Thursday, January 13, 2011

Today in the Department of Defense, Thursday, January 13, 2011

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates is traveling.

Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn and General Counsel Jeh C. Johnson deliver remarks at at the 26th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observance in the Pentagon Auditorium, room BH650. This event will be carried live on the Pentagon Channel and streaming live on

Commanding general for Regional Command South, Maj. Gen. James Terry and senior civilian representative for Regional Command South, Henry Ensher will brief the media live from Afghanistan at in the Pentagon Briefing Room (2E973) to provide an update on current operations.  Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the River Entrance only.  Plan to arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to the event; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification.  Please call 703-697-5131 for escort into the building.

This Day In Naval History - Jan. 12

From the Navy News Service

1813 - U.S. frigate Chesapeake captures the British warship Volunteer.
1848 - Sloop Lexington attacked in San Blas, Mexico.
1953 - Aircraft landings are tested aboard USS Antietam (CVS 36), the first angled-deck carrier.

Namesake Submarine Adopted by Bremerton Navy League

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Dagendesh, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Northwest

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Navy League United States (NLUS) Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council hosted an adoption ceremony for the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) at Norm Dicks Conference Center, Jan. 11.

USS Bremerton was the second United States Navy ship to be named in honor of Bremerton, Wash., a city which has been long associated with both the Navy and submarine force.

Mayor Patty Lent hosted the ceremony and NLUS Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council signed the official adoption papers of USS Bremerton.

"Tonight's celebration commemorates the official adoption of USS Bremerton and her crew by Bremerton-Olympic," said Congressman Norm Dicks. "This is a proud day of the city of Bremerton and its citizens. As a native of Bremerton it is an honor to welcome Cmdr. Kerr and his wife Hilary to our city. And we offer our deepest thanks to the 130-person crew serving our country on board USS Bremerton.

"I am thankful that the Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Navy League has demonstrated support for the crew and its namesake submarine. This partnership is a testament to the patriotism of every Navy League member as shining examples of how much this community supports service members and their families," said Dicks.

The electric boat division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Conn., was awarded the contract to build the submarine Jan. 24, 1972; the keel was laid May 8, 1976, and was launched July 22, 1978 by sponsor, Mrs. Henry M. Jackson.

USS Bremerton was commissioned March 28, 1981, and Capt. Thomas H. Anderson was its first commanding officer.

Byron Faber, Navy League Trips and Tours worked closely with area organizations and USS Bremerton to make the event possible.

"As soon as we knew the Bremerton got the port call here a year ago, several of us in Navy League wanted to do everything we could to show our support to the crew," said Faber. "I gave them rides in my Ferrari and got to know the crew; we just had a blast...and we got the idea 'why don't we adopt this boat.' I've been the liaison ever since doing the spade-work to get it done…a lot of chatting with the CO to see what we could do. I'm just proud we can support our military any way we can."

Cmdr. Caleb Kerr, USS Bremerton commanding officer, and his wife flew in from Pearl Harbor to attend the ceremony to represent the boat and sign the official papers.

"I thank all who are here, for welcoming my wife and myself to this auspicious occasion," said Kerr. "The crew and I are very excited about the patriotic city Bremerton adopting our ship. I cannot tell you what it means to all of us on the crew to know there are people in Bremerton fully supporting us; especially significant for us as we prepare for a six-month deployment. All of your support is appreciated."

Blue to Green Is Option for Sailors Facing Separation

From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- In a climate where Sailors may face separation due to high year tenure or Perform-to-Serve/Fleet Rating Identification Engine, Navy leadership is reminding Sailors in 2011 that Operation Blue to Green could keep them serving.

"Sailors should be aware of all avenues to stay in the military," said Capt. Hank Roux, head enlisted community management.

According to the Army's Operation Blue to Green website, the program allows highly qualified Sailors the opportunity to continue in military service, maintain benefits and gain new training.

Benefits of transitioning to the Army via Blue to Green include:

* E-1 through E-5 retain their grade and date of rank.
* Rates that convert into an Army military occupational specialty (MOS) will only need to attend Basic Combat Training.
* Retraining into another MOS may be possible.

"Of course we want all of our Sailors to stay Navy, whether that is active, full time support or Reserve component, but if a Sailor's facing separation Blue to Green is a great option for them," Roux said.

In fiscal year 2010, only 43 Sailors took advantage of the program.

To qualify, Sailors must be physically fit, meet the Army's height and weight standards, have a minimum of three years time in service and have an approved Request for Conditional Release (DD Form 368).

For more information, speak with your career counselor, review SECNAVINST 1000.7F, MILPERSMAN 1300-081 and the Army's Operation Blue to Green website at