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Air craft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln leads the way during a RIMPAC exercise.
USS Abraham Lincoln during RIMPAC exercise.

Welcome home USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group

USS Mobile Bay, USS Fitzgerald, USS Spruance,
Carrier Air Wing 9

It was two days into 2022 when Sailors and Marines left home as part of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group. After seven months deployed, the group - troops, surface support ships, and embarked aircraft squadrons - returned to homeport destinations and into the arms of loved ones and friends.
While underway for 220 days, the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group sailed over 65,000 nautical miles conducting deterrence and presence operations, as well as multinational exercises Noble Fusion in February and Jungle Warfare in March, both with the Japanese Self-Defense Force, and, most recently, the ABECSG trained alongside 26 participating nations during Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 in July.
The ABECSG is the first carrier strike group to deploy with a Marine Corps F-35C Lightning II squadron, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, and the second to deploy with a Navy CMV-22 Osprey squadron, Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30.
During the deployment, CVW-9, embarked aboard Lincoln, executed more than 21,307 fixed-wing and helicopter flight hours comprising of 10,250 sorties, 8,437 launches and 8,487 aircraft arrestments.
The ABECSG consists of carrier Abraham Lincoln, embarked staffs of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 3, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21; cruiser USS Mobile Bay and destroyers USS Fitzgerald, USS Gridley, USS Sampson and USS Spruance.
On Tuesday, these squadrons flew home: VMFA-314 returned to MCAS Miramar: VFA-14, VFA-41 and VFA-151, both to Naval Air Station Lemoore; VAQ-133, to NAS Whidbey Island, Wash.; VAW-117, to NAS Point Mugu; and VRM-30, to NAS North Island. HSC-14 and HSM-71, both returned to NAS North Island Wednesday.

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Top headlines

Novavax COVID-19 vaccine available to troops; no mRNA, no human fetal cells in development
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with the Department of Defense, has secured 3.2 million doses of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Novavax is the latest company to receive emergency use authorization from the FDA for its vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and is now an option for active duty troops who are not vaccinated.
The protein-based, adjuvanted vaccine will be made available for free to states, jurisdictions, federal pharmacy partners, and federally qualified health centers.
This vaccine is an option for those who objected to vaccines developed from fetal cell tissue. Novavax says that “no human fetal-derived cell lines or tissue” were used in the development, manufacture or production of its vaccine.
Unlike the vaccines produced by Pfizer or Moderna, which use mRNA, the Novavax shot uses a SARS-CoV-2 recombinant spike protein to produce an autoimmune reaction in order to protect against further infection. The Novavax shot is more traditional and similar to other vaccines against disease like tetanus or HPV.
An FDA summary found the Novavax vaccine had 90 percent efficacy in protecting people against mild, moderate and severe disease.

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File photo military spouses at former summitFederal Hiring Summit highlights career resources for service members, spouses 
Commander Navy Installation Command Headquarters, Fleet and Family Support Center is hosting a federal hiring summit Aug. 15-18.
Although the summit is hosted by the Navy, all military personnel and their spouses can attend this virtual event. Those who are preparing for their end of service or actively transitioning out of the military are especially encouraged to attend. Read more...

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POINT MUGU, Calif. (Aug. 9, 2022) – An officer assigned to "Wallbangers" Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 117, greets his wife following a seven-month deployment to U.S. 3rd Fleet and 7th Fleet areas of operations with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, embarked aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). CVW-9 deployed with a combination of fourth and fifth-generation platforms that predominantly represent the “Airwing of the Future,” executing more than 21,307 fixed-wing and helicopter flight hours comprising of 10,250 sorties, 8,437 launches and 8,487 aircraft arrestments. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Drew VerbisCarrier Air Wing 9 returns from Indo-Pacific deployment
by USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO--Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, embarked aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), returned from a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleet areas of operations, Aug. 9. CVW-9 is the first carrier strike group to deploy with a U.S. Marine Corps F-35C Lightning II squadron, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, and the second to deploy with a Navy CMV-22 Osprey squadron, Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30. Read more...

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Ashah B holds awardNational Military Youth of the Year awarded in DOD-supported program
As part of its commitment to military family readiness, the Defense Department has collaborated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America both on- and off-installation in the United States and overseas since 1991. This year the Annual Military Youth of the Year celebration was held August 4 in Washington, D.C.
The event honors exemplary teens who have overcome setbacks, demonstrated exceptional character and accomplishments, and are prepared to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood, said Dianna Ganote, program analyst in the Office of Military Family Readiness Policy. Read more...

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Military Youth of the Year Ashah BDOD officials: Women’s health care unchanged by Supreme Court decision
While last month's Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization means each state now makes its own laws regarding abortion services, the health care that the Defense Department provides to service members has not changed, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness said.
Read more...

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The Armed Forces Classic returns to San Diego November 2022. USS Abraham Lincoln to host.Armed Forces Classic returns in 2022 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln
The U.S. Navy is proud to partner with ESPN Events to host the 2022 Armed Forces Classic men’s college basketball game featuring Gonzaga and Michigan State universities, Nov. 11, 2022, on the flight deck of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) at Naval Air Station North Island.
“It is truly an honor that, on Veteran’s Day in the centennial year of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, we will host the Armed Forces Classic basketball game on the flight deck of one of our most renowned aircraft carriers, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72),” said Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, Commander, Naval Air Forces. “Those who serve, and who have served, know that the military is the ultimate team sport, and I can think of no better way to salute our men and women in uniform than to celebrate this all-American pastime together on one of our nation’s capital warships.” Read more...

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SAN DIEGO (July 13, 2020) Federal firefighters and a helicopter from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3 combat a fire aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). On the morning of July 12, a fire was called away aboard the ship while it was moored pier side at Naval Base San Diego. The fire continues to be fought into the following day. Bonhomme Richard is going through a maintenance availability, which began in 2018. U.S. Navy Photo by MC1 Omar PowellNavy takes accountability actions after USS Bonhomme Richard fire investigation
WASHINGTON (July, 2022) - The U.S. Navy completed the accountability actions in support of the command investigation into the July 2020 fire aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Samuel Paparo, the Consolidated Disposition Authority (CDA), made individual disposition decisions and Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro issued a Secretarial Letter of Censure (SLOC).
As CDA, Paparo made 27 individual disposition decisions, which were primarily focused on the ship’s fire prevention, readiness, and response efforts. The disposition decisions included six Nonjudicial Punishments (NJP) with guilty findings, two NJPs with Matter of Interest Filings (MIF) and a Letter of Instruction (LOI), two NJP dismissals with a warning, one additional MIF, five other LOIs, three Non-Punitive Letters of Caution (NPLOC), two letters to former Sailors documenting substandard performance, and six no-action determinations. Read more...

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TRICARE: 7 questions to help you with your next PCS move. Photo by Erik Mclean on UnsplashTRICARE: 7 questions to help you with your next PCS move
by TRICARE Communications
Will you be embarking on a permanent change of station (PCS) this summer? This can bring big adjustments for you and your family. However, whether you’re moving stateside or overseas, your TRICARE coverage will move with you. Still, you need to be prepared.
“If you have PCS orders coming up, following some simple steps can help for a smooth transition to your new area,” said Jeremy Schneider, TRICARE Health Plan program analyst. “We encourage beneficiaries to plan ahead and reach out to their regional contractor early if they have questions about their TRICARE coverage or need help finding support in their new location.” Read more...

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SAN DIEGO (June 22, 2022) Independence-variant littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit Canberra (LCS 30) arrives at its homeport of San Diego for the first time. LCS are fast, agile, mission-focused platforms designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. LCS are capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.(U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Vance Hand.PCU Canberra (LCS 30) arrives at San Diego homeport for first time
by Petty Officer 2nd Class Vance Hand
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO – Independence-variant littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit Canberra (LCS 30) arrived at Naval Base San Diego, June 22, after completing the ship’s maiden voyage from the Austal USA shipyards in Mobile, Alabama. Read more...

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SAN DIEGO (June 16, 2020) – Vice Adm. Steve Koehler salutes Adm. Samuel Paparo, the commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, after transferring command of U.S. Third Fleet to Vice Adm. Michael Boyle during his change of command ceremony at Naval Base Point Loma, June 16. Koehler served as Third Fleet commander from June 2021 to June 2022, and is scheduled to report to his new assignment as director for Strategy, Plans and Policy, J-5, Joint Staff, and for appointment as senior member of the Military Staff Committee of the United Nations in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David Mora Jr.) Vice Adm. Boyle assumes command at 3rd Fleet; Vice Adm. Koehler heads to D.C.
SAN DIEGO - Vice Adm. Steve Koehler transferred command of U.S. 3rd Fleet to Vice Adm. Michael Boyle (photo, above) during a change of command at Naval Base Point Loma June 16. Boyle becomes the 32nd commander of 3rd Fleet, a combat-ready force of more than 68,000 people, 100 ships and 400 aircraft stationed throughout California, Hawaii and Washington. 3rd Fleet promotes ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the Pacific theater of operations.
In his remarks, Koehler commented on 3rd Fleet Sailors’ high standards and capabilities displayed throughout his tenure. Read more...

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PHILLIPPINE SEA (June 17, 2022) Cmdr. David Catterall, the commanding officer of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), delivers remarks during a Remembrance Ceremony held for the seven Sailors lost during a collision-at-sea on the five-year anniversary. Abraham Lincoln Strike Group is on a schedule deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability through alliances and partnerships while serving as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Catie Coyle)USS Fitzgerald marks loss of Sailors following 2017 collision
by MC3 Caitlin Coyle
PHILIPPINE SEA - Five years after the collision that took the lives of seven Sailors, destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and her crew held a remembrance ceremony for the fallen while on deployment in U.S. 7th Fleet.
On June 17, 2017 Fitzgerald collided with Philippines-flagged container ship MV ACX Crystal, 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. Chief Fire Controlman Gary Rehm, Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Noe Hernandez, Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier A. Martin, Fire Controlman 1st Class Carlos V. Sibayan, Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo A. Douglass, Sonar Technician (Surface) 3rd Class Ngoc T. Truong and Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota K. Rigsby, all perished in the subsequent flooding in their berthing. Read more...

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Rear Adm. Brad Rosen assumed command of Navy Region Southwest on May 23, 2022.CNRSW command change: Rear Adm. Rosen new
'Navy Mayor' in San Diego

Rear Adm. Stephen Barnett relinquished command of Navy Region Southwest to Rear Adm. Brad Rosen during a change of command ceremony, Monday, May 23, at Naval Base Coronado (NAS North Island).
Barnett will assume command of both Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. Rosen reports to San Diego from Washington, where he served as chief of staff, Navy Installations Command. This is his first assignment to the San Diego area.
Navy Region Southwest is a six-state region with a large military presence. More than 76,000 active duty Sailors serve at 10 installations throughout the region. Read more about Rear Adm. Rosen...

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Unmanned surface Vessel Division (USVDIV) One establishedNavy creates Unmanned Surface Vessel Division One to manage experimentation for medium & large vessels
by Ensign Ronan Williams
SAN DIEGO - Commander, Naval Surface Force, Pacific Fleet established Unmanned Surface Vessel Division (USVDIV) One during a ceremony May 13 which also included a change of command ceremony for Surface Development Squadron (SURFDEVRON) One.
During the combined ceremony, Cmdr. Jeremiah Daley assumed command of the newly established USVDIV One.   Read more....

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SmallMiramar Veterinary Clinic offers services for your pets by appointment only
Veterinary Treatment Facility
MCAS Miramar Building 6360
Hours: Mon.-Fri.: 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (858) 307-6552/1773
Open for retail sales (flea and heartworm prevention, oral care) and drug/food prescription refills (if applicable) daily. Routine wellness checkups and vaccinations available, as well as minor sick call. Appointments can be made in person or by phone. Walk-ins aren’t accepted. Dogs and cats of all active duty military members and retirees with medical benefits are eligible to be seen at the facility. The facility always recommends that patrons of the clinic keep their own civilian veterinarian in case of emergency, or if the facility is unable to fulfill their needs.

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A U.S. Coast Guard interdiction team from USS Momsen (DDG 92) discovered the illegal narcotics during a flag verification boarding in accordance with international law. The confiscated drugs and fishing vessel remain in U.S. custody.

U.S. Navy in Middle East seizes $39 million in drugs
MANAMA, Bahrain – A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer seized 640 kilograms of methamphetamine worth $39 million from a fishing vessel while patrolling international waters in the Gulf of Oman, May 15-16.
A U.S. Coast Guard interdiction team from USS Momsen (DDG 92) discovered the illegal narcotics during a flag verification boarding in accordance with international law. The confiscated drugs and fishing vessel remain in U.S. custody.
The vessel’s nine crew members identified themselves as Iranian nationals and will be transferred to a regional nation for repatriation.
Momsen was operating in support of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, one of four task forces under the Combined Maritime Forces. The international naval force has increased regional patrols to locate and disrupt unlawful maritime activity.
The vessel was interdicted while transiting international waters along a route historically used by criminal organizations to smuggle people, weapons, narcotics and charcoal. Crew members attempted to discard more than 60 bales of the seized drugs as Momsen approached.
CTF 150 has conducted nine successful drug seizures in 2022, resulting in the confiscation of heroin, methamphetamine, amphetamine pills and hashish worth a combined value of $130 million.
Combined Maritime Forces is the largest multinational naval partnership in the world. The organization includes 34 nations and is headquartered in Bahrain with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet.

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An Idaho Army National Guardsman embraces a family member Feb. 23, 2022, before deploying to support Operation Enduring Freedom. Photo By: National Guard Master Sgt. Becky VanshurMilitary Spouse Appreciation Day celebrated Fri., May 6
by David Vergun, DOD News
This year's Military Spouse Appreciation Day is May 6.
Traditionally, it is the Friday before Mother's Day, building on the idea that 92% of military spouses are female, C. Eddy Mentzer, associate director of military community support programs for the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, said.  Read more....

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An Idaho Army National Guardsman embraces a family member Feb. 23, 2022, before deploying to support Operation Enduring Freedom. Photo By: National Guard Master Sgt. Becky VanshurDOD recognizes military children during April's Month of the Military Child
For nearly 40 years, April 1 has marked the Defense Department's kickoff for the Month of the Military Child, and this month promises to be packed with events for parents and children of all ages, said a program analyst in DOD's Children, Youth and Families, Office of Military Family Readiness Policy, Military Community and Family Policy.  Read more....

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An Idaho Army National Guardsman embraces a family member Feb. 23, 2022, before deploying to support Operation Enduring Freedom. Photo By: National Guard Master Sgt. Becky VanshurSexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month observed
Bringing attention to and preventing sexual assault and military sexual trauma is an every-day, year-long goal. While National Sexual Awareness and Prevention Month is recognized in April, bringing attention to and preventing sexual assault and military sexual trauma is an every-day, year-long goal.   Read more....

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An Idaho Army National Guardsman embraces a family member Feb. 23, 2022, before deploying to support Operation Enduring Freedom. Photo By: National Guard Master Sgt. Becky VanshurCamp Pendleton takes big steps toward wildlife preservation
by Lance Cpl. Nataly Espitia , Camp Pendleton
April is widely regarded as Earth Month all over the globe. Camp Pendleton honors, protects, and conserves the Earth not only on this occasion, but every day of the year. Plenty of land and resources go into the conservation and care for wildlife aboard the installation.   Read more....

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MCAS Miramar welcomes community to save the date for 2022 Miramar Air Show  
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. (March 28, 2022) – The commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Col. Thomas M. Bedell, and the commanding general of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Maj. Gen. Bradford J. Gering, invite the San Diego community and aviation enthusiasts to the 2022 MCAS Miramar Air Show, Sept. 23-25.
The theme of this year’s air show is “Marines: Fight, Evolve, Win.” and is a direct reflection of the Commandant of the Marine Corps Force Design 2030 program and the technical innovations the service is undertaking to remain the 21st century’s force in readiness.
“It’s been almost three years since MCAS Miramar was able to open its doors to our neighbors and share in our love of aviation, and I am extremely excited to be able to do so once again. We
are proud to call America’s Finest City home and bring back one of the world’s most anticipated aviation exhibitions,” said Bedell.
While the full schedule will be released in the upcoming weeks, guests can count on seeing the Marine Corps’ F-35B demonstration, the unique Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstration, the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor demonstration team, Aaron Fitzgerald flying the Red Bull Helicopter, a 5G Technology Expo and much more.
The air show is free to the public and upgraded seating options will be on sale this summer. For ticket information, COVID-19 protocols, business and vendor opportunities, and more, please visit the Miramar Air Show website at miramarairshow.com.

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San Diego's VA Medical Center renamed after
Capt. Jennifer Moreno  

In March President Biden signed into law H.R. 3665, designating the San Diego VA Medical Center as the Jennifer Moreno Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and supporting the designation of a prominent space within the facility to honor Kathleen Bruyere.  Read more....

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Veterans Association of North County logo.Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day event held at VANC resource center in Oceanside
Veterans Association of North County and Hospice of the North Coast hosts a Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration event 9 a.m. to noon, March 30, at the VANC resource center, 1617 Mission Ave. in Oceanside to honor Vietnam War veterans for their service and sacrifice.
The keynote speaker is Marine Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Edward Hanlon, Jr. Vietnam veterans will be presented with lapel pins provided by the Department of Defense’s Vietnam War Commemoration. Surviving spouses will be presented with Certificate of Honors for their personal sacrifice and the sacrifice of their spouse. A slideshow will be given featuring photographs of veterans while they were serving during the Vietnam War.
A remembrance table will be set up for attendees to share photos and mementos of Vietnam veterans unable to attend. Bring photos and mementos of friends, family, and loved ones to display on this table during the morning, to be taken home at the end of the program. Attendees can also remember comrades and loved ones by writing their names on cards that will be provided at the event.
Veterans are encouraged to wear their uniforms, along with gear that identifies them as a Vietnam veteran.
Slideshow photos of veterans during their service in Vietnam can be e-mailed (in jpeg format) to Shelly Dew by March 23 at sdew@hospicenorthcoast.org.
Doors open 9 a.m. and program starts 10 a.m. followed by lunch at 11 a.m. Free admission. Reservations required by March 23 at vanc.me/welcome-home-ceremony.

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Russia and China falsely accusing use of biological weapons against Russians, say officials 
March 10, 2022 -- The United States is not assisting Ukraine with biological weapons in its war with Russia and there are no indications that biological weapons are being used by Ukraine, said a Defense Department official.  Two senior defense officials held an on-background press briefing at the Pentagon. Read more....

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Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Caleb Cruse, currently assigned to amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27), embraces his son following the ship's return. Portland, a part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, returned to Naval Base San Diego March 4 after a deployment to U.S. 3rd, 5th, and 7th Fleets in support of regional stability and a free and open Indo-Pacific. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob D. Bergh.USS Essex ARG returns from seven-month deployment
Essex Amphibious Ready Group, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit return from deployment
The Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) returned to port at Naval Base San Diego March 4, concluding a seven-month deployment to U.S. 3rd, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation.
Essex ARG is comprised of the multi-purpose amphibious assault carrier USS Essex (LHD 2), amphibious transport dock USS Portland (LPD 27), and dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) led by Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 1. Read more...

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NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO (Feb. 6, 2022) Sailors assigned to Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS O'Kane (DDG 77) embrace their families after returning to their homeport at Naval Base San Diego. O’Kane, a part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, returned to Naval Base San Diego, Feb. 6, following an independent deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleets in support of national tasking and to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Kelby Sanders.USS Savannah (LCS 28), newest San Diego ship
by Petty Officer 2nd Class Vance Hand
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO - Littoral combat ship USS Savannah arrived at its homeport of Naval Base San Diego March 1.
Prior to arriving in San Diego, Savannah officially joined the fleet on Feb. 5 when it was commissioned in Brunswick, Georgia. During the ship’s sail-around, they completed a successful transit through the Panama Canal. Read more...

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Carl Vinson CSG returns home to San Diego from deployment; USS Lake Champlain's wrap-up
The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group returned to San Diego, marking the end of an eight-month deployment to U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleets areas of operation, Feb. 14. Read more....

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Airmen and civilians at Dover Air Force Base, Del., palletize ammunition, weapons and other equipment bound for Ukraine, Jan. 21, 2022. Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $5.4 billion in total assistance to Ukraine, including security and non-security assistance. The United States reaffirms its steadfast commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in support of a secure and prosperous Ukraine. Air Force photo by Mauricio Campino
Dedication ceremony held for Women's Reserve Battalion Monument
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. (February 11, 2022) – At the beginning of World War II, it was rare to see American women in military uniforms, but as the war progressed, bitter fighting in the pacific led to an urgent need for more Marines. It was our brave American women, from across the country, who answered the nation’s call. Their presence, accomplishments and contributions, are now woven into Marine Corps history and their legacy has paved the way for future generations, shaping the organization as we see it today. Read more...

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NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO (Feb. 6, 2022) Sailors assigned to Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS O'Kane (DDG 77) embrace their families after returning to their homeport at Naval Base San Diego. O’Kane, a part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, returned to Naval Base San Diego, Feb. 6, following an independent deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleets in support of national tasking and to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Kelby Sanders.USS O'Kane returns home from deployment
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS O'Kane (DDG 77) returned home to Naval Base San Diego, completing an eight-month independent deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation, Feb. 6. O'Kane deployed in June 2021 in support of national tasking, serving as the ballistic missile defense (BMD) commander for Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 while operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet and the primary BMD asset while in the U.S. 5th Fleet. Read more...

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KC-46a PegasusMarch Air Reserve Base named preferred location for next KC-46A Pegasus
WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Department of the Air Force selected March Air Reserve Base (ARB), in Riverside County, California, as the preferred location to host the next KC-46A Pegasus aircraft. The decision was made after conducting site surveys that assessed locations based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, environmental considerations and cost. Twelve KC-46As will replace KC-135 Stratotankers at March ARB. The new tankers will bring many enhanced capabilities, such as boom and drogue refueling on the same sortie, worldwide navigations and communication, cargo capacity on the entire main deck floor, receiver air refueling, improved force protection, and multi-point air refueling capability. The location is about an hour and a half north of San Diego. A final basing decision will be made after an environmental impact analysis, which is expected to take place in fall 2023. Grissom ARB, Indiana, and Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, are considered reasonable alternatives and will also undergo environmental impact analyses. Read more about the KC-46A Pegasus...

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NAVCENT expands unmanned integration, operates Saildrone in Arabian GulfNAVCENT expands unmanned integration, operates Saildrone in Arabian Gulf
Task Force 59, NAVCENT’s dedicated staff for new unmanned systems and artificial intelligence discovery, initiated Saildrone operational testing off the coast of Bahrain one month after launching the a Saildron in the Gulf of Aqaba. Read more...

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Official seal of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO)CNO Gilday issues new 'Charge of Command to commanders
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday issued a new "Charge of Command" to commanders Jan. 11, 2022. Read more...

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Official seal of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO)Navy extends boot camp training to from 8 weeks to 10 weeks
GREAT LAKES, Ill. - Recruit Training Command (RTC), the Navy’s enlisted boot camp, has extended the duration of its basic military training (BMT) program from eight to 10 weeks.
Recruits who arrived Jan. 3 and thereafter will be enrolled in the 10-week BMT program.
“We’ve added more leadership and professional development to the basic training toolkit, which Sailors can rely on throughout their careers,” said Rear Adm. Jennifer Couture, commander, Naval Service Training Command. “This additional training reinforces character development with a warfighting spirit so our Navy is strong, lethal and ready.”
“Sailor for Life,” a new training phase in the additional two weeks, provides recruits with more training in mentorship, small-unit leadership, advanced Warrior Toughness training, and professional and personal development through the Navy’s MyNavy Coaching initiative.
“The additions were the result of fleet feedback and the hard work of all the staff here at RTC and throughout the Navy,” said Lt. Cmdr. Katy Bock, military training director, Recruit Training Command. “Every recruit now graduates with more tools and skills to make them more effective and combat ready Sailors.”
Recruit Training Command continually builds on what it means to be a basically trained Sailor. The 10-week BMT program enhances Recruit Training Command’s ability to supply the Navy with basically trained, engaged and connected warfighters.
For more information about Recruit Training Command, visit bootcamp.navy.mil.

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PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 8, 2021) An F-35C Lightning II, assigned to Marine Wing Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Abraham Lincoln is underway conducting routine operations in the U.S. 3rd Fleet. U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1st Lt. Charles Allen.First USMC F-35C squadron deploys with Carrier Air Wing Nine
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing has marked a key milestone for Marine Corps history as they departed San Diego Bay with Carrier Air Wing Nine aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln as the first Marine squadron to deploy the F-35C on an aircraft carrier. Read more...

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PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 3, 2022) F-35C Lightning II, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, arrive aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) as they prepare to deploy alongside the Navy as an integrated part of Carrier Strike Group 3. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, led by Carrier Strike Group 3, deployed from San Diego, Jan. 3, in support of global maritime security operations. An integral part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 3rd Fleet operates naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary to flawlessly execute our Navy's role across the full spectrum of military operations-from combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. U.S. 3rd Fleet works together with our allies and partners to advance freedom of navigation, the rule of law, and other principles that underpin security for the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1stLt. Charles Allen/Released) USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group deploys from San Diego
The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group departed on a regularly scheduled deployment Monday, January 3, in support of global maritime security operations. Read more...

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Photo of military housing in San Diego.DoD releases 2022 Basic Allowance for Housing rates
The Department of Defense has released the 2022 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates. BAH rates will increase an average of 5.1 percent when the new rates take effect on January 1, 2022. An estimated $25.6 billion will be paid to approximately one million service members. The temporarily increased BAH rates, effective October 1, 2021 for 56 military housing areas across the country, will expire on December 31, 2021 and will be replaced by the 2022 BAH rates. Read more...

See rates here: https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bah.cfm

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Dept. of Navy, California Energy commission partner on energy and water initiatives
SAN DIEGO - The Department of the Navy and the California Energy Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Dec. 1 that will help the Navy and Marine Corps and the state collaborate on energy and water-related projects at DON Installations. Read more...

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California lawmakers pass bill for license reciprocity for military spousesCalifornia lawmakers pass bill for license reciprocity for military spouses
New state license reciprocity legislation was signed and passed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Oct. 8, 2021, easing restrictions for veterans and spouses of California active-duty service members to actively practice certain professions or vocations. Read more...

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Don't turn your back on domestic violence graphic.Department of Defense offers information about Domestic
The DoD’s 2021 Domestic Violence Awareness campaign is over but resources are available all year long. The campaign brought awareness to the military community’s responsibility to support victims, respond to abuse, and focus on prevention efforts this month and throughout the year.
Victims have two reporting options:
Unrestricted: those who want to pursue an official investigation report through the service member’s command, FAP or local law enforcement.
Restricted: those who do not want an official investigation but do want victim advocacy services, medical care and/or counseling should make a restricted report to a FAP victim advocate, clinician or supervisor, or a military health care provider. Read more...

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The former Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) departs Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on Sept. 30 in preparations to be towed to Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility Bremerton. Freedom was decommissioned after more than 10 years of service. US Navy photo.First Littoral Combat Ship, USS Freedom, decomissioned
USS Freedom (LCS-1) was decommissioned in Sept. at Naval Base San Diego after 13 years in the fleet. The decommissioning service was limited to ship plankowners and former crew members due to safety measures in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more...

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US Naval Community College logoU.S. Naval Community College now accepting applications
QUANTICO, Va. — The U.S. Naval Community College is now taking applications for the first phase of its Pilot II program. Read more...

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Picture of sample ID card.DoD says it's time to renew your extended ID card
The Defense Department is asking as many as a half-million ID card holders to go online now and make appointments to renew their IDs — many of which are past the expiration dates printed on them.
DOD extended the expiration dates electronically to account for the challenges of renewing them in an COVID-19 environment.
Read more...

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US Dept of Veterans Affairs logoResources for struggling veterans
Veterans from all eras are reacting to the events around the world, and may question the meaning of their service or whether it was worth their sacrifice. US Dept of Veterans Affairs in California offers the following information. Read more...


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United Through Reading®
Service members invited to record stories for family
United Through Reading® (UTR) is a free program helping ease the stress of separation for military and veteran families by having the service members or Veteran read children’s books aloud for their family to watch at home during times of physical separation. It is available for any type of separation, including but not limited to, deployment, training, geobaching, or shift work.
UTR provides service members and veterans a chance to make lasting connections from afar through the power of shared storytime. The recording and the book are given to the child and family at home at no cost.
Being a parent is not required; service members can send the recording & book(s) to any special child in their life such as younger sister or brother, niece, nephew, grandchild, or godchild.
The recording can be made via UTR’s free and secure UTR App, at one of UTR’s story stations, or at the Mobile Story Station at a community event. For more information visit unitedthroughreading.org or e-mail military@utr.org

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