May is Military Appreciation Month Thank you for your service!
SAN DIEGO (April 27, 2015) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Kaila Fronius-Sharif, from Akron, Ohio, monitors the movement of an F/A-18 Hornet aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Reagan is homeported in San Diego at Naval Base Coronado. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Cody Hendrix.
LARNACA, Cyprus (April 26, 2015) Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) salute the national ensign as the ship prepares to depart Larnaca, Cyprus. Ross is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Robert S. Price.
San Diego Veterans News
‘Vietnam Remembered’ opens at Veterans Museum in Balboa Park
Veterans Museum and Memorial Center, located in Balboa Park, opened a new exhibit dedicated to Vietnam veterans. The exhibit titled, Vietnam Remembered: A 50th Anniversary Retrospective, will showcase San Diegans during that era. The exhibit opens to the public on April 30, 2015 during business hours - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To help mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Vietnam, VMMC will recognize Vietnam veterans and tell their stories over a 10-year period. The exhibit is different from other Vietnam exhibits and museums which tell the story of war; this exhibit will tell the personal stories of war and will be focused on San Diegans. The exhibit will open on the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. Veterans Museum and Memorial Center, 2115 Park Blvd., San Diego, 92101. www.veteranmuseum.org.
National Navy News
USS Theodore Roosevelt returns to Arabian Gulf
MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) escorted by USS Normandy (CG 60), transited the Strait of Hormuz from its station in the Arabian Sea to the Arabian Gulf April 24, to rejoin other U.S. and coalition forces supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. Theodore Roosevelt and Normandy had operated in the Arabian Sea since April 19 conducting maritime security operations to ensure the sea lanes in the region remained open and safe. In recent days, the U.S. Navy had increased its presence in this area as a result of the current instability in Yemen. It is not uncommon for the U.S. Navy to position its forces in those areas requiring more focused attention in order to ensure the freedom of navigation. The United States remains committed to its regional partners and to maintaining security in the maritime environment.
Military pay tables for 2015
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USS Pearl Harbor holds command change
by MC1 Trevor Welsh, Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The crew, family and friends of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52)gathered on the flight deck of the USS Midway (CV 41) Museum to welcome aboard a new commanding officer, April 24.
In the time-honored ceremony of transferring command authority and responsibility, Cmdr. DeWayne Sanders was relieved by Cmdr. Judd Krier during the ceremony.
Guest speaker Rear Adm. Frank Ponds, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 3, spoke on the many accomplishments of Sanders.
“Although much has changed in our Navy over the years, there is one thing that has not changed,” said Ponds. “The Navy still selects its commanding officers based on a clear set of principals; honor, character and integrity. Cmdr. Sanders embodies those qualities, and much more. Still to this day we look to our commanding officers to lead and put into motion a vision, a vision that quite often does not reveal itself until the very end, a vision of brilliance. The man sitting before you today has done just that.”
Sanders spoke on how he considered it an honor to lead a crew and ship with such a historic and significant namesake.
“Commanding a ship with this namesake was a humbling experience,” said Sanders. “Couple that with awesome responsibility of leading 400 Sailors; I can honestly say I was honored every time I crossed the brow of the ship.”
Krier is assuming command after a 15-month tour as executive officer. He thanked Sanders for his guidance and leadership during that time.
“You’ve been a great boss and mentor, but most importantly you’ve been a great friend,” said Krier. “I’ve learned a lot from you and I know that knowledge will help me lead the crew of the Pearl Harbor and continue being successful.”
Also in attendance were members of the San Diego Chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.
“We pause to honor the service and sacrifice of our men and women who fought so valiantly and bravely on that December morning and who continued to serve our nation so proudly during the second World War,” said Ponds.
USS Lake Erie commanding officer relieved of duty
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The commanding officer of USS Lake Erie (CG 70) was relieved of his duties April 27, due to loss of confidence in his ability to command. Capt. John Banigan was relieved by Rear Adm. Dee Mewbourne, commander of Carrier Strike Group 11. The decision was based on the findings of an investigation into poor command climate aboard Lake Erie, a guided-missile cruiser homeported in San Diego. Banigan assumed command of the ship in May 2013. He has been temporarily assigned to the staff of Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Capt. Douglas Kunzman, deputy commander of Destroyer Squadron 9, will temporarily assume command of Lake Erie pending assignment of a permanent relief..
National Military News
CNP seeks nominations for 2nd Annual Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Personnel seeks nominations for the second annual Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award by June 8, 2015. The award recognizes a group or an individual (Sailor or civilian) from Navy who contributed or developed an innovative idea, concept, methodology, or approach that positively impacts Sexual Assault Prevention Programs either on an installation, deployed environment, or in the Reserves. This award recognizes individuals or groups whose work has been particularly noteworthy and demonstrates outstanding service in support of Sailors and civilians.
For the award details on how, where, and what can be submitted for the nomination package visit http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/21st_century_sailor/sapr/pages/sapia.aspx
DoD 2015 military pay and compensation rates
by Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Department of Defense 2015 military pay and compensation rates for service members have most service members receiving a one percent increase in basic pay.
The new rates for basic pay, basic allowance for housing, basic allowance for subsistence, and the cost of living allowance rates for the contiguous United States will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015.
Basic pay for service members will increase one percent, except for general and flag officers who will not see an increase in 2015. For example, an E-4 with 3 years of service will see an increase in basic pay of $22.20 per month, while an O-3 with 6 years of service will receive a basic pay increase of $54.30 per month in 2015.
Basic allowance for housing rates for service members in 2015 will increase on average $17 per month, or 0.5 percent. Rates are calculated using median current market rent and average utilities (including electricity, heat, and water/sewer) for each pay grade, both with and without dependents. Two changes were made to BAH rate computations for 2015: renter's insurance, which contributed an average of one percent to rates, was eliminated, and the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act reduced housing rates on average one percent for service members.
However, individual rate protection for service members remains an integral part of the BAH program. This means that even if BAH rates decline - including through the elimination of renter's insurance and the reduction in the calculated rate - a service member who maintains uninterrupted BAH eligibility in a given location will not see a rate decrease. This ensures that service members who have made long-term commitments in the form of a lease or contract are not penalized if local housing costs decrease.
Service members can calculate their BAH payment by using the basic allowance for housing calculator here.
The 2015 basic allowance for subsistence rates for military members will increase by 2.9 percent over last year. The new rates are:
* $367.92 per month for enlisted members
* $253.38 per month for officers
The annual adjustments to basic allowance for subsistence -- a monthly nontaxable cash payment to military members intended to be used to buy food -- are linked to changes in food prices as measured by the annual change in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cost of Food at Home Index. From the beginning of October 2013 through the end of September 2014, the index rose by 2.9 percent, forming the basis for the increased BAS rates.
The Defense Department also released its 2015 contiguous United States cost of living allowance rates. Roughly 12,000 members will see a decrease in their CONUS COLA payments, while some 7,000 members will see an increase or no change, and 4,000 members will no longer receive a CONUS COLA payment.
CONUS COLA is a taxable supplemental allowance designed to help offset higher prices in high-cost locations, and rates vary based on location, pay grade, years of service and dependent status. Rates can increase or decrease depending on the prices in a specific duty location compared to prices in an average CONUS location. Service members can calculate their CONUS COLA rate here.
National Military News
5 things you need to know about
flat rate per diem
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- To provide an incentive to Sailors and civilians on long-term temporary duty assignment (TDY) to seek out extended-stay lodgings, the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) was changed Nov. 1.
The change to a flat rate will help the Department of Defense (DoD) save more than $22 million a year and is in keeping with what many federal agencies already outline for reduced travel rates for longer stays.
Here are five things you need to know about flat rate per diem:
1. Long-term TDY is any temporary duty longer than 30 days. Travel from 31 to 180 days will receive a flat-rate per diem of 75 percent. For travel greater than 180 days, the flat-rate per diem will be at 55 percent. Flat rate will apply to all three parts of the per diem - lodging, meals and incidentals.
2. When staying in government lodging, a traveler will be reimbursed for actual lodging costs. The flat rate per diem does not apply when government lodging or contracted government lodging is available and directed, when contracted government lodging is provided at no cost, or if a traveler chooses to stay in government quarters.
3. Currently the Defense Travel System (DTS) does not automatically calculate the reduced per diem based on the length of the TDY. Travelers should follow their component guidelines for how to handle TDY in DTS.
4. Travelers may consider furnished apartments or similar types of lodging, which are typically cheaper than the standard room rate at commercial hotels. This policy change also simplifies travel expense management as you will not be required to submit lodging receipts or itemize utilities and furniture rental when renting a home, if receiving the flat rate per diem.
5. You still have options if you are unable to find extended-stay lodging within a reasonable distance of the duty location, or if additional costs arise. You may work with your approving official to do actual-expense authorizations, which may go above the flat-rate per diem to 100 percent, if needed. At no time should travelers end up paying out-of-pocket for authorized TDY expenses.
For further information visit www.defensetravel.dod.mil.