Saturday, April 13, 2013

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day



YOKOSUKA, Japan (Dec. 21, 2011) The Virginia-class submarine USS North Carolina (SSN 777) arrives at Fleet Activities Yokosuka as part of a maiden deployment to the Western Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David Mercil/Released)

U.S. Marines train for ambush with Filipino Marines

False alarm in Japan to warn about N. Korea’s missile launch : The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts, Video

False alarm in Japan to warn about N. Korea’s missile launch : The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts, Video

U.S. Pacific Fleet Announces Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year

U.S. Pacific Fleet Announces Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year



By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jerine Lee, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs


PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- U.S. Pacific Fleet announced the selection of the 2012 Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year during a ceremony held at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki, April 12.

Competing amongst 10 petty officer first class finalists, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF) Joseph Santos, from Saipan the largest island of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, was named the 2012 Pacific Fleet Sea Sailor of the Year and Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW/EXW/IDW) Cassandra Thompson, from Trinidad, was named the 2012 Pacific Fleet Shore Sailor of the Year.

Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Cecil D. Haney, recognized the 10 finalists for their individual accomplishments in the Fleet and for their consistent and superior performance to reflect the Navy's core values of honor, courage and commitment.

"This is a very special day to recognize these outstanding Sailors and their contributions to the warfighting readiness of the U.S. Pacific Fleet," Haney said. "Their dedication, professionalism, and outstanding leadership are vital to our mission success, and we cannot thank and congratulate them enough for their work on behalf of our Navy and our Nation."

Representing U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, Joseph Santos will be meritoriously promoted to chief petty officer.

"No words can explain the amount and different kinds of emotions are going through me right now," said Santos. "The junior Sailors and my mentors have worked so hard and they are the reason I am here today. I can't even begin to explain how grateful I am for their support. Special thanks to my mentors, my amazing family and the Sailors and Marines from Marine Aircraft Group 24. I am more than excited to use their lessons in becoming a new deck plate leader and share my knowledge to other Sailors so they can have this experience as well."

Cassandra Thompson, representing Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC) will travel to Washington, D.C., this summer to represent the U.S. Pacific Fleet at the Chief of Naval Operations Shore Sailor of the Year competition. If selected, she will also be meritoriously promoted.

"I am very grateful for my junior Sailors for doing such a great job and getting me to this level," Thompson said. "I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for my team of resilient, passionate and disciplined great leaders and MCs to give me the opportunity me have this experience. I don't know where I would be if it wasn't for my wonderful support system being there for me through the long hours, deployments and challenging times. Most of all, I am proud to represent my rating. Hopefully I inspired them because as long as you work hard and help each other, there is no reason you can't be at this level."

Prior to the announcement, the 10 nominees spent the week in Pearl Harbor participating in events that encouraged networking while connecting with the Pacific Fleet's rich heritage and history with visits to the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the Pacific Aviation Museum, and the USS Arizona Memorial where they paid their respects to the heroes of World War II with a wreath laying ceremony.

"These Sailors enjoyed a series of events throughout the week in which they were able to reflect on the history and heritage of the Sailors that came before them," said U.S. Pacific Fleet Master Chief John T. Minyard. "These 10 Sailors and their families represent the more than 120,000 Sailors in the Pacific. They embody our Navy's core values and continue to sacrifice so much for our country and citizens."

The other Sea Sailor of the Year nominees were Personnel Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Marianogerard Zamora, COMNAVAIRPAC; Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class (AW/SW) Shawn-Patrick Bland, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVSURFPAC); Builder 1st Class (SCW/EXW) Alfred Fehling, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Pacific (NECC PAC); and Electrician's Mate 1st Class (SS) Franklin Tenney, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC).

The other Shore Sailor of the Year nominees were Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class (EWS) Jacob Shearman, NECC PAC; Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW/SW) Andrew Edwards, COMSUBPAC; Construction Mechanic 1st Class (SCW/EXW) Daniel Perez, COMNAVSURFPAC; and Cryptologic Technician (Networks) 1st Class (IDW/SW) Sha-nicca White, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Staff.

Former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John Whittet established the Sailor of the Year program in 1972 to recognize those who best represent the group of dedicated and professional Sailors from each command and ultimately the Fleet.

For more from U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit www.cpf.navy.mil.

Top five characteristics of Pope Francis' first month as Pontiff

St. Peter's Basilica College of Canons has first American in 50 years


E-update From the Desk of Governor Scott Walker

E-update From the Desk of Governor Scott Walker
One of the most important duties I have serving as your Governor is to provide you directly with updates related to the operation of our state government. I also frequently provide updates on Facebook (Governor Scott Walker) and Twitter (@govwalker). Please feel free to share this update with your family, friends, and others who may be interested in state government operations.

Budget Update
 
During the last two weeks, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) hosted three of four public hearings on the biennial 2013-2015 budget. After the public hearings are concluded, the Committee will make their recommendations and the budget will move to the Legislature. Both houses must pass the same version of the budget before it can come to my desk for final approval.

Public hearings are an important part of the budget process. The first hearing was hosted at Greendale High School in Greendale, WI, and 262 people took the opportunity to testify. A wide range of topics were discussed including residency requirements for Milwaukee, school choice, and issues specific to southeastern Wisconsin. 
 
The second hearing was held at Lambeau Field in Green Bay and the main topic of discussion was school choice. You can learn more about the proposals for school choice here. Again, there was a large turnout and individuals were able to voice their opinions for and against different proposals in the budget. Wisconsin Dells held the third hearing at the Kalahari Resort and the proposal for DNA at the time of arrest was among the issues that were discussed.

The importance of these public discussions cannot be underestimated. The “Talk with Walker” sessions I held last winter greatly helped with shaping the budget, and I would like to thank all those who came out to register their opinions at the legislature’s hearings.
The JFC is a 16-member committee made up of members from both the State Senate and State Assembly. The final public hearing will be held on April 18th at 10 a.m. at Baldwin-Woodville High School in Baldwin, WI. To learn more about the budget before the last hearing, click here.


China Preview
 
Today, I am embarking on a trade mission to China that will take place from April 13-21. I am excited to travel there and have the opportunity to discuss export and investment opportunities. During the visit, there will be business meetings in Beijing, Shanghai, and Harbin. The delegation from Wisconsin is a total of 36 individuals, including representatives from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), and more than 20 business leaders from Wisconsin businesses.

China is an important and viable market for Wisconsin exports including industrial machinery, medical equipment, clean energy and clean water technologies, and agricultural products. China is Wisconsin’s third largest export market. In 2012, exports to China increased by 11.8 percent to $1.5 billion.

In addition, I will participate in the US-China Governors Forum taking place in Beijing and sponsored by the National Governors Association and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

Learn more about the China mission trip online at www.inwisconsin.com/chinamission2013 or follow on Twitter at #WIGovChinaTrade for updates on the trip.


It has been a pleasure communicating with you. It is an honor to serve as your Governor and represent the residents of Wisconsin.
Sincerely,

Governor Scott Walker

Friday, April 12, 2013

RIA Novosti - Russia Must Close Deep Space Exploration Gap Says Putin

RIA NovostiRussian President Vladimir PutinRussia Must Close Deep Space Exploration Gap Says Putin
15:44 12/04/2013 Russia must catch up with other space powers in deep space exploration and higher priority should be given to applied projects in space research, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.>>

Remy: Jay-Z's Cuba State of Mind

Release: Good Samaritan helps rescue 3 from shrimp boat fire off Galveston

News Release

Good Samaritan helps rescue 3 from shrimp boat fire off Galveston

Video from the Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service in Houston.
HOUSTON — Three men were brought to safety by a good Samaritan after the men's shrimp boat caught fire just north of the South Galveston Jetty, Friday.

The captain of the shrimp boat Angel Lady called the watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston at 10:04 a.m., reporting that the shrimp boat Capt. Hunter was on fire with three people aboard. The Coast Guard Cutter Manta was diverted and a boatcrew from Station Galveston was launched to assist. The station boatcrew arrived in about 10 minutes, but before they arrived on scene, a good Samaritan aboard a pleasure craft rescued the three crewmembers in distress.

The tug Lamar arrived on scene at 11:16 a.m. and extinguished the fire.

"Fire is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to a boat out on the water," said Lt. Brian Sullivan, the command duty officer of Sector Houston-Galveston. "The fact that a good Samaritan put themselves in such a risky position to save lives is something we in the Coast Guard can definitely relate to."

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the fire.

In the case of a fire, the Coast Guard renders assistance as available, based on the level of personnel training and the adequacy of equipment. As Coast Guard units do not normally have advanced firefighting capabilities, firefighting operations are limited to those that would save a life or would avert a significant threat.
###

Pope to Biblical Commission: The center of our faith isn't just the Bible, it's Jesus Christ

Cost of exchanges shoots up - Brett Norman - POLITICO.com

Cost of exchanges shoots up - Brett Norman - POLITICO.com

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch: The Facts Are The Facts

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=537308829646426&set=a.455701944473782.104832.177210755656237&type=1&theater

Catholic League News Release


FOR RELIGIOUS AND CIVIL RIGHTS

“F” for George Washington Univ.


April 12, 2013
Bill Donohue comments on how George Washington University (GWU) has handled the issue of students seeking to remove Father Greg Shaffer from his post as Chaplain of the Newman Center:

Two students, neither of whom is Catholic (one belongs to some faux Catholic entity and the other is an agnostic Jew), are not only attempting to oust Father Shaffer, they are seeking to effectively neuter the very purpose of the Newman Center, which is to serve Catholics. Their objections to the Church’s teachings on homosexuality and abortion have impelled them to start a campus campaign to censor the Catholic voice on campus.

On April 4, I contacted top administrative officials on campus imploring them to “address this problem justly and without delay.” They have failed to do so. Moreover, they have violated the standards for diversity and inclusion that were set by its president, Steven Knapp. Flagged on the university’s website is his commitment “to make sure we are providing a welcoming and supportive environment for persons of all backgrounds.” This is patently untrue, Father Greg Shaffer being Exhibit A.

GWU’s statement on this issue says it “strives to embody the spirit of mutual respect and reasoned debate that is essential to our academic mission. We are therefore committed to ensuring that all members of our community are free to express their religious beliefs while honoring the right of others to express theirs.”

This is classic doublespeak. There is only one party to this controversy that has crossed the line, and it isn’t Father Shaffer. The attempt to silence him shows nothing but contempt for diversity and tolerance, the twin towers of academic virtue these days. Those interested in reading a courageous and well-reasoned statement on this issue should see the current editorial in The Catholic Standard, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Washington (click here).

Contact the Chief of Staff, Office of the President: porter@gwu.edu
Phone: 212-371-3191
E-mail: pr@catholicleague.org

RIA Novosti: Russia Builds Up Mediterranean Task Force

RIA NovostiThe Peresvet amphibious warfare shipRussia Builds Up Mediterranean Task Force
20:59 12/04/2013 Russia’s naval task force in the Mediterranean will be augmented next week with the Ropucha-II Class landing ship Azov from the Black Sea Fleet, navy spokesman Capt. 1st Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachev said on Friday.>>

STRATFOR: Russia Expands Its Natural Gas Infrastructure (Agenda)

Stennis Strike Group Transits the Surigao Strait

Stennis Strike Group Transits the Surigao Strait

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Grant Wamack, USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs
SOUTH CHINA SEA (NNS) -- The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) transited the Surigao Strait, a narrow passageway between the Mindanao and Leyte islands of the Philippines, April 10.

Sailors took a brief pause during routine operations to pay tribute to the historical significance of the passage and to the Sailors who gave their lives in the defense of freedom during the battle in these waters during World War II.

During the Battle of the Surigao Strait, from Oct. 23-26, 1944, the Japanese Imperial Navy, who then occupied the central Philippines, led an assault on U.S. ships supporting the Allied invasion of Leyte Gulf. U.S. Rear Adm. Jesse B. Oldendorf, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet, was tasked with stopping the Japanese attack. With the help of Allied forces, Oldendorf reduced the Japanese forces to half. The remaining Japanese battleship fleet retreated after seeing the burning wreckage of the defeated Imperial battleships.

The Battle of Surigao Strait severely weakened the Japanese fleet, allowing the Allied forces to successfully defend the ground invasion of the Philippines, setting the stage for the invasion of Okinawa.

Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) reflected on the significance of this battle by gathering on the flight deck, as it transited the historic strait.

"I wrote a poem while transiting the strait called 'Coming Home to the Philippines,'" said Machinist's Mate Fireman Maria Cruzclaveria, from Zambales, Philippines. "It feels refreshing to see a piece of home even though it's just the tip of the country where I grew up. The Straits reminds me of those who have sacrificed their lives for the freedom I enjoy now."

The JCSCSG consisting of Stennis, embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21, transited the Surigao Strait en route to U.S. waters after more than seven months deployed to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility (AOR).

For more information on the JCSCSG, visit www.stennis.navy.mil or www.facebook.com/stennis74.
>
For more news from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), visit
www.navy.mil/local/cvn74/.

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day




PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 20, 2012) The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) and the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) are underway after completing Valiant Shield 2012 (VS12). VS12 is an integrated joint training exercise that offers the opportunity to integrate Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps forces at sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Stephanie Smith/Released)

Navy Explains Proposed Budget

House GOP shows little appetite for Senate gun control measure - The Hill

House GOP shows little appetite for Senate gun control measure - The Hill

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Japan’s looking for lots of natural gas — can New Mexico help deliver it?

Japan’s looking for lots of natural gas — can New Mexico help deliver it?

Vladivostok, Russian Navy future Mistral class LHD, specificities and characteristics

Vladivostok, Russian Navy future Mistral class LHD, specificities and characteristics: STX France shipyard in Saint Nazaire is currently assembling the bow and central sections of Vladivostok, the first Mistral class LHD amphibious vessel ordered by Russia. First cut of steel for this head unit took place at the Russia’s Baltic Shipyard United Shipbuilding Corporation (OCK) in St. Petersburg in August 2012. Construction of the warship began last year at the STX shipyard in St. Nazaire, after Russia signed a 1.2-billion euro deal with DCNS for two French-built Mistral vessels, which was signed in June 2011. The official keel laying ceremony took place at STX Shipyard in France in February 2013.

Minister Highlights Building EU Wide Cooperation in Maritime Security and Surveillance

Minister Highlights Building EU Wide Cooperation in Maritime Security and Surveillance

USS Thach Returns from Deployment

USS Thach Returns from Deployment

By Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The guided-missile frigate USS Thach (FFG 43) will return to San Diego from its deployment to the 4th Fleet Area of Operations (AOR), April 12.

Due to budget limitations imposed by sequestration, the Secretary of Defense decided on March 21 that Thach would return to homeport earlier than expected. Thach departed San Diego on deployment Jan. 8.

Thach's crew of 220 Sailors and Coast Guardsmen performed Counter-Illicit Trafficking operations designed to improve maritime stability within the region and protect free use of the sea lanes by thwarting the activities of drug traffickers and criminal organizations.

The ship disrupted over 379 kilograms of cocaine and more than 1,100 pounds of marijuana totaling over $10 million.

"It's a bittersweet feeling to return home early from deployment," said Thach Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Hans E. Lynch. "Our counter-narcotics mission is valuable to the U.S. and our partner nations but I'm glad that we are all able to reunite with our loved ones back here in San Diego."

The ship also took part in a community relations project in Panama, helping to refurbish and deliver books to an elementary school as part of Project Handclasp.

The ship was an integral part of Operation Martillo (Spanish for "hammer"), a U.S., European, and Western Hemisphere partner nation effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus. U.S. military participation is being led by Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) South, a component of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). Operation Martillo is a component of the U.S. government's coordinated interagency regional security strategy in support of the White House strategy to combat transnational organized crime and the U.S. Central America Regional Security Initiative.

The Operation Martillo team on Thach includes an interagency partnership with the ship's Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) team, U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Thach was also be supported by an embarked helicopter detachment, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49, Detachment 2 based at Naval Air Station North Island.

Thach will conduct operations and training within Third Fleet's 50-million square mile AOR.

Joint interagency and international relationships strengthen U.S. Third Fleet's ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.

For more news from Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c3f/.

FY 14 budget: Sequester puts key Air Force objectives at risk

FY 14 budget: Sequester puts key Air Force objectives at risk

by Master Sgt. Amaani Lyle
Air Force Public Affairs


4/11/2013 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Upon release of the Air Force Fiscal Year 2014 budget here April 10, the services' senior leaders said the shadow of sequestration in 2013 and on-going fiscal uncertainty will affect critical programs and objectives for years to come.

While Air Force officials have scrambled to minimize impacts on readiness and people, the bow-wave of reductions, deferments, and cancellations will challenge the strategic choices made in the FY14 budget submission, said Maj. Gen. Edward L. Bolton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget.

The Air Force FY 2014 Budget Request is strategy-based, fiscally informed, and sets a course toward full-spectrum readiness of the force to execute the Defense Strategic Guidance, he added.

Under the Budget Control Act, the Defense Department is required to reduce expenditures by $487 billion over the next 10 years with a reduction of $259 billion over the next five.

"Given today's fiscally constrained environment, the Air Force must pursue the best combination of choices available to balance force reductions and manage war-fighting risks, resources and the bow-wave of impacts from FY 2013," Bolton said. "Taking these actions allows us to keep faith with our 687,634 total force Airmen and continue to excel in our role to fly, fight, and win in air, space and cyberspace."


More at: http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123344032

Sequestration — "The period of austerity has just begun" Gen. James Amos


USS Farragut Returns From Deployment

Reason.tv: Reactions to Sen. Rand Paul's Speech at Howard University

USS Monterey Departs Naval Station Norfolk for Scheduled Deployment

USS Monterey Departs Naval Station Norfolk for Scheduled Deployment

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Billy Ho
NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- After completing all preparations, Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) departed Naval Station Norfolk for a scheduled deployment April 8.

Monterey is deploying to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

"Monterey is a ballistic missile defense (BMD) ship," said Capt. Thomas Kiss, the ship's commanding officer. "While we are a multi-mission platform, our primary mission is to bring BMD capabilities to 6th Fleet for a short period of time and 5th Fleet for a longer period of time on our deployment,"

To get ready for the deployment the ship had to go through a series of training events beginning months before the deployment.

"We went through training events, certifications, and inspections for every potential mission area that the ship could be asked to perform," said Kiss. "This includes everything from basic damage control, seamanship, and engineering to each of the different warfare areas. The purpose was to ensure the ship and crew were fully ready for tasking. Now that we're deployed, our job is to be ready to do any of those missions for our deployed operational commanders in support of U.S. national interests around the world."

Monterey's crew consists of more than 300 Sailors and a detachment from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 48 that operates and maintains the embarked SH-60B helicopter.

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Norfolk, visit www.navy.mil/local/pacennorfolk/.

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day



BANGOR, Wash. (April 3, 2013) The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Alabama (SSBN 731) returns to homeport at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor following a 108-day strategic deterrent patrol. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Ed Early/Released)

Founding Fathers Quote

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.

Patrick Henry

Arctic Challenges and Opportunities Discussed at Sea Services Roundtable

Arctic Challenges and Opportunities Discussed at Sea Services Roundtable

By Bob Freeman, Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy Public Affairs Office
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (NNS) -- In a roundtable discussion held here yesterday April 9 at the Navy League's annual Sea-Air-Space symposium, representatives from the Navy, Coast Guard, and Interior Department discussed the ramifications of decreasing summer sea ice in the high latitudes.

"The Arctic Ocean is a maritime region that has been largely inaccessible in the past," said Rear Adm. Jon White, director of the Navy's Task Force Climate Change and a member of the panel discussion. "The changing climate in the Arctic is prompting the sea services to evaluate their readiness for operations in the high north."

Ice-free waters during the Arctic summer are opening the region to greater human activity including cargo shipping, oil and gas exploration, coastal mining transportation, commercial fishing, and adventure tourism, according to panel member Rear Adm. Cari Thomas, director of response policy for the U.S. Coast Guard.

White remarked that maritime crossroads around the globe represent critical national security priorities. As the Arctic increases in economic importance, its crossroads will also increase in strategic importance, and there will be a greater requirement for a naval presence.

"Nobody wants to militarize the Arctic or make it a military-controlled region," White explained. "We believe the presence of the U.S. Navy, and all well-meaning navies, acts as a force for security, which leads to stability and prosperity."

More at: http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=73293

RIA Novosti: Russia’s Newest Warship Completes Sea Trials

RIA NovostiBoiky corvetteRussia’s Newest Warship Completes Sea Trials
16:01 11/04/2013 Russia’s newest Baltic Fleet warship, the Project 20380 Boiky corvette, has completed sea trials, a spokesman for the Western Military District told RIA Novosti on Thursday.>>

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nellis AFB pilots fly their first operational F-35 mission

Nellis AFB pilots fly their first operational F-35 mission

by Staff Sgt. Michael Charles
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs


4/10/2013 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- Two F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron here conducted the aircraft's first operational flights from Nellis AFB.

These historic flights came less than a month after the March 19 arrival ceremony for the aircraft, but members of the 57th Maintenance Group's Lightning Aircraft Maintenance Unit and the 422nd TES have prepared for years to make the transition of the F-35A to Nellis AFB a smooth one.

"It's been a long time coming, and the level of effort by all those involved with getting to this point has been nothing short of astounding," said Capt. Brad Matherne, the 422 TES F-35 division commander, and one of the first pilots to conduct this operational flight at Nellis AFB. "Now we can get down to the business of what Nellis (AFB) does best; the development of tactics."

The successful flight does not begin or end with the pilots, said Lt. Col. Benjamin Bishop, the 422nd TES director of operations, and the other pilot to conduct the first operational flight from Nellis AFB. It was the maintenance team who mastered a complex new airframe, and worked overtime to ensure it was ready for flight.


More at: http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123343819

57% Think U.S. Should Continue Building a Fence Along Mexican Border - Rasmussen Reports™

57% Think U.S. Should Continue Building a Fence Along Mexican Border - Rasmussen Reports™

Rand Paul: You Can't Stimulate The Economy By Taxing



h/t: Eduardo89rp

USS Freedom Arrives in Manila; Sailors Reminded to Update Exceptional Family Member Program Status

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day


ARABIAN SEA (Feb. 3, 2012) Cmdr. Keith Shuley, chaplain aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), leads Roman Catholic Mass in the ship's chapel. Carl Vinson and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dean M. Cates/Released)

What to Expect in Obama's 2014 Budget: Spending and Disappointment

What to Expect in Obama's 2014 Budget: Spending and Disappointment

Pope's General Audience: God is our Strength, God is our Hope

The Iron Lady



http://netrightdaily.com/2013/04/the-iron-lady/

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

USS Kearsarge Suez Canal Transit

Way Up North: Alaska's Governor on Gun Control

Way Up North: Alaska's Governor on Gun Control: Dear [Rev. Paul], Thank you for writing regarding our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Like you, I am a strong supporter of th...

Survey of More Than 15,000 Cops Finds Most of Them Oppose More Gun Control

Survey of More Than 15,000 Cops Finds Most of Them Oppose More Gun Control

RIA Novosti: Black Sea Naval Force Starts Active Drills

RIA NovostiBlack Sea Naval Force Starts Active DrillsBlack Sea Naval Force Starts Active Drills
18:19 09/04/2013 Warships from the six nations participating in the international Black Sea Naval Force (Blackseafor) exercise left the Bulgarian port of Varna for the active phase of the drills, the Russian Black Sea Fleet command said on Tuesday.>>

Vatican hosts conference on advancements in stem cell therapy

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day


PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 26, 2013) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Leigh Davis directs aircraft during night flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Carl Vinson is underway conducting fleet replacement squadron carrier qualifications. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy A. Hazel/Released)

Nimitz, CSG 11 Participate in SUSTEX

Nimitz, CSG 11 Participate in SUSTEX

By USS Nimitz Public Affairs
PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- PACIFIC OCEAN (April 5, 2013) The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) departed Naval Air Station North Island April 3 after picking up Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 to participate in a scheduled Sustainment Exercise (SUSTEX).

"SUSTEX is a refresher for us to ensure we are as alert as possible for every area of operation we'll be in," said Cmdr. Keith Patton, combat direction center officer for Nimitz.

"We've been in port for a few months, so we're making sure everyone is at the top of their game when we forward deploy, added Patton."

Nimitz and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 qualified ready for deployment following a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) late last year but with the slight delay in schedule it was necessary to go through a refresher before the strike group was sent out on their Western Pacific deployment.

"We got this opportunity to basically start working as a team again in what is called a sustainment exercise, before we deploy ," said Cmdr. Nicholie Bufkin, CSG 11 surface operations officer. "It gives us the opportunity to work together as a team as well as give the airwing the opportunity to fly on so everyone can regain their proficiencies."

Bufkin said Carrier Strike Force Training Pacific will send trainers and assessors to the ship during the exercise. The trainers will not only provide resources but will also give pointers and tips to make sure the ship, strike group and their Sailors are fully ready to deploy.

During JTFEX, the ship and strike group went through a scenario that continued to build on itself until it became a final battle problem. SUSTEX is designed to be more of a basic refresher.

"Since we've already proven ourselves by achieving that level of training, this is just a number of exercises that are normally more isolated to give us the opportunity to do different things," said Bufkin.

After completing SUSTEX, Nimitz and CVW11 will join other components of CSG 11 in a Western Pacific deployment.

"We can't wait to get out there," said Bufkin.

For more news from USS Nimitz (CVN 68), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn68/.

Chinese Warship to Visit Indian Port of Kochi? Naval Today

Chinese Warship to Visit Indian Port of Kochi? Naval Today

Don’t blunder into immigration trap, activists warn Sen. Rubio - The Hill

Don’t blunder into immigration trap, activists warn Sen. Rubio - The Hill

Upgraded F/A-18 to begin test flights; offer Navy alternative to F-35C | Defense Tech

Upgraded F/A-18 to begin test flights; offer Navy alternative to F-35C | Defense Tech

USS Freedom Makes Port Visit in Manila

USS Freedom Makes Port Visit in Manila



From Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific Public Affairs
MANILA, Republic of the Philippines (NNS) -- The Navy's first littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) arrived in Manila April 9, marking her first port visit in Southeast Asia.

While the crew will have time for rest and relaxation, work will continue as Freedom receives fuel and supplies for the next underway period of her eight-month deployment.

"Though this port visit is mainly about replenishing Freedom's fuel and supplies, it's also a great opportunity for our crew to visit Manila and strengthen long-standing relationships with our Philippine hosts," said Cmdr. Timothy Wilke, commanding officer, Freedom. "Some of the crew will reconnect with friends and family, but for others, it will be their first visit to this great city."

Freedom's maiden overseas deployment began with a departure from homeport San Diego, March 1. The first-in-class ship has since transited the Pacific Ocean and made port visits in Hawaii and, most recently, in Guam just days after entering the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. Following this visit to Manila, Freedom will arrive next in Singapore later this month.

"Like other port visits in the region, this stop in Manila is a key part of Freedom's mission while deployed to Southeast Asia," said Wilke. "As this deployment progresses, we're looking forward to working with regional navies alongside other 7th Fleet units to conduct maritime security operations, exercises and additional port visits."

Freedom is expected to participate in the upcoming International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEX) in Singapore and in select phases of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series in Southeast Asia. In addition to demonstrating Freedom's capabilities, lessons learned from the deployment will allow the Navy to evaluate LCS crew rotation, maintenance plans, and logistics support.

Fast, agile, and mission-focused, LCS platforms are designed to employ modular mission packages that can be configured for three separate purposes: surface warfare, mine countermeasures, or anti-submarine warfare. Commanded by Cmdr. Timothy Wilke, Freedom will be initially manned by her "Gold" crew of 91 Sailors to include mission package personnel and an aviation detachment to operate an embarked MH-60 helicopter.

Freedom will remain homeported in San Diego throughout this rotational deployment to Southeast Asia. Midway through Freedom's deployment, a crew-swap will be conducted with her "Blue" crew, commanded by Cmdr. Patrick C. Thien.

For more news from Commander, Task Force 73, visit www.navy.mil/local/ctf73/.

Pope sends condolences in light of Margaret Thatcher's death

Monday, April 08, 2013

Gov. Jindal Address to 2013 Legislature

Gosnell Worker: Baby Screamed During Live-Birth “Abortion”

Gosnell Worker: Baby Screamed During Live-Birth “Abortion”

Founding Fathers Quote

I know no way of judging the future but by the past.

Patrick Henry

STRATFOR: Mexico's Reset with China

Judge Napolitano on Margaret Thatcher: She Liberated Great Britain From The Chains Of Socialism



h/t: Eduardo89rp

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day


EAST CHINA SEA (April 4, 2013) The Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Pecos (T-AO 197) pulls alongside the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) at the start of an opposed replenishment-at-sea. McCampbell is part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, to support regional security and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paul Kelly/Released)

Pope celebrates 'Installation Mass' as Rome's new Bishop

Margaret Thatcher: How I Privatised Britain and Rebooted the "Enterprise Society"

Margaret Thatcher: How I Privatised Britain and Rebooted the "Enterprise Society"

Kearsarge ARG Completes Suez Transit, Enters 5th Fleet

Kearsarge ARG Completes Suez Transit, Enters 5th Fleet



By Mass Communication Special 1st Class Chad V. Pritt
RED SEA (NNS) -- The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed a scheduled transit of the Suez Canal and entered the Red Sea, April 5.

Dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) led amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), flagship of the group, and amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) through the 673-foot wide channel.

Commodore Brad Skillman, commander of the Kearsarge ARG, said the transit was conducted as part of the group's regularly scheduled deployment to the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.

"This group of Sailors and Marines conducted a textbook transit," said Skillman. "The overall objective was to conduct a safe evolution and I am very happy with the end result."

Sailors aboard Kearsarge took the opportunity to view the coastline of Egypt as the ship transited the canal.

"It was interesting to see all of the multi-national shipping traffic," said Intelligence Specialist 2nd Class Edward Hurley, a native of Lexington, N.C. "But it's always challenging, operationally. I felt proud to maintain a long-lived naval tradition by transiting the canal."

The Suez Canal is a 120-mile long artificial channel connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Its narrow width limits traffic to one-way travel at any given time, with only two points wide enough to allow passing.

Kearsarge is the flagship for the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Norfolk, visit www.navy.mil/local/pacennorfolk/.

USS Gary Homecoming 2013

USS Jason Dunham Returns to Norfolk

USS Chung-Hoon Enters 7th Fleet

USS Chung-Hoon Enters 7th Fleet

From USS Chung-Hoon Public Affairs
PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Arleigh-burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) arrived in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations April 6 after departing Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam April 2 for an independent deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Chung-Hoon is expected to carry out various missions to support the nation's maritime strategy and theatre security operations to promote peace, regional security and bolster international relationships.

"We aim to foster these relationships and enhance our interoperability with our allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region," said Cmdr. Justin Orlich, commanding officer of Chung-Hoon. "Our crew has been training and preparing for the past several months and are excited to contribute to the critical missions in this part of the world."

The ship's motto is, "Imua e na Koa Kai," which translates to "Go Forward Sea Warriors." As part of Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific and Destroyer Squadron Three One, Chung-Hoon operates forward, maintaining the highest warfighting readiness to preserve the freedom of vital sea lanes.

As a guided-missile destroyer, Chung-Hoon is a multi-mission anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare surface combatant - an important component of the Navy's rebalancing of assets and forces to the Pacific. Chung-Hoon is named in honor of native Hawaiian Rear Adm. Gordon Pai'ea Chung-Hoon, recipient of the Navy Cross and Silver Star in World War II for conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary heroism as commanding officer of USS Sigsbee (DD 502) from May 1944 to October 1945. Read more about Rear Adm. Chung-Hoon at: http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/ddg93/Pages/history.aspx
For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit www.navy.mil/local/ctf70/.

Eisenhower Jet Crashes, Two Aircrew Safely Eject

Governor’s office considers filing lawsuit against Obama administration

Governor’s office considers filing lawsuit against Obama administration

Eisenhower Jet Crashes, Two Aircrew Safely Eject

Eisenhower Jet Crashes, Two Aircrew Safely Eject



From Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs
NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY, Bahrain (NNS) -- No one was injured when an F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed into the water while operating near USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in the North Arabian Sea, April 8.

Search and Rescue (SAR) swimmers from an SH-60F of HS-5 "Night Dippers" recovered the two aircrew and safely delivered them back to the carrier.

The two aircrew, from VFA-103 "Jolly Rogers" based in Virginia Beach, Va., safely ejected from their jet when it incurred an engine failure at 12:20 p.m. local time.

Eisenhower is homeported in Norfolk, Va., and is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.

This incident is under investigation.

Miami officials try to shut down Mother Teresa soup kitchen

Miami officials try to shut down Mother Teresa soup kitchen

Wisconsin Republicans, Lost On Education????

Wisconsin Republicans, Lost On Education????

Pope: Don't be afraid of living out your Christianity

Gary Johnson to speak at U of New Mexico: ‘Debt greater threat than Iran or North Korea’

Gary Johnson to speak at U of New Mexico: ‘Debt greater threat than Iran or North Korea’

ObamaCare takes friendly fire - The Hill's Healthwatch

ObamaCare takes friendly fire - The Hill's Healthwatch

Margaret Thatcher Has Passed Away

The world has lost a great leader today.  Former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher has passed away.  Our Prayers go out to her family and the UK.  Somehow I believe President Regan was waiting to greet her. She has been an inspiration to many and will not be forgotten. 

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Stennis Strike Group Operates in the South China Sea

Stennis Strike Group Operates in the South China Sea



By Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Kathleen O'Keefe
SOUTH CHINA SEA (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) conducted flight operations April 5 in conjunction with maritime security patrols while steaming across the South China Sea.

Stennis routinely performs aircraft launch and recovery operations in cooperation with other U.S. ships in its strike group to enhance regional security and maintain operational readiness.

"We are excited to be back in 7th Fleet and the South China Sea," said Capt. John Beaver, commander of Destroyer Squadron 21. "We have long standing partnerships in this region and an ongoing presence here is evidence of our enduring commitment to the peace and stability of Southeast Asia."

Crisscrossing the South China Sea are vital international shipping lanes where nearly one-third of the world's shipping passes through. The sea and small islands inside it are also subject to territorial disputes by many countries in the region due in part to the belief that the area contains large oil and gas reserves.

The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) entered the South China Sea April 4 after concluding a successful three-day port visit to the Republic of Singapore where Stennis hosted a formal reception for distinguished guests from Singapore and the U.S. Embassy. Sailors also took part in community relations projects and experienced local cultures.

Stennis entered U.S. 7th Fleet March 26 after spending nearly five months in U.S. 5th Fleet supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. The strike group also participated in theater security cooperation exercises with ships from nations who are equally committed to this region including the Royal Navy frigate HMS Monmouth (F 235), the French destroyer FS Chevalier Paul (D621), and the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Toowoomba (FFH 156).

The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, consisting of Stennis, Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW 9), Destroyer Squadron 21 and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), is forward deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility promoting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.

For more information on JCSCSG, visit www.stennis.navy.mil or www.facebook.com/stennis74.
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For more information, visit
www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
>
For more news from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), visit
www.navy.mil/local/cvn74/.

Founding Fathers Quote

Government, in my humble opinion, should be formed to secure and to enlarge the exercise of the natural rights of its members; and every government, which has not this in view, as its principal object, is not a government of the legitimate kind.
James Wilson

Obama’s bad shooting day



http://netrightdaily.com/2013/04/obamas-bad-shooting-day/

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day



ATLANTIC OCEAN (March 21, 2013) The amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) sail in formation with the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3). Kearsarge, Carter Hall and San Antonio are deployed as part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group with embarked Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU) supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Corbin J. Shea/Released)

In Emotional Ceremony, USS Arlington Joins the Fleet

In Emotional Ceremony, USS Arlington Joins the Fleet



From Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Eric Brown
NORFOLK (NNS) -- With an estimated crowd of more than 5,000 on hand here today, USS Arlington (LPD 24) was commissioned and officially joined the U.S. Navy's fleet.

The ship is named for the county of Arlington, Va. and honors the first responders and the 184 victims who died when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2001.

"LPD 24 bears a name of great significance to our Navy and Marine Corps team," wrote the ceremony's keynote speaker, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos, in his congratulatory letter to the ship.

"LPD 24 will forever represent the courage, devotion and teamwork that characterized our military and first responders on that modern day of infamy."

Arlington is the eighth in the Navy's San Antonio class of ships, designed to be the most survivable amphibious vessels ever put to sea. The ship combines 21st century amphibious shipbuilding and warfighting technologies to support current and future Marine Corps aircraft and landing craft, capable of transporting nearly 1,200 Sailors and Marines into harm's way.

"As a son of a history teacher, I always teach our Sailors about our heritage," said Arlington Commanding Officer Cmdr. Darren Nelson. "We are here to make sure no one ever forgets those who lost their lives that day giving us our name. It is our duty to have the strength to fight terrorism, honor those that have gone before us and maintain the fortitude to continue the fight as long as necessary."

On display during the ceremony and follow-on tours, the ship's 684-foot flight deck boasted a Marine MV-22 Osprey, UH-1 Huey, AH-1 Cobra and CH-53 Sea Stallion. Arlington's bow, brow and lifelines were adorned with red, white and blue bunting, and on the pier, more than 100 Sailors and Marines stood at attention in full service dress blue uniforms.

The highlight of the commissioning occurred when Arlington's sponsor, Mrs. Joyce Rumsfeld, ordered the Sailors and Marines to "Bring this ship to life!"

"Aye, aye, Ma'am!" they roared back in unison, before running single file up the brow to man the rails from the flight deck to the forecastle and render a salute to the ceremony's attendees, and to America.

Arlington is at their service.

"Not only does this vessel reflect the longstanding and vital relationship between our sea service and the Arlington community, it also carries on a tradition of naval excellence, forged by the crews of the two ships to bear the name previously," Amos noted. "As the Saipan-class Light Aircraft Carrier AGMR-2 and the Cape Johnson-class transport AP 174 did before her, this new amphibious transport dock will write her chapter in our nation's illustrious warfighting history."

The ceremony was attended by more than 50 members of the USS Arlington (AGMR 2) Association, nearly 200 first responders (and their families) who performed emergency medical, police and firefighting services at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, and 30 family members of those who perished that day.

Radioman 1st Class (Ret.) Ken Cox, the skipper of the USS Arlington (AGMR 2) Association, described the commissioning in a single word: "Outstanding."

He recalled reading a newspaper article, nearly a decade ago, that described the eventual addition of three 9-11 commemorative ships to the Navy's inventory, including the USS New York (LPD 21), USS Somerset (LPD 25) and one to be named Arlington.

"I wrote a letter to the secretary of the Navy, stating that our association would like to create a strong bond between the crews of the Vietnam-era Arlington and the new Arlington," he said. "I never dreamed it would actually blossom into this."

Built by Huntington-Ingalls Industries shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., Arlington's keel was laid on May 26, 2008, and she was christened on March 26, 2011. With a projected service life of 40 years, she was delivered to the Navy on Dec. 7, 2012.

ATF Seeks 'Massive' Database of Personal Info: 'Assets, Relatives, Associates and More' | CNS News

ATF Seeks 'Massive' Database of Personal Info: 'Assets, Relatives, Associates and More' | CNS News

Business Insider: French Secret Service Threatened To Arrest Wikipedia Volunteer Over An Article


1,270 Babies Born Alive After Failed Abortions in the U.S.

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