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Welcome Home USS Essex ARG
SAN DIEGO (March 1, 2019) Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Robert Ritter, assigned to Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), shares the first kiss with his wife Lauryn Ritter, at Naval Base Coronado. Essex (LHD 2), flagship of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, returned to its homeport of San Diego following a successful eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th, 6th and 7th Fleet areas of operation. The deployment marked the first combat deployment of the Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Jailene Cass SAN DIEGO (March 1, 2019) Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Robert Ritter, assigned to Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), shares the first kiss with his wife Lauryn Ritter, at Naval Base Coronado. Essex (LHD 2), flagship of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, returned to its homeport of San Diego following a successful eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th, 6th and 7th Fleet areas of operation. The deployment marked the first combat deployment of the Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Jailene Cass

SAN DIEGO (March 1, 2019) Ship’s Serviceman Seaman Samari Bryant, assigned to Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), meets his son for the first time, at Naval Base Coronado. Essex (LHD 2), flagship of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, returned to its homeport of San Diego following a successful eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th, 6th and 7th Fleet areas of operation. The deployment marked the first combat deployment of the Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Kryzentia Richards

SAN DIEGO (March 1, 2019) Ship’s Serviceman Seaman Samari Bryant, assigned to Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), meets his son for the first time, at Naval Base Coronado. Essex (LHD 2), flagship of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, returned to its homeport of San Diego following a successful eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th, 6th and 7th Fleet areas of operation. The deployment marked the first combat deployment of the Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Kryzentia Richards

Essex Amphibious Ready Group returns to San Diego from deployment
SAN DIEGO - Sailors and Marines of the Essex (LHD 2) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) returned to their homeport of San Diego following a deployment to the Indo-Pacific, Middle East, Mediterranean, and Horn of Africa regions, March 1.
More than 4,500 Sailors and Marines of the Essex ARG and embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) conducted maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in support of regional security, stability, and the free flow of maritime commerce.
Read more....

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NRL Tech Transfer Office forges collaboration with tech incubator
2/5/2019
by By Jonathan B. Holloway, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Technology Transfer Office at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory forged a strategic partnership with 1776, the nation’s largest network of entrepreneurial incubators, to foster innovative-intellectual exchange and gainful collaborative agreements.
At 1776, promising tech-enabled startups, investors, corporate partners and government agencies in innovation-driven industries, collide in a central location where meaningful exchange between markets, talent and capital take place.
“This partnership will provide NRL scientists with the opportunity to engage with innovators and investors in the private sector,” said Amanda Horansky McKinney, head of NRL’s Technology Transfer Office. “NRL and tech startups are similar in their focus on cutting-edge technology and innovation, but an active, ongoing dialogue between our communities hasn’t yet existed.”
Gaining early visibility of new technology-driven markets can help NRL researchers understand the culture, mindset and tools tech startups use to think differently about the future — an advantage that can be leveraged in developing future naval capabilities....read more

Military couple assignment policy: 5 things to know
The Navy realizes how important families are, and when they're not whole it can add stress to a Sailor's life. Collocation of dual-military couples is part of supporting families. It is a priority, along with balancing fleet readiness. The revised policy updates the collocation and distribution procedures and makes orders negotiation less cumbersome........ read more

Navy Pregnancy and Parenthood mobile app available
"Pregnancy and parenthood can be compatible with a successful military career when Service members and the Command both understand their roles and responsibilities, said Capt. Candace Eckert, director of N1 Diversity. "This app makes that task easier by identifying regulations, instructions and references from a wide variety of sources and offering them in one easy-to-use app. The app includes information regarding assignments, retention, separation, standards of conduct and much more." ......read more

Separation policy
To protect Sailors and Marines suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or any other diagnosed mental health condition, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has made his department the first in the military to assure such conditions are considered before separating a service member. ......read more

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MORE NEWS STORIES
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National military news
Navy Installations Command celebrates the 104th year of the Navy Reserve
WASHINGTON - March 3 marked the 104th birthday of the Navy Reserve and celebrates the flexibility, responsiveness, and unique skills that members of the reserve force bring to the Navy.
Within Navy Installations Command, there are approximately 3,500 reservists augmenting units around the world. From safety and security to family readiness, reservists are playing a vital role throughout the shore enterprise.
The flexibility of the reserve force is never better showcased than when there is an emergency, whether it be a natural disaster or a hostile act against our country.

U.S. Navy successfully conducts AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar ballistic missile test
2/2019
From PEO IWS Public Affairs

KAUAI, Hawaii (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) successfully tracked a ballistic missile target, Jan. 31.
The short range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. AN/SPY-6(V)1 AMDR searched for, detected, and maintained track on the target as predicted. The flight test, designated Vigilant Nemesis, is the final developmental test in a series of ballistic missile defense flight tests for the AN/SPY-6(V)1 AMDR.
"The radar performed exactly as predicted. This completes our rigorous developmental test program to support the on-time delivery of the Navy's newest Flight III destroyer." Capt. Seiko Okano, major program manager for Above Water Sensors, Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS).
Based on preliminary data, the test successfully met its primary objectives. Program officials will continue to evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.
Integrated air and missile defense testing commenced in March of 2017 with the successful completion of the first live ballistic missile flight test mission for the AN/SPY-6(V)1 radar named Vigilant Hunter. Vigilant Nemesis was the capstone ballistic missile test for the AN/SPY-6(V)1 AMDR and the 15th live ballistic missile test for the radar's development phase.
PEO IWS is an affiliated PEO of the Naval Sea Systems Command that manages surface ship and submarine combat technologies and systems and coordinates Navy enterprise solutions across ship platforms.

Family PCS travel flexibility
expanded

Fall 2018
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy has expanded the eligible categories for advanced dependent travel (ADT) and delayed dependent travel (DDT), personnel officials announced in September.
For permanent change of station (PCS) moves within the 50 states, the policy allows for dependent travel of up to six months before or after the sponsoring Sailor’s PCS move in the following situations: spousal employment or education, dependents in elementary or secondary school (K-12), dependent enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program, or caring for an immediate family member with a chronic or long-term illness. The previous approved policy that allowed DDT for the length of the school year is unchanged by this expansion.
For moves from the 50 states to overseas locations, only DDT will be authorized. For moves from overseas locations to the 50 states, only ADT will be authorized.
Sailors will only receive one housing allowance, either for their location or their dependent’s location, under delayed or advance travel. Sailors or dependents may be assigned government quarters if available, but may not displace a member or dependent in government housing.
Requests for DDT or ADT must be submitted to Navy Personnel Command (PERS-451).
For information and answers to questions on this policy, email NXAG_N130C@navy.mil.

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SoCal military news

SAN DIEGO (Jan. 26, 2019) The crew of the Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) brings the ship to life during its commissioning ceremony, Jan. 26, 2019. Michael Monsoor is the second Zumwalt-class destroyer to enter the fleet. It is the first Navy combat ship named for fallen Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael Monsoor, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions while serving in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2006 U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Peter Burghart.
SAN DIEGO (Jan. 26, 2019) The crew of the Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) brings the ship to life during its commissioning ceremony, Jan. 26, 2019. Michael Monsoor is the second Zumwalt-class destroyer to enter the fleet. It is the first Navy combat ship named for fallen Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael Monsoor, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions while serving in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2006 U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Peter Burghart.

NAVFAC announces 2018 Naval Construction Force award winners
2/1/2019
From Naval Facilities Engineering Command Headquarters Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) announced the winners of the 2018 Moreell Medal, Marvin Shields Award, Steelworker Second Class Robert D. Stethem Award, and Rear Adm. Lewis B. Combs Award, recognizing outstanding performance in the Naval Construction Force (NCF), Jan. 19.
Rear Adm. John W. Korka, commander, NAVFAC, and chief of civil engineers, was honored to recognize the recipients of the calendar year 2018 Steelworker Second Class Robert D. Stethem Award and Rear Adm. Lewis B. Combs award on behalf of the Civil Engineer Corps (CEC)-Seabee Historical Foundation.
"These awards are given annually by the foundation to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Navy and the nation while perpetuating the legacies of Petty Officer Stethem and Rear Admiral Combs," stated Korka.
The Steelworker Second Class Robert D. Stethem Award, recognizing outstanding individual moral courage in support of Seabee traditions while conducting actual operations, was awarded to Steelworker 1st Class Daniel C. Bittle of Naval Special Warfare Group Two Logistics and Support Unit.
The winner of the 2018 Rear Adm. Lewis B. Combs Award was Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan M. Pilon of Thirtieth Naval Construction Regiment. The award, named for the assistant to the chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks under Adm. Ben Moreell during World War II, is presented to the individual who has made the most outstanding contribution in perpetuating the legacy of Seabee, CEC, and NAVFAC accomplishments and traditions.
The winner of the 2018 Marvin Shields Award was Utilitiesman 1st Class Cole A. Einhaus of Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center. The award is named in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Marvin G. Shields. It is presented in recognition of the Seabee who has made extraordinary contributions to the mission of the Naval Construction Force and has upheld the highest traditions and legacy of the U.S. Navy Seabees over the last year.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christopher Vollmer, Operations Officer For Underwater Construction Team Two, was this year's Moreell Medal winner. The Moreell Medal is given annually by the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) to recognize an active or Reserve officer of the Navy Civil Engineer Corps, or a civilian employee of NAVFAC, that has made outstanding contributions to military engineering.
"The awardees for this year's awards represent the strength, determination and stalwart leadership of our force," Korka concluded. "They ensured the continued legacy and preservation of the proud heritage of the Civil Engineer Corps and the Seabees."
NAVFAC remains the shore facilities Systems Command that delivers its products and services per CNIC priorities and requirements, and CNIC/OPNAV/tenant command resourcing.

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United Through Reading®
Deploying? Service members invited to record stories for family at San Diego USO
United Through Reading® is a program helping ease the stress of separation for military families by having deploying or deployed service members read children’s books aloud via DVD for their family to watch at home. This powerful program is available to all military units. It provides service members a chance to make lasting connections from afar. The DVD recording and the book are mailed to the child and family back home.
Service members who are leaving for training can also take part in this program. Being a parent is not required; service members can send the DVD & book(s) to any special child in their life such as younger sister or brother, niece, nephew or godchild.
On the day of the recording, service members are encouraged to dress in the attire they will be wearing while deployed/training, but this is not required. The room is private, so any special message, or those fun reading voices, will only be heard by the recipient of the DVD recording. USO San Diego has books available, or service members can bring their own. Our volunteers will help set up the camera and then leave the room. The DVD can hold a 30 minute recording.
Please e-mail USO San Diego Staff Member Nichole Duarte at utr@usosandiego.org to make your appointment. This program is offered at both USO San Diego centers.

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