Military News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

NRD Dallas Participates in USS Anzio Reunion



By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Vargas, Navy Recruiting District Dallas Public Affairs

DALLAS (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Navy Recruiting District (NRD) Dallas participated in the 49th Annual USS Anzio (CVE 57) Reunion Ceremony, Aug. 23.

Anzio was commissioned in August of 1943 as the USS Coral Sea, an escort carrier commanded by Capt. Herbert W. Taylor. After quite a few battles in the pacific, her name was changed to the Anzio in September of 1944. Anzio, a port city in central Italy, was the site of an Allied amphibious assault that took place in January of 1944.

Maurice E. Charles, president of the USS Anzio/Coral Sea Association, served aboard the aircraft carrier from 1943-1946. He was the manager of the ship's service as a Seaman, First Class.

"I was in charge of ship's service," said Charles. "During the time I was aboard the ship, we were part of 15 battles ranging from Guadalcanal, Makin Island, New Guinea, Japan and the Philippines to name a few."

During the reunion ceremony, the color guard from NRD Dallas presented the colors during the playing of the national anthem. Culinary Specialist 1st Class Daniel Dockery, petty officer in charge of the color guard, said he was excited to perform during the ceremony.

"It is truly an honor to be part of this reunion," said Dockery. "These Sailors were part of World War II and are a huge part of our naval history so I am glad to be here supporting them in their reunion."

Cmdr. Ed Morales, commanding officer of NRD Dallas, also was in attendance during the ceremony and was able to present the National Ensign to the daughter of Courtney B. Spratlin, who served aboard the Anzio as a plane captain from 1943-1945 and passed away earlier this year.

"I am so privileged to be part of this ceremony and to present the American flag to the daughter of a World War II veteran," mentioned Morales. "It is pretty significant to meet and recognize these individuals who are part of our naval heritage."

Clissa Spratlin England is the daughter that received the American flag on behalf of her father. She mentioned that her father enjoyed serving with his shipmates aboard the Anzio and that he was truly honored to serve during World War II.

"Daddy would speak about his experiences during the reunions and all his shipmates were so glad to have served together during this time," said England. "I am so touched to receive this American flag for my father and it is always a good time to come to the reunions and meet his shipmates."

According to the Naval History and Heritage Command, Anzio was the first American carrier to visit the port in Shanghai, China as part of Operation "Magic Carpet." Anzio received six battle stars for her service and was the most decorated escort carrier in the pacific during World War II. Anzio was decommissioned in August of 1946.

"I would like to thank NRD Dallas for their participation in our reunion and I want to say that all World War II vets are very satisfied with the Navy today," said Charles.

Morales mentioned that it is always an honor to participate in events like this reunion. There will soon be a time when there are no more living World War II veterans so anytime you have an opportunity to honor these individuals you have to make the best of it.

According to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, it is estimated that by the year 2036, there will be no more living veterans from World War II.

Development Squadron 5 Receives First Unmanned Undersea Vehicle



By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Johndro, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- Commander, Submarine Development Squadron 5 (CSDS 5), Detachment UUV, took delivery of Large Training Vehicle 38 (LTV 38), an unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) Aug. 22.

The delivery makes LTV 38 the first UUV to join the vehicle inventory used by detachment UUV at Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport.

Once a few final operational preparations are completed over the next few weeks, it will be ready to hit the water for both capabilities tests and proficiency training.

"This is certainly a key milestone for Detachment UUV in that we will have a baseline training vehicle for the future of Large Displacement UUVs," said Lt. Brian Nuss, officer in charge at Detachment UUV.

LTV 38 was originally developed for the Sea Stalker program. The vehicle is 27 feet in length and 38 inches in diameter, and was originally assembled in 2008 by Penn State University's UUV land-based test facility at State College, Pennsylvania. It underwent its first series of operational tests shortly after its assembly and made its first operational deployment on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96).

"This process was a long time coming," said Sonar Technician (Submarines) 1st Class (SS/DSV) Travis Townsend, leading petty officer at detachment UUV. "Puget Sound has a great undersea and naval presence. It truly makes sense for the detachment to receive this vehicle and start preparing for what the future of the Navy holds."

As a UUV, LTV 38 is able to perform at a maximum depth of 1,000 meters for up to 72 hours. It is designed as a full-pressure hull vehicle, capable of both line of sight and over the horizon communications, and can also conduct limited autonomous contact avoidance maneuvers via acoustic sensors while anchored and such missions are conducted and controlled remotely.

UUVs allow naval submarines to safely gain access to denied areas with revolutionary sensors and weapons. These areas may be denied based on unacceptable risks to a submarine such as extremely shallow water, very poor acoustic conditions, or mined waters. UUVs provide unique capabilities and extend the "reach" of naval platforms while reducing the risk to the submarine and its crew.

The use of unmanned vehicles in the undersea environment is projected to grow for the Navy. During a recent visit to the Pacific Northwest, Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, told Sailors he envisions having autonomous underwater vehicles on patrol by the end of the decade.

"The future large-diameter vehicles will come in 2020 and in order for the detachment to fully prepare for the delivery of those vehicles we have to start with the tactics, training and procedures now to make it a successful program in the future," Nuss said.

According to the Penn State University Applied Research Lab, the Pacific Northwest provides key components for efficient transition of UUV technology to the fleet that includes technology development, testing and evaluation, and fleet presence.

"We couldn't have done this without the partnership from Keyport, Penn State and Commander, Submarine Force Pacific, supporting us both financially and realizing that there's a gap in training that needs to be filled for Det. UUV to succeed in the future," said Nuss.

X-47B Achieves New Set of Firsts Aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt



From Naval Air Systems Command Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Navy's X-47B completed its final test aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Aug. 24 and returned to its home base at Naval Air Station Patuxent River after eight days at sea.

While underway, the X-47B flew in the carrier pattern with manned aircraft for the first time and conducted a total of five catapult launches, four arrestments and nine touch-and-go landings, including a night time shipboard flight deck handling evaluation.

"This is another detachment for the record books; all tests were safely and effectively executed," said Capt. Beau Duarte, Navy's Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager. "We have set the bar for the future of unmanned carrier aviation."

Testing began Aug. 17 when the X-47B performed its initial cooperative launch and recovery cycle with an F/A-18. With its automatic wing-fold capability and new tailhook retract system, the X-47B met the program's objective to demonstrate that carrier-based manned and unmanned aircraft could maintain a 90 second aircraft launch and recovery interval.

Throughout the week, the Navy/Northrop Grumman test team captured X-47B flying quality and recovery wind condition data to evaluate how the aircraft responds to wake turbulence during approach and landing. This data will be used to improve a simulation model for use with carrier-based aircraft.

The team also evaluated how the unmanned aircraft performed during the first night time taxi and deck handling operations aboard a carrier. Since the shipboard environment presents different challenges at night, this test was an incremental step in developing the operational concept for more routine unmanned air system flight activity.

"We conducted X-47B night flight deck operations to understand the human interface and suitability of the unmanned air vehicle and deck operator's hand-held control unit in the night environment," said Barbara Weathers, X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System lead. "These lessons learned will help with the development of future unmanned platforms."

The Navy will continue to execute shore-based testing at Patuxent River to further the goal of seamless integration with manned aircraft and to refine best practices for the evaluation of future unmanned air systems.