Saturday, May 01, 2010

Ships Cooks Compete in Fleet Week Port Everglades Galley Wars

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sunday Williams, Fleet Week Port Everglades Media Center

April 30, 2010 - PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. (NNS) -- Seventeen Culinary Specialists from ships participating in the 20th Anniversary Fleet Week Port Everglades competed in the Galley Wars Competition April 28 at Hugh's Catering in Ft. Lauderdale.

Culinary teams from USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), USS Halyburton (FFG 40), USS Porter (DDG 78), USS Newport News (SSN 750), USCG South Florida, and FSG Hessen from Germany gathered around Chef Hugh McCauley, the owner of Hugh's Catering who kicked off the night with opening remarks and a meeting with participating culinary teams. Hugh really enjoys hosting this event and allowing military culinary specialist to show off their talent.

"This is our second year and we really enjoy putting the effort out there for the Navy and the Coast Guard, because they put the effort out there for us," said McCauley. "To give back to the Navy and the military as a whole, this is one of the only ways we civilians can help out, is with a little hospitality."

Teams were given one hour to produce two entrees, a salad and a dessert. At least one entrée was required to include the secret ingredient, which was announced by Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet Vice Adm. Mel Williams Jr.

"The secret ingredient is farm raised Pacific steel head salmon," said Williams.

With that said, the teams sliced, diced, grilled and sautéed their way through their one hour timeline using various vegetables, fruits, salmon, chicken, pasta, creams and various seasonings.

While the teams raced to complete their meals supporters from the local community as well as from the various ships stood by cheering the Sailors on.

Once the teams completed their entrees a table was set for judges that included Rear Adm. Michelle Howard, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2.

"This is important for the Navy CSs [culinary specialists] because for anybody who has ever been on a ship before, food is the morale, and these guys just do a terrific job and this is a chance for them to develop their skills a little bit more and take those skills back to the ship," said Howard.

Once dinner was served to the crowd a once noisy room became silent. Attendees placed their voting tickets with their entrée of choice and the decisions were made.

McCauley stood with the rest of the judges which along with Howard included Chef Jacques Brevery, Chef John Kane, and Chef Kevin Hyotte to announce the winners.

McCauley was very impressed with all of the participants. Second place went to the German ship Hessen but it was the team from USS Porter that came out on top. They were the only team competing with just two participants where the other teams had three.

Culinary Specialist 1st Class Ryan Weimer and Culinary Specialist Seaman Apprentice Treavor Elliot from Porter were shocked.

"I'm surprised, I'm shocked, I'm really happy with myself and my performance, and I'm thrilled with CSSA [culinary specialist seaman apprentice] Elliot's performance, I mean I'm really proud of the guy," said Weimer. "I think both of us learned a lot tonight just being here so it was just really exciting. It was nice to be able to prove to myself what I'm actually capable of in a different kind of environment."

Porter gained bragging rights across the fleet and their leadership said they are very proud and look forward to competing again.

Halyburton Sailors Welcome Women of Tomorrow

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Gay, Fleet Week Media Center

April 30, 2010 - PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. (NNS) -- More than 50 students and mentors from the Women of Tomorrow Mentor and Scholarship Program toured the guided-missile frigate USS Halyburton (FFG 40) April 27, as part of Fleet Week Port Everglades, South Florida's annual celebration of the maritime services.

The group was invited to tour Halyburton to learn about the Navy and the opportunities it offers, and they also had an opportunity to speak with Rear. Adm. Michelle Howard, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2.

"I loved the tour," said Pam Edwards, program coordinator for Miami Dade County Public Schools. "These sorts of things really give our students the awareness of the opportunities and it helps to possibly direct them toward career paths."

One of the first stops on the tour was to see the ship's propulsion control console. Chief Gas Turbine System Technician Mechanical (SW) Gregory Reynolds, Halyburton's engineering department leading chief petty officer, enjoyed talking to the students.

"It's awesome to talk to these kids, they always ask the most interesting questions," said Reynolds. "It's good for them. They need to see first hand what we do and how we live, especially if they are thinking of ever joining the Navy."

After the tour Howard, who in 1999 became the first African American woman to command a Navy ship, spoke to the young women about the military and the importance of education.

"The Navy is a 'Global Force for Good' and part of that is reaching out to our younger generation and making sure they know what opportunities exist for them in the military service," said Howard.

The Women of Tomorrow members who visited expressed their thanks for the experience.

"We appreciate the tours and hearing from the admiral," said Edwards. "The students are getting the exposure they need to shape their future."

The students visited Halyburton during the 20th anniversary of Fleet Week Port Everglades, in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. More than 2,500 American and German Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen will be participating in a number of community outreach activities and enjoy the hospitality and tourism of South Florida.

From Haiti to Afghanistan, 82nd Shows Flexibility

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2010 - A battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division's ready force that returned two months ago to support the Haiti humanitarian response mission is in the process of deploying again, this time to Afghanistan to train Afghan security forces.

The first 200 soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team's 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, left Fort Bragg, N.C., April 28, and the rest of the battalion will deploy over the coming days, Army Capt. Chris Brautigam, the brigade's public affairs officer, told American Forces Press Service.

The "Red Falcon" battalion will operate as part of the International Security Assistance Force to train Afghan national security forces and provide increased security for the Afghan people, Brautigam said. The soldiers will be posted at multiple sites throughout Afghanistan, lending their expertise to help the Afghan security forces increase the capability they will need to ultimately take the lead for Afghan security.

The 82nd Airborne Division headquarters and 4th Brigade already are serving in Afghanistan.

The 2nd Brigade's 1st Battalion is leaving Fort Bragg without knowing precisely how long it will remain in Afghanistan. "Those guys are prepared to stay as long as necessary to accomplish their mission and ensure that we meet the intent of the commander over there," Brautigam said.

There's broad recognition within the United States as well as the coalition that overall success in Afghanistan depends heavily on success in building Afghanistan's security forces so they can ultimately take responsibility for their country's security. In addition to the U.S. forces deploying to support the training mission there, NATO and other international partners have pledged to provide more trainers. Some already are on the ground, and others are slated to arrive soon.

Brautigam called the training mission a natural extension of what the 82nd Airborne's troops do every day.

"Our officers and [noncommissioned officers] conduct training every day, so it is a very easy transition to go from training our own soldiers to training the soldiers of Afghanistan," he said.

Although the current deployment is the battalion's first to focus specifically on training Afghan forces, Brautigam said, the "All-American Division" prides itself on its flexibility to do whatever is called upon to do.

The 2nd Brigade has served as the Army component of the global response force since June 2009, and has trained for the whole spectrum of capabilities it could be called upon to provide, Brautigam said. During its most recent deployment, the Red Falcon battalion provided humanitarian assistance as part of Operation Unified Response following a devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January.

"This highlights the quality of the soldiers here, because we can go from mission to mission, with all of them very different," Brautigam said. "It's also a testament to the leadership of the organization, because they are flexible and adaptable and ensure the soldiers are trained to do that."

Brautigam offered high praise to the family members who understand the importance of the missions their soldiers conduct, and stand solidly behind them.

"They know that when their spouse comes to the 82nd Airborne, frequent deployments with little or no notice can happen," he said. "They are prepared for that, and [are] very proud of what their soldiers do on a daily basis."

He cited a solid family support network within the 82nd and Fort Bragg and unit family readiness groups that have been tested during previous deployments.

As the Red Falcons deploy to Afghanistan, the remainder of the 2nd Brigade will serve as the Army component of the global response mission, prepared to deploy on short-notice contingency operations anywhere in the world, Brautigam said.

Flag Officer Announcements

April 30, 2010 - Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nominations:

Navy Reserve Capt. Victor M. Beck has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Beck is currently serving as public affairs action officer, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/director, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Washington, D.C.

Navy Reserve Capt. Gerald W. Clusen has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Clusen is currently serving as deputy commander, Navy Net-Centric Warfare Group and special assistant for Reserve affairs, Navy Cyber Forces, Norfolk, Va.

Navy Reserve Capt. Bryan P. Cutchen has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Cutchen is currently serving as chief of staff, deputy commander Naval Air Forces Reserve, San Diego, Calif.

Navy Reserve Capt. Kelvin N. Dixon has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Dixon is currently serving as deputy reserve commander, Navy Region Northwest, Everett, Wash.

Navy Reserve Capt. Martha E. G. Herb has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Herb is currently serving as chief staff officer, Second Fleet Combined Joint Operations from the Sea, Center for Excellence, Norfolk, Va.

Navy Reserve Capt. Brian L. Laroche has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Laroche is currently serving as commanding officer, U.S. European Command Detachment 0193, Fort Dix, N.J.

Navy Reserve Capt. Luke M. McCollum has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). McCollum is currently serving as commanding officer, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Joint Task Force Unit 300, Norfolk, Va.

Navy Reserve Capt. James H. Rodman Jr. has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Rodman is currently serving as vice commander, Navy Net-Centric Warfare Group, Fort Meade, Md.

Navy Reserve Capt. John C. Sadler has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Sadler is currently serving as deputy Reserve commander, Navy Region Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla.