Thursday, September 14, 2017

Deputy Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan Hosts Department of Defense's National POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony

Deputy Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan will host the Department of Defense's National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, at 10 a.m. EDT at the Pentagon River Terrace Parade Field.

The program will include remarks by Army Maj. Gen. Michael Howard, commanding general, Military District of Washington; Deputy Shanahan; and U.S. Sen. John Boozman (Arkansas), followed by a pass-in-review, joint service anthem medley, and flyover of two FA-18 Hornets.

All journalists desiring to cover the ceremony must obtain a wristband from security screening. Journalists without a Pentagon facility access card must go through security screening at the base of the River Entrance Pedestrian Bridge, and will be escorted to the ceremony from there. Security screening will begin at 9 a.m. EDT; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification. Journalists with a Pentagon facility access card, and whom have entered the building prior to 9 a.m. EDT, may go through security screening at the River Entrance to obtain their wristband. All journalists wishing to cover the POW/MIA ceremony, including those with a Pentagon facility access card, must be in place no later than 9:45 a.m. EDT. Once security screening has been initiated at the base of the bridge, all journalists entering the building via the bridge for any reason, including those with a Pentagon facility access card not covering the POW/MIA ceremony, must undergo security screening.

Please call 703-697-5131 with any questions. The ceremony will also be streamed on

Navy to Christen Amphibious Assault Ship Tripoli

The Navy will christen its newest America-class amphibious assault ship, the future USS Tripoli (LHA 7), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, September 16, in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Mr. Thomas Dee, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of the Navy, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Lynne Mabus, the wife of the 75th Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by Mrs. Mabus breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship, a time-honored Navy tradition.

“When USS Tripoli, the newest America-class amphibious assault ship, joins the fleet, we'll be a stronger, more flexible, and better Navy and Marine Corps team,” Dee said. “The ship will be a force multiplier, and her crew will proudly serve our country for decades to come. I am grateful to the men and women of Ingalls Shipbuilding for their dedication and to the citizens of Pascagoula for their unwavering support as we continue to make our Navy stronger.”

LHA 7 will incorporate key components to provide the fleet with a more aviation centric platform. The design of the future Tripoli will feature an enlarged hangar deck, realignment and expansion of the aviation maintenance facilities, a significant increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and increased aviation fuel capacity. The ship will also be the first LHA replacement ship to depart the shipyard fully ready to integrate the entire future air combat element of the Marine Corps to include the Joint Strike Fighter.

Along with its pioneering aviation element, LHA 7 will incorporate a gas turbine propulsion plant, zonal electrical distribution, and fuel efficient electric auxiliary propulsion systems first installed on USS Makin Island (LHD 8). LHA 7 will be 844 feet in length, have a displacement of approximately 45,000 long tons and be capable of operating at speeds of over 20 knots.

LHA 7 will be the third Navy ship to be named Tripoli. The name honors and commemorates the force of U.S. Marines and approximately 370 soldiers from 11 other nationalities who captured the city of Derna, Libya during the 1805 Battle of Derna. The battle resulted in a subsequent peace treaty and the successful conclusion of the combined operations of the First Barbary War, and was later memorialized in the Marines' Hymn with the line, “to the shores of Tripoli.”

Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at (703) 697-5342. For more information about the Amphibious Assault Ships class:

Marines Assist Irma Relief Efforts in Caribbean, Florida

By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Savannah Mosby 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit

KEY WEST, Fla., Sept. 14, 2017 — Since the beginning of the Hurricane Irma disaster relief effort, Marines have successfully evacuated 1,600 citizens stranded on Caribbean islands that took Irma’s full impact, and delivered more than 52,000 pounds of supplies and equipment here.

“We train for this kind of mission,” said Marine Corps Lt. Col. Christopher Timothy, executive officer with the Camp Lejeune, North Carolina-based 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “It’s in the DNA of the Marine Expeditionary Unit to rapidly respond to crisis when called upon. Alongside our Navy partners, we stand strong and ready to help those affected by this storm in whatever way we can.”

Around 10,000 Defense Department personnel are providing support to response operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The personnel are delivering food and water to citizens, as well as supporting authorities in the U.S. Virgin Islands with the combined goal of protecting the lives and safety of those in affected areas.

Irma Relief Operations

-- Approximately 700 Marines are embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge in response to Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.

-- The Marine Corps has approximately 300 Marines from the 26th MEU and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima. In total, 1,000 Marines, 11 Marine Corps aircraft, and three expected additional aircraft are conducting hurricane relief efforts.

–– Marines with 26th MEU are conducting community cleanup throughout Key West, Florida, clearing debris and making Key West livable and safe for the citizens.

–– The Marine Forces Reserve have units in Florida and Alabama whose members are supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency and state and local response efforts after Hurricane Irma made landfall.

–– Marines with the 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company, based in Mobile, Alabama, 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, based in Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida and Combat Logistics Battalion 451, based in Orlando, Florida, are providing support. The units are critical to U.S. Northern Command’s support of FEMA’s assistance to federal, state and local authorities’ ongoing relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Other Operations

–– The SS Wright is loading FEMA containers and is scheduled to depart for St. Thomas.

–– Three KC-130 Hercules aircraft arrived in Marathon, Florida, as part of a fuel resupply mission.