Future USS America (LHA 6) stops in Brazil on her way to San Francisco commissioning
ATLANTIC OCEAN Aug. 9, 2014 -- The future amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) transits with the Brizilian navy frigate BNS Unio (F 45). The U.S. and Brazilian navies participated in bilateral training evolutions, officer exchanges and senior leadership engagements during the ship's port visit to Rio De Janerio, Brazil. America is traveling through the U.S. Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility on her maiden transit. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned Oct. 11 in San Francisco. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Michael McNab
Surface Line Week 2014 held in San Diego
by MCCS (SW/AW) Donnie W. Ryan, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The 33rd annual Surface Line Week (SLW) kicked-off in San Diego, with the commencement of the sailing competition in San Diego Bay, Aug. 8.
SLW, sponsored by the staff of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, will run through Aug. 15, and features a series of activities dedicated to friendly competition in a variety of professional and sporting events.
"Surface Line Week 2014 consists of 18 athletic events and 15 professional events culminating in an awards ceremony on Aug. 15," said Lt. Aimee Smith, this year's event coordinator. "The overall winner will also be recognized at the Surface Warrior Ball held the evening of Aug. 15."
According to Smith, SLW athletic events include: a 5K run, basketball, billiards, bowling, dodge ball, flag football, golf, push-up/pull-up endurance and cross fit. There will also be a chili cook-off and a salsa cook-off on the final day of competition.
Smith said SLW professional events include: cake decorating, a damage control marathon, lathe work, marksmanship, medical diagnosis/stretcher bearer race, moboards, photo competition, rescue swimmer, a Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB) race, sailing, seamanship, ship handling, valve packing, visual communications and welding and cutting.
"Competition participants must be active duty, regularly assigned Navy Reserve, or other military personnel and government civilians formally attached to a Navy command," said Smith.
Last year, USS Essex (LHD 2) took first place in the overall large command category, USS Spruance (DDG 11) took it for the medium commands and Naval Base San Diego received the small command trophy.
"This year's Surface Line Week promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding event," said Smith. "Maximum participation is desired from all commands to the extent their operational schedules allow."
For informaion on Surface Line Week 2014, visit http://www.public.navy.mil/
surfor/Pages/slw.aspx or follow Surface Line Week 2014 at www.facebook.com/surfacelineweek
Navy F/A-18s strike ISIL targets
From Navy Public Affairs
ARABIAN GULF (NNS) -- Two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets assigned to Carrier Air Wing 8 embarked on USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) struck Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant targets near Erbil, Iraq, Aug. 8.
Bush is operating in the Arabian Gulf on a scheduled deployment to U.S. 5th Fleet.
The F/A-18s dropped 500 pound laser-guided bombs against ISIL artillery targets. Carrier Air Wing 8 aircraft assigned to the Bush carrier strike group include the "Golden Warriors" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 87 (F/A-18); "Valions" of VFA-15 (F/A-18); "Fighting Black Lions" of VFA-213 (F/A-18E/F); "Tomcatters" of VFA-31 (F/A-18E); "Bear Aces" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 124 (E-2C Hawkeye); "Garudas" of Electronic Attack Squadron
(VAQ) 134 (EA-18G); "Tridents" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 (MH-60S); "Rawhides" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 (C-2A); and the "Spartans" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70 (SH-60B/MH-60R).
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San Diego says so long to USS Preble
SAN DIEGO Aug. 8, 2014 -- Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) man the rails as the ship transits San Diego Bay on the way to its new homeport of Pearl Harbor. Preble, along with the the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), are shifting their homeport this summer to relieve ships homeported in Pearl Harbor. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nick Brown
GUAMEX 2014 commences in the Pacific
by MC2 (EXW) Timothy Wilson, U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas Public Affairs
YIGO, Guam (NNS) -- Military forces from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the U.S. are partnering in a multinational anti-submarine warfare exercise around the waters of Guam aimed at increasing the interoperability capacity between these nations operating in the Pacific, Aug. 9-15.
The exercise includes multiple aircraft and subsurface assets from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, the Royal Australian Air Force and U.S. and observers from the Royal New Zealand Air Force who will collaborate to strengthen personal relationships between these countries.
"The biggest take away is building experiences together and operating away from our home bases in an expeditionary style," said Lt. Jon Torbett, attached to Task Force 72 and the U.S. action officer for GUAMEX 2014." We don't often get a chance to all operate together and the end goal of this exercise is to be able to perform anti-submarine operations."
GUAMEX 2014 will include approximately 25 operational scenarios, several aircraft familiarization tours and social gatherings designed to increase these regional partnerships.
PACIFIC OCEAN (July 11, 2014) A half-scale ultra heavy-lift amphibious connector (UHAC), an amphibious connector prototype created by Navatek Ltd. and the Office of Naval Research, embarks the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) for the first time. The Marine Corps Warfighting lab sponsored this UHAC demonstration during the at-sea phase of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise 2014. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Amanda R. Gray
A matter of 'record': Navy's patent volume surpasses other tech agencies
From Office of Naval Research Communications
ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy received patents for more inventions last year than two-thirds of the Fortune 500 corporations and government agencies ranked in a report published last month.
The Department of the Navy increased its patent volume by 12 percent over last year, earning 399 patents and climbing up three slots to no. 89 on the IP Record's Top 300 Organizations Granted U.S. Patents in 2013.
"The Navy has continued to see its patent portfolio strengthen year after year," said Dr. Walter F. Jones, executive director at the Office of Naval Research (ONR). "The variety of patents granted is striking, but just as compelling are the partnerships we develop with academia, research institutions and industry to support research that addresses critical Navy needs."
ONR manages the Navy's intellectual property investments, setting policy and conducting oversight of patents as well as trademarks, copyrights, inventions and royalty payments.
Patents are designed to protect an inventor's interests, excluding others from "making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention through the United States or importing the invention" for a specified time.
In terms of patents granted between January and December 2013, the Navy outperformed the likes of Nissan Motor Co. and Rolls-Royce PLC, pharmaceutical purveyors Novartis AG and Sanofi-Aventis, and technology institutions including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the public sector, it out-patented both the U.S. Army and Department of Health and Human Services.
Last year, the Navy dominated the government category in IEEE Spectrum magazine's 2013 Patent Power Scorecard. IEEE evaluated 5,000 organization portfolios across 17 industries for the number of patents issued as well as the growth, impact, originality and general applicability across each.
Published yearly by the Intellectual Property Owners (IPO) Association, the IP Record compiles rankings based on utility patent data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Coastal Riverine Squadron 3 commanding officer relieved
From Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), Rear Adm. Frank Morneau, relieved Cmdr. Joseph Fauth of his duties Aug. 12 as commanding officer of Coastal Riverine Squadron 3 (CRS 3), San Diego.
Fauth was relieved due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.
Cmdr. Michael Dillender, chief staff officer, Coastal Riverine Group 2 (CRG 2), has assumed interim command of the squadron.
The commanding officer of NECC made this determination following an investigation into several personnel issues and actions by the Commanding Officer of CRS 3. The decision was based on concerns for the safety and welfare of the Sailors at the command,
CRS 3 is a Coastal Riverine Squadron homeported in San Diego that seamlessly delivers near shore littoral sea control and control of the coastal and riverine environment, bridging blue water and landward operations while denying the use of these areas to hostile forces. They also conduct port/harbor defense, maritime infrastructure protection, high value unit/unit protection and other forms of security in addition to intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance patrols and Visit, Board, Search and Seizure missions.
USS America departs Brazil, continues on maiden transit
by MC1 John Scorza, USS America Public Affairs
RIO DE JANEIRO (NNS) -- The future amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) departed Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 9 after a four-day port visit.
This was the crew's third stop on the ship's maiden transit, "America Visits the Americas" as the ship continues to make its way from Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi to its homeport of San Diego. The crew first visited Cartagena, Colombia and then Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
While in Brazil, the ship hosted a reception in the ship's hangar bay for more than 450 guests. The distinguished guests included Liliana Ayalde, U.S. ambassador to Brazil, as well as senior Brazilian, U.S. government and military officials.
America is currently traveling through the U.S. Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility on her maiden transit, "America Visits the Americas". America is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tarawa-class of amphibious assault ships. As the next generation "big-deck" amphibious assault ship, America is optimized for aviation, capable of supporting current and future aircraft such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. The ship is scheduled to be ceremoniously commissioned Oct. 11 in San Francisco.
Makin Island ARG, 11th MEU arrive in 7th Fleet AOR
by MC2 Christopher Lindahl, Amphibious Squadron Five Public Affairs
PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- More than 4,500 Sailors and Marines with the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), Aug. 11, after departing San Diego July 25.
Sailors and Marines from the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) conducted an emergent recovery of 11 researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from the Papahnaumokukea Marine National Monument Aug. 8.
The operation assisted the researchers in retreating from imminent danger of Hurricane Iselle that is expected to impact Lisianski Island, Laysan Island and the Pearl and Hermes Atoll.
"We work with NOAA and we're out here almost every summer in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands working with Hawaiian Monk Seal pups doing mostly population assessment," said Carrie McAttee, a NOAA researcher. "We've been here since June and we were supposed to be here until September."
The recovery was prompted by the threat of Hurricane Iselle, the first hurricane to strike the Hawaiian Islands in more than two decades, which threatened the safety of the researchers, who were not equipped to withstand the extreme conditions of the looming storm.
USS Makin Island (LHD 8), USS Comstock (LSD 45), and USS San Diego (LPD 22) each deployed rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB) that traveled more than four miles and endured challenging seas but safely reached their destination. Once the boats reached the coastline, they carefully maneuvered to receive the researchers and their gear without affecting the endangered marine life below.
Getting the researchers onboard safely was a top concern. "It was important to us to ensure this was a safe evolution for all involved," said Capt. Vic Cooper, commodore, Amphibious Squadron Five. "We carefully considered the safety of the researchers, our Sailors and Marines, equipment and the environment, every step of the way."
Once all researchers were accounted for, the RHIBs returned to their respective ships and the researchers were given a warm welcome, a place to shower, dry clothing and a meal.
"It was quite impressive how quickly it all happened," said Kristine Meise, a NOAA researcher. "You guys were really efficient in getting here and getting us on board. We definitely want to thank everybody that we've met on the ship."
All of the researchers were grateful for the Navy and Marine Corps' commitment to lending a helping hand.
"Anytime we have the opportunity to help those in need, we will do our very best," said Capt. Alvin Holsey, commanding officer, Makin Island. "Our Navy makes a difference everyday throughout the world, and today we were proud to be able to make a difference here."
Capt. John Menoni, San Diego's commanding officer, echoed those thoughts.
"This is what the Navy is all about, helping others in need and being ready when called upon," said Menoni. "The San Diego team has shown our ability to accomplish anything and work together to get the job done."
The researchers were then flown to Midway Island. Although remote, Midway provides shelter for the displaced personnel and access to a runway if further evacuations are needed.
"Keeping ahead of the storm required rapid planning and swift execution by our pilots and air crews," said Lt. Col. Jason Holden, commanding officer of the 11th MEU's aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163 (Reinforced). "This was a great opportunity to render aid to those in need and to exercise our capacity to respond quickly to emerging events."
Papahnaumokukea Marine National Monument is the single largest conservation area under the U.S. flag and one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. It encompasses 139,797 square miles of the Pacific Ocean.
Makin Island ARG is on a scheduled deployment to promote peace and freedom of the seas by providing deterrence, humanitarian aid, and disaster response while supporting the Navy's maritime strategy in the U.S. 7th and 5th fleet areas of responsibility.
USS Peleliu arrives in 7th Fleet AOR
by MC3 Ryan Batchelder, USS Peleliu Public Affairs
PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) arrived in the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR) after participating in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise, Aug. 9.
Peleliu is expected to carry out various operations in support of the nation's maritime strategy, providing presence in the 7th Fleet AOR while promoting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
"[Peleliu is] ready to support pre-planned, existing operations and exercises that support theater security cooperation across the region in addition to being prepared to respond to any contingency that may arise," said Capt. Paul C. Spedero, Peleliu's commanding officer.
Peleliu's crew has undergone multiple training evolutions including air and well deck operations. They also conducted various damage control and engineering drills while participating in RIMPAC 2014 to prepare themselves for operation within 7th fleet.
The 7th Fleet's AOR encompasses more than 48 million square miles from the Kurile Islands, north of Japan, to the Antarctic in the south. And from the International Date Line to the 68th meridian east, which runs down from the India-Pakistan border.
Mercy arrives in San Diego after participating in RIMPAC
by MC3 Pyoung K. Yi, USNS Mercy Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrived in its homeport Naval Base San Diego after its inaugural participation in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, Aug. 9.
During the 37-day exercise conducted in and around the Hawaiian Islands and off the coast of California, Mercy's medical personnel participated with partner nations in medical symposiums, subject matter expert exchanges, drills, demonstrated patient transfer capabilities, exchanged ship riders with China and participated in a series of RIMPAC sporting events.
"We've had the opportunity to speak the common medical language with our partner nations and have worked toward everyone having a better understanding of one another," said Capt. Jeffery Paulson, commanding officer of the medical treatment facility aboard Mercy.
Mercy is scheduled to return to a reduced operating status crew of approximately 60 Sailors, but will remain on a 5-day activation status ready to respond to a crisis in the region.
RIMPAC, having recently completed its 24th iteration, is a biennial exercise which included 22 nations, 49 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. It is the world's largest international maritime exercise whose purpose is to provide training opportunities that help its participants initiate and build cooperative relationships critical to ensuring safety and security on the world's oceans.
USS Coronado holds change of command ceremony
by Lt. Christopher Euans, USS Coronado Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors stood in formation on the flight deck of the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) while pierside at Naval Base San Diego to take part the time-honored Navy tradition of a change of command ceremony, Aug.8.
With the traditional exchange of salutes, Cmdr. Shawn Johnston turned over command of the newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship to Cmdr. Peter Kim.
Capt. Randy Garner, commander of Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1, presided over the ceremony and Capt. Ryan Tillotson, commander of Destroyer Squadron 14, served as the guest speaker.
The ceremony marked the end of a very successful 34-month command tour of 'The Royal Punch' for Johnston. He led the gold crew/LCS crew 204, one of Coronado's two pre-commissioning crews, through an extensive fleet introduction process.
Highlights of his tour included hosting the ship's commissioning ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island in April with more than 5,000 guests in attendance, final contract trials, successful execution of a busy underway schedule in support of combat systems ship qualification trials, and the first developmental testing of the surface warfare mission package aboard an Independence-variant littoral combat ship.
Additionally, the crew interacted closely with allied and partner navies during the multi-national Rim of Pacific 2014 exercise where Coronado showcased innovative employment concepts for explosive ordnance disposal dive teams and U.S. Marine Corps reconnaissance teams.
"I will always remember my time as the commanding officer of 'The Royal Punch' and Coronado as a challenging and rewarding experience," said Johnston. "The efforts of the crew inspired me on a daily basis and I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead and serve alongside such a dedicated group of Sailors."
Johnston said that he would miss the group athletic events and small crew camaraderie most of all.
"I am leaving behind a great group of Sailors and feel confident that 'The Royal Punch' and Coronado rests in good hands," said Johnston.
Johnston's next tour will be as part of the LCS requirements shop in the Chief of Naval Operations Surface Warfare Directorate (OPNAV N96) in Washington, D.C., after completing a 10-week joint professional military education course student at the Joint Force Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.
Kim most recently served as the executive officer on board Coronado.
"It is truly an honor to take command of LCS Crew 204 and Coronado," said Kim. "I have thoroughly enjoyed working with this fine crew as the executive officer and I look forward to the exciting times ahead."
Coronado is currently continuing core seaframe initial testing and surface warfare mission package developmental tests and will undergo an extensive post-shakedown availability later this fall. Coronado is currently moored at its homeport of Naval Base San Diego and is assigned as part of LCS Squadron 1.