Surface Warfare Magazine - Summer 2019

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Surface Warfare SUMMER 2019 Issue 63

Navy Leadership Accelerates Lethality with Newly Designated Surface Development Squadron Navy's High-Speed, Mission-Focused Surface Combatant U.S., Bahrain Complete Neon Union 19



Surface Warfare is published quarterly from appropriated funds by authority of the Chief of Naval Operations in accordance with NPPR P-35. The Secretary of the Navy has determined that this publication is necessary in the transaction of business required by law of the Department of the Navy. Use of funds for printing this publication has been approved by the Navy Publications and Printing Policy Committee. Reproductions are encouraged with proper citation. Controlled circulation.

Postmaster: Send address changes to Surface Warfare, SURFPAC Public Affairs Office, 2841 Rendova Road, San Diego, CA 92155. Surface Warfare (USPS 104170) (ISSN 0145-1073) is published by the Department of the Navy, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, 2841 Rendova Road, San Diego, CA 92155. Periodicals postage paid at San Diego, CA, and additional mailing offices.


Surface Warfare Magazine is the professional magazine of the surface warfare community. Its purpose is to educate its readers on surface warfare missions and programs, with a particular focus on U.S. surface ships and commands. This journal will also draw upon the Surface Force’s rich historical legacy to instill a sense of pride and professionalism among community members and to enhance reader awareness of the increasing relevance of surface warfare for our nation’s defense. The opinions and assertions herein are the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the Department of the Navy.

Surface Warfare Summer 2019 Issue 63


Surface Warfare Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs Office, N01P 2841 Rendova Road San Diego, CA 92155 Phone: (619) 437-2735

Contributions and Feedback Welcome

Send articles, photographs (min. 300 dpi electronic) and feedback to:

Commander, Naval Surface Forces Vice Adm. Rich Brown

Deputy Commander, Naval Surface Forces Rear Adm. Joey B. Dodgen Public Affairs Officer Cmdr. Patrick L. Evans Executive Editor MCCS Ahron Arendes Managing Editor Ted Townsend Layout and Design Ted Townsend



2. Commander's Corner Surface Force News:

22. Maritime Warfare Exercise Conducted by France, United Kingdom, Australia, United States in C5F

4. France, UK and U.S. Navies Complete Artemis Trident 19

24. CARAT 2019: Building Security Through Maritime Domain Awareness

6. Essex Amphibious Ready Group Returns from Deployment

Cover Stories:

8. USS Green Bay, 31st MEU Arrive in Thailand for Cobra Gold

28 . Navy Leadership Accelerates Lethality with Newly Designated Surface Development Squadron

10. Navy battles corrosion with engineering expertise

32. Navy's High-Speed, Mission-Focused Surface Combatant

11. Lieutenants Take Command At-Sea of the Mark VI Patrol Boat

36. U.S., Bahrain Complete Neon Union 19

12. Surface Warfare "Center for Excellence" 40. Voices From the Fleet Holds Change of Command Navy Touts Navigation Seamanship Proficiency in Shiphandling Award 13. CNSP Welcomes New Instructors Who'll Train Crews to Win the 42. History and Heritage: High-End Fight Operation Allied Force 14. CNSP Celebrates 126th Chief Petty Officer Birthday 15. CNSF Strengthens Outreach, Provides Update to San Diego Military Advisory Council

44. Namesake's Legacy Provides Sweet Stop for Crew of Future Lyndon B. Johnson

Feature Stories: 16. U.S. Forces Conclude Annual Balikatan Exercise

Cover: SOUTH CHINA SEA (April 5, 2019) The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) is operating in the South China Sea in support of Exercise Balikatan 2019. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker



Commander's Corner

When I arrived at Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet in January, 2018, I established three goals: • Deploy Strike Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups (ARGs) free of any Navy Casualty Reports (CASREPs); • Deploy ships fully certified; and, • Deploy ships manned at 92 percent fit and 95 percent fill. Of those three goals, CASREP Free was the BHAG – “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” – one that we didn’t achieve immediately, although we came close. That all changed, May 1, 2019, when the Boxer ARG, comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), the amphibious transport dock USS John P Murtha (LPD 26), and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), departed for deployment CASREP free. We've deployed other ships CASREP free or with one or two CASREPs purposely deferred because they didn't have a warfighting or redundancy impact. The Boxer ARG, however, was the first ARG or Strike Group to deploy CASREP free since we established this goal. That was our moonshot. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy stated in a speech at Rice University, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…” Seven years later, on July 20, 1969, we landed on the moon and did it six more times after that.

Our message to the Fleet and the public is clear: Now that we’ve proven we can “go to the moon,” by deploying ships CASREP free, we can repeat! We will repeat it through an unrelenting pursuit of excellence. Other examples of the pursuit of excellence are initiatives such as Surface Development Squadron ONE, which we established in May. SURFDEVRON ONE will support fleet experimentation and accelerate delivery of new warfighting concepts. We’re also pursuing excellence through Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT). Earlier this year, USS Montgomery (LCS 8) was the first ship of its class to complete a SWATT prior to deploying in late May. The advanced level training increased the crew’s tactical proficiency, lethality, and interoperability. These are just a few of our efforts to enable our crews to be able to transition their readiness into lethality, reinvigorate mission command, and drive toward a culture of excellence. That must be the focus of the Surface Fleet – from Commodores and Commanders down to the deckplates. In turn, my staff and I will provide fleet commanders with combat-ready ships and battle-minded crews who will go, fight and win. My staff and I have set the environment to advocate for the needs of our ships and Sailors in order to set them up for success. We will continue to establish and pursue audacious goals, because, in the words of President Kennedy in 1962, “that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.” * Own the Fight, VADM Brown


Vice Adm. Rich Brown, Commander, Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet, during the establishment ceremony for Surface Development Squadron (SURFDEVRON) ONE. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Woody S. Paschall




Surface Force News France, UK and U.S. Navies Complete Artemis Trident 19 By NAVCENT Public Affairs

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Samantha P. Montenegro

Photo by Sgt. Sidney Weston

MANAMA, Bahrain -- France’s Marine Nationale, the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy completed U.S. 5th Fleet's mine countermeasures exercise Artemis Trident in the Arabian Gulf, April 2019. The operational scenario for the defensive exercise was for coalition forces to provide safe passage to humanitarian relief vessels through a mined area. “Mines threaten maritime traffic indiscriminately,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Jeffrey Morganthaler, Commodore of Task Force 52 and lead for the exercise. “Training together ensures we can collectively protect unfettered operations of naval and support vessels, as well as commercial shipping movements, throughout the maritime domain.” During the exercise, geographically dispersed forces practiced choke point and harbor clearance to open more than 70 nautical miles of maritime channels and routes for neutral shipping. Integrating the capabilities and multiple sensors from the three countries enhanced the overall effectiveness of the force. The exercise involved more than 700 personnel, 10 ships, and five helicopters from the three nations. The ships included U.S. Navy expeditionary sea base, USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3); fleet ocean tug, USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168); Avengerclass mine countermeasures ship, USS Sentry (MCM 3); Island-class coastal

Photo by Sgt. Sidney Weston

patrol boats, USCGC Maui (WPB 1304) and USCGC Wrangell (WPB 1332); the United Kingdom Royal Navy’s RFA Cardigan Bay (L3009), minehunters HMS Shoreham (M112) and HMS Ledbury (M30); and the French Marine Nationale’s minehunters, FS L’Aigle (M647) and FS Sagittaire (M650). Two afloat forward staging bases provided command and control platforms while supporting the air, surface, and underwater mine countermeasures triad. As part of the exercise, FS L’Aigle and HMS Ledbury simultaneously rafted with the RFA Cardigan Bay while landing an MH53 helicopter. Lewis B. Puller embarked expeditionary mine countermeasures teams from all three nations and supported helicopter refueling operations. The afloat forward staging bases’ support increased the endurance of the mine hunters, demonstrating how a multinational force could conduct sustainment and repairs during extended mine clearance operations.


“Training together ensures we can collectively protect unfettered operations of naval and support vessels, as well as commercial shipping movements, throughout the maritime domain.”

Photo by Spc. Vincent Fausnaught

In another event, six of the ships practiced collective self-defense, working together to defend themselves from simulated air and surface threats. “The exercise has been a highlight in our current deployment, and it exemplifies how we are stronger together, in an area that is so complex,” said France’s Marine Nationale Lt. Pierre, mine clearance diving officer aboard FS L’Aigle. “France deploys MCM vessels on a regular basis to the Arabian Gulf, to maintain expertise of the local environment, and I am looking forward to the next exercise.” Command and control was fully integrated throughout the exercise. The Commander UK Mine-Counter Measure Forces and his staff led Combined Task Group 52.2 from aboard the RFA Cardigan Bay, leading RFA Cardigan Bay, HMS Ledbury, FS L’Aigle and a U.S. Navy mine hunting unit. The U. S. Navy led Combined Task Group 52.3, focused on expeditionary mine countermeasures

Photo by Spc. Vincent Fausnaught

with diving forces from all three nations. The French Mine Warfare Battle Staff, embarked on USS Lewis B. Puller, commanded Combined Task Group 52.4, including Puller, USS Sentry, FS Sagittaire and HMS Shoreham. "There are many similarities between all three MCM communities from the comradeship and professionalism onboard these small ships, to the quest to embrace emerging maritime autonomous technology,” said Royal Navy Commander Steven White, Commander of Combined Task Group 52.2. “MCM is a complex and dangerous business that many people do not understand. These exercises allow me along with my fellow task group commanders and commanding officers of ships and diving units to practice and refine our skills and procedures so we are ready when called upon to do this for real." Task Force 52 plans and executes mine warfare operations in support of U.S. 5th Fleet operational objectives. U.S. 5th Fleet's area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen. *

Photos by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Samantha P. Montenegro




Surface Force News Essex Amphibious Ready Group Returns from Deployment By Third Fleet Public Affairs

Photos by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jailene Casso

SAN DIEGO -- Sailors and Marines of the Essex (LHD 2) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) returned to their homeport of San Diego, following a successful deployment to the Indo-Pacific, Middle East, Mediterranean, and Horn of Africa regions, March 1. More than 4,500 sailors and Marines of the Essex ARG and embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) conducted maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in support of regional security, stability, and the free flow of maritime commerce. “This deployment was a great example of dynamic force employment,” said Capt. Gerald Olin, Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 1. “We were successful on our deployment because we operated the way we trained. Our team was manned, trained and equipped successfully so that we were able to meet mission requirements in every fleet.” During the ARG/MEU’s deployment, the ships conducted subject matter exchanges and important theater security cooperation exercises with regional partners in 5th, 6th and 7th fleets, as well as executing standard maritime operations. “Our dynamic Blue-Green team performed admirably and their accomplishments speak wonders to the resolve, resiliency and incredible sacrifice the Sailors, Marines, and their families made to make this a successful deployment,” said Olin. “I am proud to have been part of this deployment with this team, and after such a successful deployment, I know our Sailors and Marines, as well as their friends and families, are excited to be home.” Essex is comprised of amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23), and amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47). Embarked commands include “Blackjacks” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC-21), Assault Craft Unit 5, Naval


Beach Group 1, Beachmaster Unit 1, Fleet Surgical Team 3, and Tactical Air Control Squadron 11. The 13th MEU is commanded by Col. Chandler Nelms and consists of the Command Element, the Aviation Combat Element comprised of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 (Reinforced), Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211, the Ground Combat Element comprised of Battalion Landing Team 3/1 (Reinforced), and the Logistics Combat Element comprised of Combat Logistics Battalion 13. This deployment is uniquely significant, as it was the inaugural combat deployment of the Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II. “The Essex was embarked with the next generation of air assets,” said Olin. “The full integration of the Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II drastically enhanced the ARG/ MEU lethality and proved to be a credible strike and defense capability. The MV-22 provided the range and cargo capacity to maintain critical logistical lines of effort to maintain continued support of operations. This Essex deployment perfectly demonstrated the promising future of aviation for the ARG/MEU teams.” Throughout deployment, the ARG/MEU participated in a variety of exercises with multinational partners throughout the Indo-Pacific, Mediterranean, and Middle East regions, which strengthened partnerships and increased combat readiness, amphibious and crisis response capabilities, and communication between U.S. and partner nation forces. In the western Pacific, Sailors and Marines worked with Malaysian and Indonesian militaries during bilateral Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training exercises. Simultaneously, Sailors and Marines of the Anchorage worked with the military of Sri Lanka to bolster regional partnerships. In the Middle East, the team participated

in exercises with a variety of partners during bilateral engagements, such as Eastern Maverick 19 with Qatar and the Theater Amphibious Combat Rehearsal, which was conducted in Djibouti. "Our Sailors and Marines did an absolutely fantastic job this deployment," said Capt. Brian Mutty, Commanding Officer of Essex. "It was impressive to watch the Navy/Marine Corps teams execute every mission we were tasked with. During Theater Amphibious Combat Rehearsal and Eastern Maverick, the coordination between the Navy-Marine Corps team effectively projected power from the sea and ashore. Furthermore, the ship provided direct combat support for Operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel." As Rushmore and Essex conducted operations in the Middle East, Anchorage represented the ARG/MEU team as they operated in the Mediterranean Sea. The steadfast and formidable presence of Anchorage and the 13th MEU decisively advanced stability and security objectives in the region. "Our ARG/MEU team operated across two geographic combatant commands simultaneously supporting multiple operations, exercises and subject matter expert exchanges," said Capt. Dennis Jacko, Commanding Officer of Anchorage. "The inherent flexibility of the ARG/MEU is what makes our team so valuable to theater commanders, and the robust capability of the LPD 17 Class to execute independent operations provides a force multiplier in every ARG." Sailors and Marines of the ARG/MEU had the opportunity to visit several foreign ports during the duration of the deployment. Through these port visits, the crews were able to immerse themselves in diverse cultures and allow the local populace to interact with them in various activities such as tours and community relations projects. The ships visited ports in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Italy, Spain, Thailand, India, and United Arab Emirates. The ARG/MEU also conducted 11 community relation projects in six countries with over 230 Sailors and Marines participating. *




Surface Force News USS Green Bay, 31st MEU Arrive in Thailand for Cobra Gold By Petty Officer 2nd Class Anaid Banuelos Rodriguez Photos by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Anaid Banuelos Rodriguez

SATTAHIP, Thailand -- The forwarddeployed amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20), with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), arrived in Sattahip, Thailand to participate in exercise Cobra Gold 2019. Cobra Gold 19, in its 38th iteration, ran Feb. 12-23, 2019 with up to 29 nations participating, including Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, and Singapore. The exercise emphasized coordination on civic action, such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, seeking to expand regional cooperation and collaboration in these vital areas. “It is really great to be back in Thailand and participating in Cobra Gold”, Capt. Tom Shultz, Green Bay’s Commanding Officer said upon arrival in Thailand. “The ship was last here in 2017. So, we’re all happy to be back and look forward to building our capacity and interoperability with Thailand and other partners from the region. The crew is focused on the exercise and ready for the complex and realistic multinational and task force operations.” During the visit, the Green Bay crew participated in two volunteer service opportunities interacting

with more than 600 Thailand youth and staff members. “We’re incredibly grateful for the hospitality and welcome we’ve received in Thailand,” said Lt. Danny Cho, Green Bay’s command chaplain. “Our community service events are ways for our crew to express our thanks and continue building on the positive relations we’ve had with our host nation.” The crew also participated in a variety of trips offered by Green Bay’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department. "The goal of our MWR team is to give Sailors and Marines the opportunity to get the most out of their port visit and make memories that will last a lifetime,” said Ensign Michael Vassallo, Green Bay’s afloat recreation officer. “Many have not been to Thailand before and we want to make sure they experience the country’s rich culture and landscape.” Green Bay, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship, was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in 2009. The ship is forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan as part of Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet and is operating in the Indo-Pacific region to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response force for any type of contingency. *





Surface Force News Navy battles corrosion with engineering expertise By Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division

Armen Kvryan is materialistic. But in a good way. The recent-hire at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) recently received his doctorate in materials engineering from Boise State University. He will be working as the command’s materials researcher, discovering ways to prevent or control corrosion of metal components aboard Naval ships. “My job is to optimize materials from metals to polymers,” he said. “We can change the state of the material to make them harder, stronger or lighter, or more cost efficient for the Navy.” Kvryan will directly support the fleet through quick manufacturing solutions with the intention of producing obsolescent parts using a 3D printer. “I will be joining the In-Service Engineering Agent (ISEA) of the Future efforts and leading local initiatives for additive manufacturing,” said Kvryan. “In other words, we will develop, evaluate and implement this new technology to meet emerging and evolving needs of the fleet and our warfighters.” Kvryan’s journey to become a corrosion fighter could easily have turned out differently. The Hollywood native was a music major in college when a teacher encouraged him to enter a science contest and he won, setting him on his current path.

Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jesse Go

“I instantly fell in love with chemistry, which prompted me to switch from music theory to chemical engineering at Glendale Community College. I [then] transferred to Cal Poly Pomona, where I studied chemical engineering with a minor in materials engineering.” He later transferred to Boise State University, where he developed a corrosion lab from the ground up, designed to assess corrosion behavior on metals in defense applications. Kvryan experienced some interesting stops along the way to NSWC PHD. “I interned at SpaceX in their Hawthorn headquarters, where I worked on corrosion failure analysis of the Amos 6 explosion,” he noted. “I also interned at NASA at the Kennedy Space Center, where I worked on tests for the Orion recovery equipment and coatings for corrosion issues on the spacecraft.” Most importantly, Kvryan is excited to join NSWC PHD, helping to advance the world’s greatest Navy. “What we are doing here is very cool," he said. "I am lucky to work with these talented people. I feel that I am a part of something bigger. As a first-generation American, I want to give back, and supporting our Sailors is part of that. If the work is something exciting like fighting corrosion, that makes it better.” *


Lieutenants Take Command AtSea of the Mark VI Patrol Boat Story and photos by Lt. Kara Handley, Coastal Riverine Group 1

CORONADO, Calif. -- The new Mark VI patrol boat command-at-sea billets are one of two new opportunities for Mark VI leadership in the Coastal Riverine Force. Mid-level Surface Warfare Officers can now serve as Mark VI company commanders, following in the footsteps of the PT boats of World War II and the Riverines in Vietnam. The first three Lieutenants took command earlier this year. Here are their stories.

Lt. Andrew Bergstrom became the Navy’s first officer to assume command of one of the Coastal Riverine Force’s new Mark VI patrol boat command-at-sea billets in a ceremony onboard Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, April 18, 2019.. As Coastal Riverine Squadron Three Alpha Company, Crew 2 Commander, Bergstrom will be responsible for commanding one of the Navy’s new cutting-edge Mark VI patrol boats and will deploy with the craft and crew. "I am thrilled to be assuming command of the Mark VI patrol boat. It is on the cutting edge of the Navy's forces, and provides a unique opportunity to learn, grow, and make an impact on the Navy,” said Bergstrom. “As a lieutenant, this is an opportunity in leadership and professional growth I would not get anywhere else." Bergstrom, originally from Dallas, Texas, graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in biology and chemistry before commissioning as a surface warfare officer in November 2013. Bergstrom has completed deployments in the 5th, 6th, and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility while serving as the main propulsion officer onboard USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) and the navigator onboard USS Lake Erie (CG 70).

Lt. Antionne Winston, from Ozark, Alabama, became the Navy’s second officer to assume command of one of the Coastal Riverine Force’s new Mark VI patrol boat command-at-sea billets in a ceremony onboard Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, May 10, 2019. As Coastal Riverine Squadron 3’s Bravo Company, Crew 1 Commander, Winston will be responsible for commanding one of the Navy’s new cutting-edge Mark VI patrol boats and will deploy with the craft and crew. "This ceremony marks the Navy’s continued investment in our most important asset—our people. Allowing junior officers to hold a position of such responsibility symbolizes three things: our Navy’s dedicated to lethality at all levels regardless of rank structure, our Navy’s continued focus on leadership development in all of our Sailors, and our Navy’s adaptability to rapidly adjust our methods to the threats and missions of a dynamic environment,” said Winston. “Bravo Company Boat Crew One is ready for any challenge and will remain ready and relevant in this dynamic environment." Capt. Michael Ray, Commander, Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 1, said that command-at-sea opportunities like this afford opportunities for innovation. He said, “In the Coastal Riverine Force, and with the small crew sizes of the Mk VI program, we need innovators and motivated self-starters to help us find our way forward.”

Lt. Matthew “Hunter” Harvey, from Oakboro, North Carolina, assumed command of Coastal Riverine Squadron 3, Alpha Company, Crew 1, during a ceremony held on board Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, June 7. Harvey is the Navy’s third surface warfare officer to assume the new Coastal Riverine Force (CRF) command-at-sea billet on the Navy’s new cutting-edge Mark VI patrol boats and will deploy with the craft and crew. “By allowing junior officers to tackle the challenges that come with early command, our abilities sharpen with each evolution,” said Harvey. “We have been provided with platforms that continue to progress in lethality, complexity, and ability, along with the responsibility and authority to lead them.” Harvey graduated from Virginia Military Institute with Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering and commissioned May 2014. Harvey has completed deployments in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility while serving as the fire control officer aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79). *




Surface Force News Surface Warfare "Center for Excellence" Holds Change of Command By Naval Station Newport Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. -- Surface Warfare Officers School Command (SWOS) held a change of command ceremony at Weakley Hall Auditorium onboard Naval Station Newport, April 12. Capt. Christopher Alexander relieved Capt. Scott Robertson as Commanding Officer of the “Center for Excellence” for surface warfare. Robertson, who served as SWOS’s Commanding Officer since September 2016, was recognized for his outstanding leadership in training officers and enlisted Sailors who man and fight the Navy’s fleet of surface ships. “Capt. Scott Robertson is the example of a surface warrior,” said Vice Adm. Richard Brown, Commander, Naval Surface Forces/Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, who served as the guest speaker. “He has the warfighting ethos and embraced it as the Commanding Officer of SWOS and brought it to every student whether it be an ensign or a captain.” Robertson focused on the school’s mission during his tenure at SWOS to prepare sea-bound warriors to serve on surface combatants as officers and enlisted engineers and navigation professionals.

Photos by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zachary Allan

“We work diligently to train warfighters and intelligently apply state-ofthe-art technology in classrooms and trainers,” said Robertson. “We are warriors who go to sea in ships to defend our nation, and we are the keepers of the essence of our great Navy and the maintainers of freedom throughout the world.” In his 31 months in command, Robertson improved mariner skills of the surface force in the wake of the summer 2017 collisions and the chief of naval operations-directed Comprehensive Review. “Our dedicated professionals took ownership of addressing knowledge gaps and furthermore, identified and brought to fruition a new voyage plan to deliver mariner and warfighting competency,” said Robertson. He advanced the restoration and modernization of enlisted naval engineering and navigation training, and invigorated fleet damage control and firefighting training. Robertson also directed the investment effort to update and modernize Navy training while developing strategies to advance, if not accelerate, the implementation of Sailor 2025 and Ready, Relevant Learning. “SWOS is a great place to lead using the principles of mission command,” said Robertson speaking to his relief. “The SWOS team is talented, resourceful, disciplined and committed to adapting in the rapidly changing environment of today. Convey your desired end state and watch them execute with effective purpose.” Alexander served as Commanding Officer of USS Princeton (CG 59) and USS Sampson (DDG 102), Executive Officer of USS Hopper (DDG 70), operations officer for Destroyer Squadron 2 and USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), navigator aboard USS Reid (FFG 30), and damage control assistant aboard USS Wabash (AOR 5). “It is an absolute honor and privilege to be given this opportunity to take command of Surface Warfare Officers School,” said Alexander. “I pledge to do everything I can to carry on the legacy left before me.” At the conclusion of the ceremony, Robertson was promoted to Rear Admiral and was pinned by family members. His next assignment is the Commander, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) in San Diego, California. Headquartered in Newport, Rhode Island, SWOS readies sea-bound Sailors to serve on surface combatants as officers, enlisted engineers, and enlisted navigation professionals to fulfill the Navy’s mission to maintain global maritime superiority. *

U.S. Navy photos


Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jesse Marquez Magallanes

CNSP Welcomes New Instructors Who'll Train Crews to Win the High-End Fight By Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

NAVAL AMPHIBIOUS BASE CORONADO -- Navy leaders continued efforts to prepare crews for high-end warfighting. Vice Adm. Richard Brown, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP), welcomed the newest qualified Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTI) to the fleet during a graduation ceremony at CNSP headquarters in San Diego, April 26. Brown presided over the graduation of 17 anti-submarine warfare/surface warfare (ASW/SUW) WTIs on the West Coast, while Rear Adm. Dave Welch, Commander, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC), led a ceremony for six amphibious warfare (AMW) WTI graduates in Norfolk. WTIs are a growing cadre of tactically astute junior Surface Warfare Officers (SWOs) that trains the fleet to be more lethal and tactically proficient. They undergo about four months of instruction at SMWDC, which is responsible for increasing the lethality and tactical proficiency of the Surface Force across all domains. “Out of all the Surface Warfare Officers out there, you’re the elite. You’re the best of the best,” said Brown. “The value that you bring to the community is huge, but you need to have humility. You’re not going to be judged by how much you know. You’re going to be judged by how much you teach those who don’t know. That’s the power of WTIs.” Along with ASW/SUW, and AMW, SMWDC’s core curricula drives young officers to develop deep tactical expertise in the fields of Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD). “This is, by far, the most tactically relevant training I've received in my Naval career. I am eager to do my part to help SMWDC increase lethality in the Fleet,” said Lt. Bryan Sumpter, one of the 17 WTI graduates.

SMWDC Students receive a comprehensive orientation to four distinct lines of operations – advanced tactical training, doctrine and tactical guidance development, operational support, capability assessments, experimentation and future requirements. With recent changes to the Surface Warfare Officer career path, a high-performing junior officer may be nominated to attend SMWDC’s WTI program after completing their initial 30-month sea tour as part of the “Accelerated Warfighter” program. Candidates for the course are selected from a highly-competitive pool of top talent in the surface warfare community. “It's extraordinary watching the class as they develop the tactical proficiency that we require of a WTI,” said instructor Lt. Kelly Denimarck. “The curriculum is challenging; it demands an intense understanding of not only our own capabilities, but of our adversaries as well. Seeing the students develop this unparalleled level of knowledge is comforting in a day and age where the near-peer threat is becoming increasingly more complex. I'm ecstatic that we're adding 17 more warfighters to the Fleet to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of our Navy.” This newest group of amphibious warfare tactics instructors will be charged with helping the Surface Force to drive toward a culture of excellence and transition readiness into lethality. Established in 2015, SMWDC is a subordinate command of Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet and exists to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of the Surface Force in both the U.S. Pacific Fleet and U.S. Fleet Forces area of operations. It is headquartered at Naval Base San Diego, with four divisions in Virginia and California focused on Sea Combat, IAMD, Amphibious Warfare, and Mine Warfare. *




Surface Force News CNSP Celebrates 126th Chief Petty Officer Birthday By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alex Millar NAVAL AMPHIBIOUS BASE CORONADO -- The Chiefs Mess at Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP) celebrated the 126th birthday of Navy chief petty officers (CPO), April 2. The khaki-clad CNSP chiefs formed ranks as CNSP Vice Adm. Rich Brown, an honorary CPO, spoke about how chief petty officers have been the backbone of the Navy and a key to his development as a naval officer. “Since 1893, chiefs have taken on the task of molding and mentoring young Sailors and junior officers,” said Brown. “Without the guidance of my first chief, I doubt I would have made it this far in my career. Chief Janise and Chief Zachary got me qualified and made sure I had the best division on the ship. They made sure I earned the best FITREPs. They took care of me when I wasn’t taking care of myself. I reveled in their success, and they reveled in mine.” The rate of CPO was officially established April 1, 1893, by Navy General Order 409. CPOs have been charged to serve as technical experts, train Sailors, develop junior officers, and serve as trusted advisors to all officers in leadership positions. In his remarks, Brown recounted a story about Adm. William “Bull” Halsey and his appreciation for the Chiefs Mess. In the story, Halsey was honored by the city of Los Angeles. As he departed the ceremony, he passed sideboys consisting of active duty and retired chief petty officers. As Halsey walked through the ranks, he approached one old chief, and they winked at each other. At the following

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alex Millar

reception, a guest asked about the wink to which Halsey responded, “that man was my chief when I was an ensign and no one before or after taught me as much about ships or men as he did. You civilians don’t understand. You go down to Long Beach, see those battleships sitting there, and you think that they float on the water, don’t you? Well, you are wrong! Those ships are carried to sea on the backs of chief petty officers.” Unlike any other enlisted rank, advancement to chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy not only carries requirements of time in service, superior evaluation scores, and specialty examinations, but also carries an added requirement of peer review. A chief petty officer can only advance after review by a selection board of serving master chief petty officers. Achieving the rank of chief is inherently difficult and stands out among all branches of service for the tight-knit fellowship that goes with it. “I am honored and humbled to have served as a chief petty officer since 1995,” said Force Master Chief James Osborne, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. “The Chiefs Mess has provided leadership, mentorship, experience and guidance to the fleet for the past 126 years. Continue to be the humble servant leaders, do your part, and set the example for a culture of excellence. Happy birthday, chiefs.” The ceremony closed with the youngest chief, Chief Personnel Specialist Given Perez, and the oldest chief, Master Chief Dendee Caniban, and Brown cutting a cake. Afterward, the Chiefs Mess served food and refreshments to the staff. The mission of CNSP is to man, train, and equip the Surface Force to provide Fleet Commanders with credible naval power to control the sea and project power ashore. *


Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Woody S. Paschall

CNSF Strengthens Outreach, Provides Update to San Diego Military Advisory Council By Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO -- The U.S. Navy is taking deliberate steps to build and sustain fleet readiness while preparing the Surface Force to win the high-end fight. That was the message from Vice Adm. Richard Brown, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, during the San Diego Military Advisory Council’s (SDMAC) monthly breakfast, May 15. Brown was the featured speaker, generating great discussion points for the nearly 250 assembled. Founded in 2004, SDMAC’s mission is to facilitate and advance the partnership between the region’s military, elected officials, civic leaders, and the private business sector to enhance the understanding of the military’s many contributions to the San Diego community. “I look forward to these events when I can attend because I know that we all share a passion to ensure we have the strongest military possible, that we all have shared experiences, and that, especially here in San Diego, we all care very deeply about our Navy and our Sailors,” said Brown during his address.

During the presentation, Brown outlined what he sees as one of the most important tasks at hand – driving the Surface Navy to a culture of excellence, a culture that strives to be the best of the best, always improving, always focused on owning the fight. “A culture of excellence demands a sense of urgency in all that we do – not just frenetic activity – but focused action to deliver the outcomes our Navy requires, especially in 2019,” said Brown. That need for urgency is clear from the National Security Strategy, from the Secretary of Defense in the National Defense Strategy, and from the CNO in the classified Navy Strategy. “The common theme in all of these strategies is that they are Maritime Strategies – strategies that call for sea control whenever and wherever we need it – requiring our Surface Navy to deter, but if necessary, fight and win the battle for sea control now in an age of Great Power Competition,” said Brown. Brown reminded those in attendance that the Navy has made changes to the Surface Force for nearly a year and that 2018 was devoted to raising standards, improving training, tightening up qualifications, re-emphasizing certifications, and reasserting the primacy of command. “It was a year of building readiness, but we don’t build readiness for readiness’ sake. We must turn that readiness into lethality. And we do that through an unrelenting pursuit of excellence because excellence always produces winners,” said Brown. He then noted that 2019 has been devoted to fostering this culture of excellence and closed with great confidence when ensuring the crowd that, “The Surface Force is a force of winners and will Own the Fight!” *




U.S. FORCES CONCLUDE ANNUAL BALIKATAN EXERCISE By Maj. Eve Baker 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Benjamin F. Davella III

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sean Galbreath

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker


“This exercise allows us to assist our partners in enforcing fisheries laws and protecting the economy in the South Pacific.”

CAMP AGUINALDO, Philippines -- Units from all military branches of the United States and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) concluded the 35th iteration of Balikatan on April 12 with a ceremony at the AFP Commissioned Officers’ Clubhouse. Additionally, members of the Australian Defence Force participated in the exercise and attended the closing event. Balikatan, conducted April 1-12, was comprised of 28 major combined or joint interoperability events focused on testing and enhancing the services’s skills and abilities in the areas of counterterrorism, amphibious operations, live-fire, urban operations and aviation operations. "The AFP and U.S. Armed Forces greatly benefited from the different trainings, exchange of knowledge and cooperative activities as we close Exercise Balikatan 2019," according to Lt. Gen. Gilbert I. Gapay, Commander of Southern Luzon Command and the Philippine Exercise Co-Director. "It served not only as a venue to further enhance our capabilities

as military organizations but also as an opportunity to help our people in less fortunate communities in the country. Ultimately, Balikatan 2019 brought out the best in our forces as we commit towards advancing regional security and stability, sustaining bilateral ties and strengthening defense partnership." The exercise also incorporated 18 humanitarian and civic assistance, community relations and subject matter expert exchange events. These included extensive renovation projects at several elementary schools, oneday veterinary and medical clinics, friendship visits to schools and orphanages, and a multi-day mental health conference for providers. Balikatan, which infers “shoulder-to-shoulder” in Tagalog, embodies the alliance and friendship between the United States and the Philippines. Australia’s participation enriched the exercise, by bolstering the relationship between all three military forces.

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Benjamin F. Davella III

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bryan Niegel




“Balikatan continues to prepare our armed forces to work together to confront any and all challenges that may jeopardize the mutual defense we have worked so hard to provide for one another.�

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sean Galbreath

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker


Australian Chief of Joint Operations Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld said Exercise Balikatan enhances regional readiness and response capabilities to real-world challenges. “The Philippines is an important regional partner to both Australia and the U.S.” he noted. “Balikatan 2019 allowed all of the participants to build on existing military-tomilitary relationships and support the AFP's modernization efforts.” This was the first iteration of Exercise Balikatan to incorporate USS Wasp with U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II aircraft embarked. Together they represent

an increase in military capability committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Their participation in Balikatan demonstrated their ability to forward deploy in support of an ally should a crisis or natural disaster occur. “This training allows us to come together and operate as one team. Balikatan continues to prepare our Armed Forces to work together to confront any and all challenges that may jeopardize the mutual defense we have worked so hard to provide for one another,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Eric M. Smith, Commanding General, III Marine Expeditionary Force. Planning will soon begin for next year’s event. *

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Benjamin F. Davella III

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sean Galbreath

Photo by Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Eric Setterfield








Maritime Warfare Exercise Conducted by France, United Kingdom, Australia, United States in C5F By Lt. j.g. Jamie Moroney, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Public Affairs

Photos by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jake Greenberg


ARABIAN GULF -- Maritime forces from France, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States participated in the maritime warfare exercise Intrepid Sentinel in the Arabian Gulf, Jan. 15-17. Participating ships included France’s Marine Nationale F70AA-class air defense destroyer FS Cassard (D 614), United Kingdom’s Royal navy Daring-class air defense destroyer HMS Dragon (D 35), and Royal Australian navy Anzac-class frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155), aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111). “The exercise itself is meant to develop interoperability,” said Capt. Murzban Morris, Commodore of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21. “We should [be able to] operate together at a moment's notice....whether or not there is a crisis." During the exercise, ships went through several integrated events using air and surface platforms to build proficiency across multiple warfare areas and integrate multinational maritime forces into a cohesive combat force. "Our strong partnership is an essential asset for the maritime security in the Indian Ocean," said Capt. C.V. Ouk, Commanding Officer of Cassard. U.S. Navy and French helicopters also conducted cross-deck training. MH-60R Sea Hawks from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71 conducted helicopter deck landing qualification DLQs with the Ballarat. “Training to work together on a different platform, to work in close proximity together, and to land on a new platform gives us the ability to expand our skillset,” said Lt. John White, a pilot assigned to HSM-71, the helicopter aircraft commander of one of the cross deck flights. “The opportunity that we were given to do this demonstrated not only our capability to interoperate, but how natural it is to work with our partner nations. The professional way that the crew [of Ballarat] operated made me feel like I was flying to my own ship.” The French Panther anti-submarine helicopters also conducted a DLQ cross deck to the flight deck of the John C. Stennis. Lt. j.g. Beau Denson, the tactical action officer for John C. Stennis, remarked on the professionalism and capability of the highend maneuvers conducted with coalition forces throughout the exercise. “We conducted an integrated live-fire exercise led by the HMAS Ballarat,” said Denson. “We were able to give them directive control over our air assets to simulate offensive and defensive maneuvers against small boat attacks.”

Intrepid Sentinel focused on modern naval warfighting core competencies by reviewing performance and tactics, command and control constructs and recommending solutions to warfighting gaps. The ships of the coalition also conducted integrated air intercept control and response, as well as trading off Surface Warfare Commander and Screen Commander roles. “The Ballarat and Cassard were able to direct our carrier strike group assets to simulate a reaction to unfriendly forces,” said Denson. “It was seamless. They also conducted plane guard duties for the [John C.] Stennis, which means they acted as the horizon reference unit, providing an artificial horizon to aid landing signals officers and pilots in safely recovering aircraft at night.” Intrepid Sentinel included Surface Warfare exercises, such as formation sailing, where the ships of the coalition practiced dynamic warfare techniques and demonstrated interoperability between allies. “Intrepid Sentinel is important because we’re establishing relationships and smooth operability between allies and collation partners,” said Lt. Patrick Kelley-Hauske, from Newark, Delaware, the air operations officer assigned to DESRON 21. Conducting multilateral maritime exercises like Intrepid Sentinel allow coalition forces to deter potential adversaries, assure partners, and hone skills to meet any challenge collectively. "Our presence shows we are not forgetting, we are not turning our back on our partners in the area, and we are willing to stand true to the ideals and values that we've represented previously - freedom of trade, freedom of maneuverability and operating wherever international law allows,” said Morris. The multi-maritime force exercised occurred while during Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 3's recent seven-month deployment, which concluded in May. CSG-3, commanded by Rear Adm. Mike Wettlaufer, was comprised of the flagship John C. Stennis with Pacific Fleet based CSG-3 staff, embarked squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, Destroyer Squadron 21 staff, USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), USS Stockdale (DDG 106), USS Spruance (DDG 111), and USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93). John C. Stennis completed a homeport change at the end of the deployment when pulling into Naval Station Norfolk, where it will undergo a mid-life Refueling Complex Overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding, Huntington Ingalls Industries. The John C. Stennis Strike Group deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al-Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen. *

“Training to work together on a different platform, to work in close proximity together, and to land on a new platform gives us the ability to expand our skillset.”




CARAT 2019: Building Security

Through Maritime Domain Awareness By CTF 73/DESRON 7 Public Affairs

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan D. McLearnon


SATTAHIP, Thailand -- The U.S. and Royal Thai Navy (RTN) conducted a series of training events focused on maritime domain awareness (MDA), culminating with scenarios conducted by ships and aircraft in the Gulf of Thailand during this year’s Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Thailand. The training included knowledge exchanges focused on techniques and tools used in sharing information against maritime threats, as well as legal discussions and tabletop exercises, to prepare for the hands-on portion of the exercise. According to Lt. David Copeland, MDA Intel Officer for Destroyer Squadron 7, improved awareness of the maritime domain continues to be a key objective in the U.S.-Thai security alliance, as both navies continue to work together in combating maritime threats, including illegal fishing, human trafficking, weapons smuggling, terrorism, piracy and environmental threats. “No country alone can ensure maritime security,” said Copeland. “It requires coordinated efforts by all regional partner nations and agencies to actively share information in a transparent and timely manner so we can conduct combined maritime security operations, ensuring safe and secure seas for all.”

“The Royal Thai Navy recognizes the importance of MDA,” said Capt. Yuthanavi Mungthanya, Royal Thai Navy MDA lead for the exercise. “This topic will be very worthwhile for both navies. We will be able to discuss and share about MDA in an open environment.” Prior to the start of the sea phase, the U.S. Navy and Royal Thai Navy held a series of MDA exchanges focused on basic analytical skills and utilizing information sharing tools to track vessels of interest (VOI). As part of the seminar, U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General and RTN legal officers discussed the legal authorities in conducting visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) of these vessels. The MDA analysts conducted a two-day tabletop exercise, further honing their skills by tracking simulated VOIs that would play into the at-sea scenario. During the at-sea phase, the U.S. Navy and RTN established a combined information sharing watch floor at the RTN Frigate Squadron Two Headquarters. From there, U.S. and RTN Sailors analyzed AIS (Automatic Identification System) data and other sources of information to aid in visual confirmation of the location of the suspected vessel of interest. In this case, the scenario was a weapons and drug smuggling ship-to-ship transfer at sea, with the VOI being role-played by the Military Sealift Command expeditionary fast transport USNS Millinocket (T-EPF 3). The information sharing watch floor passed the VOI’s position to surface assets, which tracked the vessel at sea, culminating in a combined VBSS of the VOI from the guided missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) and the RTN




Naresuan-class frigate HTMS Naresuan (FFG 421). Members of the U.S. Coast Guard were already embarked aboard Millinocket, acting as safety observers and role-playing as illicit weapons smugglers and drug traffickers. Following the boarding, boarding teams quickly relayed the information to the information sharing watch floor. In addition to radio communication, all participants used the Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System (CENTRIXS), a network that enables partner navies to securely share information both at sea and ashore using chat rooms, email and Voice over Internet Protocol. This year’s 25th anniversary of CARAT builds upon 65 years of military partnership in naval exercises between the U.S. and Thailand. “With key at-sea serials focused on information sharing and MDA, CARAT is a venue that allows us to mature relationships and engagement across a broad spectrum of naval warfighting operations,” said Capt. Matt Jerbi, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 7. “There is no other maritime exercise that brings together such a dynamic cadre of naval professionals and platforms. CARAT fosters friendships because we have many exercise veterans among us – Sailors from both navies who have already built strong

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan D. McLearnon

friendships together through these many engagements and past CARAT exercises.” Participating assets for CARAT Thailand 2019 included staff from Commander, Task Force 73 and Commander, Destroyer Squadron 7, USS Patriot (MCM 7), USS Pioneer (MCM 9), USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52), USS Antietam (CG 54), USNS Millinocket (T-EPF 3), Marine Rotational Force-Darwin Task Force, U.S. Navy 7th Fleet Band, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5, Naval Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit 6, Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1, Patrol Squadron-8. Royal Thai Navy participation included various staffs and ships including HTMS Naresuan (FFG 421), HTMS Taksin (FFG 422), HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej (FFG 471), HTMS Rattanakosin (FS 441), HTMS Angthong (LPD 791), HTMS Lat Ya (MHS 633) and HTMS Mattapon (LCU 784). CARAT, the U.S. Navy's oldest and longest continually running regional exercise in South and Southeast Asia, strengthens partnerships between regional navies and enhances maritime security cooperation throughout the Indo-Pacific. The Royal Thai Navy has been a part of the annual CARAT series since the exercise began in 1995. *

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan D. McLearnon


“The CARAT exercise series allows our Sailors to practice traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges in a complex and evolving environment.�

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan D. McLearnon

Photo by Information Systems Technician 1st Class Gregory L. Parker




By Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO -- To encourage innovation, experimentation, and combat readiness, Vice Adm. Richard Brown, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP), announced the establishment of Surface Development Squadron ONE (SURFDEVRON ONE) during a ceremony, May 22. SURFDEVRON ONE will integrate unmanned surface vessels (USV) and support fleet experimentation

Photos by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Woody S. Paschall

to accelerate delivery of new warfighting concepts and capabilities to the fleet. Brown, who provided remarks during the ceremony, told the attendees they were witnesses to the future in Surface Warfare. “By standing up a command dedicated to developing warfighting capabilities and experimentation, we will ensure the U.S. Surface Navy remains the premiere Surface Navy in the world,� said Brown.


Photo by Chief Petty Officer Ace Rheaume




“We charge commanders to be ready to ‘accept the extraordinary responsibility of command with full regard,’ and this will be extraordinary.”

To establish the new command, CNSP redesignated Zumwalt Squadron ONE (ZRON ONE) to SURFDEVRON ONE to accelerate new warfighting capabilities to the surface force and lead Fleet integration of unmanned surface vessels. Commanders, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and U.S. Pacific Fleet, approved the SURDEVRON ONE plan, and Chief of Naval Operations endorsed it earlier this year. Capt. Henry Adams relieved Capt. Scott Carroll during a combined change of command/establishment ceremony. “ZRON ONE embodied Adm. Zumwalt’s legacy of warfighting innovation by leading Fleet integration of the revolutionary ship class that bears his name,” said Carroll. “Establishing this new squadron – with its focus on experimentation and future warfighting technology – fulfills and extends ZRON’s purpose to the rest of the Surface Navy. Although

the name has changed, I’m proud to note that Adm. Zumwalt’s innovative legacy will persist.” “I want to recognize and thank Capt. Scott Carroll for his leadership and hard work while Commander of the ZRON,” said Brown. “His leadership was crucial to the introduction of the Navy’s newest and most technologically advanced ship class. He ensured the Zumwalt class was properly manned, the Sailors specifically trained to operate the advanced warfighting systems, and the required material readiness was in place to conduct sustained combat operations at sea.” Adams is SURFDEVRON ONE’s first Commodore. Previously, he led CNSP’s Commander's Action Group (CAG) and served as Commander, Destroyer Squadron TWO ONE (CDS 21). Other previous command tours include USS Stethem (DDG 63) and USS Thunderbolt (PC 12).


Vice Adm. Rich Brown, Commander, Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, presents the Legion of Merit to Capt. Scott Carroll in recognition of his leadership of Commander Zumwalt Squadron ONE during its transition into the newly established Surface Development Squadron ONE.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to lead the SURFDEVRON ONE team as we work to execute the Navy’s and surface warfare community’s vision to build an organization focused on fleet innovation and experimentation,” said Adams. “We look forward to the challenge and to working with the broader community of interest – both inside and outside of the Navy – as we collaborate to realize SURFDEVRON ONE’s full potential.” “Hank, throughout your career you have taken on challenges with professionalism, energy, and enthusiasm,” Brown added. “We charge commanders to be ready to ‘accept the extraordinary responsibility of command with full regard,’ and this will be extraordinary.” The stand-up of SURFDEVRON ONE will be executed in phases over the next several years until it reaches full capacity and capability. SURFDEVRON ONE draws on the urgency within the National Defense Strategy (NDS), which acknowledges, “We cannot expect success fighting tomorrow’s conflicts with yesterday’s weapons or equipment, and exercising a strategy proven in other Navy warfighting communities.”

SURFDEVRON ONE also aligns with the Secretary of the Navy’s vision of an integrated Naval Force that provides maritime dominance for the Nation with a renewed sense of urgency and speed throughout the entire organization. SURFDEVRON ONE is responsible for the maintenance, training and manning oversight for medium and large Unmanned Surface Vessels (e.g. Sea Hunter / MDUSV) and ZUMWALT-class ships: USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), and the future USS Lyndon B Johnson (DDG 1002). The squadron headquarters will be located onboard Naval Base San Diego but will operate throughout various areas of operation. *




By Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs Photos by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Morgan K. Nall


“SWATT is the culmination of a phased training approach which prepares our ships and our Sailors to win the fight.”

For the first time in the history of the Littoral Combat Ship class, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) conducted Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) in the U.S. 3rd Fleet area or operation. The training concluded April 22 and provided the crew of Independence-class USS Montgomery (LCS 8) advanced level training to increase its tactical proficiency, lethality, and interoperability. “SWATT is the culmination of a phased training approach

which prepares our ships and our Sailors to win the fight,” said Capt. Matthew McGonigle, Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE. “The Montgomery crew demonstrated that they are ready, capable and committed to meet the mission the Navy and our nation requires of them.” Montgomery conducted several training exercises during the multi-day training event, including anti-submarine, surface, and air warfare. Complex live-fire events included torpedo countermeasure exercises and gunnery exercises.





“The Montgomery Blue team honed their skills during the complex exercise and without a doubt, their watchstander proficiency was enhanced,” said Cmdr. Edward A. Rosso, Montgomery’s Commanding Officer. “The SWMDC Warfare Tactics Instructors provided excellent training, and we are more ready than ever to answer our nation’s call.” SMWDC-based mentors, Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTIs), and technical community experts planned the events, briefed shipboard teams, and embarked to train and mentor watch teams throughout the duration of the advanced tactical training. Training

evolutions used a formalized plan, brief, execute, debrief (PBED) process. LCS vessels are high-speed, agile, shallow draft, missionfocused surface combatants designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. As part of the surface fleet, LCS has the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants. Paired with advanced sonar and mine hunting capabilities, LCS provides a major contribution, as well as a more diverse set of options to commanders, across the spectrum of operations. *

“The Montgomery crew demonstrated that they are ready, capable and committed to meet the mission the Navy and our nation requires of them.”




By NAVCENT Public Affairs, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Eduardo Jorge


MANAMA, Bahrain -- The U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Royal Bahrain Naval and Air Forces completed exercise Neon Union 19, Jan. 9, following four days of operations, briefings and maneuvers. Neon Union 19 is a bilateral air and surface maritime security operations exercise used to strengthen critical warfighting capabilities and enhance interoperability and operational readiness between all participating units.

“When we go to sea we can operate with our partners,” said Capt. Adan Cruz, commodore of U.S. Task Force 55. “In this case the Bahrainis are great partners in the maritime environment. By exercising with them on a regular basis we know that we can communicate at sea, and that we share common tactics and techniques.”




“In future Neon Union Exercises I expect the complexity of the events to increase, and I expect the number of units on the U.S. Navy side, and the Bahrain Navy and Air Force side to increase.”

Neon Union 19 showcased various aspects of the capabilities of the two countries in a maritime environment. Exercise events included a two day pre-sail conference to prepare for the atsea phase; a subject matter expert exchange on tactics, techniques and procedures; coordinated surface vessel maneuvering and culminated with a visit board search and seizure (VBSS). By continuing to work together, the U.S. and Bahrain foster the critical relationships needed to enhance the stability and security of the region’s maritime environment. The exercise provided an opportunity for Sailors and Coastguardsmen to work directly with their counterparts in the Royal Bahrain Naval and Air Forces, and assured all involved that their combined forces can operate cohesively in the maritime environment. “As a lookout, [the exercise] gives me the opportunity to identify different vessels and see things I normally don’t see,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Kristen Gibson. “It keeps everybody on their toes, to not become complacent. This is something brand new for those without experience, so it gives us a chance to see what could possibly happen.”

Photos by Spc. Meleesa Gutierrez


Photo by Sgt. Jeremy Laboy

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command conducts more than 25 bilateral and multilateral exercises with partner nations throughout the region each year. Exercise Neon Union is an annual training event and one of numerous exercises vital to the U.S. Navy's theater security cooperation efforts in building and enhancing relationships with allies. “Any opportunity we have to work together in a more structured environment is good,” said Cruz, “In future Neon Union Exercises I expect the complexity of the events to increase, and I expect the number of units on the U.S. Navy side, and the Bahrain Navy and Air Force side to increase.” The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses nearly 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The region is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab-alMandeb at the southern tip of Yemen. *

Photo by Spc. Meleesa Gutierrez

U.S. Navy photo Photo by Spc. Dakota Young




Voices From the Fleet

The 2018 CNSP Surface Warfare Officer of the Year Discusses Surface Readiness Improvements By Lt. James Ballingall Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

The release of the Surface Force Training and Readiness Manual (SFTRM) is the most significant readiness improvement to the community and for Milius in the past year because: it shifts the focus of training directly to the watchstanders, instead of the training teams; it buys back time for ship’s Commanding Officers and leadership to train their crews; and, it extends the certification interval for Forward Deployed Naval Force Japan (FDNF-J) ships to 36-months. It also better codifies the Basic Phase training entitlement. The new SFTRM was promulgated by Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP) and Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (CNSL) in November 2018. It replaces the Surface Force Readiness Manual (SFRM) and lays out how we will train and certify our ships in the Basic Phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP). The SFTRM re-emphasizes the prioritization of training and certifying watchstanders to do their jobs,

rather than on evaluating the ship’s training teams, while elevating the training standards for the ship’s training teams. Under the SFTRM, the Afloat Training Group (ATG) in each fleet concentration area, CNSP’s executive agent for Basic Phase training, assumes the role of the training team in a phase termed “mission area certification.” Once the crew is certified in that mission area, the training team undergoes more training and evaluation to attain a separate training team certification. The training team members, however, are required to attend all of the same training as the watchstanders. This benefits the ship and enhances training in three primary ways: it allows the most experienced members of the crew to serve as “drilling watchstanders” through the mission area certification; it allows ATG to model effective training team techniques to the crew; and, it relieves the ship of the administrative burden associated with training team functions during


mission area certification. This better allows ships to “train (and certify) as they would fight” out at sea. The SFTRM also gives ships the ability to work ahead in mission area certifications – once they successfully demonstrate a Certification Exercise (CE) for ATG, they do not need to demonstrate it again. In the words of Vice Adm. Richard Brown, CNSP Commander, this allows COs and crews to push the envelope and foster a culture of “excellence over compliance.” It allows them to advance the goal line beyond completion of SFTRM CEs and Repetitive Exercises (REs) and get after tailored-training specific to that ship, that crew, and their individual needs. The benefits of this initiative are already being realized all over the force in ships, such as USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), USS Pinckney (DDG 91), and USS Charleston (LCS 18). [1] This natural incentive will drive ships to lean forward into their Basic Phase events, certify early, then innovate and build on that training to make their watchstanders more proficient – truly embodying a culture of excellence. While Milius has not been in the Basic Phase since the release of the SFTRM, they have worked with ATG Western Pacific and Naval Surface Group Western Pacific to follow the intent and spirit of this change while undergoing Certification Validations during the Sustainment Phase. The Milius crew prepares thoroughly for Limited Training Team (LTT) visits and executes CEs for trainers, which eliminates the requirement to demonstrate them again for the CV.

Finally, the SFTRM extends the FDNF-J OFRP to 36-months for training certifications, an extension from the 24-month OFRP under the previous SFRM. This aligns the FDNF-J ships’ training OFRP with that of their stateside counterparts. It also means that they will have more time to train and that Basic Phase certifications earned by FDNF-J ships will now be granted for 36-months. The SFTRM also codifies a dedicated 18-week Basic Phase entitlement and goes as far as to stipulate that other major events cannot be scheduled concurrently. Before these changes, ships, such as the Milius, were getting less mileage (24-months as opposed to 36-months) than their stateside counterparts for earning the same certifications. Other FDNF-J ships routinely had operational tasking, Continuous Maintenance Availabilities (CMAVs), and other significant conflicts overlaid on their Basic Phases. The SFTRM’s FDNF-J realignment maximizes return on the significant investment made to get FDNF-J ships through the Basic Phase. The return on that investment is realized by the crew, the force, and the operational commanders. Simply put, extending the FDNF-J OFRP generates more readiness. That’s what it’s all about. It’s the mission of CNSP, and it ought to be the mission of every Sailor across the force. Every time a mission area certification is earned, every time a training team runs a drill and re-validates an RE, and every time a ship innovates a smarter way to train in a mission area beyond what is written in the SFTRM, they are generating readiness. As Vice Adm. Brown has told us, “We don’t build readiness for ‘readiness’ sake. We must turn that readiness into lethality. And we do that through an unrelenting pursuit of excellence over compliance.”[2]The SFTRM inspires that culture of excellence in the Surface Force – a culture that can permeate all facets of shipboard readiness and operations. *




History and Heritage Operation Allied Force By Naval History and Heritage Command

On 24 March 1999, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) launched the air campaign, Operation Allied Force against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to stop the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Kosovo. The campaign commenced after all diplomatic avenues had failed. Lasting just 78 days, Operation Allied Force was suspended by NATO on 10 June 1999, when a Military Technical Agreement that included Yugoslavia’s immediate end to violence and withdrawal of its military, police and paramilitary forces took effect. During the operation, naval aviation contributed land-based EA-6B Prowlers, EP-3E Aries IIs, and F/A-18C Hornets. Allied aircraft dropped Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) operationally for the first time. Additional aircraft involved included five Anti-surface Warfare Improvement Program–modified P-3C Orions of VP-5 equipped with synthetic aperture radar and AGM-84E SLAM (Standoff Land Attack Missiles), and RQ-1A Predator camera-carrying unmanned aerial vehicles. “Operation Allied Force reminds us of the value of a forward presence that is provided by combat-ready carrier battle groups and amphibious-ready groups with their embarked Marine Expeditionary Units,” said Vice Adm. James F. Amerault, Deputy, Chief of Naval Operations for Logistics. “The Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group commenced highly successful strike operations three days after entering the Mediterranean and only ten days after beginning her regularly scheduled deployment. The Roosevelt Battle Group's performance is noteworthy for its many successes; scores of fixed targets destroyed, more than 400 tactical targets destroyed or damaged, in excess of 3,000 sorties flown without a single loss.” *


Historical Photos U.S. Navy




TOPSHAM, Maine -- The crew of the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002) made a confection connection with their namesake, Apr. 25, when they visited a Dairy Queen in Topsham, Maine. Sixty-two members of the crew visited the site where, in 1966, President Johnson stopped on his way to an event in nearby Lewiston, Maine. To this day, the Dairy Queen proudly displays a sign stating, "LBJ ate here." The crew arranged an outing to eat ice cream, pose for a command photograph under the sign, and continue building their bond with the legacy of the former president and the community. “It's reassuring that people out there do care and notice what we do and we can make a good impression. We get caught up with all the work we do and forget how everyone else sees us. It was cool to see an ear to ear smile on the face of a local little girl when she got to stand with some of us in uniform. To her, it was a special day too,” Gunner's Mate Seaman Madison Reynolds of Jacksonville, Illinois. “The community support has been amazing, and we’re proud to be part of bringing this warship to life,” said Capt. Jeremy Gray, DDG 1002’s prospective commanding officer. “We’re proud of the re-live a moment in the legacy of our namesake.”

The future United States Navy ship is named in honor of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, who served in office from 1963-1969. She will be the first ship to bear the name of the former president. A Texas congressman, Johnson was the first member of Congress to enlist in the military following the start of World War II. After his naval service, Johnson was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1948, where he served as both minority and majority leader before being elected vice president Nov. 8, 1960. Following President John F. Kennedy's assassination Nov. 22 1963, Johnson succeeded to the presidency, finished the remaining term, and was reelected for a full presidential term. Zumwalt-class destroyers feature a state-ofthe-art electric propulsion system, wave-piercing tumblehome hull, stealth design and are equipped with the most advanced warfighting technology and weaponry. These ships will be capable of performing a range of deterrence, power projection, sea control, and command and control missions while allowing the Navy to evolve with new systems and missions. The ship, the third in the Zumwalt-class of destroyers, was christened, April 27, at General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine. Previously, the ship was launched Dec. 9, 2018, at the shipyard. *


Command Changes March 2019

Capt. Christopher C. Westphal.............................................USS Makin Island LHD8 Lt. Cmdr. Shawn R. Callihan.............................................................USS Scout MCM8 Lt. Cmdr. Samuel Moffett..............................................................USS Ardent MCM12

Capt. James W. Edwards..................................USS Michael Monsoor DDG 1001 Cmdr. Christopher Forch....................................USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

April 2019

May 2019

Cmdr. Frank Davis..........................................................................................TACRON11 Capt. Scott P. Miller..............................................................USS New Orleans LPD18 Capt. Chris Herr...................................................................................USS Wasp LHD1 Capt. Kevin Lane................................................................USS John P. Murtha LPD 26 Cmdr. Alex Mamikonian.................................................USS Wayne E. Meyer DDG108 Cmdr. John Loomis..............................................................USS John Paul Jones DDG53 Cmdr. Audry Oxley..............................................................................USS Tulsa LCS16

Cmdr. James Davenport..................................................................USS Coronado LCS4 Cmdr. Patrick Sullivan..........................................................USS McCampbell DDG85 Capt. Chris Nelson.................................................................................................ACU5 Rear Adm. Yvette M. Davids...............................................................................CCSG11 Rear Adm. Scott F. Robertson..........................................................................SMWDC Cmdr. John Rummel..........................................................................USS Stetham ddg63 Capt. Henry C. Adams.......................................................................... SURFDEVRON1 Capt. Todd H. Gorman...................................................................USS Antietam CG-54

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