Feyedelem presented promotion certificates in the courtyard to the following individuals:
-Machinist Mate 1st Class Aljay German
-Fire Controlman 1st Class Travis Kenworthy
-Gunner's Mate 1st Class Shawn Northern
-Personnel Specialist 2nd Class Desiree Blanks
Advancement to the next paygrade comes with an obligation to assume more positions of leadership and overall greater responsibility. The Navy tradition to frock a Sailor is an opportunity for them to wear the uniform and take on the responsibilities of their new rank before they are formally advanced.
"This feels amazing, and I feel like things can only go up from here," said Northern, who works in TSC San Diego's legal directorate. "It is going to be challenging, but I know I have a lot of resources and peers to help me along the journey."
TSC San Diego Command Master Chief Christopher Cline encouraged Sailors who did not get advanced off the most recent exam cycle not to be discouraged and to prepare for the next exam.
"Continue to strive for excellence every day," said Cline. "Keep studying. We look forward to making many more new petty officers in the next cycle."
Training Support Center San Diego provides centralized student management, facilities, information technology, and training support to Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) supported commands in the Pacific region.
For more information about TSC San Diego, visit http://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/tscsd/Default.aspx.
USS Portland arrives in Pearl Harbor
by MC2 Britney Odom, USS Portland Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27) arrived in Pearl Harbor May 29 to conduct Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials.
The ship departed San Diego May 21 and began her transit to Hawaii.
The ship's crew has engaged in various training exercises within the past couple of weeks to ensure the ship's weapon systems are properly installed, function correctly, and can be operated safely.
Portland performed her first underway replenishment (UNREP), employing the Standard Tensioned Replenishment Alongside Method, May 22. Steaming approximately 200 feet alongside the lead ship of her class, Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187), Portland received more than 175,000 gallons of marine diesel fuel and JP-5 jet fuel from the oiler.
"UNREP was well executed by the crew," said Lt. David Youker, Portland's operations officer. "We were able to assess material condition and watchstander readiness, while increasing our operational capability."
In addition to the UNREP, Portland performed deck landing qualifications with three MV-22B Ospreys from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadrons 163, 165 and 363, as well as one CH-53E Super Stallion from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465. These flight operations marked a few firsts for Portland-it was the ship's first night landing operation with an Osprey and the ship's first time conducting flight operations with a CH-53. This is the largest number of aircraft in the ship's airspace to date.
For the first time since RIMPAC 2002, U.S. 3rd Fleet's Command Center will relocate from San Diego to Pearl Harbor to support command and control of all 3rd Fleet forces in 3rd Fleet's area of responsibility to include forces operating in the Western Pacific. The Fleet Command Center will be established at a Deployable Joint Command and Control on Hospital Point in Hawaii for the first part of the exercise and then transition to Portland for the remainder of the exercise.
"It will be a unique experience for the crew to be a part of the relocation of 3rd Fleet's command center," said Capt. J. R. Hill, Portland's commanding officer. "This is something that has not happened in a while and USS Portland is proud to be able support the mission."
During Portland's time in Hawaii, the ship will host Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, Vice Adm. John D. Alexander and his staff, participate in community service projects, experience Hawaiian culture and make preparations for the underway training events.
U.S. 3rd Fleet provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy and leads naval forces throughout the Pacific theater of operations in coordination with U.S. 7th Fleet to promote ongoing peace, security and stability.
Portland is the 11th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship. While it is the third ship to bear the name 'USS Portland,' it is the first ship to be named solely after the largest city in Oregon.
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.