Military News

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Carter Takes Office as Deputy Defense Secretary

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON – Ashton B. Carter was sworn in as deputy secretary of defense in a private Pentagon ceremony this morning.

The Senate unanimously confirmed Carter in his new position Sept. 23. He most recently served as undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, a job he assumed in April 2009.

Carter succeeds William J. Lynn III, who took office Feb. 12, 2009, and returns to private life.

Following Carter’s Senate confirmation, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta thanked senators for their “strong vote of confidence” in Carter.

“Ash has a steady hand, a keen intellect, and an effective management style that will help this department keep faith with our troops and protect our nation,” Panetta said. “He is already an essential part of my team as an outstanding undersecretary of defense, and I look forward to his continued guidance and leadership as he assumes his new responsibilities.”

Panetta said Lynn “served with distinction and was a tireless advocate for our men and women in uniform.”

“I wish Bill and his family all the best for the future,” the secretary added.

The deputy secretary of defense is delegated full power and authority to act for the secretary of defense and exercise the powers of the secretary on any matters for which the secretary is authorized to act.

Before filling the undersecretary position, Carter was chair of the International and Global Affairs faculty at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and co-director with former Defense Secretary William J. Perry of the Preventive Defense Project, a research collaboration of Harvard and Stanford universities.

Carter served as a member of the Defense Science Board from 1991-1993 and 1997-2001, the Defense Policy Board from 1997-2001, and on the secretary of state’s International Security Advisory Board from 2006-2008.

In 2001-2002, he served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism and advised on the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

Carter holds bachelor's degrees in physics and medieval history from Yale University and a doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes scholar.

Norwich University Midshipmen Spend a Day Learning About the Submarine Force

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

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Thirty four midshipmen from Norwich University, in Northfield, Vermont, traded a day in the classroom for a day at Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn., Oct. 7.

Rear Adm. Rick Breckenridge, commander, Submarine Group Two, met with the visiting midshipmen during their visit to briefly discuss the submarine force.

"Opportunities to meet with the next generation of naval officers from universities such as Norwich is a sense of pride for me, especially those who plan to pursue the submarine force upon their commissioning," said Breckenridge.

Breckenridge shared his path into the U.S. Navy with the midshipmen. "As a lobsterman son from Massachusetts, my big break was acceptance into the U.S. Naval Academy," said Breckenridge.

Breckenridge, who received a degree in Aerospace Engineering, shared his selection into the nuclear power pipeline and the importance of being one of the final midshipmen interviewed by Adm. Hyman Rickover to currently serving as commander of Group Two.

"Who we are and what we do as an undersea force is invaluable to the country and will only grow in its importance as you join the fleet," said Breckenridge. "This is an important moment in history for all of us who serve our nation."

During their visit to the submarine base, the midshipmen visited the Naval Submarine School's Damage Control Trainer, visited the Ship Control Operations Trainer and toured the Virginia-class submarine USS New Hampshire (SSN 778).

U.S. Marine Corps Col. Lawrence Oliver, commanding officer of the Norwich University Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) unit, participated in the base tour and highlighted the importance of these types of visits.

"Norwich University NROTC unit actively seeks out opportunities to expose our midshipmen to life in the naval services, both Navy and Marine Corps. This exposure is a combination of centrally mandated academic year instruction, highlighted by summer training evolutions, as well as less formal events and training venues organized by individual NROTC units. Our trip to Submarine Group Two is an example of the latter," said Oliver.

Prior to his present assignment, Oliver was assigned as the Marine tactical air force analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Cost Assessment and Program Analysis from June 2009 to June 2011. Oliver added that visits to Naval Submarine Base New London will directly impact their Midshipmen's decision regarding service selection and career path.

"It is visits like this that allow our midshipmen the opportunity to have 'hands on' experience with actual training equipment and systems. These type of venues, along with more formal NROTC events, afford the young midshipmen a unique perspective that will facilitate their follow-on service," said Oliver. "Additionally, given the nascent nature of our midshipmen, a positive experience, such as Groton, goes a long-way in peaking interest and motivation in their pursuit of a commission."

Lt. Mike Piazza, USS Alexandria (SSN 757) and Lt. j.g. Mark Czynski, USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720), both midshipman training officers assisted with the tour.

"I attended Norwich University before being accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy, and my participation with the NROTC students today is to convey the best of our submarine force has to offer because of its tight-knit crew," said Piazza.

Czynski highlighted the inherent capability of our undersea forces. "I always appreciate the opportunity to share how talented and motivated our submariners are because it helps us attract the kind of leaders we need in the submarine force."

Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Capt. Alden Partridge, as the first private military college in the United States and the birthplace of the nation's ROTC program.

National City Chamber of Commerce Honors Local Sailors

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Raul Moreno Jr., Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Public Affairs

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (NNS) -- The National City Chamber of Commerce held their 55th annual Salute to Navy luncheon, Oct. 5 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center.

Started in 1957, the Salute to Navy is a National City tradition that honors the U.S. Navy Sailors and their families, bringing them together with civilians and elected officials.

National City Mayor Ron Morrison addressed the Sailors in attendance expressing his gratitude for their service.

"We've got 150 young men and women here today representing the thousands upon thousands that are a part of ... the greatest force for freedom and peace in this world," said Morrison. "So, on behalf of the city, I want to thank you and let you know how much you are appreciated."

Melyn Acasio, co-chairman of the Salute to Navy committee, talked about the service members who worked to reconstruct the nation after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

"Today is an opportunity to say 'thank you' to our Navy and to our beloved armed forces for helping us rebuild America," said Acasio.

Naval Base San Diego Commanding Officer Capt. Winton Smith presented Special Boat Operator 1st Class Troy Bacon with Naval Base San Diego's Sailor of the Year award and on behalf of the Sailors, thanked the committee for organizing the event.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be here," said Bacon, "You don't know how much it means for the Sailors who come back from deployment and integrate back into the city. It's really a warm gesture, and I thank you."