Thursday, September 25, 2014

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day

PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 23, 2014) The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Shiloh (CG 67), foreground, USS Antietam (CG 54), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), and USS Cape St. George (CG 71) from the George Washington and Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Groups transit in formation at the conclusion of Valiant Shield 2014. The U.S.-only exercise integrates Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps assets. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Trevor Welsh/Released)

U.S. Navy: USS Coronado Completes Successful Kongsberg Missile Demonstration; Navy Recognizes Ombudsmen (HL25)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Great Time To Be A Voter In Wisconsin


Given our family's schedule, I vote absentee for most elections.  I use it as an example to my children that every election is important and should not be missed.  Yesterday I received a letter in the mail from my clerk informing me that I would need to provide proof of identification.  I could not have been happier.  Too many dead people have been voting in elections for years.  While this step will not stop blantant election fraud by poll workers, it will allow those trying to run legitimate elections to finally verify who is casting that ballot; a major step in the right direction for Wisconsin.

USS Coronado Performs Live-Fire Test of Norwegian Strike Missile

USS Coronado Performs Live-Fire Test of Norwegian Strike Missile

From Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
USS CORONADO, At Sea (NNS) -- The crew of littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) successfully performed a live-fire demonstration of a Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) during missile testing operations off the coast of Southern California, Sept. 23.

During the test, the Norwegian-made Kongsberg NSM was launched from the deck of Coronado and scored a direct hit on its intended target, a mobile ship target (MST).

The Kongsberg NSM is a long range precision strike missile designed to be launched from a variety of ships against a variety of targets.

Testing took place on board the Navy's newest littoral combat ship to show the LCS' ability to readily accept new weapons systems as part of the Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) program.

"We are extremely pleased with the outcome of today's test on board Coronado," said Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces. "We view this successful missile test as a possible future warfighting capability for the LCS program."

Rowden said the Navy is interested in increasing both quantity of firepower and range across the surface fleet.

"Both classes of the LCS are based on modular design concepts," said Rowden. "This allows for the integration of weapons and sensors like the Kongsberg NSM technology as part of the LCS warfare suite."

Since 1980, the FCT program has helped the United States and allies reap substantial savings by avoiding research and development costs, lowering procurement costs, reducing risk for major acquisition programs and accelerating the fielding of equipment critical to the reading and safety of operating forces.

Commissioned on April 4, 2014, Coronado was designed to be high-speed, shallow draft multi-mission ship capable of operating independently or with an associated strike group. LCS ships are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in coastal waters.

A fast, maneuverable, and networked surface combatant, LCS provides the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions such as surface warfare, mine warfare and anti-submarine warfare.

LCS delivers combat capability from core self-defense systems in concert with interchangeable, modular mission packages and an open architecture command and control system. Modularity maximizes the flexibility of LCS and enables the ship to meet changing warfare needs, while also supporting rapid technological updates. LCS employs advanced tactical networks to share information with aircraft, ships, submarines, and joint and coalition units both at sea and shore.

For more news from Naval Surface Forces, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnsp/.

Future USS Ralph Johnson Keel Authenticated

Future USS Ralph Johnson Keel Authenticated
From Team Ships Public Affairs
PASCAGOULA, Miss. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy held a keel-laying ceremony for the future USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard Sept. 23.

The keel was authenticated by ship sponsor and military wife Georgeanne McRaven, and 41-year veteran shipbuilder, Robert Boegner, Jr. The two traced their initials into the ship's keel plate after which they said, "We hereby declare that the keel of the future USS Ralph Johnson has been truly and fairly laid."

"I'm extremely honored to have Mrs. McRaven and Mr. Boegner here today to take part in this momentous event. Their participation demonstrates and celebrates the role that each individual involved in this vital shipbuilding program plays to help bring these warships to life," said Capt. Mark Vandroff, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "I'm very proud of and grateful to the men and women of Ingalls shipbuilding. Their hard work has allowed us to celebrate this major ship milestone today."

Ingalls shipbuilding has a long history in destroyer shipbuilding, beginning with the keel-laying of the USS Spruance (DD 963) in the same shipyard over 40 years ago, in 1972. Ralph Johnson is the 64th Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, and the 30th DDG 51 class destroyer built by the shipyard. HII is under contract to build an additional six of the 14 DDG 51 class ships currently under contract. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is also under contract to build seven destroyers as part of the DDG 51 program restart.

DDG 51 class ships are integral players in global maritime security, engaging in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense. Ralph Johnson, a Flight IIA destroyer, will be equipped with Aegis Baseline 9 which incorporates Integrated Air and Missile Defense and enhanced Ballistic Missile Defense capabilities.

The ship is named for Marine Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War. Johnson used his body to shield two fellow Marines from a grenade, absorbing the blast and dying instantly in March 1968.

As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships and special warfare craft. Delivering high-quality war fighting assets - while balancing affordability and capability - is key to supporting the nation's maritime strategy.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The long goodbye: World's first nuclear aircraft carrier going dark

The long goodbye: World's first nuclear aircraft carrier going dark

Iraq mission puts USS George H.W. Bush ‘at tip of the spear’ - Middle East - Stripes

Iraq mission puts USS George H.W. Bush ‘at tip of the spear’ - Middle East - Stripes

USS Asheville Changes Command

USS Asheville Changes Command
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Khor, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The command of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Asheville (SSN 758) welcomed a new commander in a time-honored change of command ceremony Aug. 12, atop the historic battleship USS Missouri, the "Mighty Mo."

Cmdr. Paul Pampuro relieved Cmdr. Douglas Bradley as commanding officer. Bradley expressed how proud he is of having had the opportunity to be in command of the submarine and working with some outstanding Sailors.

"Team Asheville, it has been an honor to lead you, take you to the front lines, and bring you home," said Bradley. "Crew, you did beyond my wildest expectations, you never cease to amaze me and as a result, Asheville was ready when called. You had my complete confidence to do anything, and made the most of every opportunity."

In command for more than two years, Bradley led his submarine to complete a deployment certification, a six-month Western Pacific deployment, a homeport shift from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, and commenced a two-year shipyard maintenance period.

The ceremony's guest speaker, Rear Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, praised Bradley for an amazing job in command.

"Doug, you and your team have had across-the-board success," said Sawyer. "Successes for the submarine force, the U.S. Navy, and for our nation. You can be justifiably proud of what you've accomplished. Congratulations on a highly successful tour!"

During the ceremony, Bradley was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his successes in command of Asheville from March 2012 to Aug. 2014.

As Pampuro assumed command of Asheville, he thanked Bradley for turning over a very capable ship and a highly loyal crew.

"Commander Bradley, sir, you have done something special with Asheville," said Pampuro. "I am well aware of the legacy I am inheriting, the pattern of success that you have carried on."

Pampuro went on to address the crew and tell them of the adventures that await them in the near future, following the current shipyard maintenance period.

"Together we will breathe life back into her and the 'Ghost of the Coast' will return to the ocean depths where she belongs, to do great things for our nation. There is no higher honor; I am most humbled and extremely proud to be an Asheville shipmate."

Asheville is the fourth ship of the U.S. Navy to be named for Asheville, North Carolina. She is a Los Angeles-class submarine, ideally suited for covert surveillance, intelligence gathering and special forces missions. This stealth, when combined with the submarine's Tomahawk cruise missiles, mines and torpedoes, provides the operational commander with an unseen force multiplier.

For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit http://www.csp.navy.mil/ and www.navy.mil/local/subpac/.

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day

GULF OF NAPOULE (Aug, 13, 2014) The U.S. 6th Fleet command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) is anchored off the coast of Theoule-sur-Mer, France. Mount Whitney, homeported in Gaeta, Italy, is in Theoule-sur-Mer to participate in the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Operation Dragoon, which led to the liberation of southern France by Allied Forces during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Corey Hensley/Released)

Monday, August 11, 2014

USS Michigan Visits Singapore during Western Pacific Deployment

USS Michigan Visits Singapore during Western Pacific Deployment

By Lt. Jennifer Charlton, USS Michigan (Gold) Public Affairs
SINGAPORE (NNS) -- The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arrived in Singapore, Aug. 10, for a visit as part of its deployment to the Western Pacific.

"The crew has a relentless spirit and has worked tirelessly on this deployment to ensure success," said Chief of the Boat, Command Master Chief Paul Coffin. "This port visit to Singapore will allow some much deserved rest and relaxation for the crew."

With a crew of approximately 160, Michigan can conduct a multitude of missions that showcase the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.

"The entire Michigan team has worked diligently to ensure a successful and safe deployment," said Capt. Benjamin Pearson III, Michigan's commanding officer. "It is extremely important for our submarines to maintain presence and capability in the region ensuring operational readiness is maintained."

Michigan is more than 560 feet long and displaces over 18,000 tons when submerged. It is one of four Ohio-class submarines converted into guided-missile submarines. Michigan is one of the largest, stealthiest and most versatile submarines in the world and is capable of performing a wide variety of missions including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and irregular warfare.

For some of the crew members, this is their first time visiting Singapore.

"This will be my first liberty port visit since I have joined the Navy and entered the submarine force," said Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Nikki Camat. "I just earned my submarine qualifications this deployment cycle and I am very excited to see Singapore for the first time."

Michigan's homeport is in Bangor, Washington and is currently forward deployed to Guam.

For more information about USS Michigan, visit www.facebook.com/submarinegroup7 and www.navy.mil/local/csg7/.

PRESS RELEASE - Study: High Tax Burden is Driving People Out of Wisconsin | MacIver Institute

PRESS RELEASE - Study: High Tax Burden is Driving People Out of Wisconsin | MacIver Institute

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Chant du Départ: BREAKING NEWS: Vikings to invade Korea!

Chant du Départ: BREAKING NEWS: Vikings to invade Korea!: And you'll never guess what happens next! Ok, with that first bit I'm just playing with you.  You've probably se...

LCS to Mayport

LCS to Mayport
From the Office of the Chief of Information
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus officially announced Aug. 7 that six Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) will be homeported at Naval Station (NS) Mayport, Florida beginning in 2016.

The decision to homeport the ships in Mayport follows previous discussions to expand training and infrastructure to support the continued development of the program.

"LCS was designed for naval operations today and tomorrow, and will be a key component of our fleet for a long time to come," Mabus said. "The assignment of these six ships underscores just how important the First Coast is to our national defense, and how committed we are to the strategic dispersal of our Fleet. Mayport will soon be a hub for small surface combat ships, and will continue to serve as an important Navy partner."

Fast, agile and mission-focused, littoral combat ships are designed to operate in near-shore environments and employ modular mission packages that can be configured for surface warfare, mine countermeasures or anti-submarine warfare. The LCS Class consists of two variants, the monohull design Freedom variant and the trimaran design Independence variant. The ships are designed and built by two industry teams, led by Lockheed Martin and Austal USA, respectively. They operate with a core crew of 50, a composite aviation detachment of 23, and a mission module crew of 15 to 20 depending on the assignment.

Due to Mayport's existing pier structure and layout, six Freedom-variant ships were chosen to be based at Mayport. The ships are the future Little Rock (LCS 9), Sioux City (LCS 11), Wichita (LCS 13), Billings (LCS 15), Indianapolis (LCS 17) and LCS 19 (name pending).

The homeporting will eventually bring an estimated 900 Sailors and support personnel to the Mayport area. The 900 personnel will be part of the LCS Squadron (LCSRON), LCS crews, mission module detachments, Afloat Training Group Mayport, Center for Surface Combat Systems detachment Mayport, Damage Control School and the Southeast Regional Maintenance Center.

NS Mayport has a long history as a strategic hub for the Navy. On Dec. 27, 1938 a congressionally appointed board recommended establishing a major base at Mayport as the location offered a prime setting for two carrier groups with room to expand aircraft facilities and complete plane and engine overhaul facilities. NS Mayport, today, covers 3,409 acres, is now the third largest naval facility in the continental United States and remains dedicated to providing "The Finest Service to the Finest Fleet."

USS Coronado Holds Change of Command Ceremony

USS Coronado Holds Change of Command Ceremony

SAN DIEGO (April 5, 2014) The littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Coronado (LCS 4) displays a full dress ship pierside before its commissioning ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island. Coronado is the second Independence-class littoral combat ship and the third Navy ship to bear the name Coronado. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Melissa K. Russell/Released)
By Lieutenant Christopher Euans, USS Coronado Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors stood in formation on the flight deck of the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) while pierside at Naval Base San Diego to take part the time-honored Navy tradition of a change of command ceremony, Aug.8.

With the traditional exchange of salutes, Cmdr. Shawn Johnston turned over command of the newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship to Cmdr. Peter Kim.

Capt. Randy Garner, commander of Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1, presided over the ceremony and Capt. Ryan Tillotson, commander of Destroyer Squadron 14, served as the guest speaker.

The ceremony marked the end of a very successful 34-month command tour of 'The Royal Punch' for Johnston. He led the gold crew/LCS crew 204, one of Coronado's two pre-commissioning crews, through an extensive fleet introduction process.

Highlights of his tour included hosting the ship's commissioning ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island in April with more than 5,000 guests in attendance, final contract trials, successful execution of a busy underway schedule in support of combat systems ship qualification trials, and the first developmental testing of the surface warfare mission package aboard an Independence-variant littoral combat ship.

Additionally, the crew interacted closely with allied and partner navies during the multi-national Rim of Pacific 2014 exercise where Coronado showcased innovative employment concepts for explosive ordnance disposal dive teams and U.S. Marine Corps reconnaissance teams.

"I will always remember my time as the commanding officer of 'The Royal Punch' and Coronado as a challenging and rewarding experience," said Johnston. "The efforts of the crew inspired me on a daily basis and I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead and serve alongside such a dedicated group of Sailors."

Johnston said that he would miss the group athletic events and small crew camaraderie most of all.

"I am leaving behind a great group of Sailors and feel confident that 'The Royal Punch' and Coronado rests in good hands," said Johnston.

Johnston's next tour will be as part of the LCS requirements shop in the Chief of Naval Operations Surface Warfare Directorate (OPNAV N96) in Washington, D.C., after completing a 10-week joint professional military education course student at the Joint Force Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.

Kim most recently served as the executive officer on board Coronado.

"It is truly an honor to take command of LCS Crew 204 and Coronado," said Kim. "I have thoroughly enjoyed working with this fine crew as the executive officer and I look forward to the exciting times ahead."

Coronado is currently continuing core seaframe initial testing and surface warfare mission package developmental tests and will undergo an extensive post-shakedown availability later this fall. Coronado is currently moored at its homeport of Naval Base San Diego and is assigned as part of LCS Squadron 1.

For more news from Naval Surface Forces, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnsp/.

US submarine 'pushed out' of border waters - Russian Navy

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Photo Update On Future USS Milwaukee and USS Detroit

PCU Detroit (LCS 7) enjoying the sun

PCU Milwaukee (LCS 5) & PCU Detroit (LCS 7)

PCU Detroit (LCS 7), a little closer look

PCU Milwaukee (LCS 5), MK 110 57 mm gun and bridge

PCU Detroit (LCS 7)

Foreground PCU Milwaukee (LCS 5) & Background PCU Detroit (LCS 7)

Foreground PCU Milwaukee (LCS 5) & Background PCU Detroit (LCS 7)

PCU Milwaukee (LCS 5), she looks ready for a fight

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Is This A New Beginning Or End To The Littoral Combat Ships

Littoral Combat Ship Will Be Modified, If Not Replaced

DR: This news could be devastating to the communities that produce the Independence and Freedom class ships. It is undeniable though, that both classes are undermanned and underarmed. Future generations will no doubt decry this period of neglect for our Armed Forces.

While our enemies are arming, our Government is dismantling and overstressing our once unmatched Armed Forces. Nation-building and never ending spending have bleed America dry.