Military News

Friday, July 22, 2011

Gridley Returns to San Diego After Successful Deployment

By Naval Surface Force, U.S Pacific Fleet Public Affairs Office

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) return to its San Diego homeport July 22, after completing a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific with the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) carrier strike group.

While deployed, Gridley's mission focused on theater security cooperation, increasing stability and cooperation among regional allies. Gridley conducted exercises with ships from other navies, including the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, Republic of Korea Navy, and Republic of Singapore Navy. In conjunction with Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines (JSOTF), Gridley combated violent extremism through training events and professional exchanges.

"We have a remarkable relationship and growing partnership with many countries throughout the Western Pacific, and I'm pleased that our Sailors had the opportunity to experience rich cultures while acting as ambassadors for the United States," said Cmdr. Benjamin Allbritton, Gridley commanding officer. "Gridley was able to demonstrate goodwill and cooperation through community service projects, selected group tours, and other interactions during scheduled port visits."

Gridley Sailors participated in community relations projects in Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Gridley deployed with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, led by Rear Adm. Samuel Perez, and Destroyer Squadron 1, led by Capt. John Steinberger. Helicopter Squadron Light (HSL) 49 Detachment Five was embarked. Other ships in the CSG included USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), and USS Stockdale (DDG 106).

Gridley helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the sea and humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet's 50-million square mile area of responsibility in the Eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.

Sailor's Quick Action Saves A Life

By Seaman Roselyn Kirkelie, Naval Air Station Pensacola Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Tyson Bankston was on leave with his family at a restaurant in Pensacola, Fla., July 9 when he was approached by a petite elderly woman.

She calmly asked if he could do the Heimlich maneuver and motioned to a woman sitting at a table nearby. Bankston could see she was in trouble and rushed over to aid the choking woman. Bankston's wife, Misty, later told him that the woman was already turning blue.

"I did it just like the book. [I asked,] 'Do you need help?' and all I could hear was gurgling, so I did the Heimlich maneuver," said Bankston, stationed with Navy Cargo Handling Battalion 1 out of Williamsburg, Va.

With three or four upward thrusts, the obstruction was dislodged. Bankston stayed with the woman until she was calm and made sure no further medical assistance was needed.

"After it was all over she said 'thank you' and sat back down," he said.

Pam Cooper, a waitress at the restaurant who witnessed the event said that while he was not in uniform, it was clear Bankston was a service member.

"You could tell he was military. He just had the look," said Cooper. "It was refreshing for someone so young to be willing to help out."

Bankston had no extensive prior medical training or experience. He had attended a first aid and CPR class in June 2011 as an indoctrination requirement for his new command.

"I've heard junior Sailors saying 'why do we have to do this, we have corpsmen,' but the corpsmen aren't always around," said Bankston. "I actually learned from the training and it worked."

Bankston's father Rick wasn't at the restaurant but heard about it through other people who witnessed it.

"When I heard about it, I said 'that's my boy,'" he said. "Thank God he was in the right place at the right time, and that he had the training and he did the right thing. We're just so proud of him."

The Navy currently requires Sailors who work in specific ratings to renew their first aid and CPR certification every two years. However, all Sailors are encouraged to gain CPR and first-aid certification through the American Red Cross.

"I was thinking as I went through the CPR class, 'God forbid I ever have to do the Heimlich, how much time would I waste trying to figure out if I have the right place or if I've got the right hand position, did I do it hard enough or too hard,'" Bankston said, "but when I did it I didn't even think about the 'what-ifs.' I just did it."

Active-duty military and DoD civilians can register for CPR classes by using ESAMS or contacting their local safety office.