Saturday, December 28, 2013

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day

FUNCHAL, Portugal (Dec. 24, 2013) Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) stand at attention during morning colors as the ship is moored in Funchal, Portugal, for a port visit. Monterey is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Billy Ho/Released)

Commentary: Russia’s Navy Rising | The National Interest

Commentary: Russia’s Navy Rising | The National Interest

Monday, December 23, 2013

USS The Sullivans Honors Service Members Laid to Rest in France

USS The Sullivans Honors Service Members Laid to Rest in France


By Lt. j.g. Sean Menezes, USS The Sullivans Public Affairs
DRAGUIGNAN, France (NNS) -- Eight members of the guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) visited the Rhone American Cemetery Dec. 8 to honor the 860 American servicemen and women buried there.

The majority of these men and women lost their lives in the liberation of southern France in August 1944.

Cemetery associate Alison Libersa escorted The Sullivans visitors through four neatly arranged plots, each with rows and columns of perfectly spaced headstones. One particular headstone read, "WILLIAM A. STEINHURST/CAPT 136 MCU/MASS NOV 1, 1944." Libersa explained the tombstones read the name and rank of the deceased, the unit they were serving with, which state they hailed from, and the date they died.

"Birthdays are not written on these graves because that would bring more attention to one than to the others. Here, they are all equals, regardless of rank, religion, branch of service, or hometown," Libersa said. "Here, they are all respected equally for their sacrifice."

The visitors walked to a series of graves and rubbed sand from the beaches of southern France, where these soldiers had landed, into the indented writing on the headstones. This caused the writing on each headstone to stand out, and, as Libersa put it, "This person now lives." The Sullivans visitors then planted small American and French flags beside each grave.

Chief Navy Career Counselor Melissa Cyr read aloud a telegraph sent from the U.S. government to a deceased service member's parents as Chief Operations Specialist Jorge Martinez arranged a large laminated photo of the deceased beside the grave.

Among those laid to rest in the cemetery are 14 Americans who hail from the state of Iowa, the home state of the five Sullivan brothers; the ship's namesake. Although the brothers are not buried at Rhone, there are hundreds of U.S. Navy Sailors who served valiantly during the war interred in the 12-acre plot of land.

The Sullivans visitors honored the Iowans by applying sand to each of the 14 headstones. The activities conducted were especially moving to the participants and served as a powerful reminder of the sacrifices of those Americans who did not return home after World War II. A folded American flag, which had been flown above Rhone American Cemetery, was presented to Cmdr. Samuel de Castro, The Sullivans commanding officer.

"We were fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Rhone, honor all of those who rest there and spend some time with those who hailed from Iowa, like the Sullivan brothers," said de Castro.

Commissioned in 1997, USS The Sullivans is the second U.S. ship named in honor of George, Francis, Joseph, Madison, and Albert Sullivan, five brothers who served and perished together when their ship, USS Juneau (CL52), was sunk by a Japanese submarine in November 1942 during the Battle of Guadalcanal. The ship's motto honors the brotherhood of the men for whom she is named - "We stick together!"

For more information on USS The Sullivans, visit http://www.the-sullivans.navy.mil/.

For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/surflant/.

USS Freedom Completes Maiden Deployment; Returns to San Diego

USS Freedom Completes Maiden Deployment; Returns to San Diego


The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) returns to its homeport of San Diego.
SAN DIEGO (Dec. 23, 2013) The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) returns to its homeport of San Diego following completion of her maiden deployment. 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. (U.S. Navy photo by Doug Sayers/Released)

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Molly Evans, Commander, U.S. Third Fleet Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) returned to its homeport of San Diego Dec. 23 following the completion of its maiden deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).

Deployed since March 1 with her gold crew, known formally as crew 102, the ship took part in a number of theater security cooperation and maritime presence operations with partner nations in the region. In August, crew 102 swapped with the ship's blue crew or crew 101, which completed the deployment and will bring the ship back.

Both crews deployed with a ship's company of 53 Sailors, plus embarked air and mission detachments.

"This deployment was a huge success for the LCS program, for us as a crew, and for the Navy in general," said Cmdr. Dale Heinken, commanding officer of Freedom's Blue Crew. "The Sailors did very well executing the mission."

Crew 101 participated in the humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts delivering life saving supplies to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.

"The camaraderie on this ship is great because it is a smaller ship with a smaller crew," said Electronics Technician 1st Class Bert Olaveson. "You get to know the people that you are working with on a more personal level, which made this deployment that much more rewarding."

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.

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

U.S. Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.

For more information on USS Freedom visit:
http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lcs1/

File photo of USS Freedom:
http://www.navy.mil/view_image.asp?id=166118

Follow LCS 1 on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/USSFREEDOM

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