SAN DIEGO (June 23, 2017) The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) returns to homeport at Naval Air Station North Island. The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group completed a five-and-a-half-month deploy- ment to the Western Pacific. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 D'Andre L. Roden. Read more...
USS Howard at sea
PACIFIC OCEAN (June 16, 2017) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Howard (DDG 83) pulls away after conducting a replenishment-at-sea. Howard is underway with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group on a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific and Indian Oceans. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Tyler Preston
New SD ship: USS John Finn transits Panama Canal 6/20/2017
by Lt. Tyler Barker USS John Finn (DDG 113) Public Affairs
BALBOA, Panama (NNS) -- Two weeks into its maiden voyage across the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) has visited three nations and demonstrated proficiency in a variety of warfare areas as the crew sails to its homeport of San Diego. 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
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
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
New San Diego ship: USS John Finn transits the Panama Canal 6/20/2017
by Lt. Tyler Barker USS John Finn (DDG 113) Public Affairs
BALBOA, Panama (NNS) -- Two weeks into its maiden voyage across the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) has visited three nations and demonstrated proficiency in a variety of warfare areas as the crew sails to its homeport of San Diego.
Launched March 28, 2015, and christened May 2, 2015, John Finn sailed away from Ingalls Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, June 2. As the 63rd Arleigh Burke-class guided missile-destroyer, John Finn boasts an array of advancements and capabilities that further amplify the importance of the "Greyhounds of the Fleet." As the Navy's first dedicated new construction Aegis Weapons System Baseline 9 platform, John Finn will be able to respond to a multitude of threats and provide Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability incorporating Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) 5.0 and Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA). Deployable worldwide, it will become an invaluable asset in our nation's repertoire, capable of responding to any threat, anywhere, at any time.
Two days after leaving Mississippi, the ship held its first steel beach picnic, followed by a brief stop in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for fuel. After Cuba, John Finn called on Cartagena, Colombia, for its first official port visit, where the crew enjoyed amenities offered by the local nationals. On June 9, Rear Adm. Sean Buck, Commander, U.S. 4th Fleet, toured the ship, welcoming the crew to the area of operations.
The following evening, the crew hosted Colombian naval officers and midshipmen, continuing to strengthen the long-standing partnership between the United States and Colombia.
Shortly after departing Cartagena, John Finn continued its westward journey, linking up with a sister ship, USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), to travel through the Panama Canal, June 13. Rafael Peralta was built at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, and like John Finn, is sailing west to its homeport of San Diego. The two ships are part of the Flight IIA restart initiative, and together were able to practice communications, maneuvering, and camaraderie during their transit.
Part of U.S. 3rd Fleet and U.S. Naval Surface Forces, John Finn was placed in commission on June 2 and is scheduled to have a commissioning ceremony at U.S. Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, July 15.
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.
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.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to make your appointment. This program is offered at both USO San Diego centers.