Know Your Shipmate
Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Kyle S. Orebaugh Weapons Department
viation Ordnanceman Airman Kyle S. Orebaugh works in Weapons department, where he maintains bombs. “I love my job,” said Orebaugh, a native of Martinsville, Ind. “It’s hands-on, and I’m the kind of person that really likes to get in there and work with my hands.” Prior to joining the Navy, Orebaugh held a variety of nine-to-five jobs supporting his wife’s veterinary school studies. After giving some consideration to attending college to learn automobile repair, Orebaugh found himself intrigued by the idea of building ordnance for the Navy. “Once I found out that I could join the Navy to make bombs, I said, ‘let’s go!’” Orebaugh said. He enlisted a little more than two years ago. Orebaugh said he is the only member of his family to ever serve in the Navy or work with ordnance of any kind. “I wanted to do something new and different,” he said. During his off time, Orebaugh said he enjoys keeping in shape with cardiovascular exercise and lifting weights at the gym. Orebaugh looks forward to continuing to serve in the Navy with pride and enthusiasm aboard Lincoln. He said that when the time comes to set off on the next deployment, he’ll welcome the opportunity to explore new parts of the world, wherever the ship takes him.
Lincoln Sailors’Earnings Exceed $3 Million in Reenlistment Bonuses Story and photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Seth Clarke
SS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Commanding Officer, Capt. John Alexander, recognized sixty Sailors who received tax-free reenlistment bonuses totaling more than $3.4 million during the ship’s deployment, Feb. 28. The Sailors, who work on some of the most sophisticated weapons and engineering systems in the world, reenlisted to serve an additional 324 years in jobs the Navy considers critical to the success of the fleet. In addition to added job stability, Sailors paid no taxes on their bonuses or any of their income as directed by the Combat Zone Tax Exclusion
because the ship was serving in a combat zone. This tax advantage added as much as $30,000 to some bonuses at the $90,000 award level. The Selective Reenlistment Bonus (SRB) program is the Navy’s primary monetary incentive to encourage the retention of Sailors with critical skills and valuable experience. The Navy encourages all Sailors to take advantage of reenlistment bonuses as soon as eligibility requirements are met. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is currently operating in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts to establish conditions for regional stability.
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sarah Murphy
incoln Sailors earning pins in one or both of the enlisted warfare specialist programs have achieved levels of proficiency working with various systems to be found aboard the ship and in her aviation functional areas. Sailors have worked hard all cruise to earn an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) pin, which identifies those with ship-specific knowledge, an Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist (EAWS) pin, which identifies those with aircraft-specific knowledge, or both. These warfare pins are designed to identify Sailors that have earned distinction by demonstrating a high level of expertise in these areas. Well, shipmates, our nearly seven-month deployment is almost over. Where are you on your qualifications? Did you get one or both pins this cruise, are you waiting for your board, or were you that Sailor who started a little bit late and is still struggling to get those signatures? If you’re not there yet, don’t fret. Your warfare coordinators encourage you to keep moving forward, to remain proactive and keep taking those steps toward earning your pins. When the ship returns to Everett, the program will continue. Chief Information Systems Technician Jess Eisele, an ESWS program coordinator, said Sailors just need to stay motivated and connected to the personnel who can help them complete their qualifications. “Sailors have to be proactive in their steps to completion,”
Eisele said. “They have to be all over it, and they have to want it.” For many people, learning all the aspects of the warfare qualification programs takes a lot of studying. Warfare-qualified Sailors are expected not only to know the information required of them to pass their boards, but to continue to sharpen their knowledge so they can pass it on to their shipmates. From memorizing facts and figures to seeing firsthand how something works, the comprehensive programs demand that Sailors learn the names and numbers of equipment, systems and personnel as well as a core curriculum of basic sailorization. And everything on the ship serves a purpose, from the main engines to that thing they call a vest-type davit. “Take a field trip around the ship,” said Aviation Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Ken Gaal, an EAWS program coordinator. “If Sailors are solely reliant on the books, they don’t gain as tight a grasp of the information as the other people who actually go out and see it for themselves.” At the beginning of the deployment, the EAWS coordinators developed an eight-week training cycle, which was completed three times. The coordinators estimate that more than 350 Sailors will be qualified by the time the ship reaches Hawaii. Gaal spearheaded a plan for a mass board that took place in the hangar bay, Feb. 12. Sailors spent 15 minutes each at six tables answering questions posed by board members. After
U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Spencer Mickler
an hour and a half, 171 Sailors had successfully qualified for their EAWS pins. “The mass board was developed out of necessity; the demand for a board was high, and we couldn’t accommodate them quickly enough,” said Gaal. “The Sailors got the full treatment, and it wasn’t any easier than boards usually are. If anything, it was tougher. We’re happy that it was taken seriously.” The coordinators are setting up another mass board before we pull into Hawaii because they are still backlogged and enough Sailors have qualified for their boards. After that, the program will resume at the start of the next underway period. On the surface side, it’s crunch time. The ESWS coordinators have already sent the schedule out for the final boards, March 6 and 7. After those dates, the boards will wind down, but the program hasn’t stopped. There is always someone on the ship to help out with signatures and set up a board. “We have estimated that we will qualify or requalify more than 500 Sailors by March ninth,” said Chief Intelligence Specialist Ernesto Zarate, the ship’s ESWS coordinator. “Throughout this deployment, we have had a constant flow of scheduled test dates, murder and final boards along with coordinators from the departments to help out with the process,” Zarate said. “It has been very successful.” Both the ESWS and EAWS coordinators agree that the leg work must be done by the individual Sailors, who must go to the walkthroughs and get signatures themselves. Chief
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) Richard Palmer, the ship’s EAWS coordinator, said Sailors should ask as many questions as they need to understand the information. Believe it or not, he said, they want to see Sailors earn their qualifications. “Talk to your departmental coordinator,” Palmer advised. “They’re engaged in the warfare process. They’re the ones who get you on the right track and to the right people. “Your departmental coordinator is your first line to success, the one who can get your books for you and show you where you can go for information, such as the training materials on SharePoint.” While on deployment, Lincoln Sailors have maintained a high-tempo schedule, earned their divisional qualifications, attended mandatory training and, of course, found time to do their jobs. With everything else on a busy Sailor’s schedule, there are many demands to sidetrack one from searching out the sometimes elusive warfare signatures. And while the best time to learn is when the ship is underway and fully operational, deployment is coming to a close. Eisele said that simply means it will require a little more effort to get those signatures. “Come in on your day off, call your contact for a walkthrough—remember, you’re on their time. If you have the day off and they have duty, come in and get your training,” Eisele said. “It’s harder to get signatures while the ship is in port and during its post-overseas-movement period, but it is doable.”
SEAOPDETs Prepare for Offload Story and photos by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Lauren Howes
here are more than 4,100 Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), roughly 2,800 of whom are ship’s company. The majority of the rest are with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 and sea operational detachments that will disembark when the ship pulls into San Diego. Sea operational detachment (SEAOPDET) Sailors are attached to several different departments throughout the ship, including the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD), Operations and Media departments. SEAOPDET personnel provide these departments with additional manpower and expertise. AIMD has approximately 100 Sailors that augment the department during periods that the ship has an embarked air wing. “They provide technical expertise that some of the ship’s technicians aren’t able to acquire due to the repairable assets of the department leaving when the planes leave,” said Aviation Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Craig Lapilio. Due to the SEAOPDETs’ day-today interaction and proficiency with the equipment, they are able to provide vital training to the ship’s company on equipment that is not normally available. Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jamie Montgomery, of Fleet Readiness Center Command Southwest in San Diego, said if a ship’s technician becomes fully capable of repairing certain equipment through on-the-job training, that equipment can stay with the ship when the SEAOPDET disembarks. Keeping the equipment on board provides other technicians with the opportunity to learn and build their own proficiencies. SEAOPDET personnel must transition from a different command whenever they embark for a deployment. The weather forecasters in Operations department, for instance, are among several groups that improve the performance of both their temporaryshopsandtheirparentcommands.
“One of the hardest parts of coming aboard as part of the SEAOPDET is integrating into the shop and the routine that has already been established by the division,” said Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Brian Long of Fleet Readiness Center Command West in Fallon, Nev. Lt. Cmdr. Corey Cherrett, of Operations
department, said the detachment personnel that he will lose in San Diego will hone their skills and prepare for the next deployment on whatever ship needs them. In San Diego, the detachments will leave Lincoln and get ready for the next shops that need them on whatever cruises the Navy determines they will serve the greatest purpose.
Strike Group Commander Soars with the Lancers By Lt. j.g. Paul Lwin, VAQ-131 Public Affairs Officer, photos by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Adam Randolph
ear Adm. Mark Guadagnini, commander, Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, joined the Lancers of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131 for a flight in an EA-6B Prowler, Feb. 22. Lt. Cmdr. Kelly Richards, Lt. Cmdr. Brett Stevenson and Lt. Zach Simms joined Guadagnini during a unit-level training flight designed to simulate the defense of the strike group from external threats. “It is amazing how powerful the Prowler is in the electronic warfare world,” Guadagnini said. “It’s an exceptional tool when used in the hands of well-trained pilots and electronic countermeasures officers.” During the flight, the crew demonstrated the role the Prowler has played in Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and New Dawn (OND) in addition to the traditional electronic attack mission of countering and defeating enemy radar and communication systems. “It was a great opportunity to showcase all of the capabilities that the Prowler brings to the fight, both within the context of our current conflict in Afghanistan and in more traditional strike warfare roles as well,” said Stevenson. Aviation Electrician’s Mate Airman Nickolos R. James, the plane captain for this sortie, said seeing the admiral in
a Lancers aircraft filled him with pride. “It was a great honor to have the strike group commander fly in one of our planes,” James said. “We work extremely hard to keep these jets flying.” Stevenson credited the squadron’s Maintenance department with their hard work preparing the Lancers’ aircraft for flight. “This is all made possible by the continued hard work of all these guys,” Stevenson said. “From the aviation electronics technicians to the aviation structural mechanics, every Sailor involved in maintenance routinely puts in long hours to ensure the aircraft are ready for any flight, for any mission.” Though Guadagnini is a naval aviator with more than 4,600 hours of flight time in 52 different types of aircraft, the flight in the Prowler was his first flight with the Lancers. He opted to fly in the aft cockpit during this flight in order to better see the nuts and bolts of electronic attack execution. After the flight, Guadagnini praised the Lancers’ performance throughout the deployment. “I have been impressed with the professionalism of the entire Lancer team—the maintainers, administrative personnel, intelligence specialists and the aviators. This is truly a warfighting outfit of the highest order.”
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C ourt D ecisions A ffect M ilitary The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that members of a Westboro, Kan., church have the right to picket at funerals for service members killed in action. The father of a slain Marine had sued the church for picketing his son’s funeral, a case he originally won. The Supreme Court voted 8-1 to reverse the lower court ruling, saying the Constitution’s First Amendment shields the group. The court also decided a reservist had been the victim of bias due to military service; the court ruled that VA deadlines for veterans applying for benefits do not have “jurisdictional consequences.”
Green Bay Embarks on Maiden Deployment Amphibious transport-dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20) departed San Diego for her maiden deployment to the western Pacific, Feb 22. The crew has spent the last several months preparing for deployment, including countless flight hours and sea trials. Green Bay is scheduled to spend the next several months performing various drills and operations while visiting ports in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The Green Bay is underway with the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group.
Cuts to Health Care DoD officials have recommended ways to cut costs in the military health system. Military health costs have grown 4 to 6 percent each year, but Congress has not approved user fees for the TRICARE system in 15 years—a trend that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has called unsustainable. The budget calls for cutting overhead costs, transitioning some patients to Medicare, and requiring modest increases in military health care enrollment fees for working-age retirees. Active duty service members will continue to receive free health care, as will their family members who choose the TRICARE Prime system.
Bush Strike Group Certified Combat Ready By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Misty Trent
he George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group is certified ready for combat operations after successfully completing its first Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) and Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX), Feb. 21. The Strike Group assets departed their various homeports on or about Jan. 19 to begin final exercises before embarking on its first overseas deployment scheduled for spring of this year. “This Strike Group was absolutely ready for these exercises, and our Sailors hit the ball out of the park,” said Commander, Carrier Strike Group Two, Rear Adm. Nora W. Tyson. “This is America’s newest strike group and America’s newest aircraft carrier, and our team is strong and ready to go. At the end of the day, COMPTUEX and JTFEX are really tests of our ability to work as a team, and we nailed it.” During COMPTUEX, the GHWB Strike Group entered into an intensive training scenario loosely based on geo-political conditions from around the globe. The scenarios, designed and executed by Strike Force Training Atlantic (SFTL), simulated many realworld situations that the GHWB Strike Group could encounter on deployment,
including small boat attacks, mines, strait transits in hostile waters and aerial, surface and sub-surface threats. Each scenario built on the one before, testing both the individual components of the GHWB Strike Group, as well as its collective effectiveness. “COMPTUEX is a complicated and advanced exercise, and it requires every asset within the Strike Group to be fully trained and ready to execute their mission,” said SFTL commander Rear Adm. Dennis E. FitzPatrick. “I was very impressed with the level of commitment to success I saw throughout the Strike Group. The dedicated Sailors of the Strike Group were trained, mentored and assessed, and excelled at every challenge SFTL placed in front of them.” COMPTUEX was a 23-day evolution, and included all assets within the Strike Group, from the flagship George H.W. Bush to the squadrons of Carrier Air Wing EIGHT (CVW-8), the guided-missile cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG 64), USS Monterey (CG 61), and USS Anzio (CG 68), Destroyer Squadron 22 ships USS Mitscher (DDG 57) and USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and the Spanish frigate ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbón (F 102). All told, nearly 7,500 Sailors played a direct role in the evolution.
Born: February 26, 2011 Time: 8:43 a.m. Weight: 7 lbs. Length: 20 in. Father: CS2 Nisse Fonseca
Evan Xavier Ramirez
Born: February 23, 2011 Time: 9:21 p.m. Weight: 7 lbs. Length: 19 in. Father: LS1 Javier Ramirez
Landon James Diamond
Born: February 11, 2011 Weight: 9 lbs., 14 oz. Length: 21 in. Father: ABE3 Tyler J. Diamond
Santiago Del Toro Born: February 23, 2011 Time: 10:33 p.m. Weight: 8 lbs., 1 oz. Length: 20 in. Father: ABHAN Juan Del Toro
Avery Danielle Dwyer Born: February 9, 2011 Time: 5:53 p.m. Weight: 7 lbs., 12 oz. Length: 18.5 in. Father: AO1 Scott Dwyer