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The original Mustin was christened in 1939

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The U.S.S. Mustin is the Navy's newest destroyer, as of August, 2003. The Mustin is the Navy's first combat ship to be commanded by a woman, CDR Ann Clair Phillips. Its homeport is San Diego.

 
 
 
 
10/1/2003:
 

WASHINGTON -- On October 1 the Navy began offering a new short-term enlistment program aimed at expanding the opportunities for all Americans to serve in the United States Navy.



Known as the National Call to Service (NCS), the program provides the Navy and the other military services a new way to reach a group of young Americans who otherwise might not serve in the military because of the length of traditional enlistment options.

The program works like this: A recruit enlists under NCS and incurs a 15-month active-duty service obligation following completion of initial-entry training. The 15-month obligation begins after a Sailor has completed his or her respective Navy School. Navy Schools can run from three-months to 18-months depending on rating.

Following successful completion of active duty obligation, Sailors may re-enlist for additional active duty or transfer to the selected reserve for a 24-month obligation.

Upon completion of service obligation, Sailors may remain in the selected reserve or transfer to the individual ready reserve for the remainder of an eight-year national commitment.

While in the individual ready reserve, these young people will be given the opportunity to move into one of the other national service programs, such as AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps, and time in those will count toward their eight-year total obligation.

"The National Call to Service Program will be limited to high-quality recruits, those with a high school diploma and scores in the top half of aptitude tests," said Vice Adm. Gerry Hoewing, Chief of Naval Personnel.

"We hope this will make the military more attractive to college-bound youth who might volunteer to take a short period out between high school and college to serve their nation."

The option may also attract college graduates interested in serving their country before attending graduate school. Perhaps the largest potential pool for the option are community college graduates who after serving the initial active duty period might use available incentives to enter a four-year school.

There are four incentives available under the NCS Program. The first is a $5,000 bonus payable upon completion of active duty service.

The second is a loan-repayment option also paid at the end of the active-duty portion. The legislation allows for repayment of up to $18,000 of qualifying student loans.

The final two incentives are tied to, but not part of, the Montgomery G.I. Bill. One gives 12 months of a full Montgomery G.I. Bill stipend -- currently about $900 a month.

The other incentive offers 36 monthly payments at one-half of the current Montgomery G.I. Bill stipend.

"This is a great option for high school graduates or even college students who want to serve the country, see the world and then go to school," Hoewing added.

Each service will set their own enlistment criteria. The first people who opted for this program entered the delayed-entry program beginning Oct. 1. Basic medical specialties, some engineer skills, personnel, administration and combat specialties will generally be offered.

Traditional enlistment terms are three, four, five and six years in comparison to the nominal 15 months of service for the NCS Program. The Navy intends to recruit and select up to 1,000 Sailors for this new national service program.
Click here to find out more!

 
 
 

 

 10/1/2003:

 

 

Basic Allowance for Housing Revised for Junior
 Enlisted Married Sailors

 

 


The Navy announced good news for junior Sailors married to other junior Sailors: if you are both on sea duty, you can now each receive basic allowance for housing (BAH). Before this change was instituted, dual military couples were only entitled to one joint housing allowance. To receive the benefit, eligible Sailors must meet all of the following criteria:

- Both are E-5 and below
- Both assigned to sea duty
- Have no other dependents
- Share the same household
- Have declined government quarters

The entitlement authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act is effective Oct. 1, 2003. The Navy has programmed for the estimated $9.3 million fiscal year 2004 cost. This policy change will benefit approximately 1,200 Navy couples. For more information, s read NAVADMIN 059/04. For more concerning BAH, click here.

 

 
 
 
 
10/18/2003:
 

WASHINGTON -- The newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Chafee, will be commissioned Saturday, October 18, 2003, during an 11 a.m. eastern ceremony in Newport, R.I.



The ship honors John Hubbard Chafee of Providence, R.I. Chafee distinguished himself as a U.S. senator, Navy secretary, Rhode Island governor, and a Marine -- with service as both an enlisted man and commissioned officer.

Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Michael W. Hagee, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Serving as co-sponsors for the ship will be Virginia Chafee, wife of the ship's namesake and Diane Blair, wife of retired Navy Adm. Dennis C. Blair, former commander, U.S. Pacific Command. In the time-honored Navy tradition of commissioning U.S. naval ships, the co-sponsors will give the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"

Chafee is the 40th ship of 62 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers currently authorized by Congress. This highly capable multi-mission ship can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the National Military Strategy. Chafee will be capable of fighting air, surface, and subsurface battles simultaneously. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

Cmdr. John W. Ailes of New London, Conn., will become the ship's first commanding officer. Chafee will be homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and will have a crew of approximately 30 officers and 355 enlisted. Built by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, the 9,100-ton Chafee is 511 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, an overall beam of 66 feet, and a navigational draft of 33 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds of more than 30 knots.

 


Click here to find out more!

 
 
 
10/23/2003:
 
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- The Navy is adapting the Fleet Response Plan (FRP), a program developed to change the way ships deploy and to provide the United States with a greater range of naval options, adding the element of unpredictability to naval efficiency.



"Through the FRP, the President and Secretary of Defense have a responsive, flexible Navy that can be called upon to deploy whenever we're needed with as little as 30 days notice," said Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Adm. Walter F. Doran. "With the current world situation, this is the way we're going to have to run our Navy."

The idea behind FRP is to keep the Navy ready to surge and to vary the lengths of deployments, meaning the Navy will be more flexible, ready to deploy whenever, wherever.

While the Navy has been forced to extend deployments to fight the war on terrorism, FRP does not mean Sailors will always spend more than six months at sea. According to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark, through FRP, the possibility exists for shorter, more frequent deployments during ships' operational availability.

"I would rather muster two battle groups for three months and do something really significant internationally, and cooperate with partners in training and so forth, than just go over and hang out for six months without purpose," Clark told a Navy Times editorial board. "The position that I'm pushing is that we should be less interested in presence and more interested in presence with a purpose."

By increasing the duration of time a ship can be deployed, the operational availability of several ships will always overlap, giving the Navy the possibility of deploying multiple ships or battle groups at once.

"Just because a carrier strike group or an expeditionary strike group is surge-capable, it does not mean they will be surged, nor does it mean that if surged, they'll be gone for six months," Doran said. "All groups will still have a set deployment date, but once they get to a certain period in their training, if we ask for them, if they're needed to surge for an operation, they can be deployed. FRP is the way we are going to run the Navy in the future, because it gives our nation's leaders the flexibility they need.

"This is a new operational concept that relies on active involvement by all levels of the chain of command to work," Doran said. "It is important for each ship, each squadron and each submarine crew to talk about the FRP model, so our Sailors and their families have a better idea of what to expect with future fleet operations."
Click here to find out more!

 
 
 
 
 
11/16/2003:
 
29 Gay fomer Annapolis midshipmen have applied to the Naval Academy to found a Gay Alumni Association.
 

The chapter's 29 members-to-be, none of whom still serve in the military, want to support gay midshipmen still bound by the Department of Defense's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

"Just by existing, I think we will be able to help current midshipmen by showing them we have been through it successfully, and if that's what they want to do, they can do it too," said a spokesman for the group.

He also said the Academy has fostered a "disapproving and damaging environment for gay and lesbian midshipmen for decades."

The Chapter would be called USNA Out.

USNVA specifically objects to their choice of name.

UPDATE 12-5-03: The Naval Academy today rejected the USNA Out application. Thank you.

 

On 11-16-03, a former Navy Judge Advocate General , also, advocates on  CBS-TV News Division's "60 Minutes" that gay military personnel should be permitted to "openly" advocate and practice their lifestyle in the American military.
 
Update: February, 2010:
 
The CNO has openly advocated before Congress that the "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy be ended. He is supported by the Obama Administration (President Obama overwhelmingly carried the gay vote in the 2008 Presidential election, a large majority of which voters have never served in the military and have no intention of serving in the military, and by former Chief of the Joint Staff Colin Powell, reversing a former postion the latter took in the 1990's on the basis of unit integrity.  
 
The Association believes that unit integrity constitutes more than mere words, and deals with concepts specifically like the sexual addiction  and attraction of certain men for other men; and that that sexual addiction and the natural attractiveness for men by male homosexuals in a combat unit has the high potential of interfering with combat effectiveness. In no way is this an anti-gay statement or position. Likewise, the natural sexually driven desire of many, perhaps most, men, to be protective of the female gender, can also interfere  in combat with the primary objective of the combat unit: to get the mission accomplished. In no way is this an anti-woman statement or position.
 
In World War II the Soviet Army, which initiated the idea in modern combat, used women only in all-women combat units, and did so only out of necessity when the Soviets' backs were put to the wall by Nazi Germany. While we do, as one U.S. Congressman said in 2010 on this subject, need all the available manpower and womanpower we can get for our military, the lack of spine in Congress to institute a draft is no moral or logical excuse for putting homosexuals in combat units besides heterosexuals, or putting females in combat unit units besides males, to the detriment of combat efficiency. A few days after GEN Powell made his  statement of support, the AP ran a photo on Yahoo News of our troops in  a firefight in Marja, Afghanistan, showing a U.S. female soldier in combat with such a clear-cut frightened look on her face, a look which would have broken the heart of any other than the most callous American male.
 
The Association remains opposed to mixed combat units where natural sexual tendencies because of mixed sexes or mixed sexual preferences have a probablity of weakening the combat effectiveness of those units.

 

 

 

 

1/27/2004:

Navy Begins Downsizing
The Virginian Pilot

After years of struggling to attract recruits and retain sailors, the sea-going service now has the opposite problem: too many people.

So the Navy is shedding them - and fast.

Last month, almost 400 junior officers, including recent graduates of the Naval Academy, were told that their services were no longer needed.

The get-tough approach to reduce the ranks also has affected senior enlisted sailors, who are finding themselves pushed into early retirement if they don't advance fast enough.

"A year ago, I thought I had at least three more years in the Navy. Now I have eight months," said Petty Officer 1st Class Michael J. Owens, of Buffalo, N.Y., who has almost 20 years of service.

Over the next year, cuts should be significant, but not drastic, officials said. About 10,000 fewer sailors should be serving by the end of the year, according to Bureau of Naval Personnel estimates.

The downsizing is necessary now, officials say, because the Navy has cut its number of ships, made technological improvements that reduce manning needs, and identified costly programs that could use the money now spent on excess personnel.

"We are a competitive organization," said Rear Adm. John W. Townes III, deputy chief of Naval Personnel. "If an individual has little potential for advancement, we can't be in the business of handing out a paycheck forever when their careers are limited."

More stringent requirements will now force young sailors to get promoted, move to a different job or leave the Navy.

Under a performance-based program called Perform to Serve, most sailors last year found out they could stay in. But 300 first-term sailors weren't as lucky.

They couldn't re-enlist because they didn't meet the grade in their overpopulated fields. Others failed to find an open spot doing another type of job.

Officials also expect some senior officers to take advantage of a new incentive to retire. Congress reduced the number of years - from three to two - that lieutenant commanders and higher-ranking officers need to serve in order to retire with full benefits at their current rank.

Only five years ago, the Navy failed to meet its recruiting goal for the first time since the draft ended in 1973. It missed its mark by 7,000 sailors.

Today, blessed by a high rate of retention and a weak civilian job market, the Navy already has cut its recruiting target for this year by 500.

"We just don't need as many sailors as we thought," said Cmdr. Randall J.T. Lescault, a spokesman for Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn.

The cutbacks might seem unusual during wartime. Policy-makers in Washington, D.C., are debating whether the military needs to grow because its troops have been stretched too thin, especially in the continuing occupation of Iraq.

Some have pushed the Bush administration to increase the numbers in the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force. Last week, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld rejected that call again, saying that the cost of adding more uniformed personnel was not necessary and too expensive.

So far, the Navy has been left out of the push to bolster the ranks.

Unlike the Army, the numbers of sailors deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom dropped dramatically after President Bush declared the end to major combat in May.

The nation's fleet is also shrinking. The Navy is decommissioning destroyers faster than it is replacing them. Thanks to technological advances, the next generation of ships and aircraft carriers also will require fewer sailors.

Some jobs in the Navy are disappearing completely. For example, the Navy's 2,322 signalmen - sailors trained to transmit messages by hoisting a flag or a series of flags on a halyard - are scrambling to find another job before the Navy dissolves the rating on Sept. 30.

Adm. Vern Clark, the Navy's top uniformed officer, believes the effect of these tough-love policies will give the service a better quality work force and create savings that can be spent on the next generation of ships and planes.

"We will spend whatever it takes to equip and develop the men and women we need, but we will not spend one cent for somebody that we do not need," Clark said.

Navy personnel officials also point out that these manpower reductions represent a small fraction of its total force. Currently there are 55,000 officers and 323,000 enlisted sailors in the active- duty Navy.

The downsizing also pales compared to the thousands of sailors let go after the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s, when the Navy had a fleet double the size.

Junior officers who are losing their jobs simply did not complete requirements necessary for advancement, officials said. For example, surface warfare officers need to spend time at sea to earn their pins, and flight officers need time in the sky to earn their wings.

But when these officers used to wash out of flight school or receive a medical waiver, they often found other jobs in the Navy to remain promotable.

No longer.

About three-quarters of the cuts affect junior officers in naval aviation. On the Norfolk-based carriers, they include 11 from the Enterprise, seven from the Eisenhower, eight from the Ronald Reagan and a dozen each from the Theodore Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and George Washington. The layoffs also include one junior officer from each of the five carrier air wings, said Mike Maus, a spokesman for the Atlantic Fleet Naval Air Force.

For some, the layoff comes with a side benefit. One local Academy graduate, for example, only served two of the five years of required service in the Navy after graduation.

But others, like Lt. j.g. Kelley Anderson, are on the way out after longer service.

A prior enlisted sailor who is now a junior-grade lieutenant, Anderson entered the Navy 10 years ago. She trained as an aviation mechanic, advanced quickly and got picked up for officer training on her first try.

But a knee injury sidelined her shortly after she received her commission.

"I worked hard at my rehabilitation," Anderson said. "But when I got to my ship, I had chronic pain. ... The Navy determined that I couldn't serve on a ship."

She never received her surface-warfare pin.

In years past, Anderson would likely have been able to stay in, choosing another permanent career path. She has been working more than a year in the public affairs office of the Atlantic Fleet Naval Surface Force headquarters in Norfolk.

The single mother of a 13-year-old son found out in December that the Navy no longer wanted her, but she doesn't begrudge her fate.

"I might be unpromotable. That doesn't mean I wasn't well- qualified for my job now," she said. "But I understand. I've had a great time in the Navy, and it's time for something different."

Anderson, who hopes to land a job locally in the communications field, said she would stay in the Navy if she could. She complimented the Navy on its programs to ease transition from the military to the civilian world.

But the manpower reductions have angered and frustrated some sailors who believe their time in the Navy is far from complete. Many sailors facing ouster said they did not want to comment publicly because they are appealing their case or fear retribution.

Owens, who works in public affairs for a recruiting command in Buffalo, N.Y., said he thinks the Navy is missing out when it gave him his walking papers.

"I'm 47," he said. "I'm not ready to retire."

Under the Navy's High-Tenure Program, Owens needed to advance to chief petty officer to stay. But as a military journalist, he said, the field is very competitive. "If I had more time, I know I could make it. I'm good at what I do."

This is not the first time Owens has faced a Navy cutback. In 1992, he was forced out during a reduction. By 1994, the Navy realized it had let too many people go and it brought Owens back in.

"I made the calculation to give up my civilian career for the Navy again," he said.

Owens said that, despite the drawdown, he is still committed to the Navy.

"It's been my life," he said. "I think I'd volunteer to help out if I have to go. I just don't want to leave it all behind."



Copyright 2004 The Virginian Pilot. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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5/28/2004:

Navy Shows Off Next-Generation Vessel

By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service


ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The huge vessel looks quite out of place among the small yachts and sailboats at a shallow pier. Neighborhood people on their morning jogs and dog walks looked amazingly at the HSV 2 Swift on its four-day port call here March 30.

Many of those visiting the ship during an open house about six miles from the Pentagon wondered how an 11,000-ton vessel could be moored so close to dock. A look down at the depth mark on one of the vessel's unique-style catamarans show it's floating in less than nine feet of water.

As tour guide Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jorge Flores, explained, "Not many captains could drive a vessel in less than 12 feet of water and still be the captain."

The HSV, which stands for high-speed vessel, may pave the way forward in the Defense Department's transformation. The Army is interested in how to get troops and equipment into the theater quicker. The Navy is looking for a platform to conduct a variety of sea-based operations, such as mine sweeping. The Swift has thus far proved it can do both.



The HSV 2 Swift may one day become the Defense Department's transformation into the future. The Swift floats on two sleek, wave-piercing catamarans and can travel at speed of 42 knots or 85 plus kilometers per hour. The Navy has a two-year lease on the vessel. The ship can berth as many as 350 troops when modified for a deployment. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample.

The Swift is currently under Navy-Army joint testing as the next platform for military operations in a littoral environment operations conducted very near the coast or shoreline.

In the past, the military has relied mostly on airlift and sealift to deploy troops and equipment. Ocean travel has meant slow, deep-draft vessels. However, the SWIFT has a lightweight aluminum hull, which makes it fast and agile. It can even maneuver right up to the shoreline.

Two companies primarily constructed the vessel. Australian shipbuilder Incat, builds some of the worlds fastest vehicle and passenger ferries, and Louisiana-based Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., builds military patrol boats, offshore oil field support vessels, tugs, rigs and lifeboats.

The Navy has a two-year lease on the Swift at a cost of $21.7 million a year. The Swift is currently operating as an interim Mine Warfare Command and Support Ship. It's undergoing testing for mine countermeasures and as a sea-basing platform. The Swift is also being looked at for other transformational modular mission payload initiatives.

The Army is evaluating two similar, leased ships, the HSV-X1 Joint Venture and the TSV-1X Spearhead.

The Swift has a stern ramp capable of loading and unloading a variety of military vehicles and can hold 615 metric tons of equipment. For example, it can carry the 60-ton M-1A1 main battle tank.

The craft is also fitted with a load-compensating crane that can launch and recover small boats and unmanned vehicles of up to 26,000 pounds while under way. A variety of helicopters can use its flight deck.

But Navy officials say what also makes the Swift unique is the vessel's high speed, shallow drafts, versatility and maneuverability. Flores says the ship can "turn on a dime" and when it comes to speed, no other Navy ship is faster.

The Swift floats on two sleek wave-piercing catamarans propelled by four jet- propulsion diesel engines, together producing about 40,000 horsepower. The ship can reach up to 42 knots or 85-plus kilometers per hour "warp speed" considering the average Navy ship cruises at about 12 knots.

And Flores says that when under attack, "Speed is my best friend."

"If there is a threat, I can get away from it to eliminate that threat and at the same time I can use my ship's self-defense weapons to neutralize the threat without placing the ship in danger." The Swift's self-defense mechanism includes seven crew-served 25-50 mm machine guns, and a grenade machine gun.

But the ship offers more than just speed. Its open design allows it to be configured for a variety of military missions, according to Navy Cdr. Clark Price, the vessel's captain.

"We can work with SEALs one day, switch over to mine sweeping the next, then flight ops the next," he said. "We can do multiple missions altogether -- that's the great thing about this ship." Price pointed out the ship could even be turned into a hospital in a day.

Since its maiden voyage, the Swift, which was delivered to the Navy on Aug. 15, 2003, has already proven its versatility. The ship served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a logistics base and a staging platform for Navy- Marine SEAL teams operating off of Umm Qasr, Iraq. There the ship also tested its mine-warfare capabilities.

Recently the Swift returned from Puerto Cortez, Honduras, after delivering 195 pieces of cargo, including tanker trucks, cranes, ambulances and construction equipment to Navy and Army personnel there building schools and medical clinics to help the local governments as part of a humanitarian mission.

Flores said the Swift was able to unload cargo from heavy ships at sea and ferry it 120 miles to shore in about three hours.

Before the Honduras exercise the Swift completed West African Training Cruise- 04, an exercise designed to enhance security cooperation between the United States and participating West African nations. During the exercise 150 sailors and Marines conducted littoral training, including riverine operations and small-boat raids.

 
 
 

4/1/2004:

 

Navy Cracking Glass Wall Between Reserve, Active Forces

By RICHARD R. BURGESS
Managing Editor

Sea Power


A second-class petty officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise operating in the Persian Gulf earlier this year received a message about a family emergency back home. The ship, which had gone through intensive pre-deployment training with its assigned reserve component, had to replace the petty officer.

The ship’s crew identified a reservist by name and called him in
New Jersey, asking if he could come forward for two weeks. Within 48 hours, the reservist had been flown aboard the carrier and was manning a console.

"That’s integration, that’s surge, and that’s what we are going to do in the future," Vice Adm. John G. Cotton, commander, Naval Reserve Force, told Sea Power.

A naval aviator and an airline pilot on leave from American Airlines, Cotton was recalled to active duty nine months ago to head the Naval Reserve and reshape the force. His office is in the section of the Pentagon that was rebuilt after terrorists crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the building on
Sept. 11, 2001. The pilot of that airliner, Capt. Charles F. Burlingame, was a fellow Navy Reserve aviator and one of several friends that Cotton lost in the attack.

Cotton is helping to steer the Naval Reserve through one of most sweeping realignments in its history. Active-reserve integration (ARI) ranks No. 5 on the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark’s list of priorities, and he has charged Adm. William J. Fallon, commander of Fleet Forces Command, with formulating the requirements for implementing ARI Navy-wide.

Cotton has assigned one of his flag officers, Rear Adm. David O. Anderson, to a cell created by Fallon and headed by active-duty Rear Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. that is conducting a zero-based review of the Naval Reserve.

"Fallon himself started this two years ago," Cotton said. "Nobody had a holistic view of everything. So Adm. Fallon’s done that for the first time. This cell metrically looks at every billet, every capability, every unit, and they question everything we’ve done in the reserve and they weight it. On a scale of one to 10, does the fleet actually need this to sail, or does it not need this at all? Is this a surge requirement or a day-to-day requirement? Is it a valid mission for a reservist, contractor, government worker or active-duty sailor?"

Cotton said that the "most startling conclusion" was that what had to be fixed most in
Navy active and reserve components was the culture. The active component had to be educated about what the reserve could do, he said.

"We’re about 80 percent complete in the first phase" of the review, Cotton said. The review "will never end; it will be continuous. The first time you will see some of the zero-based review decisions is in the fall when the [fiscal year] 2006 budget is on Capitol Hill."

The most far-reaching change with active-reserve integration is in unified planning. "There are no Naval Reserve requirements, there are only Navy requirements," Cotton said. "For the first time, reservists become part of the program, rather than an addition at the end; we actually get built into the system.

"As a nation we can no longer afford to have separate and unequal forces. We can’t have what we used to call ‘weekend warriors.’ The average reservist now doesn’t do weekends. The average reservist now supports what I call supportive commands whenever they can."

Since 9/11, approximately 26,300 Naval Reservists — about 28 percent of the force — have been mobilized in support of the global war on terrorism. Currently there are approximately 1,000 Naval Reservists — including 500 Seabees — in the
Persian Gulf area.

However, Cotton noted, "the real story … is how many folks don’t have to be mobilized, who are written into the day-to-day plans of the Navy to support them in the training, the watch-standing, the deployment, the graduate-level training. For example, this week alone, there are 21,000 reservists, on orders, right now, performing operational support to the fleet in some substantive manner."

Cotton points to the success of the support given to flight training by reserve aviators as an example of wise and flexible use of reserve forces. He recently flew in a training aircraft with a furloughed airline pilot on a one-year recall to the Navy. "He has thousands of hours of experience and now he’s teaching young students air combat maneuvering."

Another airline pilot gives the Naval Air Training Command six to eight days per month. "All those skill sets we need are already paid for," he noted. "How do we bring all the sunk costs of training and better utilize them? Instead of having a separate force, the active component is taking ownership of the reserve component, and the active duty [component] is actually going to be responsible for the readiness of its reserve component, as it always should have been."

Cotton says that changes in the personnel system might be required to effectively use the skills that Naval Reservists bring to the fleet. The requirement that reservists retire at age 60 complicates recruiting a 45-year-old surgeon, for example, who could not accrue enough time for retirement.

Flexible contracts may be the answer, he said. Some people with certain skill sets need minimum training before serving. "We hired a doctor who was 68 and we sent him forward to the desert because he wanted to fix soldiers."

Recruiting is one area in which integration is already moving forward. Reserve recruiting has been merged with recruiting for the regular Navy. "In the future I see Navy reservists going to full boot camp, going to A-School [primary skills training], and then picking up a commitment to stay in the Navy Reserve," Cotton said.

Ironically, the high retention rates of active-duty sailors during the last two years have the unintended consequence of making recruiting veterans for the Naval Reserve more difficult, said Rear Adm. Daniel L. Kloeppel, commander, Naval Air Force Reserve. The Naval Reserve traditionally relies on highly trained personnel leaving active duty to fill many of its billets.

"Because we are getting a little smaller, I don’t foresee any issue in the future," Cotton said. "In the 2005 budget, [the Navy] has programmed minus 7,900 active personnel and minus 2,500 reserve personnel. So we will recruit less."

The extensive reserve infrastructure also is going through realignment. As of October 2003, Commander, Naval Installations, the Navy’s landlord, absorbed every Naval Reserve activity into its command.

"We can’t think of ourselves as separate reserve activities in the heartland, we have to think of ourselves as part of a Navy region. We will never build another Navy-
Marine Corps Reserve center," Cotton said. "We will only build armed forces reserve centers, or joint operational support centers."

Today a "reservist in blue jeans" can go into any of 27 joint reserve centers at midnight and, "with good connectivity, work on [intelligence] products for Bosnia,
Iraq, Korea, and not have to be in-theater sleeping in a tent, eating MREs (meals ready to eat) and being force-protected."

Joint headquarters units also will be established in each of the states, manned by members of all seven reserve components. "What an amazing concept: people who live in a region will be asked to respond and protect that region," Cotton said.

The Naval Reserve also currently operates a fleet of eight frigates and 15 mine warfare ships. Their future in the realignment will be decided by the Navy leadership, under the one-Navy concept.

 
 
 
10/24/2004:
 
New Navy Uniforms Announced

 


The Navy introduced a set of concept working uniforms for Sailors E-1 through O-10 Oct. 18, in response to the fleet's feedback on current uniforms.

2/18/2005:
 
 
China's Military Moves Worry Lawmakers
Associated Press


WASHINGTON - President Bush's plan for the
Navy calls for buying fewer ships, while China, a potential security hot spot, is increasing and repositioning its fleet. It's a prospect that concerns some lawmakers.

The plan is contained in Bush's 2006 budget proposal, which Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Thursday defended, saying the military was closely watching China's moves but that the U.S. Navy remains the pre-eminent fleet.

"The United States Navy ... is the Navy on the face of the Earth that is a true blue water navy," Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "On the other hand, when one looks at trend lines, it is something that we have to think about."

The Pentagon says buying fewer ships than previously planned won't affect combat ability. Previous budgets envisioned purchasing six Virginia-class attack submarines, seven DD(X) destroyers and 10 San Antonio-class amphibious landing ships through 2011.

The 2006 budget calls for three submarines, five destroyers and nine landing ships. It also proposes eliminating one of the Navy's 12 aircraft carriers. Overall, Bush is proposing to increase the Pentagon's budget by $19 billion, to $419 billion next year. The budget calls for buying fewer planes, ships and submarines in favor of spending more on counterterrorism.

For the Association's official legislative action proposals on the size and strength of the Navy, go to our Legislation and Government Policy Page. The Association believes we need a larger Navy, and not just because of what China is doing.

 

 

 
 
 
 
3/7/2005:
 
 
Navy Commissions Latest High-tech Destroyer
by Journalist 2nd Class Matt Grills
Navy News Service

NORFOLK, Va. - The Navy commissioned its most advanced guided-missile destroyer to date, USS Nitze (DDG 94), in a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., March 5.

Cmdr. Michael Hegarty took command of Nitze in a ceremony that included remarks from former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, Undersecretary of the Navy Dionel Aviles, Rear Adm. Charles Hamilton II, program executive officer - ships, and Rear Adm. Michael Nowakowski, commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. U.S. Reps. Bobby Scott, 3rd District of Virginia, and Randy Forbes, 4th District, were among the honored guests.

Lehman congratulated Nitze's inaugural crew, saying they are privileged to serve on a ship that will project U.S. power during wartime.

 
 
 
 
3/17/2005:
 
Navy Adds to List of Jobs Covered in Bonus Program


The Navy has added seven ratings to its Selective Re-enlistment Bonus program. Added to the list of 70 ratings are quartermaster, cryptologic technician technical, engineman, damage controlman, hull technician and some aviation boatswain's mate ratings. Some of the bonuses are tied to how long the sailor has been in the Navy. Eligibility in the newly added ratings was effective Feb. 1. Some of the bonuses are tied to the amount of time sailors are in the Navy. Zone A are sailors with less than six years of service; zone B between six and 10 years of service; zone C from 10 to 14 years of service.

The re-enlistments:

  • Quartermasters in zones A, B and C
  • Cryptologic technician technical, zones B and C
  • Aviation boatswain's mate fuel, zone A
  • Aviation boatswain's mate handling, zone A
  • Engineman, zone A
  • Damage controlman, zone A
  • Hull technicians, zone A

 
 
 
3/17/2005:
 

U.S.S. JIMMY CARTER, SUPER SPY

The rumors are that the Navy's newest nuclear sub, the USS Jimmy Carter, has been designed for spywork, with a "special capability... to tap undersea cables and eavesdrop on the communications passing through them," according to the AP.

jimmy_sub.jpgThe rumors are right,this Newstand's undersea warfare experts believe. Here's what retired Rear Admiral Hank McKinney, the former commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet's submarine force, had to say:

The Navy has for years carried out special surviellance missions with nuclear submarines. Most of these missions utlilized attack submarines that were not extensively modified. Specialized communications intercept equipments were installed in existing spaces on board these submarines. A few have been modified for special oceanographic missions and capabilities. In the past, these included USS HALIBUT, USS SEAWOLF, USS RICHARD B. RUSSELL, and USS PARCHE. Each of these submarines was modified to accomodate these new missions. In the case of USS JIMMY CARTER, all of the modifications were made before the submarine was delivered to the Navy. This submarine will be utilized to conduct many specialized missions, some of which will be routine unclassified oceanographic research operations which will advance our knowledge of the ocean. Some of the missions will be highly classified missions which I am unable to comment on.

Undersea thriller author, submarine authority, and Military.com columnist Joe Buff notes that a 2001 Wall Street Journal article unveiled the NSA's desire to tap undersea cables. "It is reasonable to presume that [the ability] to do this underwater, by properly trained Navy divers, is now achievable," Buff writes.

Ironically, an earlier nuclear sub named USS Seawolf, commissioned in the 1950s, was secretly modified with a hull section that allowed saturation divers to work on the seafloor at considerable depths. (Saturation divers spend a long period living and resting in a shirtsleeves environment with a mixed-gas atmosphere pressurized to equal the depth of their job site. After days or even weeks of daily work shifts, they then undergo a long period of hyperbaric decompression to be able to return to sea-level air. France claimed several years ago to have had men in "soft" scuba outfits -- not hard exoskeleton suits -- perform useful manual tasks on the bottom at 3,000 feet.)

In my opinion USS Jimmy Carter is highly likely to include such facilities, essentially a modern-era Sea Lab built into the submarine itself.

 
 
********************************************
3/18/2005:
 
 
Navy to Require Degrees for Advancement


The Navy has announced plans for institutionalizing a Professional Military Education (PME) Continuum that integrates advanced education, Navy-specific professional military education (NPME), joint processional military education (JPME) and leadership development. By 2009, the PME will require all E-7's competing for E-8 to have at least an Associates Degree, and by 2013 anyone competing for E-9 will have to have a Bachelor's Degree. Sailors interested in earning their Associates or Bachelor's degree can get free information from military-friendly schools at Military.com.

Groton in earlier, and better, times

6/8/2005:
 
GROTON SUB BASE ON
BRAC CLOSURE LIST
 
The Groton, Connecticut Submarine Base was the one major Navy base which, surprisedly to the Association, was placed on the current BRAC recommendations for closure. The idea is to split current operations at Groton up between Navy facilities at Norfolk and Kings Bay, Georgia. This Association, and its Connecticut Chapter, had lobbied to keep Groton off the initial BRAC closure list.
 
The list has yet to be finalized, as of today.
 
During the height of the Cold War, the Navy had 159 subs. Primarily because of nuclear arms reductions with Russia negotiated by the Reagan Administration, that figure today has been reduced to 54, and is expected eventually to drop to 41, according to high ranking Newstand sources within the Bush Administration.
 
Some other Naval Bases affected by the initial recommendations:
 
 

  NAS Pensacola is being “realigned” with a net loss of 1579 jobs.

  Naval Reserve Center, St. Pete is being closed. Loss of 12 jobs.

  Naval Support Activity, Panama City, FL to be “realigned” for a loss of 24 jobs.

  Naval Station, Pascagoula is to be closed. Loss of 963 jobs. 

  Naval Support Activity, New Orleans is being closed. Loss of 2711 jobs. jobs.

  Naval Station, Ingleside, Texas to close for a loss of 2218 jobs.

  Naval Reserve Center, Orange, Texas is closing for a loss of 11 jobs.

  NAS Corpus Christi to be “realigned” for a loss of 1025 jobs.

 

UPDATE 8/24/2005:

 

Groton was removed from the final list of reccommended base closings today by BRAC.

Some say that this was because of lobbying efforts by Connecticut's two U.S. Senators.

Primarily, instead, it was because of lobbying efforts by the

United States Navy Veterans Association, via our own contacts which neither of those Senators had, stressing that the closure would have the appearance of mean spiritedness and revenge to be closing down a major naval base in a 'blue' state, regardless of the other merits of the case. Further, once BRAC made the decision to take Groton off the list of recommended closings, it became logically inconsistent to keep a major USAF base in South Dakota (a "red" state) on the list, so that base was removed from the closure list also. Thus the Association saved not only a major naval base from closure by its efforts, but a USAF base in South Dakota as well.

 

Groton is one of three major submarine bases the Navy has on our East Coast, the other two being in the South.

 

 

 

10/20/2005:

 

Group Sues Navy to Limit Sonar It Says Harms Marine Life

By Marc Kaufman

Washington Post Staff Writer

Loud blasts of sound from the sonar systems of Navy ships are killing and disorienting whales and other marine mammals and should be far more strictly limited, an environmental group argued in a federal lawsuit filed yesterday.

The suit, filed in California by the Natural Resources Defense Council, charges that routine use of mid-frequency sonar in Navy training and testing is illegal under federal law and is needlessly harmful.

 

The group sued the Navy over its use of low-frequency sonar in 2002 and negotiated a settlement limiting its use. The new suit calls on the Navy to make changes to its far more extensive use of mid-frequency sonar, as well.

"Military sonar needlessly threatens whole populations of whales and other marine animals," said Joel Reynolds, a senior attorney at NRDC. "In violation of our environmental laws, the Navy refuses to take basic precautions that could spare these majestic creatures."

Lt. William Marks, a Navy spokesman, disputed NRDC's assertions, saying that "the Navy complies with the law. We recognize that active sonar testing and training must be accomplished in an environmentally sound manner."

The suit does not ask the Navy to stop using sonar -- which tracks submarines -- but to limit its use in testing and training, and to be more careful about where and when it gets turned on. Certain whale species are known to be especially sensitive to sonar noise, and their habitats and migration patterns are often known and can be avoided, the group said.

Scientists remain unsure how harmful sonar may be, but both the Navy and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration concluded that mid-frequency sonar caused a mass stranding of whales along a narrow channel in the Bahamas in 2000. There have since been similar strandings during Navy exercises off Hawaii, the Canary Islands, Washington State and North Carolina, but there is disagreement over whether sonar was responsible.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

as of

September 21, 2004



 

Navy Personnel

Active Duty: 374,850

  • Officers: 54,715
  • Enlisted: 315,778

Midshipmen: 4,357

Ready Reserve: 146,087 [As of 31 Aug.]

  • Selected Reserves: 82,440
  • Individual Ready Reserve: 63,645

Reserves currently mobilized: 3,930 [as of 15 Sept.]

Personnel on deployment: 36,060

Navy Department Civilian Employees: 180,981 [as of 31 Aug.]

Ships and Submarines

Ships: 295

Ships Underway (away from homeport):

130 (44% of total)
On deployment:

94 ships (32% of total)

Submarines underway (away from homeport):

17 submarines (33% of submarine force)
On deployment:

11 submarines (21% of submarine force)

Ships Underway

Carriers:
USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) - Persian Gulf
USS Nimitz (CVN 68) -
Pacific Ocean
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) -
Pacific Ocean
USS George Washington (CVN 73) -
Atlantic Ocean
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) -
South China Sea

Command Ships
USS LaSalle (AGF 3) - Mediterranean Sea

Amphibious Ships:
USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) - Pacific Ocean
USS Duluth (LPD 6) -
Pacific Ocean
USS Rushmore (LPD 7) - Pacific Ocean
USS Ogden (LPD 15) -
Pacific Ocean
USS Germantown (LSD 42) -
Pacific Ocean
USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) -
Atlantic Ocean

Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) Three
[11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) (SOC)]

USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3) - Indian Ocean
USS Denver (LPD 9) - port visit, Phuket, Thailand
USS Comstock (LSD 45) - Indian Ocean
USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) - Persian Gulf
USS Hopper (DDG 70) - North Arabian Sea
USS Preble (DDG 88) - North Arabian Sea

Essex Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG)
[31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) (SOC)]

USS Essex (LHD 2) - Persian Gulf
USS Juneau (LPD 10) - Persian Gulf
USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) -
Persian Gulf

Saipan Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG)
Standing Force Atlantic

USS Saipan (LHA 2) - Atlantic Ocean
USS Trenton (LPD 14) -
Atlantic Ocean
USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) -
Atlantic Ocean

Aircraft (operational): 4,000+

 

 

Ships' Sites
 
Ship's Sites are posted by existing or former members of the Ship or Ship Association. What they say about the ship or their association is up to them.
 
Entry of a link here is made only by application of the ship's association to the United States Navy Veterans Association. Application may be made simply by email addressed to ShipsAssociations@Navyvets.org, endorsed by any authorized officer of the ship's association. Applications from ships' associations for naval ships from the following countries only will be entertained by the Association: USA, any NATO partner, including countries outside the military committee of NATO, and any country which was a former possesion of the United States and which is currently an ally of the United States in the Global War on Terror.
 
By reason of linking these sites here, the US Navy Veterans Association does not necessarily endorse the pertinent Ship Association, or what it has to say about the history of the ship.
 
But the US Navy Veterans Association supports USN ship association reunions, and supports freedom of speech as a fundamental universal right and an official part and parcel of what makes us, as citizens of the United States and the free world, Americans:
 

 

USS Brinkley Bass

 

USS Liberty


 

 

  

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