Sunday, September 22, 2013

Washington Navy Yard Victims Honored at Memorial Service

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jennifer Lebron, Defense Media Activity - Navy

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Family, friends and co-workers of the 12 people killed in the Sept. 16 shooting at the Washington Navy Yard (WNY) gathered for a memorial ceremony at Marine Barracks Washington Sept. 22.

The memorial honored the service and sacrifice those killed in the incident:
Michael Arnold, 59, of Lorton, Va.
Martin Bodrog, 54, of Annandale, Va.
Arthur Daniels, 51, of Southeast, Washington, D.C.
Sylvia Frasier, 53 Waldorf, Md.
Kathy Gaarde, 62, of Woodbridge, Va.
John Roger Johnson, 73, of Derwood, Md.
Mary Francis Knight, 51, of Reston, Va.
Frank Kohler, 50, of Tall Timbers, Md.
Kenneth Bernard Proctor,46, of Waldorf, Md.
Vishnu Shalchendia Pandit, 61, of North Potomac, Md.
Gerald L. Read, 58, of Alexandria, Va.
Richard Michael Ridgell, 52, of Westminster, Md.

President Barrack Obama joined Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on stage to speak and reflect on the tragedy that unfolded nearly a week earlier.

"You and your family, this Navy family, are still in the early hour of your grief," said Obama. "And, I am here today to say that there is nothing routine about this tragedy, nothing routine about your loss. Your loved ones will not be forgotten. They will endure in the hearts of the American people and the hearts of the Navy that they helped to keep strong, and the hearts of their co-workers and friends and their neighbors."

Vice Adm. William Hilarides, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, gave the opening remarks at the ceremony.

"It has been an honor for all of us to serve with the 12 great Americans we mourn here today. They loved their country. They loved their Navy. They loved the fleet -- the fleet they helped build and sustain" said Hilarides. "These patriots designed and built our ships. They sustained and set the standards for our ships. They connected us to each other and to the fleet. And, they protected and sustained our headquarters. For that service we honor them. For that service we will never forget them."

In his remarks, Mabus noted the strong sense of family he has seen as he met with the victims and their families.

"We are a family, uniformed and civilian, we work together, serve together, overcome together. As a family we grieve together. Together we will assure that they, like those that have gone before them, will be remembered and honored as heroes," Mabus said. "Because that is what they are, heroes. Ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances. An ordinary Monday became a day of extraordinary horror, but also extraordinary heroism."

Those sentiments were echoed by Greenert who said the Navy lost parts of its family. The Navy lost shipmates.

"These shipmates dedicated their careers to building and maintaining the finest Navy in the world. They worked alongside one another for a purpose greater than themselves," Greenert said. "The nature of our Navy family is that we serve together and we depend on each other in times of need. We celebrate each other's successes and triumphs. And, we grieve together in times of sorrow."

In the wake of the shooting, the Navy responded with support for those affected by the shooting - military, civilians, contractors and their families - by establishing Emergency Family Assistance Centers (EFAC).

The EFACs continue to provide services at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) and WNY. They are located at WNY Building 111, Commander, Navy Installations Command Headquarters (5th floor), and JBAB Building 71, Enteprise Hall.

Those needing information about the services offered by the EFACs should call 1-855-677-1755 for more information.

There has been an outpouring of support for the Navy and those affected by the shooting. The support is noted and appreciated by the men and women of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) which released the following statement Sept. 20.

"The employees and families of NAVSEA are grateful for the outpouring of help and support in recent days. We've received many inquiries from those wishing to offer support by making donations. Due to federal regulations, the Navy and NAVSEA cannot solicit or officially endorse non-federal organizations. Information on organizations offering support may be found at"

Minuteman III test missile launches from Vandenberg

by Air Force Global Strike Command
Public Affairs

9/22/2013 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile was launched during an operational test at 3:01 a.m. (PDT) today from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

The launch team, under the direction of the 576th Flight Test Squadron, included members from the 91st Missile Wing, Minot AFB, N.D., and 90 Missile Wing, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.

"The test launch is the culmination of months of hard work and preparation." said Col. Lance Kawane, 576th Flight Test Squadron commander. "The invaluable data we collect helps us to validate the functionality and performance of system components."

The ICBM test launch program supports U.S. strategic deterrence policy as outlined in the 2010 Department of Defense Nuclear Posture Review, by demonstrating the operational credibility of the Minuteman III.

Agencies across the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy will use the data collected from this mission to ensure a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent. The United States' ability to maintain a strong, credible nuclear deterrent is a key element of U.S. national security and the security of U.S. allies and friends.

The next test launch of the Minuteman III from Vandenberg is scheduled for Sept. 26.

Navy Helicopter Crashes in Red Sea

By U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs
NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN (NNS) -- An MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6 crashed in the central Red Sea Sept. 22, while operating with the guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110).

The status of the five personnel on board the helicopter is still being determined.

The crash was not due to any sort of hostile activity.

USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is providing aircraft and small boats for search and rescue assistance.

The incident is under investigation.