Military News

Monday, May 21, 2012

This Day in Naval History - May 21


From the Navy News Service

1850 - Washington Navy Yard begins work on first castings for the Dahlgren guns.
1917 - USS Ericsson fires first torpedo of war.
1944 - Accidental explosion on board an LST unloading ammunition in West Loch, Pearl Harbor, and the resulting fire and other explosions sink five LSTs.
1964 - The initiation of the standing carrier presence at Yankee Station in the South China Sea.

NATO Secretary General Terms Summit a Success


By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2012 – Heads of state and government, their foreign and defense ministers and others who gathered in Chicago have accomplished what they set out to do, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said today.

In the alliance’s largest summit meeting ever, representatives of NATO member nations, partner nations and International Security Assistance Force troop-contributing countries met three goals, he said at a news conference.

“We have focused on the future of Afghanistan; we have decided to invest smartly in our defense, even in times of austerity; and we have engaged with our partners around the world to address the challenges we all face in the 21st century,” Rasmussen said.

NATO has set a course to complete the current mission in Afghanistan, and made clear the alliance’s commitment to supporting safety and security in that country, he said. The Afghan government and other nations will partner with NATO in funding and otherwise supporting the army and police forces that will assume full lead responsibility for their nation’s security between now and the end of 2014, he said.

“Here in Chicago,” the secretary general said, “we agreed to implement a renewed culture of cooperation, so that nations can achieve together what they cannot achieve alone.”

NATO members have furthered their “smart defense” approach to collectively buying NATO military systems “that will provide the capabilities that we need, at a price we can afford,” he said.

The summit drew representatives of NATO partner nations from the four corners of the world, the secretary general noted. The reach of NATO’s relationships demonstrates the alliance’s determination to deepen and strengthen its partnership network “in the interest of our shared security,” he added.

“This has been a highly successful summit,” Rasmussen said. “Together, we have faced the challenges that needed facing, with shared responsibility and shared leadership.”

USS Green Bay Sailors Run Namesake City 5K


By Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Elizabeth Merriam, Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) ran laps on the flight deck May 18, for the crew's 2nd annual participation in the Cellcom Green Bay 5K, as the same race took place more than 2,000 miles away from ship's namesake city of Green Bay, Wisc.

The crew ran the race a day before the city, as runners in Green Bay took to the streets May 19.

"It is an honor to once again participate in the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon weekend by running a joint 5K with the City of Green Bay," said Ensign Tim Mahoney from Green Bay, who organized the event in 2011 and 2012. "Last year on our maiden deployment, we had tremendous involvement from our Sailors and Marines. This year we are running the 5K in our homeport of San Diego, Calif., and it will give our Sailors and Marines a well-deserved break as we continue preparations for our next deployment."

"The USS Green Bay 5K is our way of honoring the courageous men and women of our Armed Forces who put their lives on the line every day," said Sean Ryan, race director of the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. "It's a small gesture for the work that they do every day to protect our freedom."

Some runners feel participating in joint events with the ship's namesake gives the crew a kindred bond with the city most crews don't get.

"I have never been to Green Bay, but one thing that always stands out when talking about the people of Green Bay is their spirit," Cmdr. Putnam Browne, Green Bay commanding officer said. "I hope with events like this, we can further connect with the city to enhance our spirit and esprit de corps."

There was limited room on the flight deck so runners were divided into three separate heats. The runners listened to a message from the Mayor of Green Bay prior to each race.

"All of us here in the Green Bay community appreciate what you do aboard USS Green Bay," Mayor Jim Schmitt said. We wish you well in your 5K we'll do our best here in Green Bay for our 5K run. Thanks again for what you're doing. God bless you, and go Green Bay!"

Navy Secretary Hosts USS Hudner Naming Ceremony


Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will host a ship naming ceremony in honor of the USS Thomas Hudner on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at 11 a.m. EDT on board the USS Constitution at Charleston Navy Yard, Charleston, Mass.

Thomas J. Hudner Jr., a naval aviator who retired as a captain, received the Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman for displaying uncommon valor during an attack on his wingman, the first African American naval aviator to fly in combat, Ensign Jesse L. Brown.  During the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War, anti-aircraft fire hit Brown’s aircraft, damaging a fuel line and causing him to crash.  After it became clear Brown was seriously injured and unable to free himself, Hudner proceeded to purposefully crash his own aircraft to join Brown and provide aid.  Hudner injured his own back during his crash landing, but he stayed with Brown until a rescue helicopter arrived.  Hudner and the rescue pilot worked in the sub-zero, snow-laden area in an unsuccessful attempt to free Brown from the smoking wreckage.

Hudner is the last living Navy recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Korean War.

The Arleigh Burke class destroyer will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection.  It will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare in keeping with the Navy’s ability to execute the Department of Defense’s defense strategy.

Media interested in attending the event may call USS Constitution public affairs at 617-799-8198.  Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342.  For more news from secretary of the Navy public affairs, visit http://www.navy.mil/SECNAV .

More information about the Arleigh Burke class destroyers is available online at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=900&ct=4 .

Wyoming Air National Guard participates in first-of-its-kind state exercise


By Air National Guard 1st Lt. Rusty Ridley
Wyoming National Guard, 153rd Airlift Wing

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (5/21/12) - In a first for the state of Wyoming, Air National Guard members of the 153rd Airlift Wing participated in a Strategic National Stockpile exercise named Prairie Eagle May 14, 2012, delivering simulated vaccines via a C-130 Hercules in conjunction with the Wyoming Department of Health.

 While the Wyoming Air Guard and the Wyoming DoH flew a mission to Jackson Hole, Wyo., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was on-hand, inspecting the department’s ability to receive, deliver and distribute medical vaccines and supplies to various parts of the state within a specified timeframe from a distribution point in Cheyenne.

“If the supplies were to be driven to Jackson Hole, it would have taken over nine hours,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Gary Monroe, the 153rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. “Working together with the Department of Health and the Wyoming Air National Guard, we delivered in four hours.”

Once the delivery truck arrived at the Wyoming Air National Guard base, Airmen assigned to the 153rd Logistics Readiness Squadron’s mall air terminal began unloading, inspecting, weighing, marking and loading the pallets onto the aircraft all under the watchful eye of exercise evaluators. Airmen also flew along to assist with unloading the aircraft in Jackson Hole.

“It helps us identify what we would need by way of equipment and better ways to execute a mission like this,” said Robert Sherard, the Wyoming Department of Health planning coordinator. “It gives us a timeline of unloading the material, loading onto the aircraft, arrival and off-loading again.”

Other agencies in the state also supported the exercise including the Wyoming Department of Homeland Security and the Wyoming Highway Patrol.

“The exercise also helps us identify any other operational considerations we might have missed along the line,” Sherard said. “If we had to deploy this [strategic national stockpile] package, we’re trying to get as much time as we can. We work within a tight window and we’re trying to train well so we can respond well.”

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead was briefed on the exercise and the role of the Wyoming National Guard and how its capabilities and assets can be utilized in times of emergency.

“This mission not only exercises the Air Guard, but the [processes that] the department of health, homeland security and [the] Joint Force Headquarters would need to use and what would be expected if the need were to arise,” Monroe said.

As part of the exercise, Soldiers from the Wyoming Army National Guard were dispatched to Jackson Hole, Casper, Lander and Rock Springs at disbursement sites as they worked with local emergency managers on logistics and security measures.

“It really comes down to being able to help people in the state,” Monroe said. “The training was a win-win for everyone involved.”