Military News

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Navy League Presents Awards to USS Bremerton

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ronald Gutridge, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
COMSUBPAC Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council of the Navy League presented awards to four Sailors assigned to the Los Angeles-class submarine, USS Bremerton (SSN 698), for outstanding achievement throughout 2011 at the submarine piers on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Jan. 20.

Dr. Byron Faber of the Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council of the Navy League presented awards to the following submariners: Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SS) Charles Corcoran was awarded the 2011 Engineering "Go-to-Guy" award for engineering excellence. Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SS) Bevon Drummond was awarded the 2011 Supply "Silent Specialist of the Year" for Supply Department excellence. Electronics Technician 2nd Class (SS) Christopher Beal was awarded the 2011 "Bowditch Award" for Navigation excellence and Sonar Technician (Submarines) 2nd Class (SS) Jerry Verant was awarded the 2011 "Tactical Adonis of the Year" for tactical and Weapons Department excellence.

"It is a great privilege to present these awards and recognize what a great job these Sailors are doing," said Faber. "This is our way of showing them that the citizens of Bremerton appreciate all that they do for our country."

The council sponsors USS Bremerton. The organization provides awards to four Sailors each year serving on USS Bremerton based on superior performance over the past year. This initiative was started in 2010 by Faber. He was also instrumental in the adoption of the submarine by the city of Bremerton. A ceremony commemorating this event was held in Bremerton in January 2011.

"Over the past year, Dr. Faber and the Navy League have provided outstanding support for USS Bremerton working to recognize superior performance and improve the quality of life of USS Bremerton Sailors and families," said Cmdr. Caleb Kerr, commanding officer, USS Bremerton. "This camaraderie between the city of Bremerton, the Navy League and the ship has paid big dividends in crew morale. It means a great deal to me that citizens of the fine city of Bremerton and the Navy League are supporting my Sailors and the ship particularly while we are deployed."

MCPON Speaks at Northern Virginia Council of the Navy League

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Thomas L. Rosprim, Office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- The master chief petty officer of the Navy (MCPON) spoke at the Northern Virginia (NOVA) Council of the Navy League dinner in Arlington, Va., Jan. 18.

The NOVA Navy League is composed of community and corporate affiliate members, retired military, family members, and other sea service supporters. The night served as an opportunity to trade sea stories and gain perspective for the audience.

"I love the Navy League; everywhere I go I am pleased to be affiliated with them," said MCPON (SS/SW) Rick D. West. "Organizations like Navy League are crucial to the awareness and education of our Sailors and the public, ensuring that none of us stop learning about our past and the road ahead."

Nancy Gorell, vice president and ship liaison for the NOVA Navy League, said the top priority for the organization is to take care of the U.S. sea services and their families.

During the dinner, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Timothy Leland was named Coast Guardsman of the Quarter for USCG Station Washington, D.C. NOVA Navy League and MCPON presented Leland with a certificate of appreciation and gifts from the Navy League.

"I enjoy every opportunity to recognize outstanding service members for their outstanding dedication and accomplishments," said West. "Petty Officer Leland is a phenomenal representative of the Coast Guard and our military team."

West briefed the Navy League on the current state of the Navy, issues facing the Navy and Sailors, and reinforced the importance of the Navy League and the work they do for Sailors and families, particularly their partnership with Navy Safe Harbor and the Anchor Program which helps wounded warriors.

"I learn something new from Sailors every single day. They are our nation's treasures, they're the crown jewels," said West."It's 120 degrees on the flight deck of that carrier and they'll look at you, smile, and then say, 'What else you got?' That to me is amazing."

CNO Sees Hawaii as 'Gateway' to Operate Forward

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

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The chief of naval operations (CNO) appeared on local Fox affiliate television station KHON2's Wake Up 2day morning show in Honolulu, Jan. 19.

CNO Adm. Jonathan Greenert talked to news anchor Olena Heu about the strategic importance of Hawaii and the Pacific region.

"Hawaii is really the gateway to the western Pacific," said Greenert. "Here in Hawaii, you have a hospital, a shipyard. You have ships, aircraft, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guard and Airmen. Really, this is our gateway. It is probably the most important strategic base for the western Pacific, which is the centerpiece of our strategy."

In the morning show, Heu asked how potential budget cuts will impact the Navy and specifically the Navy in Hawaii. Greenert provided no details but emphasized the strategic importance of Asia Pacific and of Hawaii as a base to operate from.

"It's a matter of where the proper investments should be to really align with our strategy," adding, "Hawaii and the Pacific are key to our strategy and that will be reflected in the budget."

Adm. and Mrs. Darleen Greenert arrived in Hawaii, Jan. 18, to meet with Sailors and their families and to participate in the U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) change of command ceremony, Jan. 20. Adm. Cecil Haney, former deputy of U.S. Strategic Command, will be replacing Adm. Patrick Walsh as PACFLT commander.

On Thursday morning, Darleen Greenert visited Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) and toured the Center Drive Child Development Center with Joint Base Commander Capt. Jeff James. She also visited the Ford Island Community Center and was invited to visit the homes of several military families, where she discussed quality of life issues.

After Adm. Greenert's morning show, the CNO held an All Hands Call with more than 500 Sailors at Sharkey Theater on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

"We are so lucky to have a generation who give much more than themselves to a larger institution, and we have a generation of people who are dedicated to our country," said Greenert. "I just want to say thank you to them and thank you to the people of Hawaii for supporting these Sailors and their families. They are truly the land of Aloha. It's a privilege to be here."

With a world map as a backdrop, Greenert fielded questions and talked about the Navy's overall strategy not only in the Pacific region but to the entire world. He said that at any given time, there are about 100 ships forward deployed around the world, more than half of which are in the Pacific region.

"The focus of the Navy in the future is the Asia Pacific region - where you are," said Greenert.

Construction Completed on the Most Energy Efficient CDC in Hawaii

By Denise Emsley, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii turned over the newest military Child Development Center (CDC) in the state to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Morale, Welfare and Recreation Jan. 17.

"We are extremely happy to accept this new structure and begin the installation of furniture and other items needed prior to opening a highly anticipated addition to our CDCs for Navy and Air Force military families," said Al Worley, facilities and projects manager JBPHH Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR).

NAVFAC Pacific awarded the design/build $18.9 million contract to Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company Inc. Sept. 29, 2009. NAVFAC Hawaii executed and administered the project. A ground breaking ceremony was held June 4, 2010 at the site near Center Drive, between Nimitz and Makalapa Gates to JBPHH and the new facility began to take shape.

"This project brought Navy and contractor personnel into a very close working relationship that enabled us to not only build one of the largest Child Development Centers in the nation, but also include a multitude of sustainability innovations, potentially achieving the first Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) Platinum facility on a military base in Hawaii," said Lt.j.g. Christopher Hoggan, project manager NAVFAC Hawaii.

LEED is an internationally-recognized "green" building certification system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. It has a point-based rating system which offers four certification levels for new construction, certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each level corresponds to the number of credits accrued in five "green" design categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality.

"Initially, our goal for this facility was LEED Silver," said Lt.j.g. Hoggan. "With additional sustainability and energy efficient design elements, material reuse, and other innovations identified after award, the project began moving towards LEED Gold."

Then during the early construction phase of the contract, NAVFAC Hawaii presented the contractor with an opportunity to add "energy enhancements" to include advanced metering, conversion to gas appliances, and more rooftop integrated thin film photovoltaic panels to be placed on new carport structures which would balance the facility's energy use and help it function as a "net zero" building when opened.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus laid out five aggressive energy goals in October 2009 to improve energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase our energy independence, and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.

The Pearl Harbor CDC is constructed of reinforced concrete masonry walls, interior medal studs, and steel roof framing. It has 24 classrooms for infants, pre-toddlers, toddlers, and preschoolers which enclose a large grass courtyard area with multiple age-appropriate play areas. In addition, the facility includes a full kitchen, laundry room, toilet facilities, storage and administrative spaces plus all supporting items such as exterior playground equipment, tension fabric structures, storage, fencing, gates, controlled parking, controlled access, and a covered drop off/pick up area.

"Construction of this large CDC progressed well from start to finish and was ahead of schedule during much of the project," said Lt.j.g. Hoggan. "NAVFAC Hawaii and contractor personnel set up a great working relationship that resulted in a wonderful addition to Navy and Air Force child care facilities in Hawaii."

According to JBPHH's MWR director, the facility is expected to be open for business in late March.

"Currently there are seven CDCs and 37 Child Development Homes that accommodate 586 children, said Frank Faria, MWR director, JBPHH. "With the opening of the new one on Center Drive in March 2012, Wahiawa in March 2012, and Ford Island in May 2012, an additional 680 quality child care spaces will become available for Navy and Air Force families."