Friday, December 21, 2012

Rescue group participates in Air-Sea Battle exercise

by Capt. Matthew Babcock
563rd Operations Support Squadron

12/21/2012 - NAVAL AIR STATION NORTH ISLAND, Calif. -- The 563d Rescue Group deployed 153 personnel and five HH-60G Pavehawk helicopters to Naval Air Station North Island Nov. 1-15, to participate in Commander, U.S. Third Fleet's Joint Task Force Exercise, the final pre-deployment certification for the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Carrier Strike Group.

"Air-Sea Battle (ASB) Concept is the Air Force and Navy's joint method of countering an enemy's anti-access and area-denial challenges through networked, integrated forces operating across all domains," said Col. Jason Hanover, the 563d Rescue Group Commander and exercise Personnel Recovery Task Force Commander. "This exercise provided an opportunity to work with the Navy to pioneer how to most effectively execute Personnel Recovery operations under the umbrella of ASB operations."

To accomplish its goals and objectives, the 563d Rescue Group brought its ROC, or Rescue Operations Center, a self-contained, expeditionary command and control node to ensure enhanced situational awareness and fluid communications across the area of operations. "ASB and all operations under the Joint Operational Access Concept (JOAC) hinge on cross-domain synergy and the ROC is the method that Air Force Rescue employs to ensure that synergy is transferred to and from Personnel Recovery forces," explained Col. Hanover.

"Powered by generators operating off the same fuel as our aircraft, our ROC can provide Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) capabilities comparable to operating back home at DM (?), anywhere in the world," said ROC Superintendent, Master Sgt. Linwood Stull.

As C4I Team Lead, Capt. Matt Kahley explained, "In addition to structural support, the communications capabilities are outstanding, highlighted by the RFACS (Rescue Forces Austere Communications Service) that can provide satellite internet anywhere in the world in a matter of minutes."

The ROC was deployed to the location onboard a new HC-130J Combat King II from the 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron, the first aircraft of its kind to arrive at any Air Force base.

Integrating Navy and Air Force capabilities involves thorough coordination and understanding of what each service brings to the fight. To understand their sister service, the 563d Rescue Group spent the first day in academic sessions led by their Navy counterparts.

"The Rescue Group had the opportunity to learn Navy Carrier Strike Group integration, Air-Sea Battle operations, and maritime rescue tactics, techniques, and procedures," said Capt. Scott Rein, the 563d Rescue Group Chief of Weapons and Tactics. "These tactical academics provide the foundation for Air Force and Navy integration in Personnel Recovery."

To prepare for the joint operations, Guardian Angels from the 48th and 58th Rescue Squadrons conducted an airdrop from the new HC-130J into the Pacific Ocean, recovered six isolated personnel, and were exfiltrated by the 55th and 66th Rescue Squadrons and their HH-60G Pavehawk helicopters.

"The fact that we have the versatility as a triad (HC-130, HH-60, and Guardian Angel) to flex to meet the needs of a mission, whether over the desert or open ocean, is what is special about Air Force Rescue," said Lt. Col. Robert Remey, 55th Rescue Squadron commander.

The integrated operations with the Navy included multiple scenarios including a simulated attack on the carrier strike group and the recovery of personnel.

"A unique training capability we saw included recovering survivors and evacuating them to a carrier," said Capt. Brian Slade, exercise ROC Operations (A3) from the 66th Rescue Squadron at Nellis AFB.

The 55th and 66th Rescue Squadrons also conducted their first-ever, maritime-gunnery exercise to validate new tactics, techniques, and procedures for opposed, overwater recovery of survivors.

"This was an exceptional opportunity to engage dynamic maritime targets, allowing our crews to train for realistic contingencies in a contested overwater recovery of isolated personnel," said Capt Rein.

The most important aspect of this exercise was the collection of lessons learned for future integration within the Air-Sea Battle Concept for Personnel Recovery and command and control.

"I was proud of what our guys accomplished out there," said Col. Hanover. "The tactics, techniques, and procedures for Joint Personnel Recovery operations with the Navy within the Air Sea Battle Concept will be invaluable as our community prepares for future operations."

Troops Prepare to Support Presidential Inauguration Events

Joint Task Force – National Capital Region 57th Presidential Inauguration

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2012 – The Joint Task Force – National Capital Region announces military participation for the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade following President-elect Barack Obama’s second swearing-in ceremony and inaugural address on Jan. 21, 2013.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Members of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Fife and Drum Corps march down Pennsylvania Avenue during the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2009. More than 5,000 service members are providing ceremonial support to the Jan. 21, 2013, presidential inauguration, which is a military tradition dating back to George Washington's 1789 inauguration. DOD photo by Army Staff Sgt. Timothy Kingston

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee officially announced several selections of Inaugural Parade participants, including military organizations, Dec. 18. Military support is designed to provide appropriate honors to the commander in chief, recognize civilian control of the military and celebrate democracy.

Traditionally, military units from each of the five branches have marched in the Presidential escort and in the Inaugural Parade. More than 2,100 military personnel will be marching in the parade, with a total of about 5,000 troops supporting the inauguration.
Additionally, for the current inauguration, 2,807 groups applied to march in the parade. All applications were collected and organized by JTF-NCR and 317 were submitted to the PIC, which is appointed by the President-elect. These applications were reviewed by the PIC with assistance of the JTF-NCR, including members of several military bands, musical acts and drill teams.

“The Inauguration day parade is the largest, most complicated event that takes place in the nation’s capital, which requires a multitude of mission partners to work together,” said Army Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, JTF– NCR’s commanding general. “The role of the military in this event is one of support. We are here to support the Presidential Inauguration Committee, Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, and the other civilian agencies.”

Service members involved in the 2013 Presidential Inauguration represent an integrated Total Force -- soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen, and Coast Guard members -- proudly serving their country at home and around the world. This support comprises musical units, marching bands, color guards, salute batteries and honor cordons, which render appropriate ceremonial honors to the commander in chief.

Below is the list of military organizations selected to participate in inaugural activities on Jan. 21, 2013:
-- Military support to the Presidential Escort;
-- JTF-NCR senior service representatives led by Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington;
-- Joint Staff led by Army Col. James C. Markert, commander 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) Regiment;
-- The United States Army Band (Pershing's Own), led by Drum Major, Master Sgt. Scott Little;
-- 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard);
-- U.S. Marine Corps. Ceremonial Guard Company, Marine Barracks Washington, D.C.;
-- Armed Forces Color Guard;
-- U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard;
-- U.S. Air Force Honor Guard;
-- U.S. Coast Guard Honor Guard;
-- The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps led by Drum Major Master Sgt. William White; and
-- The Commander and Chief's Guard.
The Presidential Escort is often viewed by the general public as part of the Inaugural Parade. However, the Presidential Escort is actually a smaller, distinct procession that, in addition to the President and Vice President, includes the U.S. Army Band, Commander-in-Chief’s Guard, Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, Honor Platoons for each of the armed services, and the Armed Forces Color Guard.
There are five distinct parade divisions and each division is comprised of various elements of the five armed services.
Division 1
-- U.S. Army, Staff comprising academy, active, guard and reserve members;
-- The U.S. Army Field Band;
-- The U.S. Military Academy Marching Company, West Point, N.Y.;
-- The U.S. Army Marching Company, 3rd U.S. Infantry;
-- The U.S. Army Color Guard, 3rd U.S. Infantry;
-- The U.S. Army National Guard, D.C. National Guard;
-- The U.S. Army Reserve, 200th Military Police Command, Fort Meade, Md.; and
-- The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.
Division 2
-- U.S. Marine Corps, Staff comprising active and reserve members;
-- The U.S. Marine Band (The President’s Own);
-- The U.S. Marine Corps Marching Company, Ceremonial Guard Company;
-- The U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard; and
-- The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Marching Company.
Division 3
-- U.S. Navy, Staff comprising academy, active, guard and reserve members;
-- The U.S. Navy Band;
-- The U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.;
-- The U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard;
-- The U.S. Navy Color Guard; and
-- The U.S. Navy Reserve.
Division 4
-- U.S. Air Force, Staff comprising academy, active, guard and reserve members;
-- The U.S. Air Force Band;
-- The U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.;
-- The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard;
-- The U.S. Air Force Color Guard;
-- The U.S. Air National Guard, 113th Wing, D.C Air National Guard; and
-- The U.S. Air Force Reserve, 459th Air Refueling Wing.
Division 5
-- U.S. Coast Guard, Staff comprising academy, active and reserve members;
-- The U.S. Coast Guard Band;
-- The U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn.;
-- The U.S. Coast Guard Honor Guard;
-- The U.S. Coast Guard Color Guard;
-- The U.S. Coast Guard Reserve;
-- The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Staff Element;
-- The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Band;
-- The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Color Guard; and
-- The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

In addition the PIC has selected the following military elements as representatives of their home states: Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard, Fort Riley, Kan., in historic cavalry uniforms, and the 81st Reserve Support Command Wildcats Color Guard, Fort Jackson, S.C., in historic World War I era uniforms.

Military involvement in the Presidential Inauguration is a centuries-old tradition. The U.S. military has participated in this important American tradition since April 30, 1789, when members of the U.S. Army, local militia units and Revolutionary War veterans escorted President George Washington to his first inauguration ceremony at Federal Hall in New York City.

All I want for Christmas ... Daddy!

by Senior Airman Kate Vaughn
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

12/21/2012 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Christmas has always been a time for family and friends to gather, exchange gifts and spend time with one another. Sometimes, not every member of the family can be home, and when a family member is deployed it can change how a family spends the holiday season.

For the Madera family, it was looking like this Christmas was going to be one spent apart, or at least that's what 7-year-old Anastacia Madera thought.

Her dad, Staff Sgt. Eduardo Madera-Muniz, is serving a year-long remote assignment to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, as an F-16 Fighting Falcon crew chief, and to Anastacia's knowledge, wasn't coming home for another four months.

The Madera family usually communicates via Skype, and that's how Anastacia thought she was going to spend this Christmas with her dad.

Little did she know, however, mom and dad had a Christmas present better than anything Santa could deliver. In fact, it's exactly what was on Anastacia's Christmas list.

"All I want is for my dad to come home" she said. "I wouldn't ask for anything else. I love him, and I miss him very much."

What Anastacia didn't know was that her dad flew home to spend Christmas with her, her little brother, Ezekiel and her mom, Cryztal.

"I'm excited," Sergeant Madera said, as he waited outside the Luke AFB Chapel before surprising his daughter. "I want to see my kids. It's been seven months already, and I just want to give them a hug."

And that's exactly what he got to do as he appeared before his son and daughter Dec. 13 at the deployed spouses' dinner.

Dad made his entrance as Cryztal, Ezekiel and Anastacia were eating a meal in honor of their deployed family member. There were no words as the family finally embraced each other for the first time in seven months.

"This has been the hardest deployment on us" Cryztal said. "It's longer than past deployments, and we have another child."

The Madera family will spend Christmas together, but many military families will not spend the holidays with their loved ones.

For those families, Sergeant Madera said, "Keep your spirits up, and it will go by quickly."

The key for Cryztal is to stay busy.

"It was really rough in the beginning, just trying to find a routine that worked for me." Cryztal said. "It's not the same for everybody."

Anastacia looked up at her father with tears in her eyes overcome with emotion. It was clear to see just how much this Christmas wish meant to the 7-year-old and to the rest of the Madera family.

Many resources exist for families with a deployed military member. For helpful tools on how to deal with a deployed family member or spouse, call the Luke Airman and Family Readiness Center at (623) 856-6550.

Back blast area all clear

Pfc. Matthew Carpenter, a military police officer assigned to 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division fires an AT-4, an anti-tank weapon, at the Udairi Range Complex near Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Dec. 20. The AT-4 is a portable, single-shot recoilless smoothbore weapon used to destroy heavily armored vehicles. Training opportunities in Kuwait prepare the Sledgehammer Brigade for possible contingencies in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility

AETC commander selects new command chief

Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

12/21/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- The commander of Air Education and Training Command announced the selection of the command's next senior enlisted leader.

Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr. tapped Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia Jr., currently the 12th Air Force command chief at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., as the AETC command chief master sergeant. Tapia is slated to begin his tenure at the end of January.

Tapia, who has nearly 28 years of Air Force service, is an El Paso, Texas, native. He is a master personnelist and has served as a command chief during his past two assignments at the 49th Wing at Holloman AFB, N.M., and Davis-Monthan

This Day in Naval History - Dec. 21

1861 - Congress declares Naval personnel eligible for the Medal of Honor, the Nation's highest award.
1943 - USS Grayling (SS 208) sinks its fourth Japanese ship in three days.
1951 - The first helicopter landing aboard a hospital ship takes place aboard USS Consolation (AH 15).
1968 - Apollo 8 is launched with Capt. James A. Lovell Jr. as Command Module Pilot. During the mission, Lovell becomes one of the first three people to see the far side of the moon. The mission lasted 6 days and 3 hours, including 10 moon orbits. Helicopters from USS Yorktown (CVS 10) take care of the recovery.

RTC Committed to Recruits' Spiritual Health

By Brian Walsh, Recruit Training Command Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Recruits going through boot camp at Recruit Training Command (RTC) are bound to a strict training schedule that allows for little personal time. Within that personal time, however, Chaplain Services are busy ensuring that every recruit can practice their faith.

Worship services at Blue Jacket Memorial Chapel are held from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon and for holy days of obligation. RTC does not schedule training on Sunday mornings so that each recruit has the opportunity to worship in his or her own tradition.

Approximately 25 services are held each week for numerous religious faiths including Muslim, Jewish, Seventh Day Adventist, Catholic, Protestant, Baha'i Faith, and Latter Day Saints.

"While briefing new recruits during in-processing days about religious services, I explain to them the golden opportunity they have," Lt. Cmdr. Charles Johnson, Catholic Chaplain, said. "If they are interested, they can experience other religions and beliefs."

There are very few commands in the Navy where large numbers of services are offered. While a recruit is in training, they must remain on base, and they do not have the opportunity to travel to places of worship outside the gates. Therefore, RTC must offer a large variety of religious services to meet the spiritual needs of recruits. RTC remains unique in this way from the fleet.

"Our goal is slightly different than the fleet because of the age group we are working with," said Lt. j.g. Emily Rosenzweig, Jewish Chaplain. "In some cases recruits have had no exposure to spiritual growth; parents never brought them to church. For others, this may be the first time they experience other faith groups, or experiencing people for whom faith is a central part of their life."

According to Rosenzweig, about half of the recruits that attend Shabbat evening services are non-Jewish.

"Recruits attend the service for many reasons," she said. "They may be curious, or they grew up hearing about people of Israel and now this is their first chance to come to a service, or they are friends with a Jewish recruit and they come with them."

"We receive about 30 to 50 recruits a week for worship," said Lt. j.g. Wade Hammond, RTC chaplain. "Recruits come in interested in learning more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; obviously we are very careful not to proselytize, but we are always happy to answer their questions."

Within the limitations of boot camp, Chaplain Services welcomes the recruits and feels it is healthy for people to explore.

Seaman Recruit Auston Norris, 24, from Ocala, Fla., follows no particular religion but took time out to experience the services at the Chapel.

"I went to the Buddhist service," said Norris. "I learned about the religion and the history of the religion. It was very informative and nice to experience. I regret not going to other religious services offered so that I can learn a bit from every religion."

To accomplish the mission of serving recruits' spiritual needs, RTC is manned by Chaplains of different faith traditions and lay leaders approved by the commanding officer to provide for the widest selection of worship services possible.

"The command goes out of the way to make sure there are enough lay leaders and non-Chaplin clergy to help and assist," said Johnson.

If there is not a Chaplain on staff for a particular faith, and lay leaders cannot be found, a reflection service is held for recruits to worship.

Seaman Recruit Cole Marxen, 19, from Alpha, Ill., believes that being able to attend Catholic services has helped recharge his spiritual self and motivated him through training.

"It is a welcomed embrace being able to attend services in boot camp," said Marxen. "It is good to spend time with the Lord without all the stresses that come with boot camp and it is very nice to take time out to do something that I am familiar with."

Still, the main focus of boot camp is to supply the fleet with top-quality basically trained Sailors. Although all efforts are made to accommodate the spiritual needs of the recruits, the time spent and rigors of training prevent some observances from being accommodated. Recruits cannot fast and kosher meals are not readily served. Sometimes timing of an observance can be adjusted to accommodate training, but that cannot always be accomplished.

The ultimate goal of pastoral services is to assist each recruit in worshiping in their own way.

"If I can help a Catholic recruit be a better Catholic after they spoke with me then I have done a good job," said Hammond.

"After explaining to a Muslim that they may not be able to pray five times a day like they did at home, but we are going to accommodate morning and evening prayer, I can then help that recruit cope with and understand that during midday prayer that instead of having an alone place to kneel down and pray maybe that prayer can be in their heart. If that recruit leaves boot camp more committed to their values than when they came in I have done a good job as a chaplain," he said.

Recruit Training Command, located at Naval Station Great Lakes, trains over 37,000 volunteer civilian recruits annually, transforming them into basically trained Sailors.

Frank Cable Receives Health, Safety, and Fitness Flagship Award

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Swink, Frank Cable Public Affairs

APRA HARBOR, Guam (NNS) -- USS Frank Cable (AS 40) was recognized with the Health, Safety, and Fitness Flagship award, in the large overseas command category, for the calendar year 2012, Dec. 20.

The award, sponsored by the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), recognizes commands with the best overall community service programs teaching and encouraging individuals to lead healthy and active lives.

"This award says the Frank Cable is very invested in being a partner and good neighbor in Guam," said Frank Cable chaplain Lt. Cmdr. John Miyahara. "We don't just live in Guam; we actively participate with our sister villages in building good relationships and being good neighbors. When we enter a foreign port, I believe it helps the locals of those communities see beyond our ship or our uniforms and see that we are people just like them with common interests."

Throughout the year, Sailors from the Frank Cable volunteered at various projects such as the September 11 Memorial 5k run, and supporting athletes for the Guam Special Olympics. While in the Philippines, Sailors participated in athletic activities with local youths, working alongside schools and orphanages for education on nutrition and to make repairs and upgrades to public facilities.

"The orphanage is my favorite community relations project. The children are so sweet and clever, and they thoroughly enjoyed us being there and helping out," said Religious Program Specialist 3rd Class Donald Bishop. "It just gives you a feel good feeling, because you're doing something good for other people."

As the Health, Safety, and Fitness Flagship sponsor, NETC coordinates policies to encourage volunteer participation and holds an annual awards board to select and publicize Navy-wide flagship award winners.

According to NETC Commander Rear Adm. Don Quinn, taking the time to devote to improving health, safety and fitness can have significant and lasting effects.

"Getting out into the community, forming relationships and showing that we are good neighbors is extremely important," said Quinn. "The commands that participate in the Health Safety and Fitness Flagship are leading by example and have demonstrated the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Good habits resulting from positive influences and their resulting changes can last a lifetime. These commands have my sincere appreciation for their personal commitment and support of our Navy's Community Service Program."

Frank Cable maintains a high degree of physical readiness and provides its Sailors with opportunities to promote these same qualities both at home and abroad with more than 1,270 volunteer hours dedicated to health, safety and fitness project initiatives just a portion of the Frank Cable's overall community service programs.

Frank Cable's primary mission is to conduct maintenance and support for submarines and surface vessels deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

George Washington's CSADD a Cut Above the Rest

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michelle N. Rasmusson, USS George Washington Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington's (CVN 73) Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) earned the CSADD Sea Chapter of the Year for 2012 Dec. 20.

The Sea and Shore Chapters of the Year award is given to a ship's CSADD program for their effective use of social media to support CSADD, promotion of leadership skills within the program and support from the command leadership team.

"Our Sailors invest a tremendous amount of their off-time hours in planning, promoting and [putting] their ideas into action," said Electronics Technician 2nd Class Arlene Narciso, from Lihue, Hawaii, George Washington's CSADD president. "We're forward-deployed and not many of us have a lot of spare time on our hands. It took dedication and support to get us where we are [as] the number one CSADD Chapter in the fleet."

George Washington's CSADD participated in eight community service projects during its 2012 patrol, including a home visit for the handicapped in Busan, Republic of South Korea; a basketball clinic for youths in Manila, Republic of the Philippines; and visit to Agathians Shelter Children's Home in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

"As ambassadors of the U.S., it's our role to maintain a good relationship with our allies," said Narciso. "It makes us bond closer with the nations we visit."
CSADD also encourages participation in constructive, inport activities to promote leadership, good behavior and Sailors helping Sailors.

"Our CSADD greatly assists the command's efforts to combat destructive decisions and improve community relations," said Command Master Chief Shaun I. Brahmsteadt, George Washington's command master chief. "George Washington's CSADD participates in Feed the Homeless, Clean the City and other events that encourage Sailor interaction with local residents."
George Washington returned to its forward-operating location of Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan from its 2012 patrol Nov. 20. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its partners and allies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Navy Announces CSADD Chapters of the Year

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) 2012 Sea and Shore chapters of the year were announced by the Chief of Naval Personnel Dec. 19 in NAVADMIN 384/12.

Formally established in June 2010 by OPNAVIST 1500.80, CSADD serves as a peer-to-peer Sailor mentoring group for Sailors 18 to 25 years old. The group was created to positively influence young Sailors' behavior through resources and tools that promote good decision making.

"CSADD is an opportunity to learn, and an opportunity to share your experiences with other Sailors and help them grow - Shipmates helping shipmates," said Fleet Master Chief Scott Benning, fleet master chief for Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education (MPT&E).

In the sea category, USS George Washington (CVN 73) took top honors with its selection as the CSADD Sea Chapter of the Year. In the shore category, Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center San Diego was selected as CSADD Shore Chapter of the Year.

Four chapters were honored as Region Sea Chapters of the Year, including Navy Region Mid-Atlantic - USS Enterprise (CVN 65), Navy Region Southwest - USS Peleliu (LHA 5), Navy Region Japan - USS George Washington, and Navy Region Hawaii - Patrol Squadron Nine (VP-9). USS Peleliu was selected for honorable mention as Best Sea Chapter of the Year (Large), and Patrol Squadron Nine was selected for honorable mention as Best Sea Chapter of the Year (Small).

Seven chapters were recognized as Region Shore Chapters of the Year, including Navy Region Mid-Atlantic - Naval Station Norfolk, Navy Region Southwest - Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center San Diego, Navy Region Midwest - Naval Station Great Lakes, Naval District Washington - Naval Support Activity Washington D.C., Navy Region Southeast - Navy Medicine Training Support Center (NMTSC) Fort Sam Houston, Navy Region Japan - Fleet Activities Yokosuka, and Navy Region Europe - Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

NMTSC Fort Sam Houston and Fleet Activities Yokosuka also received honorable mentions as CSADD Best Shore Chapter of the Year (Training Command) and CSADD Best Shore Chapter of the Year (Shore Installation), respectively.

Chapters selected for awards include those that placed special emphasis on the use of social media to promote their programs, as well as their ability to document through metrics the impact CSADD on command mission success. Encouraging Sailors to lead through CSADD and strong support from the command leadership team were also contributing factors towards award selection.

CSADD currently has more than 180 chapters sharing their activities via Facebook, Twitter and other communication resources.

"These award-winning chapters truly embrace the concept of 'Shipmates helping Shipmates,' and they are instilling this culture at their commands," said Benning, who has helped establish the program in 2010. "Our goal is to have a CSADD chapter in every command across the Navy. This kind of early career mentorship is what grows leaders, and the chapters recognized by these awards are paving the way for successful Sailors of our future fleet."