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Navy News Service for Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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  • Bruce Clark
    Navy News Service for Wednesday, November 30, 2011 [ http://www.navy.mil/ ] NNS111130-04. USS Carl Vinson Strike Group Departs for Deployment --
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2011
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      Navy News Service for Wednesday, November 30, 2011 [ http://www.navy.mil/ ]

      NNS111130-04. USS Carl Vinson Strike Group Departs for Deployment
      -- http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=63991

      NNS111130-02. Transition Benefits: Oceana Offers ERB/PTS Transition Course
      -- http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=63843

      AHU -- Phase II ERB Results Become Available for Commanders
      -- http://www.navy.mil/swf/mmu/mmplyr.asp?id=16516

      NNS111129-19. Vice Chief of Naval Operations Visits Naval Forces in
      Europe and Africa
      -- http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=64067

      NNS111129-20. USS Chafee Deploys to Western Pacific
      -- http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=64069

      AHU -- Headlines for Wednesday, November 30, 2011: USS Benfold Assists
      Stranded Fishermen; USS Essex Visits Manila, Philippines

      -- http://www.navy.mil/swf/mmu/mmplyr.asp?id=16517

      AHU -- USS Enterprise Holds 50th Anniversary Celebration
      -- http://www.navy.mil/swf/mmu/mmplyr.asp?id=16519

      NNS111130-01. Essex Arrives in Manila for Port Visit
      -- http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=64073

      NNS111130-05. USS Miami Sailors' Children to Receive 'Operation
      Gratitude' Gift Boxes
      -- http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=64082

      AHU -- USNS Safeguard Welcomes Children from Onagawa, Japan

      -- http://www.navy.mil/swf/mmu/mmplyr.asp?id=16518

      NNS111130-06. Current All Hands Update
      -- http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=64087

      NNS020724-57. This Day in Naval History - Nov. 30
      -- http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=2828

      All Hands Radio News - 1 December 2011
      ERB Phase II Results Now Available for Command Access; USS Benfold
      Assists Stranded Mariners; Fleet Activities Sasebo Holds 'Guard and
      Protect' Security Exercise with Japan Self Defense Force.

      -- http://www.navy.mil/navydata/radioPlay.asp?id=5216

      Eye on the Fleet - U.S. Navy Photo of The Day
      -- http://www.navy.mil/list_single.asp?id=111156

      -USN-
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      NNS111130-04. USS Carl Vinson Strike Group Departs for Deployment

      From Commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific Public Affairs

      SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS
      Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 departed
      Naval Air Station North Island, Nov. 30, for a scheduled deployment to
      the western Pacific and U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

      Guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and guided-missile
      destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) deployed with Vinson as part of Carrier
      Strike Group (CSG) 1, along with the embarked CVW 17 that includes the
      "Fighting Redcocks" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, the
      "Sunliners" of VFA 81, the "Stingers" of VFA 113, the "First of the
      Fleet" of VFA 25, the "Garudas" of Electronic Attack Squadron 134, the
      "Tigertails" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125 and the
      "Red Lions" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 15.

      The mission of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group will focus on
      maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts,
      which help establish conditions for regional stability.

      The Carl Vinson CSG will help provide deterrence, promote peace and
      security, preserve freedom of the sea and humanitarian/disaster
      response within U.S. 3rd Fleet's 50-million square mile area of
      responsibility in the eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the
      nation's maritime strategy when forward deployed.

      For more information about CSG-1 and USS Carl Vinson, visit
      www.cvn70.navy.mil [ http://www.cvn70.navy.mil ] or
      www.facebook.com/ussvinson [ http://www.facebook.com/ussvinson ].

      For more information about USS Bunker Hill, visit
      www.public.navy.mil/surfor/cg52 [
      http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/cg52 ].

      For more information about USS Halsey, visit
      www.public.navy.mil/surfor/ddg97 [
      http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/ddg97 ].

      For more news from Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, visit
      www.navy.mil/local/c3f/ [ http://www.navy.mil/local/c3f/ ].
      -USN-
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      NNS111130-02. Transition Benefits: Oceana Offers ERB/PTS Transition Course

      By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Antonio Turretto Ramos, Naval
      Air Station Oceana Public Affairs

      VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana Fleet and
      Family Support Center (FFSC) recently began offering a course for
      Sailors separating from the Navy via Perform to Serve (PTS) or
      Enlisted Retention Board (ERB) called ERB/PTS Transition Tool Kit.

      Two workshops have already been held with the next one to take place
      Dec. 5 at the Oceana FFSC classroom.

      Brian Scott, FFSC employment educator, said the ERB/PTS Transition
      Tool Kit program draws from a number of the services FFSC offers to
      offer resources and help meet the needs of Sailors in their
      transition.

      "Knowing ERB results were coming out, we wanted to have the commands
      be able to provide the service members that are being separated a
      resource that they can say 'hey these guys are ready for you, go ask
      them your questions,' and for everything career-related to financial,
      to relocation, counseling, everything they would need," said Scott.

      Scott said the program will be offered every month. The ERB/PTS
      Transition Tool Kit program is an informational overview of resources
      offered by FFSC. The intent of the program is to make it possible for
      service members to schedule appointments for specific one-on-one
      counseling to aid in their separation from the Navy.

      "This is the first time I have attended an FFSC course here at Oceana
      and I just think that it's a fantastic tool," said Navy Counselor 1st
      Class Jose Cano of Fleet Composite Squadron (VFC) 12.

      Cano attended the class Nov. 18. In his job at VFC-12, he supports
      Sailors who have been affected by PTS and appreciates how it could
      benefit Sailors affected by ERB as well. He said the class points
      Sailors to a wealth of additional sources of information.

      "I am very grateful to Fleet and Family Support Center for bringing
      this together for us," said Cano.

      Scott said the class is a resource he and the rest of the staff of
      Oceana FFSC are proud to offer to Sailors as a way of showing
      appreciation for their service as they transition out of the Navy.

      He said their goal is to have helped Sailors "with getting their next
      job, making their move back wherever they need to go to, and dealing
      with their finances."

      NAS Oceana Executive Officer Capt. Bob Geis encourages Sailors to
      attend the workshop.

      "PTS and the ERB are products of an almost perfect storm of
      unprecedented retention rates and historic high recruiting," said
      Geis. "We are very fortunate to have an FFSC at NAS Oceana that had
      the foresight to create a targeted program to help Sailors who weren't
      planning on leaving the Navy."

      Currently the pilot program is offered through January. Oceana FFSC
      encourages commands to send Sailors separating under ERB or PTS.

      "Ultimately it's getting the services that we offer on a day-to-day
      basis and really focusing on those who are being separating," said
      Scott.

      Future scheduled program dates:

      Dec. 5, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
      Jan. 6, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

      Call FFSC Oceana at 757-433-2912 for additional information.

      For more news, visit www.navy.mil [ http://www.navy.mil ].
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      NNS111129-19. Vice Chief of Naval Operations Visits Naval Forces in
      Europe and Africa

      By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephen Oleksiak,
      Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet
      Public Affairs

      NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Adm. Mark Ferguson, vice chief of naval
      operations (VCNO), visited the Naval Support Activity (NSA) in Naples,
      Italy, Nov. 28, marking the final stop in a series of visits that
      included U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, and U.S. Africa
      Command visit over the Thanksgiving holiday.

      Other stops included NSA Rota, Spain; NSA Souda Bay, Greece; and Camp
      Lemonnier, Djibouti. During his visits, Ferguson met with senior
      leadership receiving briefs on current operations and base
      infrastructure. Accompanied by Chief of Naval Personnel and Navy Total
      Force Fleet Master Chief Scott Benning, VCNO also held all-hands calls
      with service members and answered questions at each location.

      While in Rota, Ferguson met with Capt. Scott Kraverath, commanding
      officer of Naval Station Rota, to discuss the plans for stationing
      four Aegis ships in support of ballistic missile defense there. They
      also discussed improving the installation to support the ships' crews
      and their families. "It's important for me to get over here and see
      the requirements to get [this base ready for the ships' arrival],"
      said Ferguson.

      In Djibouti, VCNO toured Camp Lemonnier and met with Commander,
      Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, Rear Adm. Mike Franken,
      and the base commander, Capt. Scott Hurst. He presented five awards
      and conducted one reenlistment before an all hands call, and then
      enjoyed a Thanksgiving Day meal with Sailors.

      In Souda Bay, he toured the guided-missile frigate USS Samuel B.
      Roberts (FFG 58) and conducted a reenlistment for six Sailors prior to
      conducting an all hands call. Samuel B. Roberts' most recent
      deployment took her along the east coast of Africa in support of
      Africa Partnership Station 2011, an international security cooperation
      initiative aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through
      training and collaborative activities in order to improve maritime
      safety and security in Africa.

      "The Navy's never been more relevant, and we see that in our Sailors
      across the globe...be they in the western Pacific, doing counter drug
      operations off South America, operating in Africa Partnership Station,
      or in the Middle East," said Ferguson. "They're performing
      extraordinarily well and in demand, contributing greatly to the
      national strategy and defense of the nation."

      Ferguson's visit to Naples included meetings with senior leaders from
      Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and Commander, U.S. 6th
      Fleet, to discuss strategic issues within the U.S. 6th Fleet area of
      responsibility.

      He wrapped up the visit with one final all-hands call, where he
      thanked, not just the service members, but their families for all they
      do.

      "I thank all of you for your leadership, for what you do every day and
      your service to the nation," said Ferguson. "I've been very impressed
      with the leadership, your attitudes, the facilities that you have, and
      I think this is a great place to serve. It's been a pleasure to be
      here, and I'd like to thank you and your families [for what you do]."

      Benning answered Sailors' questions about perform-to-serve and the
      enlisted retention board. He also praised Sailors for their ability to
      accomplish a variety of tasks outside of their assigned ratings.

      "We train across many spectrums and we prepare [ourselves], and
      honestly it's what the other [military] services love about our
      individual augmentee Sailors," said Benning. "[Our Sailors] can do
      more than one thing, and they can do more than one thing at one time,
      and that makes [our Sailors] a real commodity that they very much
      desire."

      Sailors who attended the all-hands call appreciated the answers they received.

      "The answers they gave us were very straight forward and up front,"
      said Hospitalman Nathan Sichone. "I am confident that [Ferguson] will
      continue to get the job done and represent the Sailors to the best of
      his ability and meet the needs of the Navy."

      This was Ferguson's first visit to Djibouti, Naples, Rota, and Souda
      Bay, as the vice chief of naval operations.

      For more news, visit www.navy.mil [ http://www.navy.mil ].
      -USN-
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      NNS111129-20. USS Chafee Deploys to Western Pacific

      By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Mark Logico, Commander
      Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

      PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Families and friends gathered to say goodbye as
      the guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) departed Joint Base
      Pearl Harbor-Hickam Nov. 29 for a six-month independent deployment to
      the western Pacific.

      Chafee, commanded by Cmdr. Justin A. Kubu, is deploying under the
      Middle Pacific Surface Combatant (MPSC) deployment concept in which
      Pearl Harbor-based ships deploy in support of operations primarily in
      the western Pacific under Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. The crew of more
      than 250 Sailors will conduct integrated operations in conjunction
      with coalition partners.

      "The expectations are that we quickly integrate to the operations in
      the western Pacific and that we perform our mission as well as we've
      been trained," said Kubu. "I want to make sure that we continue to
      execute our daily routine, that the Sailors have their professional
      goals and their personal goals they are working toward, and that we
      continue to communicate with our families."

      Chafee recently completed training in the Koa Kai 12-1 exercise, which
      included the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's helicopter destroyer
      JS Kurama (DDH 144).

      Lt. Cmdr. Donnie Cates, combat systems officer, said the ship is
      expected to participate in a couple of multinational exercises.

      "It's really exciting," said Cates. "It will be a combination of some
      of the training that we've been through in the past couple of months."

      Marta Riendeau, wife of Chafee's Weapons Officer Lt. Edward Riendeau,
      said she felt anxious when the ship departs and hopes that the ship
      does not get delayed returning home.

      "Hopefully they have fair weather to sail and that nobody gets
      seasick," said Marta. "I look forward to all the interesting things he
      picks up as presents for the kids."

      Guided-missile destroyers are multi-mission anti-air warfare,
      anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare surface combatants.
      They operate independently for support of carrier and expeditionary
      strike groups and surface strike groups. The mission of an Arleigh
      Burke-class Aegis destroyer is to conduct prompt, sustained combat
      operations at sea in support of national policy.

      For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit
      www.navy.mil/local/cnrh/ [ http://www.navy.mil/local/cnrh/ ].
      -USN-
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      NNS111130-01. Essex Arrives in Manila for Port Visit

      By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eva-Marie Ramsaran, USS
      Essex Public Affairs

      MANILA, Republic of the Philippines (NNS) -- Forward-deployed
      amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrived in Manila, Republic
      of the Philippines Nov. 30 for a port visit.

      The port visit will allow Essex Sailors and embarked Marines from the
      31st Marine Expeditionary Unit the opportunity to enjoy some rest and
      relaxation and allow them to experience the Philippine culture.

      "The Sailors and Marines aboard Essex have worked hard during PHIBLEX
      (Amphibious Landing Exercise) and the 31st MEU's certification
      exercise earlier in the fall," said Capt. David Fluker, Essex
      commanding officer. "This visit to Manila is a good opportunity for us
      to continue to build relationships and for the crew to get some well
      deserved time off in port."

      Essex departed its forward-deployed port of Sasebo, Japan Sept. 23 and
      has participated in a certification exercise with the 31st MEU and in
      PHIBLEX with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which ran from
      Oct. 20-30. PHIBLEX is a bilateral training exercise designed to
      improve interoperability, increase readiness and continue to build
      professional and personal relationships with the Armed Forces of the
      Philippines.

      "It's great that the Sailors and Marines of the Essex Amphibious Ready
      Group are getting to visit Manila and enjoy the strong ties that our
      two nations share," said Capt. Bradley Lee, commodore, Amphibious
      Squadron 11. "Ship visits and subject matter expert training are only
      two of a number of ongoing activities that we want to share with our
      Philippine partners under the framework of U.S.-Philippine navy
      cooperation."

      While in port, Essex Sailors and Marines will also have the
      opportunity to participate in tours offered by the ship's morale,
      welfare and recreation division, which include local cultural and
      historic locations, exploring regional attractions, and sampling the
      local cuisine.

      "This is my first time pulling into Manila," said Intelligence
      Specialist Seaman Destini Harris. "I've heard good things, so it will
      be nice to experience a different part of the Philippines. I am
      looking forward to checking out Manila's historic side, and I've even
      signed up for an MWR tour."

      Many Sailors will also be able to spend time with their families and
      friends who are residents of the Philippines.

      "I haven't seen my family in four years," said Culinary Specialist 1st
      Class (SW/AW) Minard Nicolas, enlisted galley supervisor and native of
      the Philippines. "I'm so excited that Essex came to Manila. It's a
      privilege for me to see the country I was born in. If I wasn't in the
      Navy, I don't think I would see Manila often. It's a free trip to see
      my family."

      Essex is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, which reports to
      Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. J. Scott Jones, who
      is headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.

      For more news from USS Essex (LHD 2), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd2/ [
      http://www.navy.mil/local/lhd2/ ].
      -USN-
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      NNS111130-05. USS Miami Sailors' Children to Receive 'Operation
      Gratitude' Gift Boxes

      By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, Commander, Submarine Group 2 Public Affairs

      GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Military children will receive gift boxes from
      the non-profit organization Operation Gratitude at a local community
      center in Groton, Nov. 30.

      USS Miami (SSN 755) Family Readiness Group President Christy Thomas, a
      mother of two, and several other Miami spouses have spearheaded an
      endeavor to have more than 150 children of the deployed Sailors be
      recognized during National Military Family Appreciation Month.

      In addition to receiving Operation Gratitude gift boxes, Miami
      Ombudsman April Holtmeyer, also a mother of two, held a potluck during
      the scheduled event to recognize the sacrifice all of the Miami
      spouses and their children.

      "In conjunction with the Operation Gratitude gift boxes we are also
      hosting a 'We are Thankful potluck dinner' for many of the wives
      married to Sailors serving aboard USS Miami and their children," said
      Holtmeyer.

      Thomas and other Miami spouses first contacted the organization when
      the submarine deployed to inquire if the children of deployed Miami
      Sailors could receive gift boxes. Since the organization is accustomed
      to working with military personnel assigned to shore and sea units who
      regularly receive mail, the challenges of working with submarines
      whose operations prevent regular mail shipments were immense.

      "When we contacted Operation Gratitude, it looked like an impossible
      task because their organization is set up to send boxes to the
      deployed Sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines and their children
      during the deployment," said Thomas. "They are not set up to send gift
      boxes to submarines."

      Holtmeyer also assisted with the Operation Gratitude endeavor and was
      impressed with their ability to adapt.

      "The organization was shocked that in a world of iPhones we go long
      periods of time without hearing from our service members. They stepped
      up to the challenge to overcome logistics to deliver their boxes to
      us," said Holtmeyer.

      "It was quite a surreal experience to finally get a yes by the
      organization to help our smallest heroes feel appreciated," said
      Holtmeyer.

      Thomas added with nearly 50 percent of the 134-member crew aboard
      Miami are married and have children, the support for their loved ones
      give new meaning for the deployed fathers.

      "The kids are the heroes in their dads' eyes because they have thrived
      in their daily lives while they have been gone," said Thomas.

      Holtmeyer said the gift boxes donated by Operation Gratitude and the
      potluck is just one example of the tight bonds the wives have formed
      through the deployments.

      "We are a family. Often we don't have family that is close by," said
      Thomas. "We help each other out, and while I don't have any sisters,
      these other wives are like the sisters I never had."

      According to their website, Operation Gratitude sends 100,000 care
      packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters
      of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. service members
      deployed and to their children left behind as well as Wounded Warriors
      recuperating in transition units.

      For more news from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit
      www.navy.mil/local/Subgru2/ [ http://www.navy.mil/local/Subgru2/ ].

      NNS111130-06. Current All Hands Update

      From Defense Media Activity-Navy

      WASHINGTON (NNS) -- All Hands Update features four newscasts today -
      one two-minute newscast and three one-minute newscasts.

      First one-minute newscast -
      - Phase II ERB Results Become Available for Commanders

      http://www.navy.mil/swf/mmu/mmplyr.asp?id=16516

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emj2-5Em1jc

      Second one-minute newscast-
      - Headlines for Wednesday, November 30, 2011: USS Benfold Assists
      Stranded Fishermen; USS Essex Visits Manila, Philippines

      http://www.navy.mil/swf/mmu/mmplyr.asp?id=16517

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KQQPJYsfss

      Two-minute newscast-
      - USNS Safeguard Welcomes Children from Onagawa, Japan

      http://www.navy.mil/swf/mmu/mmplyr.asp?id=16518

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xhfo81zWVJY

      Third one-minute newscast-
      - USS Enterprise Holds 50th Anniversary Celebration

      http://www.navy.mil/swf/mmu/mmplyr.asp?id=16519

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiOiOvJiwrI

      Defense Media Activity-Navy produces four All Hands Update (AHU)
      newscasts each day - one two-minute newscast and three one-minute
      newscasts. AHU can be seen throughout the day and evening on the
      Direct-to-Sailor (DTS) satellite television service available aboard
      160 ships of the fleet and via the Navy Web site at www.navy.mil [
      http://www.navy.mil ]. Check your local DTS program schedule for air
      times. AHU can also be seen throughout the world on the American
      Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS).

      -USN-
      -USN-
      -USN-

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      NNS020724-57. This Day in Naval History - Nov. 30

      From the Navy News Service

      1942 - In Battle of Tassafaronga, last major naval action in Solomons,
      U.S. forces stop the Japanese attempt to reprovision the Japanese
      troops on Guadalcanal. Six U.S. ships are damaged in the action.

      For more information about Naval history, visit www.history.navy.mil [
      http://www.history.navy.mil ].
      -USN-
      -USN-
      -USN-

      Navy News Service is the official news wire service of the U.S. Navy,
      containing stories recently posted to the Navy Web site at
      www.navy.mil. It is a product of the Defense Media Navy - 6700 Taylor
      Rd., Fort Meade, MD 20755. Reprints should be credited to the Navy
      News Service (NNS).

      For the latest in Navy news from around the fleet, visit www.navy.mil
      [ http://www.navy.mil ].

      For all Navy-related questions, review the FAQs posted at www.navy.mil
      [ http://www.navy.mil ] or visit www.history.navy.mil [
      http://www.history.navy.mil ].

      Media queries should be directed to the Navy News Desk at (703) 697-5342.
      -USN-
      ________________________________________________________________________

      Navy News Service is the official news wire service of the U.S. Navy
      containing stories recently posted to the Navy web site at
      www.navy.mil [ http://www.navy.mil ]. It is a product of the Defense
      Media Activity - Navy, 6700 Taylor Ave, Fort Meade, MD 20755. Reprints
      should be credited to the Navy News Service (NNS). Powered by
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