Sept. 8, 2011
September 8, 2011
Vol. 36, No. 36
Sept. 8, 2011
Naval Historians Commentary by MCC (SW/AW) Mike Jones
Commanding Officer CAPT Paul Monger Executive Officer CAPT Buzz Donnelly Command Master Chief CMDCM William Lloyd-Owen Public Affairs Officer LTJG Jason Scarborough Media LCPO MCCM Jon McMillan Media Production Chief MCC Mike Jones Editor MC3 Robert Winn Lead Designer MCSN Jacob Milner Media Dept MC2 James Mitchell MC2 Amara Timberlake MC2 Adam Wolfe MC3 Ashley Berumen MC3 Ian Cotter MC3 Shayne Johnson MC3 Mark Sashegyi MC3 Glenn Slaughter MC3 Thomas Siniff MC3 Nichelle Whitfield MC3 Devin Wray MCSN Andrew Jandik MCSN Jacob Milner MCSN Alexander Ventura II MCSN Renee Candelario MCSA Jessica Lewis MCSA Derek Volland Nimitz News accepts submissions in writing. All submissions must be in by Friday, COB. Submissions are subject to review and screening. “Nimitz News” is an authorized publication for the members of the military services and their families. Its content does not necessarily reflect the official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy, or the Marine Corps and does not imply endorsement thereby.
I was leaning up against the wall of the cubicle that my editor occupied at the Jax Air News, the base paper at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. It was two days before our regular Thursday edition, and we were still trying to figure out what the “big news” of the issue would be. I was a Journalist 2nd Class with five years of service under my belt, so I knew what would make good news for our publication. I was confident. Chandra Levy, the missing congressional intern in Washington D.C., had been discovered in a park. A man in Pensacola, Fla. had jumped into shallow water at the beach and wrestled his young nephew from the jaws of a bull shark. Both compelling stories of national interest, but of little use to myself and my editor. Back to square one. I was just about to make a suggestion that we contact one of the local squadron public affairs officers for a story when the office door flew open. JO2 Eric Clay (who only recently had struck into the rate from the Seabee community) shouted, “A plane crashed into the tower!” I asked him several times to repeat that – nothing in what he said made sense. What plane? What tower? We followed him out the door downstairs to the Public Affairs Office in the base headquarters building. Phones were normally ringing up and down the halls, but this time they were silent. That’s what struck me most – the silence. I entered the PAO’s office and joined the rest of the region staff surrounding the television. Stunned silence. We watched on live television as the second plane hit. It was surreal. Unbelievable. That moment, that very second, became time-stamped in my memory. Suddenly the live feed cut to the Pentagon enveloped in smoke and flames – struck by another hijacked airliner. The feed then cut to a rural field outside Shanksville, Penn. We all watched it, but none of us could quite grasp what was unfolding in front of our eyes: we, the United States of America, were under attack. The entire
staff was ordered to go home. The base shut down. In the midst of all the chaos and confusion, I stopped and grabbed a copy of USA Today. The television remained turned to the news in my house permanently from that moment on. September blurred into October and November. Everything changed. You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing our Flag. Everyone was a Patriot. I remember thinking “This is how they must’ve felt after Pearl Harbor.” I, like many in the Navy at the time, had joined in a time of relative peace. The Soviet threat which dominated our childhoods, had evaporated by the time most of us graduated high school. Although I knew the words I was repeating at my initial enlistment, I couldn’t imagine any serious threat to our way of life. Everything was different now. It’s hard to believe sometimes that 10 years have passed. The reminders are everywhere: airport screenings, Afghanistan, The Patriot Act. Personal politics aside, the dawning of the 21st Century did not turn out as I thought it would. Remember Y2K? I always imagined what it would be like to tell my grandkids years from now what it was like to witness the end of one century and the start of the next. I now find myself thinking “What will my grandkids learn about what happened on Sept. 11, 2001?” I imagine they’ll ask me where I was and what I felt. What would your answer be? Ten years have past, and no matter how many times I watch the footage, I find myself quietly hoping that maybe, somehow everyone will make it. Those buildings won’t come down. Whether we accept it or not, we are the custodians of history. And if there’s any contribution to be made, it’s to be able to tell in vivid detail everything we can about that day. For those of us old enough to understand what was happening, ‘Never Forget’ is not a challenge. It’s reality. That day will always be there – itself living in infamy.
As the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack approaches, a test of the Tribute in Light Memorial illuminates a passing cloud above lower Manhattan. The twin towers of light are made-up of 44 searchlights near "Ground Zero," are meant to represent the fallen twin towers of the World Trade Ceter. Depending on weather conditions, the colums of light can be seen for at least 20 miles around the trade center complex. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Public Affairs 2nd Class Mike Hvozda.
Sept. 8, 2011
USS Nimitz, PSNS partially flood dry dock Story by MC3 Shayne Johnson Photos by MC3 (SW) Robert Winn Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and ship’s force personnel partially flooded dry dock 6 which houses USS Nimitz (CVN 68) September 1. The dry dock was filled with approximately 26 million gallons of water to allow testing to be conducted on various aspects of the ship including fire pumps, AC units and the “pit sword”, which tells how fast the ship is moving. “This evolution is not a normal procedure,” explained Lt. Cmdr. Charles Jones, ship’s maintenance manager. “It will save us time in dry dock and allows us to work on two things at once. This moves us along our time line while still working.” Lt. James Cena, docking officer, says that this procedure will help Nimitz stay on schedule. “It will help us ensure that we complete our availability on time,” said Cena. A lot of planning went into preparing the ship for this procedure, said Jones. “First, we had to make sure all of the work that was required to be done was completed,” he said. “We then had to move all of the equipment out of the dry dock and clean it. We can’t have debris of any kind in the dry dock when we fill it.” Flood gates are operated allowing water to enter through the bottom of the dock, said Cena. “We then check for flooding on the ship and make sure it’s watertight,” said Cena. “We’ll keep the dry dock partially filled (to test the ship's integrity).” Normally, this testing process would be done out of the dry dock when the ship has already been pulled out, said Jones. “The plan is to eventually fully flood the dry dock,” said Jones. Cena said there are still many tests that need to be done even after
Water floods in from the Puget Sound to flood the dry dock Sept. 1, 2011.
the ship is pulled out of the dry dock. “There’s a lot of things the ship still has to do to make sure we are ready to operate it,” said Cena. The partial flood brings Nimitz closer to completion with the Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA), said Jones. “This is a big step to getting out of DPIA,” said Jones. “This is a key event to being completed with dry dock and making sure the ship is ready.”
Approximately 26 million gallons of water filled the dry dock during the partial flood Sept. 1, 2011.
Sept. 8, 2011
USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Chief Selects serve aboard USS Constitution Story by MCC(SW/AW) Mike Jones
“Old Ironsides.” The name alone evokes images of the War of 1812 where USS Constitution earned her nickname and her place in history. For three Chief Selects from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), the chance to serve aboard the Navy’s oldest warship still in commission was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not to be missed. Chief Logistics Specialist (SEL) Frances Estrada, Chief Hospital Corpsman (SEL) Edgar Nunez and Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) (SEL) Robert Jimenez, Jr. were among 150 Chief Selects from around the fleet to arrive to the historic vessel August 22. Once aboard, the group immediately immersed itself into every aspect of what it takes to operate and maintain the ship. The Chief Selects also received a first-hand experience about how living conditions have improved on board Navy vessels since the 19th Century. “We slept on the deck,” explained Estrada. “It was hard to imagine that up to 500 Sailors would call such a small area to sleep ‘home.’” The climax of the visit for the Chief Selects was the opportunity to complete the “up and over” evolution. This gave the Chief Selects a chance to safely climb the ship’s rigging to the top of the main mast before descending down the other side. Traditionally the Chief Selects end the visit by getting Constitution underway, showcasing the skills they’ve acquired during the weeklong visit. This year, however, the ship remained pierside as a safety precaution due to Hurricane Irene’s projected path. Even without getting Constitution underway, the visit left a lasting impression on all who attended. “It was awe-inspiring to serve aboard USS Constitution,” explained Jimenez. “It was exciting. It was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life,” the Mission, Texas native added. “It was a great opportunity to be around so much history,” said Nunez. “Not only did we get to experience the Constitution, but we also got to see all the historic places in Boston – so much history.” The biggest challenge for the San Bernadino, Cailf. native was to work cohesively with so many other Sailors from all around the world. “This was a huge learning experience,” he said. “There were 150 of us and we had so many things that needed to get done.” As Nunez soon discovered, it was a hurdle easily overcome. “We immediately worked well together,” he said. “It was if we had all known each other our entire lives. I’ve made some lasting friends during this visit.”
“It was awe-inspiring to serve aboard USS Constitution.” -Robert Jimenez Jr. ABHC(SEL)
Sept. 8, 2011
Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Christopher Jones does a ‘starboard 180’ during small boat proficiency operations in the Sinclair Inlet.
Sailors sharpen operations in Sinclair Inlet Story and photos by MCSA Jess Lewis
All boatswain’s mates are required to be qualified as a coxswain. “I wasn’t qual’d before but since it’s required by my job, being able to go out each week has helped me work on getting my quals,” said Jones. “The hardest thing so far has been the landings, which is essentially bringing the RHIB to the pier.” Jones said he hopes to one day be in the teacher’s seat and instruct other Sailors in the skills of being a coxswain. “I enjoy it because it’s my own piece of Heaven,” said Jones. “When I get out on the water, I just let everything go.”
Two rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB) are on board USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and the primary mission of these seven meter long boats are for man overboard recoveries when out to sea. “We take the RHIBs out each week for training purposes with the coxswains,” said Ensign Noel Aliceacintron, Assistant 1st Lieutenant. “It’s so they can keep their (qualifications) up to date.” Aliceacintron said the RHIBs are like cars and they need to be operated and maintained on a regular basis. “When we take the RHIB out, we work on the basics,” said Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Christopher Jones. “We practice high powered turns to avoid stuff in the water. Sometimes we’ll take a heaving ball to practice man overboard drills. We also do a ‘port 180’ which is where we take the boat and turn it around to make it parallel to the wake where we just were.” “Some of the quals have to be done out to sea but we work on the ones that can be done in port,” said Aliceacintron. “We practice small boat handling techniques and towing small vessels which can be a 40-foot boat or another RHIB. We also take the Search and Rescue swimmers out to practice man overboard drills and engineers come out for immediate action repair training.” Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Christopher Jones receives instruction from Ensign Noel Aliceacintron.
Story by MC2 (SW/AW)Amara Timberlake Photo by Marine Corps Sgt. Randall Clinton
A light display shines from ground zero in New York. The two beams of light, representing the World Trade Centers, are illuminated each year on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Sept. 8, 2011
Sept. 8, 2011 Nimitz News Page 7 eptember 11, 2001 was the most significant day in “There was a lot of confusion initially but after I realized recent American history. I can barely remember what what happened I was ready to fight,” said Thomas, who was I ate for breakfast this morning but the details of that a ROTC cadet at Louisiana State University. “It kind of was day stick in my mind today as clearly as they did ten years something to look forward to.” ago. I remember waking up for school the next day and I was in seventh grade and I remember another teacher everything seemed different. My family was fine and my life coming into the classroom and whispering something to my in Michigan was mostly the same, but things just seemed teacher. It was almost as if they were debating something, different. Would we get attacked again? Who did this to us? finally they just turned on the television. My teacher cried Was the country at war? There were so many things I didn’t at her desk while we all watched in silence as a tall building understand and so much stuff going through my head. I never in New York City burned. For weeks I remember seeing once stopped to consider that one day I might volunteer to photos and news clips of the fireball coming from the tower join the military to support and defend America against her and the various casualties of the attacks. enemies in global conflicts 10 years later. “I thought it was just a really bad plane crash,” said “I didn’t join the military because of 9/11,” said Gates. “I Ship’s Serviceman Seaman Tim Gates, a seventh grader in do remember seeing the news and all of the troops going off Philadelphia at the time. “Until we watched another plane to war afterward and thinking how cool it was, like maybe hit the second building. Then they turned off the TV and something I could do one day.” made us put our heads down.” Nail watched as the two spotlights were incorporated Legalman Senior Chief Robert Nail remembers being into New York City’s altered skyline. stationed at Naval Weapons Station Earle, New Jersey where “It was eerie to see the spotlights shooting up into the sky,” he watched the attacks happen from just across the water. said Nail. “Then you had planes that would take the same “Once the second tower was hit we went into force route from JFK and La Guardia which were on each side of protection [condition] delta,” said Nail. “We armed up and our base. It made me wonder ‘could this happen again?’” manned the gates. “ Many news reports compared the attacks on the twin Nail was on edge while he stood watches that were 12 towers and the Pentagon to those that took place on Pearl hours on and 12 hours off. Harbor during World War II, mostly because September “I was just mad,” said Nail. “I just remember thinking 11th was the first time since Pearl Harbor that America was about how someone could have attacked us on our own attacked on its own soil. soil.” Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is slated to Lt. Jules Thomas was just three months from being mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks with a remembrance commissioned into the Navy. ceremony in the ship’s forecastle.
Sept. 8, 2011
Ceremony and Memorial
Story and photos by MC3 (SW) Nichelle Whitfield
Service members and USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Sailors are invited by Fire Chief Roy Lusk of the Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue department to attend the 9/11 10 Year Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony at Evergreen Rotary Park, Sept. 11. “The September 11th event in Bremerton at Evergreen Rotary Park will begin with a celebration of freedom that will last the entire day,” said Fire Chief Roy Lusk, a 42 year long member of the Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue department. “The actual first event will be the
10 year anniversary remembrance ceremony and then we will go directly into the ground breaking ceremony that is at the park but in a different location within the park.” The ground breaking ceremony will initiate the construction of a September 11, 2001 memorial that is scheduled to be completed by September 11, 2012. The memorial will be centered around two beams pulled from the wreckage of the World Trade Center Twin Towers. The beams, which were petitioned for by Lusk, were brought in on trucks to Bremerton, Washington August 2010. Families are welcome to attend along with
New York City fire fighter issued number for recovered beams following the Sept. 11, 2011 attacks.
children of all ages, said Lusk. “The event actually starts at noon and we ask that anybody in uniform that wants to be a part of the presentation to be there at 11:00am,” said Lusk. “We’ll be ringing the fire bell to symbolize the deaths,” said Lusk. “We will close up with the parade of the colors around 6:30pm or 6:33pm.” Everyone in uniform is welcome to participate, military, air-line pilots, boy scouts, girl scouts, prior service, police officers, ect. Anyone in a “Class A” uniform or a dress uniform is will have the open opportunity to follow the colors, said Lusk.
Sept. 8, 2011
Fire Chief Roy Lusk stands next to a support beam from the wreckage of the World Trade Center.
Sept. 8, 2011
Nimitz Chief Selects help preserve Navy History in Bremerton Story and photos by Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Mike Jones
The Kitsap skies cleared August 30 as six Chief Selects from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) boarded USS Turner Joy (DD 951) permanently moored in Bremerton, Wash. The group arrived to the decommissioned Navy vessel, now a popular tourist destination downtown, to assist with preservation efforts to the 52-year-old ship as part of a community relations project during their Chief Petty Officer Induction. Chief Logistics Specialist (SEL) Frances Estrada, Chief Aviation Ordnanceman (SEL) Bing Arciaga, Chief Hull Technician (SEL) Matt Donovan, Chief Logistics Specialist (SEL) Ren Ronquillo, Chief Damage Controlman (SEL) Damon Leggins and Chief Aviation Ordnanceman (SEL) Luis Negron chipped paint, power-washed the deck and helped transfer fuel aboard the Turner Joy. “It was great to have these Chief Selects from Nimitz out here to assist with our preservation efforts,” explained Steve Boerner, director, Bremerton Historic Ship Association. “It was a honor to be able to come out here to lend this support,” said Donovan. “It’s a good feeling to know we were able to help with the upkeep of this historic ship.” The group, led by Senior Chief Hull Technician John Cleghon and Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) Thomas Wilber, also took the opportunity to tour the ship – visiting spaces seldom seen by the public. Boerner led the group through several preserved areas, including the Galley, Medical Spaces and, of course, the Chiefs’ Mess. “It was neat to stop and think about all the Sailors who have walked these deckplates,” added Leggins. “We’ve gotten to see some of the spaces that haven’t been viewed since these Sailors were aboard so many years ago.” Estrada, no stranger to historic vessels, was most recently among 150 Chief Selects to visit the Navy’s oldest commissioned warship still
Chief Aviation Ordnanceman (SEL) Bing Arciaga powerwashes the deck aboard USS Turner Joy (DD 951) as part of a community relations project August 30. Six Chief Selects from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) were on hand to assist with preservation efforts to the decommissioned ship in downtown Bremerton.
in service: USS Constitution. “It’s a great feeling to be able to serve aboard the Constitution, and then be able to come aboard Turner Joy to help preserve her,” she said. “There’s so much history to take in.” The vessel was named after Adm. Charles Turner Joy, decorated veteran of World War II and the Korean War. Joy would later serve as the Senior United Nations delegate at the Korean Armistice Conference and later as the 37th Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy. USS Turner Joy and USS Maddox (DD 731) were on patrols in the Gulf of Tonkin off the Vietnamese coast in August 1964 when both vessels came under attack from Vietnamese torpedo boats. The incident heavily influenced Congressional decision to pass the “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution” escalating American combat presence in Vietnam. The ship was decommissioned Nov. 27, 1982 and selected as a Navy Memorial in 1988.
Chief Logistics Specialist (SEL) Frances Estrada chips paint as part of a community relations preservation project aboard USS Turner Joy (DD 951) August 30. Six Chief Selects from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) were on hand to assist with preservation efforts to the decommissioned ship in downtown Bremerton.
Sept. 8, 2011
Nimitz Sports Nimitz News
Your one stop shop for all things sports
ABHAN Brian Nutter manuevers around another member of the 5 Star football team during practice at Naval Base Kitsap, Bremerton Sept. 6, 2011.
Forfeiture win turns into football practice Story and Photos by MCSA Derek Volland Tuesday night’s football game was scheduled to start at 6 p.m., instead it ended up being turned into an extra practice. The 5 Stars, a flag football team made up of USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Sailors, were geared up and ready to play, only to find out that their opponents, the NBK Bear Axe, didn’t show, with the exception of one player. While the game was forfeited to the 5 Stars, their coach took it in stride. “Well, if we can’t play, we might as well make use of the time,” said Chief Warrant Officer Claude Backman, the coach of the 5 Stars. “We came to play hard. Now, we’re going to practice hard instead.” With that statement, Backman set his team scrimmaging against its self. The two sides of the team pushing each other back and forth on the field, playing a mock game just for their coach, for the majority of what should have been game time, making the most of the situation. For every completion by the offence, the defense did push-ups and vice-versa for every interception by the defense. The team laughed and joked at each other’s misfortune when it came time to drop down for push-ups after each play. After their incentive pushups, Backman would go out onto the field and correct his players and offer words of advice. The team gathered around focusing on their coaches words, knowing that everything he said was for their benefit. As their time on the field wound down, the team cooled down with sprints to the forty yard line and back. As he called the makeshift practice to a close he gave them one final bit of encouragement: “Guys, good practice, I know we were looking
forward to the game,” said Backman. “Just keep that motivation for Thursday night, make sure your uniforms are good to go, get some rest and be ready to play.” With a final cheer of “5 Stars!” practice was dismissed, leaving the players to focus on their next chance at victory.
The 5 Star football team pracitce running sprints to improve their endurance during practice at Naval Base Kitsap, Bremerton Sept. 6, 2011.
Fitness enhancement is not a bad thing
Sept. 8, 2011 Statistics from previous PRT cycle
Story and photos by MCSA Jess Lewis For Sailors who didn’t pass the Physical Readiness Test, whether it be for sit ups, pushups, run/cardio portion, body composition assessment or a combination, there is a Fitness Enhancement Program available to USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Sailors. Those who did not pass the PRT were assigned to be in FEP but it’s open to anyone who would like to attend as well. “The main thing that comes from FEP is accountability,” said Melyssa Patterson, Nimitz’ Fitboss. “They have to come to at least three sessions a week.” Every day brings a new challenge. Strength, work capacity and stamina training are the three training areas Patterson said she likes to focus on when making work out plans for FEP. Strength training consists of push-ups, sit ups, leg workouts and plyometrics which is a combination of abs, cardio and pushups. Stamina training is distance running and other aerobic exercises. Work capacity training is how much work a Sailor can do in a short amount of time with less recovery time. “Those are the hardest days,” Patterson said. In order to keep things interesting, Patterson said she likes to make sure that not only is each day different but that each day is also still a challenge. “When the workouts start to get finished early, it’s time to bump it up,” said Patterson. “As people start to see results they’ll come to me and say ‘I’ve lost weight’ plus you can just tell by looking at them,” said Patterson. “When they see the results, there are not so many saying ‘I can’t do this.’”
Patterson has been on board since July 1 and has seen a lot of improvements in Sailors coming to FEP. “You don’t have to be assigned to come, if you’re struggling with anything just show up,” said Patterson. Sailors are welcomed and encouraged to attend FEP for moral support. “I have three or four people who come with a buddy who’s been assigned to FEP,” said Patterson. Sailors interested in attending FEP, must wear Navy PT gear FEP meets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the parade field on Naval Base Kitsap Bremerton.
USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Sailors in the Fitness Enhancement Program run 400 meters on the parade field as part of their workout routine Sept. 1, 2011.