Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Carl Vinson Strike Group to Depart for Training, Deployment


San Diego November 30, 2010 - USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and crew members of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 will depart Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island Tuesday, Nov. 30, for a training exercise followed by a scheduled routine deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet and U.S. 5th Fleet Areas of Responsibility.

As the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 1, led by Rear Adm. Samuel Perez, Vinson will deploy with USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS Stockdale (DDG 106) and USS Gridley (DDG 101). Embarked aboard Vinson is Destroyer Squadron 1 and CVW 17, which includes the "Red Lions" of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 15, the "Fighting Redcocks" of Strike Fighter Squadron 22, the "Fist of the Fleet" of Strike Fighter Squadron 25, the "Sunliners" of Strike Fighter Squadron 81, the "Rawhides" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40, the "Garudas" of Electronic Attack Squadron 134, the "Stingers" of Strike Fighter Squadron 113 and the "Tigertails" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125.

This deployment will be the first deployment for the Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Stockdale.

"This will be Stockdale's maiden deployment," said Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Jeffrey Bennett. "Our team of awesome warfighters are ready to deploy, executing missions across all warfare areas and joining Destroyer Squadron 1 and the Vinson Strike Group team to be prepared to execute a full spectrum of military operations from presence and security to humanitarian assistance and disaster response."

The mission of the Vinson Strike Group while deployed will focus on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts, which help establish conditions for regional stability.


Navy to decommission frigate Hawes on Dec. 10 | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com

Navy to decommission frigate Hawes on Dec. 10 HamptonRoads.com PilotOnline.com

George Washington Strike Group Welcomes United Nations Military Officials

USS George Washington at Sea November 30, 2010 - USS George Washington (CVN 73) welcomed four Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) dignitaries aboard the ship on Nov. 29, during the second day of a naval exercise in the series announced at the 2-plus-2 meetings in July with Republic of Korea (ROK) naval forces.

The four NNSC members are delegates in the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC) and were aboard George Washington to observe the four-day naval exercise in waters west of the Korean peninsula. The exercise includes training opportunities that develop all areas of preparedness including fleet readiness, air defense, logistics, enhancing communications and subject matter exchanges.

"We are conducting routine operations in international waters, demonstrating our commitment to the Republic of Korea (ROK) and to improve the interoperability and readiness of both Republic of Korea and US forces, and our collective commitment to security and stability across the Pacific region," said Commander, Task Force 70 Rear Adm. Dan Cloyd. "These operations strengthen deterrence against North Korea. None of our operations involve live fire exercises."

We are training and working together to prepare ourselves for any number of missions, from the types you are seeing here today, as well as humanitarian assistance or disaster response missions that we may conduct anywhere in the region." Cloyd said.

More than two dozen ROK navy officers are also on board George Washington working side-by-side with U.S. Navy counterparts, along with six ROK navy ships coordinating and conducting naval training evolutions with George Washington Carrier Strike Group.

The exercise includes the aircraft carrier George Washington, with an embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5; the cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63); and the destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Stethem (DDG 63) and the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62); along with ROK navy ships. The United States notified China, Japan and other nations in the region of the exercise that is taking place in international waters.


New frigate's spec to be cut - Scotsman.com News

New frigate's spec to be cut - Scotsman.com News

Monday, November 29, 2010

George Washington Strike Group Begins Exercise with Republic of Korea

USS George Washington at Sea November 28, 2010 - On Sunday, Nov. 28, the George Washington Carrier Strike Group (GWCSG) entered the waters west of the Korean peninsula to participate in a combined military exercise with the Republic of Korea (ROK). The exercise is part of the series announced at the 2 + 2 meetings in July and is scheduled to run until Dec. 1.

“While this exercise, which is defensive in nature, has been planned for some time, it underscores the importance of the ROK-U.S. alliance and our collective commitment to regional security and stability,” said Commander, Task Force 70 Rear Adm. Dan Cloyd.

The purpose of the four-day exercise is to enhance the readiness and interoperability of ROK and U.S. forces during routine operations in international waters and airspace. Both militaries have conducted similar exercises together in recent months on both sides of the peninsula.

The exercise will include more than 7,000 personnel, 11 ships and a variety of aircraft to include F-18 Super Hornets, F-16C Fighting Falcons, A-10C Thunderbolt II, F-15Ks and KF-16s.

The ships involved include: the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), with embarked Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5); the guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63); the guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Stethem (DDG 63), and USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62); and several ships and aircraft from the ROK.

The two nations will conduct air defense and surface warfare readiness training, communications and data link drills and subject matter expert exchanges during the course of the four-day exercise.

Dubuque Sailors, Marines Visit Island of Cebu

USS Dubuque at Sea November 29, 2010 - Sailors and embarked Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard USS Dubuque (LPD 8) wrapped up a three-day port visit to the island of Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 26.

The visit by the amphibious transport dock ship allowed the ship's crew to explore the island through Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) tours at the island's traditional markets and modern malls.

Sailors and Marines also had the opportunity to experience the island's vibrant night life and to continue building the relationship between the U.S. Navy and Philippines since World War II.

"The friendship of our two nations is linked to naval tradition and a shared interest in the security of the region," said Capt. Christopher Bolt, the commanding officer of Dubuque. "Also, there are many Sailors from the Philippines serving on Dubuque and for them this was a homecoming, which many took leave to visit family in their homeland."

The rare port visit to Cebu provided the island's influential leaders a chance to visit and tour Dubuque.

"It was also an opportunity for representatives of the Republic of the Philippines military, Cebu police and port authority leaders to tour a famous amphibious assault ship," said Bolt.

Cebu is one of the final liberty ports for Dubuque in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR) before returning to its homeport in San Diego.

Dubuque recently completed five months of operations in the 5th Fleet AOR with the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group conducting maritime security operations and participating in exercises promoting security and stability with partner nations in the region.

Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island conducts a training exercise Friday with Dominican Navy Midshipmen off the coast of Catuano Dominican Repbulic

San Juan November 29, 2010 - Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island and three Dominican Navy vessels conducted a training exercise Friday off the coast of Catuano, Dominican Republic.

The Kodiak Island rendezvoused with the Dominican Republic Navy vessels GC-109 Orion, PA-301 Almirante Didiez Burgos and PM-204 Capotillo as part of their Autumn Cruise to train second and third-year midshipmen from the Dominican Republic Naval Academy.

"This U.S. Coast Guard and Dominican Republic Navy training engagement allowed us to share best practices between our services, said Lt. Cmdr. Rodrigo Rojas, Sector San Juan chief of law enforcement. “The Caribbean is the Coast Guard's busiest operating area. It is important to work collectively with our international partners, as they often may be our first responders to search and rescue cases or in countering illicit drug and migrant trafficking events.”

During the training evolution, the Kodiak Island hosted 71 Dominican Republic Naval Academy midshipmen onboard and provided them with overviews on existing U.S. and Dominican Bilateral agreements to include shiprider, maritime law enforcement, counter-drug and search and rescue operations in the Mona Passage and the Caribbean. The discussions were followed by the practical application of fire fighting techniques and equipment aboard a patrol boat, and the use of biometrics technology during migrant interdictions.

“The Kodiak Island is honored to have been invited to Dominican territorial waters to host, train and interact with the countries naval midshipmen,” said Lt. Matthew Rooney, Kodiak Island commanding officer. “We look forward to future training events that will further strengthen the existing strong ties and joint interoperability efforts between our services.”

The crew of a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter also took part in this international engagement by providing the Dominican midshipmen and Dominican naval crews with two live search and rescue demonstrations consisting of the deployment of a rescue swimmer and hoist operations with a rescue basket.

Coast Guard and Dominican Republic authorities regularly share information and respond jointly to Search and Rescue and Law Enforcement cases off Dominican Republic shores.

Kodiak Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Fla.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

TS State of Maine Heading the Breakers

The last ride of the state of Maine USNS Upshur.

USNS UPSHUR, STATE OF MAINE III is underway to the ship breaker in Brownsville Texas.

Attached is a final photo taken by Carl Castiglioni. Interestingly Carl worked with me on the Harkness final days prior to starting the TANNER conversion into the current STATE OF MAINE IV.

I must say that the Drydock Photo certainly looks better than the Photos while in USCG possession on the beach in Mobile.

Sad day for a grand ship that provided the Merchant Marine with a long string of Licensed Officers.


Captain Larry Wade


Maine Maritime Academy


Castine, Maine 04420


Dear All,

1) Please note that the T/S STATE OF MAINE (ex: Upshur) has departed Signal Ship Repair, DD #1. She is currently under tow by the tug Colonel, from Dann Ocean Towing, bound for International Ship Breakers, Brownsville, TX.

2) Notable undocking times/events, are as follows:

· Commenced Flooding DD: 0410

· Water Touching Keel: 0505

· Hold @ 18-foot Draft Line for WT Integrity Checks: 0600 => 0640, all satisfactory.

· Pilot onboard: ~0605

· Pilot Requested an addition tug to assist exiting DD: 0645

· Complete making all WT Closures and commence flood DD: 0650

· Fully Afloat: 0703 (19’ Fwd, 22’ 06” Aft, ½ deg Stbd List)

· Bow Crossed Sill: 0715

3) The S/Y Invoice is settled and signed @ $427,016.50 against an award value of $543,931.00. Final reports and PAS close-out to follow.

4) I’m closing down the S/Y site office this afternoon and fly out tomorrow morning.

5) The attached photo of the good ship was taken at 0400-hrs, from my final drydock walk through.

6) From yesterday’s (2010-11-17) aborted refloat / departure evolution, the following DD times apply:

· Commenced Flooding DD: 0700-hrs

· Water Touching Keel: 0705-hrs

· Hold @ 12-foot Draft Line for WT Integrity Checks: 0740-hrs

· First Leak (#1 Cargo Hold, Lwr Lvl, Stbd) Discovered: ~0830-hrs

· Second Leak (Mn E/Rm, Lwr Lvl, Pt): ~0855

· Third Leak (Shaft Alley, Aft) Discovered: ~0905

· Cancellation Order Issued: ~0906

· Commenced Pumping Out DD: 0910

· DD Floor Dry: 0952

Respectfully Yours,

Carl Castiglioni

Engineering Superintendent Interocean American Shipping, Corp (IAS)

This page is for anyone who wants to share stories, pictures or really anything about their time on board. (read less)

The last ride of the state of Maine USNS Upshur.

USNS UPSHUR, STATE OF MAINE III is underway to the ship breaker in Brownsville Texas.

Attached is a final photo taken by Carl Castiglioni. Interestingly Carl worked with me on the Harkness final days prior to starting the TANNER conversion into the current STATE OF MAINE IV.

I must say that the Drydock Photo certainly looks better than the Photos while in USCG possession on the beach in Mobile.

Sad day for a grand ship that provided the Merchant... (read more)...

Navy ship home and open to public

Auckland November 25, 2010 - Offshore Patrol Vessel, HMNZS OTAGO will be arriving in Dunedin on 26 November for a five day visit.

During her visit, OTAGO will be open to the public.

What: HMNZS OTAGO open to the public

When: Saturday 27 November, 2010 from 12:30pm to 3:30pm

Where: OTAGO will be berthed at Birch Street Wharf in the Dunedin basin.

The crew of OTAGO will be holding a sausage sizzle with proceeds going to the ship’s charity CCS Disability Action.

The regional affiliation for OTAGO is Otago and Southland with its homeports being Dunedin and Invercargill/Bluff.

OTAGO will depart Dunedin on 1 December for Bluff.


HMS Scott returns to the Antarctic

London November 25, 2010 - The Royal Navy deep-water survey ship HMS Scott has deployed to the Antarctic 100 years after her eponym Captain Scott's final expedition to the area.

HMS Scott left Plymouth early today for what will be her second deployment to the region; her aim will be to demonstrate the UK's ongoing commitment to the Antarctic Treaty during the austral summer of 2010/11.

The UK was the first state to ratify the treaty, which came into force in 1961, and remains committed to upholding its core values of preserving the continent for peace and science.

During her deployment to the region earlier this year HMS Scott, based at Devonport Naval Base, surveyed 3,000 miles (4,800km) of uncharted ocean, and provided information for the safety of navigation and entirely new seabed views of interest to scientists, including newly-discovered undersea volcanoes.

The ship's current mission will again be in support of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Antarctic Survey. HMS Scott will provide data for the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office using her state-of-the-art multi-beam sonar system to collect information in the data-sparse waters of the Antarctic.

HMS Scott is built to sail through ice only up to 80cm thick and is, therefore, not officially an ice-breaker.

The ship's Commanding Officer, Commander Gary Hesling, said:

"The fact that HMS Scott can undertake useful and valuable tasking, despite not being an ice- breaker, shows the utility and flexibility of the Royal Navy. It could be no more fitting that HMS Scott, named after Captain Scott, is to conduct operations in the Antarctic in the 100th anniversary year of Captain Scott's final Antarctic expedition."

At 13,500 tons (12,250 metric tonnes) HMS Scott is the Royal Navy's deep-water ocean survey vessel and the sixth largest vessel in the fleet. Her size is a consequence of her unique sonar, capable of surveying the deepest oceans in continuous lines of up to 400 miles (640km) in length.

The ship completed survey operations in the North Atlantic during the summer and, in preparation for this deployment, recently undertook a package of training with the staff of Plymouth-based Flag Officer Sea Training.

HMS Scott was commissioned in 1997 and has a crew of 78. She operates a crew rotation system whereby 52 are onboard at any one time during a standard 35-day operational cycle. The remainder of the crew take leave and by operating in such a manner the ship maximises her operational availability and effectiveness by being at sea for 307 days per year.

The UK has long-term strategic, scientific, environmental and sustainable resource management interests in the Antarctic, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the wider South Atlantic.

By taking a leading role in the Antarctic Treaty system, through a policy of presence, governance and commitment to deliver our international obligations, the UK protects its interests and sovereignty.

The UK's claim to the British Antarctic Territory (BAT) is the oldest in Antarctica dating back to letters patent issued in 1908. Claims lodged by Argentina and Chile in the 1930s and 1940s largely overlap with the BAT.

Other states which claim territory in Antarctica are Norway, Australia, France and New Zealand. Article IV of the Antarctic Treaty deals with territorial sovereignty and effectively places in abeyance all such claims, recognition and non-recognition of claims, and precludes any activity to assert any new claim or enlarge any existing claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf returns home for the holidays after 90-day patrol

Alameda November 24, 2010 - The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf and its crew returned to its homeport of Alameda, Nov. 24, 2010, just in time for the crew to enjoy the holidays with their loved ones, following its first 90-day operational patrol in the Eastern Pacific.

While on patrol, Bertholf made the transition from testing and evaluation to fully mission capable, interdicting an estimated 12,400 kilograms of cocaine valued at nearly $400 million, destined for the United States. During several separate cases, Bertholf detained nine persons suspected of illegal activity and entered 27 associated smugglers into national databases which will also serve to aid future efforts in the region.
“The crew and cutter performed beyond my highest expectations in this first full operational patrol,” said Capt. J. F. Prince, commanding officer, CGC Bertholf. “The capability Bertholf brings to this mission, and all Coast Guard missions, proved the value of the National Security Cutter and its importance to our nation’s homeland and national security strategies.”
Bertholf’s crew operated alongside the Department of Defense, Joint Interagency and international partners in carrying out the Coast Guard’s drug and suspected migrant interdiction missions. At the outset of the patrol, Bertholf provided command and control capabilities in support of suspected counter-drug and migrant interdiction operations off the coast of California in the vicinity of the Southwest Border.
Bertholf’s crew also worked with Joint Interagency Task Force South to detect and monitor illicit trafficking. Bertholf disrupted and seized contraband from a wide variety of drug vessels, including: fishing vessels, high speed panga-style vessels and a multi-engine, go-fast vessel.
Bertholf is the first of the Legend Class National Security Cutters, measuring 418-feet long with a crew of 110 personnel. Bertholf is capable of deploying out of hemisphere for up to half a year as part of the U.S. National Fleet alongside U.S. Navy partners, or operating independently in all theatres around the world.

Future USS Arlington Launched

Pascagoula November 24, 2010 - The future USS Arlington (LPD 24) launched Nov. 23 from Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding's Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard, marking a key milestone in the ship's construction process.

Arlington honors the 184 victims who died when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the first responders from the county.

"The courage and heroism of the people aboard the flight, and in the Pentagon, will never be forgotten by the American people," said former Secretary of the Navy Gordon England.

Arlington is the eighth ship of the San Antonio class of landing platform docks and is scheduled to be christened in early 2011. Arlington will be an important element of future expeditionary strike and amphibious ready groups, supporting improved warfighting capabilities, including an advanced command-and-control suite, increased lift-capability in vehicle and cargo-carrying capacity and advanced ship-survivability features.

The ship will serve as an effective sea-based platform for the Marines, projecting power ashore through the mobility triad of high speed landing craft air cushioned vehicles, expeditionary fighting vehicles and the Osprey MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.

Arlington's sister ships have already served as flagships for anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia and have provided humanitarian assistance and foreign disaster relief operations in support of the government of Haiti.

Five ships from the San Antonio class have already been commissioned, including USS San Antonio (LPD 17), USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), USS Green Bay (LPD 20) and USS New York (LPD 21). The future USS San Diego (LPD 22) is also in production at Northrop Grumman's Pascagoula shipyard and will be completed in 2011. The future USS Anchorage (LPD 23) will be launched at Northrop Grumman's Avondale shipyard in early 2011.

Naval Readiness Exercise Announced

Seoul November 24, 2010 - The USS George Washington carrier strike group will join Republic of Korea naval forces in the waters west of the Korean peninsula from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 to conduct the next exercise in the series announced at the 2+2 meetings in July.
This exercise is defensive in nature. While planned well before yesterday’s unprovoked artillery attack, it demonstrates the strength of the ROK-U.S. Alliance and our commitment to regional stability through deterrence. It is also designed to improve our military interoperability.
U.S. Navy ships scheduled to participate include the USS George Washington (CVN 73) with an embarked carrier air wing (CVW 5), USS Cowpens (CG 62), USS Shiloh (CG 67), USS Stethem (DDG 63), and USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62).
U.S. and allied operations are built on an already strong foundation of cooperation and this exercise is intended to further enhance interoperability. The U.S. and ROK forces will conduct air defense and surface warfare readiness training.
The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the waters off the Korean peninsula and has conducted numerous operations and exercises in this area. In October 2009 the George Washington strike group conducted similar operations in the international waters west of the Korean peninsula. U.S. aircraft carriers frequently visit the Korean peninsula and conduct port visits in Busan; such as USS George Washington in 2010, USS John C. Stennis in March 2009, USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz, and USS George Washington in 2008.


Families' joy as Daring returns from exercises - Portsmouth Today#5781347#5781347

Families' joy as Daring returns from exercises - Portsmouth Today#5781347#5781347

CBC News - Canada - Coast guard ship used by oil companies#socialcomments-submit#socialcomments-submit

CBC News - Canada - Coast guard ship used by oil companies#socialcomments-submit#socialcomments-submit

The ship was renamed Amundsen from Sir John Franklin to appease Quebec.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

USS Enterprise Turns 49 Years Old Thanksgiving Day

Norfolk November 23, 2010 - USS Enterprise (CVN 65) is scheduled to celebrate its 49th birthday in her homeport of Norfolk, Va. Nov. 25.

Big E's 49th birthday will take place as the crew celebrates Thanksgiving.

Enterprise is the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, and with the exception of USS Constitution, is the oldest commissioned warship in the Navy. CVN-65 is the eighth U.S. ship bearing the name Enterprise and was commissioned Nov. 25, 1961.

During the commissioning, then Secretary of the Navy John B. Connally Jr. called the ship a worthy successor to the seventh Enterprise (CV 6), which was the most decorated ship in World War II. In his remarks, Connally said Enterprise will reign for a long, long time as "queen of the seas."

Former Aviation Boatswain's Mate Airman Jack Kepics was there that historic day and remembers it vividly.

"There was a chilly breeze that blew through the hangar bay as about 3,000 of us stood in ranks shivering in our dress blues," said Kepics. "Despite the dreary weather, the atmosphere was very festive, and a sense of pride beamed from every Sailor and officer as we stood and listened to the commissioning speeches."

"Big E", as the crew affectionately named her, is the largest aircraft carrier to ever be built. One of a kind, Enterprise stretches 1,123 feet and weighs 73,858 tons. Enterprise is the only ship to ever house eight nuclear reactors.

"This is significant because we are still operating as efficiently as we did 49 years ago," said USS Enterprise Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Keith Oxley. "Roughly 250,000 Sailors have served aboard Enterprise in her 49-year tenure, and we are carrying on that legacy."

The ship's first mission was to track and measure the flight of Mercury 'Friendship 7'. Big E's efforts culminated May 5, 1962 when Cmdr. Alan B. Shepard, Jr., became the first American to break the barrier of the Earth's atmosphere and ascend 116.5 miles in the Mercury capsule.

Big E has played a role in almost every major conflict since her commissioning. From the Cuban Missile Crisis, through multiple tours off Yankee Station in the Vietnam conflict, cold war tensions, and culminating with it's rapid response on 9/11, Enterprise has been there to answer the nation's call time and again.

"I've been in the Navy for 25 years, and I cannot recall a ship that has been as active for this period of time," said Oxley. "I came to Enterprise for the sole reason of helping this fine ship to the very end of its life and also to be part of its history and heritage."

Throughout Enterprise's naval career, it has earned many accolades and distinguished itself honorably time and time again. Enterprise has played a vital role in establishing sea power for the U.S. in the past and, with its upcoming deployment, will continue to do so into the future.

This sentiment reaffirms the tradition and level of excellence that Enterprise Sailors have shown throughout the vessel's history. The legend will continue to grow as it looks forward to its 50th birthday next year.

Enterprise Carrier Strike Group consists of Enterprise, the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), the guided-missile destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Mason (DDG 87), USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), Carrier Air Wing 1 and Destroyer Squadron 2.


Flaggschiff der Royal Navy besucht die Hansestadt

Flaggschiff der Royal Navy besucht die Hansestadt

Monday, November 22, 2010

Navy Commissions Destroyer Gravely

Wilmington NC November 20, 2010 - The Navy's newest Arleigh Burke class destroyer, USS Gravely (DDG 107) was commissioned in Wilmington, N.C., Nov. 20.

The ceremony honored the late Vice Adm. Samuel Lee Gravely, Jr., who achieved many 'firsts' as an officer in the United States Navy.

Gravely was the first African American to command a warship (USS Theodore E. Chandler (DD 717)); to command a warship in combat (USS Taussig (DD 746)); to command a major warship (USS Jouett (DLG 29)); to attain flag rank; to become a vice admiral; and to command a numbered fleet (3rd Fleet).

"This warship is now ready to serve our great nation and carry on the example of a great American, a great man, and a great naval officer, Vice Adm. Samuel L. Gravely. A surface warrior and a man who accomplished many firsts in his 38 years of service," said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead in the ceremony's principal address.

While visiting Wilmington, Gravely sailors were busy meeting the community before the commissioning. Sailors visited local hospitals, senior centers and schools and helped beautify an Army National Guard memorial. Locals took advantage of the more than 3,000 free tours of the ship the Sailors offered.

A crowd of approximately 4,000 attended the commissioning ceremony held at North Carolina State Ports in Wilmington. Many in attendance were family and friends of USS Gravely's crew, while others were friends and family of Gravely himself, including veterans who served with him on the USS Taussig and his widow, the ship's sponsor, Alma Gravely.

Cmdr. Douglas Kunzman, USS Gravely's commanding officer, told Mrs. Gravely that "Vice Admiral Gravely has made this the easiest job and at times the hardest job. The easiest because his sacrifice and vision is so clear to me that it provides constant direction and inspiration to myself and my crew. My leadership is modeled by his example."

"It's the hardest because the crew does not want to let you down," said Kunzman. "Every time we walk the brow or salute the flag, we do it in memory of him and his sacrifice."

Mrs. Gravely let the crew know that she believed they were ready.

"I have great confidence that you will keep a clean ship, have respect for each other and good morale at sea and on shore at all times. In keeping with these requests from me (and my husband) I know that you and our wonderful ship are ready today to go to sea. And if in harm's way will be ready to stay its course."

The ceremony concluded when Mrs. Gravely ordered the crew, "Bring our ship to life!" The sailors manned the rails, bringing the Navy's newest destroyer to life.


Voyager solicitor 'overbilled millions'

Voyager solicitor 'overbilled millions'

Friday, November 19, 2010

Canadian, US Ship Have Minor Collision at Sea

Norfolk November 19, 2010 - While preparing to conduct a routine replenishment at sea (RAS), the Canadian Patrol Frigate HMCS Fredericton (FFH 337) and fleet replenishment oiler USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196) had a minor collision on Nov. 18 during the early evening off the east coast of Florida.

No personnel were injured and damage has been assessed as minor, with scrapes and dents on both hulls where the contact was made. The ships did not have any fuel hoses or supply lines connected at the time of the incident.

Both ships were involved with a Canadian Navy-led Task Group exercise that is taking place off the East Coast of Canada and the United States for most of November.

Replenishments at sea involve one ship taking on fuel and other supplies from another while both ships are underway side-by-side.

Details of the incident are just becoming available at this time, and the cause of the incident will be investigated.

Fredericton is expected to go into port Nov 19, which was part of the ship's original schedule. Kanawha is returning to Norfolk Nov. 20 for further inspection.

Webb, Warner tell Navy to fix shipyards before upgrading Mayport - dailypress.com

Webb, Warner tell Navy to fix shipyards before upgrading Mayport - dailypress.com

USS Momsen Promotes Maritime Domain Awareness with Maldives Coast Guard

USS Momsen Promotes Maritime Domain Awareness with Maldives Coast Guard

Canadian Navy ship hits U.S. oiler, causing minor damage | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com

Canadian Navy ship hits U.S. oiler, causing minor damage HamptonRoads.com PilotOnline.com

USS Oscar Austin Aids Iranian Mariners Stranded in Arabian Gulf

USS Oscar Austin at Sea November 18, 2010 - USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) located and provided assistance to two Iranian mariners who were spotted floating in a life raft in the Arabian Gulf, Nov. 18.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Organization (UKMTO) contacted Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) at approximately 3:30 a.m. (Bahrain) after it had been notified by a merchant vessel that they had seen a flare launched from a life raft. CMF notified Combined Task Force (CTF) 152 which then dispatched Oscar Austin to locate the vessel.

Oscar Austin located the life raft around 5 a.m., approximately 1,000 yards outside of Iranian territorial waters.

After providing the two distressed mariners food and water, a rigid hulled inflatable boat from Oscar Austin towed the life raft closer to the ship in the event the men required any urgent aid or further assistance.

CMF contacted the Omani Navy and asked them to assist in communicating the location of the life raft to the Iranian Coast Guard.

According to the two men, their dhow sank the night before, and they did not know the disposition of any other crew members.

Oscar Austin remained on scene until 12:30 p.m., when the mariners were picked up by an Iranian Coast Guard search and rescue vessel.

"The response and assistance provided are excellent examples of the training and coordination between members of CTF 152," said Lt. Cmdr. Steve Ansuinni, CTF 152 future operations officer. "We're glad that we were able to coordinate the rescue of the mariners with the Iranian Coast Guard."

The Iranian Coast Guard crew thanked Oscar Austin for their assistance and departed the area.

CCGS Limnos Returns to Service

Burlington ON November 19, 2010 - Mike Wallace, Member of Parliament for Burlington, on behalf of the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today celebrated the return to service of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Limnos.
“It is a great pleasure to welcome the Limnos back home,” said Mr. Wallace. “A renewed Coast Guard fleet allows the Coast Guard to continue its exemplary service to Canadians. Investing in the Coast Guard is an investment in the protection of Canadian lives and waters.”
The Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan provided the funding for the revitalization of CCGS Limnos and added another ten years of service to the vessel.
“Economic Action Plan investments are helping to revitalize Canada’s marine industry, which is a key component of local economies across the country,” said Mr. Wallace. “Our government recognizes that countless Canadians count on this industry to earn their livelihoods, and we are committed to its growth.”
At its home port of Burlington, CCGS Limnos makes a valuable contribution to the research and monitoring of the Great Lakes. Taking its name from limnology, the study of inland waters, CCGS Limnos supports science research undertaken by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment Canada on climate change, the impact of invasive species on ecosystems, nutrient enrichment, and toxic chemicals management.
As a part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada is investing $175 million in the Canadian Coast Guard to procure 68 new small vessels, 30 environmental barges, and to undertake major repair work on 40 of its largest vessels, including the Limnos. In total, approximately $8.6 million was invested in the Limnos, including a $8.4 million in contracted work with Heddle Marine Inc.


New leak exposes MoD fury at defence cutbacks - Telegraph

New leak exposes MoD fury at defence cutbacks - Telegraph

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coast Guard search and rescue featured on CSI: Miami

Thursday, November 18, 2010 by Christopher Lagan

Each Sunday night, more than 10-million Americans settle in to watch the CSI: Miami team solve crimes in one of the country’s most exotic cities. This week, Horatio Cane (portrayed by Emmy-winning actor David Caruso) joins members of Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team 91103 on a search and rescue mission to save … Oops! Sorry folks, you’ll just have to tune in to CSI: Miami to find out what happens.

What we can tell you is that the Coast Guard role in the episode called “On the Hook” focuses on a search and rescue mission for a person in the water with Caruso’s character on-board one of the Coast Guard boats. Two rescue swimmers will deploy into the water searching for the victim and …

To find out what happens next, watch CSI:Miami Sunday night on CBS and come back to the Compass to let us know how our Coasties do helping Miami’s finest solve yet another case!

Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the Veterans Appreciation Ceremony

Washington, D.C. ~ Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thank you, Lee [Loftus]. It is a pleasure to be with you and a privilege to join you in welcoming so many colleagues and guests to the first-ever Department of Justice Veterans Appreciation Ceremony. Thank you all for being here.

It is fitting that we’ve gathered today – exactly one week after Veterans Day and one week before Thanksgiving – to honor the 19,000 veterans who serve our nation’s Justice Department. This is an important opportunity to recognize your courage and commitment and, above all, to express our deep and enduring gratitude for the extraordinary contributions that you have made – and for the inspiring example that you continue to provide.

Each one of you is a role model for your colleagues, for your friends and family members, and for your fellow Americans.

You have served the cause of justice across this country and around the world – in areas of great danger and in times of urgent need. And although what you experienced in the Armed Forces is very different from the duties you now fulfill, it would be a mistake – I believe – to completely differentiate your time in the U.S. military from your tenure at the Department of Justice. In both instances, you have defended essential liberties and expanded opportunities. You have strengthened our nation’s most sacred principles. And you have answered the highest calling of citizenship.

While I am encouraged – and proud – to see so many veterans here today, I also realize that you represent just a small fraction of the many veterans who now serve our nation’s Justice Department. I am grateful – and we are all fortunate – to have thousands of former service members included in our ranks.

Veterans are leaders. Veterans are patriots. Veterans are heroes. They are among our nation’s most effective and dedicated public servants. And today’s Justice Department relies on – and benefits from – the unique experience, expertise, and perspective that our veterans provide. Whether you’re an agent, attorney, investigator, or support staffer, the specialized training that you received – and the skills that you developed – in the military now help to advance the Department’s critical mission. And I am grateful, in particular, that many of you are leading the Department’s activities to protect the employment rights, voting rights, and financial security of veterans across the country.

Today – as part of the administration’s efforts to develop and maintain a well-qualified and highly skilled workforce – the Department is working to attract and to retain more veterans. As many of you know, last year, President Obama established the Veterans Employment Initiative – an important step forward in helping men and women who have served our country in the Armed Forces find employment opportunities in the federal government. Here at the Department, we are proud to be part of this effort. And we have made this new initiative a priority. In February of this year, we launched the Veterans Employment Office, which is working with veterans from across the country who wish to pursue careers in the Department. Already, this office is helping us to attract talented and dedicated colleagues. And these veterans are bringing their exceptional skills – and patriotic spirit – to the Department’s work.

In addition to this new office, we are also working to renew and to reinvigorate the Department’s commitment to treating veterans well every day of the year – to serving you, as President Obama put it this past Veterans Day, “as well as you have served, and still serve, the United States of America.”

From me and from our nation’s Justice Department, you deserve – and you can expect – nothing less.

And, now, it is a special privilege to introduce our speaker and distinguished guest – a leader who embodies the commitment and contributions that we celebrate today.

Senator Lindsey Graham has served our country in many ways – as a member of Congress, where he works to represent South Carolina’s – and our nation’s – best interests; as a U.S. Air Force Colonel; as a Senior Instructor at the Air Force JAG School; as an active-duty military lawyer; and – to this day – as a member of the Air Force Reserves.

Even before his election to Congress, Senator Graham was involved in advancing the critical work – and key goals – of the Department of Justice. He logged more than six years of active service as an Air Force attorney – at Rhein-Main Air Force Base in Germany and, during the first Gulf War, at McEntire Joint National Guard Base in South Carolina. At McEntire, he prepared service members for deployment by briefing pilots on the law of armed conflict, by preparing legal documents for deploying troops, and by providing legal services for members of the South Carolina Air National Guard and their families. Since then, he has been an independent voice – and a leading advocate – for our nation’s warriors and veterans. And he has worked tirelessly to promote the rule of law and to secure the country that he loves so dearly.

I consider Senator Graham to be a valued partner in our daily efforts to advance the cause of justice. During my tenure as Attorney General, it has been a privilege to work with him. And I look forward to continuing – and to strengthening – our important partnership.

As I am sure you’ll agree, there are few public servants better suited to deliver the keynote address for the Justice Department’s inaugural Veterans Appreciation Ceremony. So, please join me in welcoming Senator Lindsey Graham.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Latest Type 45 destroyer enters service with the Royal Navy

London November 17, 2010 - The latest Type 45 destroyer, HMS Dauntless, has entered service with the Royal Navy, the Ministry of Defence announced today.
The warship, which has a hull made of 2,800 tonnes of steel, is the second in the fleet of six air defence destroyers and has undergone months of extensive sea trials. She recently returned from the Hebrides where she successfully fired the world-leading air defence missile system, Sea Viper, for the first time.
The ship, which has fuel tanks that are roughly half as big as an Olympic-sized swimming pool, will now undergo further trials and training to prepare for her first operational deployment planned for next year.
Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Peter Luff, said:
"The declaration of HMS Dauntless' in-service date is a significant achievement, even more so when you consider that first of class HMS Daring achieved the same milestone only three months ago.
"This is testament to the hard work of MOD and industry teams to deliver these hugely capable vessels, which will ensure the Royal Navy is well equipped to meet the demands of the future."
Captain Richard Powell, Dauntless' Commanding Officer, said:
"Entry into service of this very powerful and advanced warship is a great day for both the ship's company and the Royal Navy.
"These modern multi-purpose vessels will replace some of our older warships and ensure that the UK can react to current defence challenges anywhere in the world."
Head of the Destroyers Project Team, Commodore Steve Brunton, added:
"I am delighted that we have declared HMS Dauntless in-service, coming hot on the heels of her successful firing of the Sea Viper missile system. This considerable success demonstrates that the Type 45 ship-build program is progressing well.
"With all six Type 45s now in the water, the Destroyers Project Team, industry, Navy Command and ships companies are in the busiest year yet of this important programme for the Royal Navy and this key event for HMS Dauntless is a result of a magnificent team effort."
HMS Dauntless was launched in January 2007 and has since undertaken months of sea trials. She set sail from Portsmouth on 15 November 2010 to begin her second set of sea trials.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Buying submarines that nobody can operate is a bit foolhardy | Common Dialogue

Buying submarines that nobody can operate is a bit foolhardy Common Dialogue

Thoughts on the Future Submarines Program - Royal Australian Navy

Thoughts on the Future Submarines Program - Royal Australian Navy

Bosphorus Naval News: Milgem Has Started Her Sea Trials

Bosphorus Naval News: Milgem Has Started Her Sea Trials

USS North Carolina Maiden Arrival at Homeport

Pearl Harbor November 16, 2010 - One of the Navy's newest and most technologically sophisticated Virginia-class submarines, USS North Carolina (SSN 777) arrived at her new homeport, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Monday, Nov. 15, after the completion of a four month inner-fleet transfer from Groton, Conn.

"The crew of North Carolina is excited to be here. They've been looking forward to this day for well over two years," said Cmdr. W.E. "Wes" Schlauder, commanding officer. "Having just completed a long shipyard period, they are motivated to get to work here in the Pacific and for the ship's first deployment."

During the transfer, North Carolina conducted a diverse series of exercises and test events to evaluate and certify the ship's capabilities in stealth and her new combat system across a range of submarine mission areas.

"During this time we conducted extensive operational training with the crew to prepare them for future operations in the Pacific," said Schlauder.

North Carolina's keel was laid on May 22, 2004 and the submarine's official commissioning ceremony was held on May 3, 2008. Measuring 377 feet long, weighing 7,800 tons when submerged and with a complement of more than 130 crewmembers, it is the fifth ship to be named in honor of the Tar Heel State. North Carolina joins two active Los Angeles-class submarines in the Pacific, USS Asheville (SSN 758) and USS Charlotte (SSN 766) which are named after cities in North Carolina.

This state-of-the-art submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, special operations, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, irregular warfare, and strike group operations.

"We are excited and determined that this legacy of service will continue as we make our new home here in Hawaii and begin operations in the Pacific," said Schlauder.

North Carolina will be the third Virginia-class submarine homeported at Pearl Harbor, and will be assigned to Commander, Submarine Squadron 3.


Airshow China 2010: aeronautic breakthroughs on display in Zhuhai

Some 70 new Chinese and international aircraft will be exhibited at the eighth international air show in Zhuhai, China. The fair, which runs from November 16 through November 21, will be attended by 600 aircraft manufacturers and other industry heavyweights, including many global leaders in the field.

Click here for slide show

China Missiles Threaten U.S. Asia Bases

China Missiles Threaten U.S. Asia Bases

Royal Navy explodes World War Two bomb in Plymouth

The bomb is safely detonated in a controlled underwater explosion using diver-placed explosive charges. Picture: LA(Phot) James Crawford, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010.

London November 16, 2010 - A Second World War bomb that caused disruption when it was discovered during excavation work in Plymouth city centre last week was dealt with by the Royal Navy's Devonport-based bomb disposal unit.
The highly successful combined operation used the resources of the emergency services and the assets of the Royal Navy bomb disposal team, Southern Diving Unit 1.
The 70kg German bomb was taken out to Plymouth Sound via Millbay Docks and detonated safely in a controlled explosion.
At approximately 1615hrs on Thursday 11 November 2010, Southern Diving Unit 1's duty watch, led by Lieutenant Commander Richard Talbot, was called to Plymouth city centre where the bomb, in a poor condition, had been discovered during excavation works in Nott Street.
In addition to the four-man team, Warrant Officer Robin Rickard acted as the liaison officer with the emergency services. On arrival, the initial task was to positively identify the object and, once this was complete, a 250-metre cordon was established in consultation with the police, ambulance and fire service.
It became apparent early on that the bomb could not be destroyed where it was found due to time constraints and other secondary hazards in the area, most notably asbestos.
A procedure known as 'fuze immunisation' was used to desensitise the bomb and make it safe to move; and once this was achieved it was moved under police escort to Millbay Docks where it was transferred to a diving vessel and transported out into Plymouth Sound.
The item was lowered to the seabed and marked over night. Then, on the morning of Friday 12 November, the team went out to the site and using diver-placed explosive charges successfully and safely detonated the bomb in a controlled underwater explosion.
Lt Cdr Talbot, who was the duty operator in charge of the task, described what he had to do:
"In order to move the item safety, a procedure called fuze immunisation was carried out. I drilled into the fuse pocket of the bomb by hand, then inserted a highly concentrated saline solution to desensitise the bomb.
"Once this was done and a period of time was observed to allow the desensitising to happen the munition was then moved by road to Millbay Docks under police escort where it was transferred to a Southern Diving Unit 1 diving vessel and transported to a safe area in Cawsand Bay."
The Commanding Officer of the Southern Diving Group, Lieutenant Commander John Beavis, who was away on duty in Scotland, said of the mission:
"Once the bomb was removed to a safe location it was sympathetically detonated with an explosive sonar charge and made safe at 1200hrs today.
"This was another example of the daily business and daily activity of the Southern Diving Group and the Fleet Diving Squadron; I was extremely pleased with the outcome and it was indeed a sterling success."
Southern Diving Unit 1 works around the clock to deal with explosive ordnance discovered in the coastal areas of the South West and Wales. The potentially hazardous ordnance is reported via the police and can vary from discarded emergency flares to military mines, grenades and bombs, often of World War Two origin and occasionally earlier.
Apart from tasks such as those carried out by Southern Diving Unit 1, Royal Navy divers also serve with their Army bomb disposal colleagues in Afghanistan where they are involved in the vital work of dealing with deadly improvised explosive devices threatening coalition troops, Afghan forces and Afghan civilians.


Monday, November 15, 2010

US, Japan prepare for Exercise Keen Sword 2011

JOINT BASE PEARL HOARBOR-HICKHAM, Hawaii – U.S. military personnel will partner with Japanese Self-Defense Forces in Japan on Dec. 3 through 10 to conduct joint-bilateral training during Exercise Keen Sword 2011.

The Commander of 13th Air Force, Lt. Gen. Hawk Carlisle, and Gen. Ryoichi Oriki, Chief of Staff, Japan Joint Staff will direct the exercise.
A large and complex exercise, Keen Sword 2011 involves all components of U.S. Joint Forces and Japanese Self-Defense Forces training to conduct bilateral operations in support of the defense of Japan in a number of locations throughout the country. The purpose and value of the training is to facilitate the interaction and improve the interoperability of both militaries.
"In 1960, Japan and the U.S. signed the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security," said General Carlisle. "Participation in Keen Sword further enhances the Japan-U.S. alliance, which remains a key strategic relationship in the Asia-Pacific region."
Training between Japan Self-Defense Forces and U.S. military forces has been a routine, recurring event for many years. Keen Sword 2011 is the tenth joint-bilateral field training exercise since 1986.
"The alliance has served as the foundation of our security and prosperity for 50 years," said General Carlisle. "By conducting exercises such as Keen Sword we are ensuring that our forces will continue to be effective in meeting the challenges of the 21st century."
The biennial Keen Edge-Keen Sword exercise series alternates between Keen Sword, a field training exercise, and Keen Edge, a command post exercise.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Navy Celebrates First Flight Centennial

Norfolk November 13, 2010 - Naval Station (NS) Norfolk hosted a ceremony Nov. 12 to celebrate the centennial of naval aviation and the Navy's first flight which took place Nov. 14, 1910, nearly 100 years ago.
That's when "an act of daring by Eugene Ely set the stage for a revolution in naval warfare, and changed the face of the United States Navy forever," said Rear Adm. Richard J. O'Hanlon, commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic.
Ely flew a rudimentary one-seater Curtis Pusher Biplane off the deck of the light cruiser USS Birmingham, thus ushering in the beginning of naval aviation. His flight was the first launch of an airplane from a ship; and the Navy hasn't looked back since, O'Hanlon said.
"Flash forward 100 years and we can see - through the lens of history - just what an incredible change this daring flight set in motion," O'Hanlon said. "The spirit of innovation, daring and foresight that were displayed in 1910 have become part of the fabric of naval aviation."
The ceremony is the first of a series of events the Navy will sponsor next year to commemorate the importance of naval aviation, during its 100th anniversary year.
Virginia Senator Mark Warner spoke at the event, and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell issued a proclamation commending the Navy for its historic achievements in flight.
"Naval aviation… has evolved into a force that supports the national strategy across the full spectrum of operations, ranging from preventing conflict to direct combat," McDonnell said.
Keynote speaker Adm. Robert F. Willard, commander, U.S. Pacific Command, said naval aviation has helped to transform the U.S. military into the world's pre-eminent military force.
"Naval aviation gives our military a decisive asymmetric advantage in counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency warfare," Willard said. "Without question, the quality of our Sailors is our greatest asymmetric advantage."
A replica of the Curtis Pusher Biplane was flown during the ceremony, outside the hangar and alongside the flight line. Strong winds had threatened to ground the aircraft; however, Bob Coolbaugh, a pilot and retired naval aviator, was determined to brave the wind and make the flight, just as Ely had braved more difficult weather conditions a century ago.
Attendees also had the opportunity to see current and recent vintage Navy aircraft - the MH-53E, MH-60S, T-28T, E-2C Hawkeye, and F/A-18 Hornet - fly overhead and in formation.
The pilots and aircrews flying these aircraft are "the next generation [of naval aviators], who are carrying on naval aviation's legacy every day," O'Hanlon said. "Our forces are doing amazing work every day and around the world, and I assure you we are making a difference."
Naval aviation plays an integral role in supporting America's maritime strategy and is branching out into new mission areas including irregular and special warfare, humanitarian missions, and disaster relief, O'Hanlon said.


USS Jason Dunham Commissioned

Port Everglades FL November 13, 2010 - The Navy commissioned its newest Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG-109) during a ceremony in Port Evergglades, Fla. Nov. 13.

The ship's commissioning ceremony paid homage to her namesake, Cpl. Jason Dunham, who selflessly sacrificed his life at age 22 in Iraq, April 14, 2004.

Dunham used his Kevlar helmet to cover a grenade which resulted with saving the lives of two of his fellow Marines during combat.

"I am delighted to attend my first commissioning as Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, for a ship named after a true hero," said Gen. James F. Amos.

Former President George W. Bush posthumously awarded Cpl. Dunham the Medal of Honor. Dunham is the first Marine to be awarded the medal for Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.

"The timing of this event could not have been better," said Amos. "I think it's fitting that we commission this ship, named after a Marine just three days after Nov. 10, a birthday shared by both Jason Dunham and the Marine Corps, and just two days after Veteran's Day when we honor all military members both present and past."

The pier welcomed more than 5,000 guests and supporters including family members of the crew and the Dunham family.

"I have military family, and I have a personal family," said Cpl. Dunham's mother, Deb Dunham. "The kindness, the generosity, and the strength that they have given Dan and I and the children has kept us going. The process has been a journey that I hadn't anticipated, but it's a ride I wouldn't miss. I have words for Jason later. I don't quite know what I'm going to say, but I have words."

Maj. Trent Gibson, Dunham's officer in charge, expressed his feelings about a ship being named in Dunham's honor.

"I think it's an indescribable honor," said Gibson, "The fact that his name is on a ship is going to perpetuate and inspire future generations of American sons and daughters of that impact. His name is already legendary in the Marine Corps, but to extend it to the Navy is truly special.

Since arriving in Port Everglades Nov. 5, the crew has volunteered for various community service projects throughout the week including visits to Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, performing work on a Habitat for Humanity project, preparing meals for Feeding Florida, and visiting local schools.

"I am deeply proud and honored to stand here today to represent my Sailors; by far the greatest and most special group of men and woman that I have worked with in my entire 19-year career," said Cmdr. Scott Sciretta, USS Jason Dunham commanding officer.

Sciretta thanked everyone involved in planning the commissioning ceremony, the city of Fort Lauderdale for its hospitality and also Bath Iron Works who built the ship.

"Our ship and crew has much to be grateful for today," said Sciretta. "We are grateful to our commissioning committee, local Navy League councils and our Broward Navy team partners for organizing this week's events for our crew. Our heartfelt thanks to your city for making us feel like family."

He also offered thanks to Gibson who he deemed a "true brother". He then turned to Deb and Dan Dunham to express his love and appreciation for them, and the friendship that they had built through this experience.

"Deb and Dan, the past two years have been the most incredible journey of my naval career, having the distinct honor and privilege to spend so much personal time with you is beyond words," said Sciretta. "You are two of the most loving, caring, and giving people I have ever met. You are an example for every parent in our great nation, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being who you are, for teaching us about love and life, and for the great sacrifice your son made for this nation."

The commissioning ceremony came to a close with Sciretta asking Deb Dunham to bring the ship to life. Dunham, stood poised and proudly addressed the crew.

"Crew of the USS Jason Dunham," she said, "man the rails."

And with that, the US Navy welcomed its newest destroyer.