Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wisconsin National Guard stands in for deployed active duty unit

Wisconsin National Guard Public Affairs Office

The Wisconsin Army National Guard's 132nd Army Band is wrapping up a two-week annual training in Hawaii filling in for the 25th Infantry Division Band, which is currently deployed to Iraq.

The 132nd Army Band is conducting military training out of Schofield Barracks as well as performances on base and in Honolulu. Performances include a welcome home ceremony for the Warrior Brigade of the 25th Infantry "Tropic Lightning" Division following the brigade's deployment to Iraq; a Patriot Jazz performance at the Hale Koa; a performance at the USS Missouri, and numerous brass quintet, funeral honors and bugler missions.

The 132nd Army Band's experience and skill allowed the National Guard unit to fill in for an active duty band without missing a beat.

"It's always an honor to represent Wisconsin and our nation on an active post," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brad Anderson, commander of the 132nd Army Band. "I'm proud to showcase the talent and professionalism of our Soldiers and all we do to support the Army's mission."

The 132nd Army Band is expected to return to Wisconsin July 25. Their next performance in the Badger State will be at the National Guard Association of the United States convention in Milwaukee on Aug. 27.

Samuel B. Roberts Sailors Participate in Kenyan COMREL

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

MOMBASA, Kenya (NNS) -- USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) built and painted blackboards as part of a community relations (COMREL) project during Africa Partnership Station (APS) East 2011 at Marenje Primary School in Mombasa, Kenya, July 21.

Marenje Primary School, located in one of the poorest areas of Kenya, serves more than 295 students at four grade levels with just four full-time teachers. The difficult task of providing students with a quality education is even more difficult with the lack of adequate teaching materials.

Head teacher Ngalaa Mwanyamawi, who is a stickler for good penmanship, said the blackboards Roberts Sailors constructed will make a big difference in easing his teacher's jobs.

"Before, we would write on small slates, which makes it difficult for all the children to see," said Mwanyamawi. "The blackboards will allow us to show the children how to write the words correctly and our assignments will be more effective."

A 24-year-veteran teacher, Mwanyamawi said the visit by the Roberts crew lifted the spirits of the students and teachers at Marenje as high as he had seen them.

"We were so excited when we heard we were going to have our friends here, we began to teach all the children a welcoming song to show off for our new friends. When we saw the bus, the children could barely contain their excitement," said Mwanyamawi. "We appreciate everything our new friends have done for us, and we hope they will come again soon."

Besides building blackboards, the Sailors also brought soccer balls for the children to enjoy.

Boatswain's Mate Seaman Kendall Tyre said he was really happy to see the children laughing and smiling, and he found the overall experience both humbling and inspiring.

"These kids are very, very poor, but you don't feel sorry for them because they are just so happy," said Tyre. "It was a culture shock, but it's what I got into the Navy to do. I want to be out there doing good for people. I feel like we did that today."

Asked if he would consider participating in another COMREL, Tyre replied emphatically, "most definitely."

Roberts will soon continue their involvement with Africa Partnership Station East 2011 with training and community relations in Tanzania.

Roberts is on a regularly scheduled deployment to the 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

APS is an international security cooperation initiative, facilitated by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.

Abraham Lincoln Passes First Underway Cyber Inspection

From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) passed a first-of-its-kind afloat Department of Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) command cyber readiness inspection (CCRI), July 14, while the ship was conducting training at sea.

A CCRI is an in-depth inspection and analysis of a ship or shore command's network security posture to ensure that vital information is protected from cyber attacks.

The inspection of the Lincoln networks, which began July 8, was the first time a cyber inspection of a Navy network was conducted underway, and the first DISA-led CCRI conducted aboard an aircraft carrier.

Cmdr. Michael Thibodeau, the ship's combat systems officer, said the inspection was part of a three-year training cycle, the goal is to determine which Department of Defense computer networks have low vulnerability to outside attacks from threats such as hackers, and to strengthen the defense of these networks as necessary.

"Any networks out of compliance can actually be forced to shut down and pulled from the Global Information Grid (GIG)," he said. "This success is indicative of Lincoln's high state of operational readiness."

Lincoln's inspection results set the Navy standard for afloat units by achieving a score 11 percent higher than had previously been achieved in shore-based inspections. Thibodeau added the ship's score was also 20 percent higher than the average afloat command score from the Navy's own internal cyber security inspections.

"I attribute our success on this inspection to the pride and dedication that the Information Systems team takes in maintaining the highest levels of cyber readiness," he said.

Lincoln's next CCRI is not scheduled to occur until after Lincoln's upcoming Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH), as the ship will be temporarily taken off the training cycle.

Though the inspection is complete, Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Toni Robinson said personnel should continue to follow the practices that played a key role in passing the inspection.

"In order to keep prepared, all hands should remain vigilant on network security and following command security procedures for personal electronic devices," she said.

Lincoln is currently working with other afloat units to help prepare them for success with their upcoming CCRI inspections.

For more information about USS Abraham Lincoln, visit their facebook page at

Joint Region Marianas Honors Veterans

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Peter Lewis, U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas Public Affairs

ASAN, Guam (NNS) -- Joint Region Marianas honored local military veterans' contributions to the nation and Guam's local community with a luncheon at Top o' the Mar, in Asan, Guam, July 19.

Rear Adm. Paul J. Bushong, Commander, Joint Region Marianas, who hosted the luncheon, expressed gratitude for all veterans' service.

"Thank you for your service in the past and your current service," Bushong said. "Thank you for everything you do to make this island such a great place and to support the [local] military."

The event also celebrated the 67th anniversary of Guam's Liberation Day. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces liberated the people of Guam from their Japanese captors after three years of occupation during World War II July 21, 1944.

Dan Bradley, a Navy veteran who was deployed to Guam, Saipan and Japan during the final months of World War II, said he was very grateful to be honored in such a way.

"I'm here in place of those guys who didn't come home," Bradley said. "Being invited to come out with my fellow veterans, it makes me feel very humble."

Col. Robert Loynd, Marine Forces Pacific (Forward) Guam and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands officer in charge, said that he appreciated the opportunity to mingle with and learn from the veterans, who he feels are true American heroes.

"It was a great honor to be perfectly honest," Loynd said. "Any time you can get together with some great veterans from all services, it is a great day, indeed. We had some great chow together. I heard some great stories and, every time I meet with [the veterans], I learn something new."

USS Stockdale Returns from Maiden Deployment

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

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) return to its San Diego homeport July 22, after a six-month maiden deployment to the Western Pacific and U.S. Central Command area of Responsibility (AOR).

Throughout the deployment, Stockdale operated within three carrier strike groups to include USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) (to which Stockdale is assigned), USS George Washington (CVN 73) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Stockdale also integrated into the USS Essex (LHD 2) expeditionary strike group during Cobra Gold 11, completed an Indonesian Freedom of Navigation mission, and a Spratly Island transit.

Commissioned April 18, 2009, Stockdale's mission includes maritime ballistic missile defense, a core capability of the Navy, which enhances deterrence by providing an umbrella of protection to forward-deployed forces while contributing to the larger architecture planned for defense of the United States.

Stockdale's port calls included Guam; Sepangar, Malaysia; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; Laem Chabang, Thailand; Singapore, and Chinhae, Korea.

Stockdale 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.

This Day in Naval History - July 22

From the Navy News Service

1802 - Frigate Constellation defeats 9 Corsair gunboats off Tripoli.
1905 - Body of John Paul Jones moved to Annapolis, MD for reburial.
1953 - U.S. ships laid down heavy barrage to support UN troops in Korea
1964 - Four Navy Divers (LCDR Robert Thompson, MC; Gunners Mate First Class Lester Anderson, Chief Quartermaster Robert A. Barth, and Chief Hospital Corpsman Sanders Manning) submerge in Sealab I for 10 days at a depth of 192 feet, 39 miles off Hamilton, Bermuda. They surfaced on July 31.
1974 - Evacuees from the coup on Cyprus arrive on board Navy vessels in the Mediterranean. Operation ended on July 24.