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AZUSA, Calif. (May 23, 2017) Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Brian Brannon, assigned to Fleet Combat Camera Pacific, fires an M4A1 carbine during FCCP's Exercise Summer Quick Shot 2017 in Azusa, Calif. Quick Shot is a biannual FCCP exercise that provides live-fire and visual information training to joint combat camera assets. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Paolo Bayas

AZUSA, Calif. (May 23, 2017) Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Brian Brannon, assigned to Fleet Combat Camera Pacific, fires an M4A1 carbine during FCCP's Exercise Summer Quick Shot 2017 in Azusa, Calif. Quick Shot is a biannual FCCP exercise that provides live-fire and visual information training to joint combat camera assets. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Class Paolo Bayas

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The future USS Omaha artist rendering

Future USS Omaha (LCS 12) completes acceptance trials; slated for San Diego homeport

by MC2 Charlotte C. Oliver,
Defense Media Activity

MOBILE, Ala. (NNS) -- The Navy's future USS Omaha (LCS 12) successfully conducted its acceptance trials, May 12, after completing a series of graded in-port and underway demonstrations for the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV).
Acceptance trials are the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the Navy.
Following delivery, a post-delivery maintenance availability and crew training and familiarization exercises in Mobile, Alabama, Omaha will sail to California for commissioning. Omaha will be homeported in San Diego with sister ships USS Independence (LCS 2), USS Coronado (LCS 4), USS Jackson (LCS 6), USS Montgomery (LCS 8) and USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), which departed Mobile last month......read more

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

The Marine Corps Program Executive Officer Land Systems is expected to deliver 144 Utility Task Vehicles to the regiment-level starting in February 2017. The rugged all-terrain vehicle can carry up to four Marines or be converted to haul 1,500 pounds of supplies. With minimal armor and size, the UTV can quickly haul extra ammunition and provisions, or injured Marines, while preserving energy and stealth. 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

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USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan train together with Japanese ships in western Pacific

SEA OF JAPAN (June 1, 2017) The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, including the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), operates with the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, including USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), CVW-5, USS Shiloh (CG 67), USS Barry (DDG 52), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and USS Mustin (DDG 89), and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships (JS) Hyuga (DDH 181) and JS Ashigara (DDG 178) in the western Pacific region. Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and U.S. Navy forces routinely train together to improve interoperability and readiness to provide stability and security for the Indo-Asia Pacific region. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Z.A. Landers

SEA OF JAPAN (June 1, 2017) The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, including the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), operates with the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, including USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), CVW-5, USS Shiloh (CG 67), USS Barry (DDG 52), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and USS Mustin (DDG 89), and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships (JS) Hyuga (DDH 181) and JS Ashigara (DDG 178) in the western Pacific region. Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and U.S. Navy forces routinely train together to improve interoperability and readiness to provide stability and security for the Indo-Asia Pacific region. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Z.A. Landers
SEA OF JAPAN (June 1, 2017) The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, including the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), operates with the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, including USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), CVW-5, USS Shiloh (CG 67), USS Barry (DDG 52), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and USS Mustin (DDG 89), and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships (JS) Hyuga (DDH 181) and JS Ashigara (DDG 178) in the western Pacific region. Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and U.S. Navy forces routinely train together to improve interoperability and readiness to provide stability and security for the Indo-Asia Pacific region. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Z.A. Landers


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SoCal military news

CORONADO, Calif. (June 2, 2017) A SEAL salutes a photo of Special Operator 1st Class (SEAL) Remington Peters during his memorial ceremony at Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado. Peters, from Colorado, died from injuries sustained during an airborne demonstration at New York Fleet Week on May 28, 2017. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Abe McNatt CORONADO, Calif. (June 2, 2017) A SEAL salutes a photo of Special Operator 1st Class (SEAL) Remington Peters during his memorial ceremony at Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado. Peters, from Colorado, died from injuries sustained during an airborne demonstration at New York Fleet Week on May 28, 2017. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Abe McNatt

San Diego SEALs honor fallen teammate
6/2/2017
by MC3 Tim Heaps

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Outfitted in dress blue uniforms, over 1,000 members of Naval Special Warfare gathered to honor their fallen brethren on a somber June morning. Standing shoulder to shoulder on the infamous BUD/s grinder, these hardened warriors stood resolute and paid respect to their fallen friend and teammate.
Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Petty Officer 1st Class Remington Peters died Sunday May 28th in a parachute demonstration accident at Liberty State Park in New Jersey in support of Fleet Week New York 2017. Peters, a native of Colorado, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2008 and was a veteran of two combat deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. His personal awards included the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, among many others.
"To stand out in this community of elite warriors like Remi did takes not only an unprecedented operational competency, but more importantly an unrivaled character", said Captain Jay Hennessey, Commanding Officer of Naval Special Warfare Center. "To be selected as a member of our Parachute Team is not only a coveted professional accomplishment, but a hard and fast measure of Petty Officer Peters' personal devotion to his profession."
Peters is survived by his mother, Tina, father, Tom, sister Cayce, and his significant long-term girlfriend of three years, Rebecca.

America ARG, 15th MEU begins CERTEX as final test prior to deployment
6/2/2017
From Commander, Amphibious Squadron 3 Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The America Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed San Diego to begin their final certification exercise (CERTEX), May 31.
The ARG is currently entering the final portion of an extensive pre-deployment training period in preparation for the upcoming deployment.
CERTEX is the last in a series of training exercises, which included nearly three months of integrated training at sea, certifying the MEU/ARG team for deployment in support of fleet and combatant commanders across the full range of military operations.
"For the 15th MEU and America Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), CERTEX represents the culmination of over a year's worth of preparation to deploy as one cohesive Navy and Marine Corps force capable of doing what no other nation can" said Lt. Cmdr. Gabe Burgi, operations officer, Commander, Amphibious Squadron 3. "During CERTEX, the ARG/MEU team will demonstrate capabilities in amphibious, air, surface, subsurface and electromagnetic maneuver warfare that provide the ability to dominate the land, air and sea domains. Once complete, CERTEX will result in a certified deployable force of nearly 5,000 Sailors and Marines who have worked very hard to prepare for whatever mission the nation calls upon them to do. It has been a great pleasure to watch our ships go from intensive overhaul periods, through basic phase training and now begin the certification process to be fully ready to deploy."
CERTEX is a vital, qualifying evolution that will fully certify the America ARG and the 15th MEU as one cohesive ARG/MEU team.
Throughout the CERTEX training period Marines and Sailors react to scenarios within a six-hour window using the Marine Corps' Rapid Response Planning Process (R2P2), simulating real-world challenges and processes that will yield success during deployment.
"We are being graded on our ability to operate together as a MEU/ARG team in support of missions that defend our nation and our allies," said Lt. Col. Patrick Byrne, 15th MEU operations officer. "Conducting warfare and operating from the sea is complex, but it is a capability we together [MEU/ARG] provide to our nation," he added.
The rigorous pre-deployment training regimen ensures the MEU/ARG is ready for deployment. The ability for the Blue-Green team to cross wide expanses of ocean and remain off shore, striking an adversary from a place and time of choosing, enables the Landing Force Commander and ARG Commodore both maneuver space and a secure base for operations. It is the MEU's ability to operate in a decentralized manner on complex terrain, and in the information environment that leads to the operational and tactical synergy of the scalable force. Ultimately the MEU/ARG team provides reassurance for being a flexible, effective, and capable force.
More than 1,800 Sailors and 2,600 Marines are assigned to the America Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 15th MEU in preparation for deployment later this year.
The ARG and accompanying MEU is comprised of a team whose combined skill sets allow them to execute a wide variety of missions, to include, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, amphibious assaults, visit board search and seizure, maritime interdiction operations, noncombatant evacuation operations, tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, and theater security operations.
The America ARG is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), as well as the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52). America, San Diego and Pearl Harbor are homeported in San Diego and are part of U.S. Naval Surface Forces and U.S. 3rd Fleet. Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.

USS John P. Murtha host Midshipman day cruise
6/2/201
by MC2 Jesse L. Gonzalez, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A group of Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) midshipmen from universities across the U.S. were exposed to the surface warfare environment during a day cruise aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26), May 31.
This underway is an excellent opportunity to help guide the midshipmen in their decision making process when choosing a career path and showcase the excitement of becoming a surface warfare officer.
"The surface warfare community is so large and there are so many aspects to it, and this gives them a taste of little bit of everything," said Lt. j.g. Christina Leyton, Antiterrorism Officer. "They will have the opportunity to tour our combat center, tour our bridge and see how we stand watch among many other aspects of the surface warfare life."
Midshipmen are required to state their intent of interest in a naval warfare community upon commissioning, as required by the NROTC program. This underway gave them real world experience to help them make that decision.
"So far I have had a really great experience," said Midshipmen 3rd Class Frank DiBartolomeo from Albion, N.Y. "I was really leaning towards the subs, but after this underway it gives me a better idea of the adventure the surface warfare side can offer."
During the five-hour underway, the midshipman engaged in live fire exercises on the .50 caliber machine gun and 9mm pistol. They also experienced ship evolutions from the bridge, dressing out in full firefighting gear, sea and anchor detail and some even got a taste of galley food for the first time.
"I didn't know a lot about the Navy and the different communities when I first started the NROTC program," said Midshipmen 3rd Class Noelle Schumacker from San Ramon, Calif. "You hear things from various people about what it's like, but actually getting the opportunity to get underway and experience it first hand is invaluable. It helps me make an informed decision on how I can best contribute to the Navy."
This is just the beginning of many more of these moments to come for this group of future naval officers. They will continue with these opportunities throughout the duration of the NROTC program, and it will help mold them into the naval officers who will lead the fleet of the future.

TSC San Diego observes Asian Pacific Islander Month
6/2/2017
by Lt. Andrew C. Legayada,
Training Support Center San Diego Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Training Support Center (TSC) San Diego celebrated Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month throughout the month of May.
Following this year's theme "Unite Our Voices by Speaking Together," TSC San Diego celebrated outstanding Asian and Pacific Islander Americans who have made important contributions in America through a daily all-hands e-mail campaign and an observance ceremony in the command's courtyard May. 31.
"The Navy is a very diverse community with many different cultures," said Navy Counselor 1st Class Nicole Carrillo. "Taking the time to observe other cultures is a great cultural education opportunity."
During the observance ceremony, members from the Pacific Islander Festival Association (PIVA) presented cultural information and performed native dances from Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.
"Community outreach in the San Diego region is very important and gives people exposure to cultures that they may not be familiar with," said Sam Simpliciano, an executive officer with PIVA. "We hope that everyone can continue to celebrate the unique Asian and Pacific Islander cultures throughout the year."
"Our Navy is a proud reflection of the diverse society that it serves," said Capt. Michael S. Feyedelem, TSC San Diego Commanding Officer. "Opportunities to provide education and awareness to our Sailors are very valuable."

VAW-115 Liberty Bells bid farewell to 44 years of service in Japan
6/1/2017
by H. Sam Samuelson, Naval Air Facility Atsugi Public Affairs

NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan (NNS) -- The last E-2C Hawkeyes from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 115 "Liberty Bells" departed Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi Japan June 1st, marking the end of a 44-year storied legacy of service and achievements for one of the Navy's longest-serving forward deployed squadrons in the U.S. Navy.
Boasting a distinguished history accumulating more than 24 consecutive years and 50,000 hours of Class-A mishap-free hours, the Liberty Bells of VAW-115 are returning to the United States after turning over operational responsibilities to VAW-125 and the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye.
The transition of VAW-115 and VAW-125 is part of the Navy's strategic vision to place its most advanced aircraft to the Asia-Pacific region. VAW-115 and its 140 personnel will continue to support Navy carrier strike group operations while based at Naval Base Ventura, California.

Post office renamed in honor of fallen Seabees
6/1/2017
From 30th Naval Construction Regiment Public Affairs

PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- The Port Hueneme post office was renamed the U.S. Naval Construction Battalion "Seabees" Fallen Hero post office during a ceremony, May 31.
U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley, representative for California's 26th Congressional District, local leaders, Seabees, veterans, and civilians gathered at the Port Hueneme post office for the ceremony to recognize the Naval Construction Force and memorialize Seabees who have died in service to their country with the renaming.
Representative Brownley, whose district encompasses Naval Base Ventura County, introduced H.R. 6138 renaming the post office in honor of fallen Seabees, and the bill was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Dec. 16, 2016.
Port Hueneme has been a home to the Seabees since two months after their founding on March 5, 1942.
"This designation serves as a reminder of the many brave men and women of the U.S. Naval Construction Battalions who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom," said Brownley. "In their 75-year history, the Seabees have served our great nation in times of war and peace with their renowned can-do attitude, and spirit"
Capt. Mike Saum, commodore, Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1, attended as guest speaker during the ceremony, honored the fallen, and spoke of the intimate relationship between the Seabees and the community of Ventura County.
"For 75 years we've trained here, worked here, lived here, raised our families here, and deployed from here," said Saum. "The support we receive from the community is gracious, and it is overwhelming."
Following the remarks, a plaque was unveiled to be placed at the post office and attendees departed for a reception.

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National military news
Navy celebrates 2017 LGBT Pride Month
5/31/2017
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 HildrethNEWPORT 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.

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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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