Thursday, January 16, 2014

Press Release - More Great News for the Hardworking Taxpayers: Projected $911 Million in Additional State Revenue Outperforms Expectations

Office of the Governor, Scott Walker - Press Release

More Great News for the Hardworking Taxpayers: Projected $911 Million in Additional State Revenue Outperforms Expectations

Thursday, January 16, 2014 - Press Release

Madison – The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau today announced the State of Wisconsin’s general fund revenue is projected to be $911 million higher than previously anticipated.  Governor Scott Walker released the following statement regarding the new revenue projections:
This additional $911 million in projected revenue is a sign Wisconsin’s economy continues to grow and add jobs, and it’s more great news for the hardworking taxpayers.  When we took office in 2011, we pledged to do away with the failed policies of the past and confront the fiscal and economic crises we faced.  We made tough, but prudent, decisions over the last three years, and now our bold reforms are producing bold results for the people of Wisconsin.  The additional revenue should be returned to taxpayers because it’s their money, and my administration will work with the Legislature to determine the most prudent course of action.
The days of billion-dollar deficits and double digit tax increases are over, and we have led ourselves into a new era of financial responsibility and continued investment in Wisconsin’s priorities.  Our state is heading in the right direction, and together, we are moving Wisconsin forward.


Wisconsin adjutant general to chair National Governors' advisory council

Wisconsin adjutant general to chair National Governors' advisory council

Wisconsin adjutant general to chair National Governors' advisory council

January 15, 2014

Wisconsin National Guard Public Affairs Office
Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin adjutant general, has been named chairman of the National Governors Association Homeland Security Advisory Council (GHSAC).

"It's a privilege to serve as Gov. Walker's Homeland Security Advisor, which complements my responsibilities commanding the Wisconsin National Guard and leading Wisconsin Emergency Management," Dunbar said. "The GHSAC is a diverse group of professionals who represent the nation's governors in the Homeland Security enterprise. I am honored to serve as the chair and to work these difficult issues alongside my colleagues in collaboration with federal and local agencies and the private sector."

Click To View High-Resolution Photo
Click To View High-Resolution Photo

USNS Spearhead departs on Maiden Deployment

USNS Spearhead departs on Maiden Deployment

Official U.S. Navy file photo.
From Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy's first joint high-speed vessel departed Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Ft. Story today on its maiden deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) is expected to remain in U.S. 6th Fleet until May 2014 and sail to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility through the end of fiscal year 2014. While deployed, the ship will undergo planned experimentation and testing to determine the ship's capabilities.

"The JHSV ship class will play an important part in the future of our joint forces in terms of affordability, flexibility, speed and agility," said Rear Adm. T.K. Shannon, commander, Military Sealift Command. "Its performance to-date is solid and I think its first deployment will offer us a great opportunity to further demonstrate the important capabilities this new class brings to our fleet."

Spearhead is fast, flexible and maneuverable, ideally suited for rapid intra-theater transport. The ship supports diverse operations, including operational maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports and rapid transport as an alternative to airlift.

"I think the ship will do very well when it joins the fleet. It keeps expanding upon its own capabilities. It's every bit as flexible as expected, if not more," said Capt. Douglas Casavant, Spearhead's civil service master.

The 338-foot catamaran is equipped with a 20,000-square foot mission bay that can be quickly adapted to multiple uses. Spearhead and the other JHSVs in its class can move more than 600 tons of troops and equipment 1,200 nautical miles. The ship's flight deck can also support flight operations for a wide variety of aircraft, including a CH-53 Super Stallion.

A civil service mariner crew of 22 navigates, operates and maintains the vessel, which will also host a military detachment commanded by Navy Capt. Marc Lederer.

"Like any of our Navy's ships, one of Spearhead's real strengths is its crew," said Lederer. "This deployment represents an exciting new chapter in warfighter support, and we look forward to learning what Spearhead can do as the ship stretches its legs."

For more news from Military Sealift Command, visit

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day

PEARL HARBOR (Jan. 10, 2014) The guided-missile destroyers USS MICHAEL MURPHY (DDG 112), left, and USS O'KANE (DDG 77) are pierside at dress ship in Pearl Harbor, during Destroyer Squadron 31's change of command ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Joshua A. Flanagan/Released)

NAPOLITANO: Obama mocks Catholic nuns for resisting Obamacare contraception mandate - Washington Times

NAPOLITANO: Obama mocks Catholic nuns for resisting Obamacare contraception mandate - Washington Times

Press Release: Sen. Paul and Rep. Poe Introduce Uphold Our Promise to Veterans Act

Sen. Paul and Rep. Poe Introduce Uphold Our Promise to Veterans Act

Jan 16, 2014
Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) released the following statements regarding the introduction of the Uphold Our Promise to Veterans Act, S. 1930 and H.R. 3807. This bill would repeal the provisions under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 that reduces cost-of-living adjustments below inflation for retired veterans under 62 years of age and restore funding by eliminating foreign aid to certain countries and authorizing the sale of some Federal lands. Both Sen. Paul and Rep. Poe voted against the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 that implemented the cost-of-living adjustments cuts for veterans.
"In a failed effort to save $6.2 billion over the next ten years, Congress and the President broke a financial promise to the veterans of this nation with the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. In addition to stripping veterans of their promised retirement compensations, the budget does not balance the budget and raises taxes for all Americans," Sen Paul said. "We owe it to the men and women who have served in our Armed Forces to protect their livelihood, just as they have protected ours- and the Uphold Our Promise to Veterans Act will do just that. I will continue to do all I can in support of our nation's veterans."
"Those who have spent their lives protecting the rest of us should be the last to sacrifice what they have earned in order to pay for even more Washington spending. Congress should instead cut the billions in aid to countries who are not our friends, like Pakistan. This bill would restore this crucial funding by using the billions in foreign aid that we give Egypt and Pakistan each year. We don't need to pay our enemies to hate us, they'll do it for free. This legislation would also require the federal government to systematically sell some of its unused and unmaintained land (excluding National Parks and historical sites). Currently, the federal government owns 27% of the total land in our country (equivalent to the size of Western Europe). If this unused land was sold day it could generate up to $1.1 trillion. Selling this land could also inject money back into state and local economies by creating new economic opportunities on this dormant federal land," Rep. Poe said.


The Day - House approves spending bill that boosts funding for Virginia-class submarines | News from southeastern Connecticut

The Day - House approves spending bill that boosts funding for Virginia-class submarines | News from southeastern Connecticut

DDG 1000 Preps for Heavy Weather Trials | DoD Buzz

DDG 1000 Preps for Heavy Weather Trials | DoD Buzz

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Navy Aircraft Carrier Moves Underscore Pacific Rebalance Strategy

Navy Aircraft Carrier Moves Underscore Pacific Rebalance Strategy

The aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) is underway in the Western Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian H. Abel/Released)
From U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy announced today that the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) will replace USS George Washington (CVN 73) in Japan and become part of the U.S. 7th Fleet forward-deployed naval forces (FDNF) in Yokosuka, Japan. As part of the rebalance strategy to increase the Navy's presence in the Pacific Fleet, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) will move from Norfolk, Va., to San Diego.

Theodore Roosevelt will serve as a U.S. 3rd Fleet rotational carrier allowing Ronald Reagan to depart her current homeport in San Diego and proceed to Yokosuka. George Washington will depart Japan and proceed to Virginia in preparation for its mid-life refueling complex overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding, Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Specific timelines will be announced separately, closer to the actual movement of the carriers.

The United States values Japan's contributions to the peace, security and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific and its long-term commitment and hospitality in hosting U.S. forces forward deployed there. These forces, along with their counterparts in the Japan Self-Defense Forces, make up the core capabilities needed by the alliance to meet our common strategic objectives.

The security environment in the Indo-Asia-Pacific requires that the U.S. Navy station the most capable ships forward. This posture allows the most rapid response times possible for maritime and joint forces, and brings our most capable ships with the greatest amount of striking power and operational capability to bear in the timeliest manner.

The ship rotation will not necessitate a change in the assigned air wing, nor in the composition of the air wing. Carrier Air Wing 5 will remain the forward-deployed air wing located at Naval Air Facility Atsugi. This ship rotation also does not necessitate any changes to base facilities in either San Diego or Yokosuka.

In 2008, George Washington was the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier sent to Japan as part of the FDNF. Maintaining an FDNF capability supports the United States' commitment to the defense of Japan and the security and stability of the vital Indo-Asia-Pacific.

For more news from Pacific Fleet, visit or

UPDATE: F/A-18E Crash: Pilot Ejected and Safely Recovered (5 p.m. EST)

UPDATE: F/A-18E Crash: Pilot Ejected and Safely Recovered (5 p.m. EST)

From Defense Media Activity
OCEANA, Va. (NNS) -- A U.S. Navy pilot was safely recovered from sea today after the F/A-18E Super Hornet he was flying crashed aproximately 45 miles off the Virginia Beach coast.

The crash occurred at approximately 2:30 pm. The pilot ejected from the aircraft and a liferaft deployed. He was recovered by a fishing vessel. The pilot is conscious and was transported to Sentara Norfolk General by a Navy MH-60 Sea Hawk.

The F/A-18E is a single seated aircraft assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron One Four Three (VFA-143) based at Naval Air Station Oceana and was conducting routine training.

The Navy will investigate the cause of the accident.

Poverty, White Privilege, and Short Memories

Poverty, White Privilege, and Short Memories

Navy Divers Recover Remains of Missing Pilot

Navy Divers Recover Remains of Missing Pilot

NORFOLK, Va. (Jan. 14, 2014) Lt. Sean Christopher Snyder, Pilot, Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM 14).
From Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Public Affairs
NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Navy Divers searching the wreckage of the MH-53E "Sea Dragon" recovered the remains of missing pilot, Lt. Sean Christopher Snyder, earlier today.

Divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2, operating aboard USNS Grasp (T-ARS-51), located the aircraft's cockpit late Monday using a remotely operated vehicle and confirmed the presence of remains in the wreckage.

Salvage operations were suspended late Monday evening due to deteriorating weather conditions. USNS Grasp resumed recovery efforts early Tuesday morning.

Snyder, 39, assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 14, went missing when his MH-53E "Sea Dragon" crashed off the coast of Virginia Beach while conducting routine mine countermeasure training.

Five crewmembers were on board the MH-53E when it crashed Jan. 8, approximately 18 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. Four of the crew members were rescued and taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital for treatment. Two crewmembers died at the hospital from their injuries. The two other rescued crewmembers have been released from the hospital.

A memorial service for the three crewmembers killed in the crash is being planned for Friday at Naval Station Norfolk.

The cause of the crash is being investigated.

The Snyder family has released the following statement:

Divers have recovered the remains of Lt. Sean Snyder. The family is truly thankful to the men and women of the United States Navy. Sean was a man of honor and a true hero, not only to his country, but also to his wife, children, family, and friends. Our strength and trust remain in Christ. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

USS Kidd, USS Pinckney Depart for Western Pacific Deployments

USS Kidd, USS Pinckney Depart for Western Pacific Deployments

From Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Kidd (DDG 100) and USS Pinckney (DDG 91) are scheduled to depart Naval Base San Diego Jan. 7 on independent deployments to the Western Pacific Ocean.

Both Kidd and Pinckney have crews of more than 300 Sailors each and are multi-mission ships designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group. While deployed, both ships will conduct theater security cooperation and maritime presence operations with partner nations.

"USS Kidd has spent the last year preparing for our upcoming deployment by completing all basic and intermediate training phase requirements," said Cmdr. Gabriel A. Varela, Kidd's commanding officer. "Kidd is looking forward to a deployment in the 7th fleet area of responsibility and working closely with our friends and allies in the region."

Kidd is named in honor of Rear Adm. Isaac C. Kidd who was killed on board his flagship, USS Arizona (BB 39), during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage, and complete disregard of his own life during the attack.

"The Pinckney crew is looking forward to continuing the fine reputation that the ship and Navy have established throughout the world," said Cmdr. Frank Okata, Pinckney's commanding officer. "While each and every Sailor on board will look forward to being reunited with family and friends, we are steadfast in our commitment to serving the nation."

Pinckney is named for Cook 1st Class William Pinckney, a World War II combat veteran who received the Navy Cross for his courageous rescue of a fellow crew member on board USS Enterprise (CV 6) during the Battle of Santa Cruz that took place Oct. 26, 1942.

U.S. 3rd 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 Kidd and USS Pinckney, visit and

For more news from Naval Surface Forces, visit

USS Minnesota Changes Homeport from Norfolk to Groton, Connecticut