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Military Child of the Year nominations openOperation Homefront opens nominations for Military Child of the Year
Nominations open for Operation Homefront’s Military Child of the Year

Operation Homefront is accepting nominations for its Military Child of the Year awards.
The program honors one youth, age 13 to 18, from each service branch. Each awardee gets $10,000 in cash and a computer and is honored at a gala in Washington, D.C.
Nominations are being accepted through Dec. 4 here.

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Top headlines
Space Force presents Forces to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command
CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii -- The U.S. Space Force officially activated and assigned U.S. Space Forces, Indo-Pacific to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in a ceremony Nov. 22 at Camp H.M. Smith under the leadership of Brig. Gen. Anthony Mastalir.
USSPACEFOR-INDOPAC is the service’s second component to present forces to a combatant command and the first to stand up at an overseas combatant command. The component is directly subordinate to the Chief of Space Operations for the execution of responsibilities under Title 10 for service-specific administration and support functions.
“This is truly an historic moment for the Space Force,” said Chief of Space Operations Gen. B. Chance Saltzman. “This is an important step as we normalize Space into the joint force. Given today’s multi-domain character of war, Space must be deeply integrated with the joint team.”
Having field components dedicated to Space removes layers of bureaucracy and aligns with how other services provide forces to the commander. Additionally, activating the USSF component to INDOPACOM provides clarity to command relationships, roles and responsibilities.
“Our approach requires the joint force to think, act, and operate differently by synchronizing our operations, re-aligning our posture, and advancing our warfighting capabilities,” said Adm. John Aquilino, commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. “Today’s ceremony represents a tangible progression in accomplishing our mission of deterrence, while simultaneously increasing our ability to defend the homeland, protect the joint force, operate in contested space, and provide all-domain battlespace awareness.”
USSPACEFOR-INDOPAC will be headquartered at Joint Base Pearl Harbor - Hickam in Hawaii to maximize synergy with USINDOPACOM headquarters and the existing Air Operations Center with U.S. Pacific Air Forces.

Marine Corps updates approved female hair styles
Training and Education Command announced updates to approved female hair styles via Marine Administrative Message 615/22. These changes were initially proposed in Uniform Board 220 and authorized for wear today. The Uniform Board is comprised of diverse Marines of various ranks and specialties to provide comprehensive feedback and fleet perspective.
These changes include: twists for short hair, increase in maximum length for medium hair, half-ponytails or up to two half-braids for medium hair, and overall increase in styled length for long hair.
Consistent with current MCO 1020.34H, long hair must be secured up (defined as no portion of the hair should be left to fall naturally / unsecured or with exposed ends), except when authorized during non-combat physical training. Medium and long length hair may be worn in an unsecured full ponytail or unsecured braid during non-combat physical training only.
Inconspicuous hairpins and bobby pins are authorized. Barrettes, combs, etc. are authorized, if consistent with the hair color and concealed by the hair. Ponytail holders will be consistent with the hair color and need not be concealed, but should be inconspicuous. Conspicuous hair securing devices (e.g., headbands, scrunchies, alligator clips, bows) are not authorized.
The updates to the regulation also clarify tightly pulled or slicked back hair is not a requirement, and Marines are encouraged to avoid potentially damaging or harmful products.
“These changes are indicative of our disciplined approach to uniformity without sacrificing the health and safety of our female Marines,” said Maj. Jim Stenger, a Marine Corps spokesperson. “We are grateful for the continued feedback from our Marines in addressing uniform updates and modifications. It’s because of conversations like those that our leadership can make positive change.”
The updated Marine Corps Uniform Order is pending publication, but these changes are effective immediately.
For more information about the Marine Corps Uniform Order please visit www.hqmc.marines.mil/Agencies/Marine-Corps-Uniform-Board.

Carrier Gerald R. Ford and its strike group return to homeport concluding inaugural deployment
NORFOLK – The first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), flagship of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG), returned here after successfully completing its inaugural deployment throughout the Atlantic while conducting exercises and port visits with Allies and partners, Nov. 26. The flagship set sail from Norfolk Oct. 4, and traveled more than 9,275 nautical miles with GRFCSG. During the scheduled deployment, Ford operated with eight Allies and partners, Canada, Denmark, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden, to strengthen interoperability, while conducting a range of maritime operations and exercises. “This deployment brought together an incredible group of Allies and partners with one single focus - to contribute to a peaceful, stable, and conflict-free Atlantic region through our combined naval power,” said Vice Adm. Dan Dwyer, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet and Joint Force Command Norfolk.

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing activates new air defense unit
by 2nd Lt. Andrew Baez, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
CAMP PENDLETON - The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing activated a new air defense battery on November 18, 2022, as part of its ongoing efforts to modernize its existing ground-based air defense capabilities to continue responsibly modernizing the force.
Charlie Battery, which belongs to 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, Marine Air Control Group 38, increases 3rd MAW’s ground-based air defense weapon systems and capabilities. The activation demonstrates the Marine Corps’ investment in growing the ground-based air defense community.
The unit’s activation sets the foundation for the arrival of Marine Air Defense Integrated System Increment 1 to the battalion. This system modernizes the existing ground-based air defense capabilities by mounting a mix of legacy and emerging technologies and capabilities onto the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. The new capabilities will help the unit mitigate the threat from unmanned aerial systems, fixed, and rotary-wing aircraft.
Once fully equipped, the new unit will have the MADIS, FIM-92 Stinger missiles, and a kinetic remote weapon system designed to counter adversary unmanned aerial systems. The remote weapon system, an organic RPS-62 RADAR, provides additional capabilities, including multi-function electronic warfare and significant command and control improvements.

Secret donor gives $100,000 in gifts to Toys for Tots drive
For 12 years, a mystery man has spread joy to needy families throughout the region by making sure kids aren’t forgotten during the holidays. This marks the fifth year the mystery benefactor has purchased thousands of dollars of toys from a local Geppetto’s for the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program based at Camp Pendleton.Now there’s a new high. On Nov. 10, also the birthday of the U.S. Marines, the gift giver spent $100,700. The anonymous donor’s generosity adds up to more than $340,000 in electric trains, bikes, Lego sets, dolls and plush toys over the past five years alone.The receipt for $100,700 of toys is stretched out by those at Geppetto’s in Carlsbad who loaded the Toys for Tots trucks.

United Through Reading 14th Annual Storybook Ball raises over $260,000 for military families
United Through Reading 14th Annual Storybook Ball raises over $260,000 for military families Funds allow nonprofit organization to continue fostering deep connections between deployed service members and their families through the shared bond of video-recorded bedtime stories SAN DIEGO (November 11, 2022) –United Through Reading hosted its annual black-tie event, the Storybook Ball on November 5, 2022 and raised over $260,000. Each year, the ball brings together hundreds of corporate executives, senior military leaders, long-serving supporters, and military families to celebrate the connections United Through Reading enables for military service members separated from their families due to deployment or military assignment. An annual centerpiece of United Through Reading’s presence in San Diego, this ball included remarks by military guests of honor Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, Commander, Naval Air Force, US Pacific Command and Mrs. Melodye Whitesell. The program also featured two military families, Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Franklin “Frankie” Hard of the U.S. Navy, a longtime volunteer with the program; and Mrs. Maggie Worthington, the spouse of a Navy Seal whose family uses United Through Reading. Of note, the event also celebrated the career of retiring United Through Reading CEO, Dr. Sally Ann Zoll and welcomed Tim Farrell, the new United Through Reading CEO.

Makin Island Amphibious Readiness Group deploys Nov. 8-9
Amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD-8), the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, departed Naval Base San Diego on Wednesday, Nov 9, for a deployment to the Indo-Pacific region. The Amphibious Ready Group with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked includes Makin Island and amphibious transport docks USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) and USS Anchorage (LPD-23). Makin Island and John P. Murtha left San Diego on Wednesday, while Anchorage left on Tuesday. According to usni.org, the ARG/MEU includes the aviation combat element with the “Flying Leathernecks” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122 flying F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters and the “Ugly Angels” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 362 (Reinforced) flying MV-22B Ospreys; the logistics combat element made up of Combat Logistics Battalion 13; and the ground combat element with 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines.

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VA begins toxic exposure screening for enrolled veterans
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers and clinics across the country began offering enrolled veterans a new toxic exposure screening. These screenings are a key part of the PACT Act, a new law that empowers VA to deliver care and benefits to millions of toxic exposed Veterans and their survivors. The screening takes around five to 10 minutes and begins by asking veterans if they believe they experienced any toxic exposures while serving in the armed forces.
Veterans who answer “yes” will then be asked about specific exposures, including open burn pits/airborne hazards, Gulf War-related exposures, Agent Orange, radiation, Camp Lejeune contaminated water exposure and other exposures. Veterans enrolled in VA health care will be offered an initial toxic exposure screening then follow-up screenings at least once every five years.
After completion of the screening, VA will connect veterans who are concerned about toxic exposures to information about benefits, registry exams and clinical resources. Medical concerns will continue to be addressed through existing care teams or other facility resources as appropriate.
Veterans can ask about receiving the screening at their next VA primary care provider appointment. If veterans are not assigned to a primary care team or wish to be screened sooner than their next appointment, they are invited to contact their local facility and ask to be screened by the toxic exposure screening navigator.
VA encourages veterans not currently enrolled in VA health care to apply now. Learn more at https://www.va.gov/health-care/apply/application/introduction. Information: VA.gov/PACT. https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposure

Register today for November 17 TRICARE Open Season webinar
TRICARE Open Season is your once-a-year chance to enroll in or change your TRICARE Prime, US Family Health Plan, or TRICARE Select plan. Don’t miss the “TRICARE Open Season and Your Options” webinar on Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. ET to learn more about this year’s open season.
“With open season quickly approaching, now is the time to make sure you get the health care coverage you need,” said Zelly Zim, a program analyst with TRICARE Policy and Programs at the Defense Health Agency. “During this webinar, we’ll look at some of the key factors that could affect your choice.”
TRICARE Open Season starts Nov. 14 and it will run through Dec. 13. The enrollment changes you make will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023. If you don’t act during this time, you may have to wait a full year before you can switch your coverage again. Outside of Qualifying Life Events, such as moving, marriage, birth, and retirement, open season is the only time you can make enrollment changes for TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Select plans, as described in the TRICARE Qualifying Life Events Fact Sheet.
Open season doesn’t apply to active duty service members. And it doesn’t apply to TRICARE Reserve Select, TRICARE Retired Reserve, and TRICARE Young Adult. You can purchase these health plans at any time throughout the year. The other health plan not impacted by open season is TRICARE For Life (TFL). Remember TFL coverage is automatic if you have Medicare Part A and Part B.
Who should attend this webinar? Active duty family members, as well as retirees and their family members who are enrolled in or eligible for:
• TRICARE Prime (or TRICARE Prime Overseas)
• US Family Health Plan
• TRICARE Select (or TRICARE Select Overseas)
A Q&A will follow the presentation. Register for the Nov. 17 webinar today at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7677374452334099726. Registration for the webinar is limited.

Be the face of change during 2022 Combined Federal Campaign
The Combined Federal Campaign runs through January 14, 2023. The mission of the CFC is to promote and support philanthropy through a program that is employee focused, cost-efficient, and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all. CFC is the world’s largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign.

Col. Nicole Mann first female Marine and Native American to lead NASA space flight
Marine Corps Col. Nicole Mann, on Oct. 5, became the first female Marine and Native American to lead a NASA space flight. Mann and SpaceX Crew-5 successfully launched into space from Kennedy Space Center, bound for the International Space Station with Mann serving as the mission commander. Semper Fi and Bravo Zulu, Colonel Mann. We wish her and the crew the best for successful mission.
Defense Commissary Agency to lower shopping prices even further
Service members and their families will soon see a 3-5 percent decrease in pricing on most grocery items in their commissaries as part of a Defense Department initiative to bolster the economic security and stability of the military community.
DOD’s “Taking Care of Service Members and Families” initiative lays out comprehensive actions to support military members struggling with the financial impacts of inflation, supply chain disruptions and the pandemic.
“The department’s added investment in our budget allows us to reduce commissary prices at the register about 3-5 percent on most items - particularly on food staples that struggling military families need most such as bread, eggs, milk and more,” Bill Moore, director and CEO of the Defense Commissary Agency, said. “With this boost we can achieve at least 25 percent in overall savings for eligible patrons who shop their commissaries.”

SECNAV reinforces DoD commitment to island nations
“The U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team takes its responsibility to build resilience against climate change seriously,” said Secretary of the navy Carlos Del Toro at the event. “The Department of Defense, and indeed the entire U.S. government, have made a commitment to island nations to combat climate change, and the Department of the Navy is already working with island nations on their climate defenses.”
Separately, as a part of President Biden’s first ever U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit last week, Del Toro participated in a reception with PIC leaders to discuss maritime issues affecting economic prosperity and regional resilience such as maritime domain awareness, maritime security, and law enforcement cooperation, including combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

Survey asks service members about discrimination, extremism experiences
by Katie Lange, DOD News
Service members: if you’ve been wanting to make your voice heard on issues related to race and discrimination in the military, now’s your chance to do so. On Sept. 26, the Department of Defense released the 2022 Workplace and Equal Opportunity Survey for a random selection of active-duty, reserve and National Guard members to take. For the first time, too, the survey will measure the estimated prevalence of exposure to extremist activity in the military. Diversity, equity and inclusion are important to the DOD, which is committed to promoting dignity and respect within the workplace. This survey lets the department and Congress know how the military is living up to those ideals. Survey participants have the chance to detail their experiences and perceptions about unit climate and cohesion, as well as diversity and inclusion. They can also give their thoughts on the effectiveness of policies to improve racial and ethnic relations, as well as the complaints process. Service members who were invited to take the survey should have received an e-mail invitation from weo-survey@mail.mil and a note in the mail with instructions. However, if you’re not sure you received either and would like to check your eligibility, visit the survey page at https://dodsurveys.mil and click on “Don’t have a ticket number?” to look up yours. FYI -- If you’re using the ticket number lookup, you’ll be redirected from the .mil website to a .com website. Survey officials say that’s a safeguarded site; however, if you still have questions about its legitimacy, you can call (571) 372-1034 or e-mail the address above.

ASYMCA hosts largest Fall Festival in east county on October 15
The Armed Services YMCA San Diego ushers in the season of pumpkin lattes and autumn with its annual Fall Festival. More than 600 military families and community members will gather at the ASYMCA’s Horse of the Sun Ranch on October 15 from 10am-3pm in Pine Valley, in east San Diego county.
There will be activities for the entire family to enjoy such as laser tag, pony rides, petting zoo, bounce houses, archery, and rock climbing. Families can chow down on delicious food and drinks. The fun doesn’t stop there! The pumpkin patch allows families to choose their perfect pumpkin for carving and family pictures!
Set a reminder for the Fall Festival located in the Cuyamaca Mountains at 28271 Old Hwy 80, Pine Valley, CA 91962.

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USS Nimitz returns to sea after jet fuel flushed from water system
USS Nimitz returned to sea on Sunday, Oct. 2, after at detour to San Diego because of jet fuel found in the ship’s water system. On Sept. 16, during a pre-deployment cruise in the Pacific Ocean, the contaminated water was reported. The ship pulled in to NAS North Island to undergo water system flushing the next day. The aircraft carrier rejoined the rest of its strike group to complete its Composite Training Unit Exercise ahead of an upcoming deployment. Eleven Sailors reported illnesses that they believe resulted from the jet fuel found in the ship's potable water system.

Sailor Ryan Sawyer Mays acquitted in charges of starting fire that destroyed USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6)
On Friday, Sept. 30, a military judge acquitted a sailor of arson in a 2020 fire that destroyed the amphibious warship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6). a blow to the Navy as it faces allegations of improper training and maintenance of the $1.2 billion amphibious assault ship.
Seaman Recruit Ryan Sawyer Mays was a 19-year-old deck seaman when he was identified by a shipmate claiming he saw Mays near where the fire began in the ship's lower vehicle deck.
“I am so grateful that this is finally over. It’s been a long two years,” Mays said outside the court building, flanked by his wife, parents and defense team. “I’ve been waiting a long time.”

Air Force CH-130H grounding continues due to parts shortage
On Sept. 27 the Air Force grounded 116 of the older Hercules aircraft, including variants of the C-130H, after cracks in the propeller barrel assembly were discovered in some of the planes that had older propellers. The Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, which have older planes, are most heavily hit by the groundings. It's unknown how long it will be before the grounded C-130Hs will be flying again as replacement parts are in short supply.

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Navy, Port of San Diego sign agreement to generate millions for electrification projects
To further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality and public health on and around the San Diego Bay Working Waterfront, Navy Region Southwest and the Port of San Diego have formed a first-of-its-kind partnership that gives the Navy access to participate in California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) market.
The groundbreaking federal/state initiative will provide millions of dollars for further electrification efforts for both the naval base the port.
Recently, at Cesar Chavez Park in Barrio Logan, Navy and port officials, joined by state and local partners, formalized the collaboration by signing an Intergovernmental Support Agreement and celebrated the partnership and its multiple environmental and public health benefits for local communities, the region, and the state.
The Navy’s participation in this program will be the first ever participation by the Department of Defense in this type of carbon reduction effort. The Navy will generate LCFS credits while ships are plugged into shore power, rather than generating power internally using traditional, carbon-intensive fuels, and limiting emissions of greenhouse gasses in the surrounding community. Connecting ships to shore power while in port directly aligns with two Presidential Executive Orders requiring all federal agencies to take steps to reduce carbon emissions and support clean energy activities.
As the local participant in the state’s LCFS program managed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the Port will register, generate, and sell the credits from Navy shore power, and then utilize the proceeds from the sale to provide Naval Base San Diego with energy and utility improvement projects. In exchange, the Port will keep a specified portion of the Navy’s LCFS revenues.
The Port will pay from its share of the revenues for Port personnel who will manage project design and construction of Navy identified projects at NB San Diego and in Port operations. If this partnership – which is being conducted as a pilot program through 2030 – is successful, it could be duplicated between other U.S. ports and naval bases.
“We’re excited to be the first in the Navy to participate in this innovative program,” said Rear Adm. Brad Rosen, commander, Navy Region Southwest.
“Our Sailors and their families live and work throughout San Diego County; we’re part of this community, and are proud to do our part towards improving air quality locally, and contributing to a more resilient electric infrastructure.”

'Fat Albert' saga continues
Navy bribery fugitive ‘Fat Leonard’ seeks asylum in Venezuela
According to news reports, the fugitive defense contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard” who orchestrated a huge bribery scheme involving dozens of U.S. Navy officers, has requested asylum in Venezuela, a law enforcement official said Monday, nearly a week after he was captured in the South American country. Leonard Glenn Francis slipped away from house arrest in San Diego on Sept. 4, only weeks before he was to be sentenced. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t permitted to speak to the press about the closed proceedings, didn’t provide any additional details about the Malaysian businessman’s moves. By law the Venezuelan government must consider the asylum request.
In a related report, a federal judge last week dismissed all charges against Rear Adm. (ret.) Bruce Loveless for his alleged role in the West Pacific web of bribery and graft from the Leonard scandal. The dismissal of all charges against Loveless caps a legal saga that has spanned more than five years since the retired flag officer and several other Navy officers were indicted in 2017.

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U.S., Canada send warships through Taiwan Strait
USS Higgins, a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer and Canadian patrol frigate HMCS Vancouver steamed through the Taiwan Strait Sept. 20, the first combined transit by the two countries in nearly a year.
“The ships transited through a corridor in the strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal state,” Langford said in a Wednesday news release. “Higgins’ and Vancouver’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” according to a new release.
The Navy last sent warships - cruisers Antietam and Chancellorsville - through the strait on Aug. 28.

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U.S. Navy establishes “Divine Nine” Ambassador program to strengthen ties with HBCUs
U.S. Navy Recruiting Outreach and Diversity has announced the
establishment of the “Divine Nine” Ambassador program to build
stronger relationships with students, faculty, administration and alumni
at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Read more...

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Screening of COURAGE, a film featuring seven former POWs slated for Sunday, September 18
NAMPOW, an organization of former American Prisoners of War, has scheduled two screenings of COURAGE, a film about seven POWS taken prisoner by Japanese and German forces and held for over three years during WWII. The event will be held at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park on September 18 at 1 or 3 pm.
An amazing story of honor, conviction, patriotism, and unfortunate hardship endured while serving our country. Two were just young boys taken prisoner by Japanese and German forces and held for over three years during WWII. And five other POWs endured unspeakable treatment inside Vietnam’s Hanoi Hilton.
The event is open to the public. Tickets can be obtained online or purchased at the door. https://www.billlowe.org/ – 1 pm screening $15 ($5 for active-duty military, reservists, and students--Show ID at the door) Includes film and discussion with filmmaker. 3 pm screening $20 – Film, Q&A w/former POWs, PISANO Artistry display, and silent auction.
Sponsored by USS Midway Museum.

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Free Ride Day is back! Transit agencies waiving fares October 5 to boost ridership, promote clean air
The MTS San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and North County Transit District (NCTD) announced Free Ride Day will take place on Wednesday, October 5. All rides will be free on MTS and NCTD services, including the Trolley, COASTER, SPRINTER and fixed-route buses. Free Ride Day is being held in conjunction with California's Clean Air Day [1], where residents across the state of California will take steps to reduce emissions and improve air quality. Rideshare Week is also taking place October 3-7 to encourage employees to try ridesharing.
For service schedule updates, news, alerts and more information on how you can use public transportation, go to www.sdmts.com. For NCTD visit GoNCTD.com

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And, we have a winner....
by Karli Yeager, Naval Surface Force/Pacific Fleet
SAN DIEGO - The 39th Surface Line Week (SLW) Pacific 2022 came to a close with an award ceremony at Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) where Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) One was announced as the overall winner Aug. 26.
USS Boxer (LHD 4) came in second place and USS Portland (LPD 27) placed third.
“The vision was to show the Pacific Fleet who the men and women of ACB One are and that they can absolutely bring the heat, the competitive edge, and fighter’s mentality in any and every event that we had a team in,” said Capt. Rafi Miranda, commanding officer of ACB One. “This was an excellent opportunity to allow my Sailors to showcase their skills and I am extremely proud of them. When your team comes out on top after the dust settles after 23 grueling events against 23 highly competitive commands, you can’t help but hold your head a little higher.”
The two-week competition highlighted professional and athletic skills of members of the Surface Warfare community in San Diego while enhancing comradery and team building.
As part of this honor, ACB One can proudly display the 2022 Surface Line Week banner on the command’s quarterdeck until the 2023 winner is selected.
“I am incredibly proud of all our participants who competed in Surface Line Week this year,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Neher, SLW’s project manager. “I’m thankful we got to bring all our Sailors together again and that they were able to display their athletic and professional abilities here.”

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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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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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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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