Know Your Shipmate
Photo and information by MC3 Christina Naranjo
Seaman Leah Horton Deck Dept., 1st Division
ershaw, South Carolina-native Leah Horton has been assigned to Deck Department’s 1st Division aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) since June 2010. “We do preservation of all decks, stand the most important watches and accomplish tedious, tedious work,” she said. Horton said she’s used to working hard, having worked more than 90 hours a week at several jobs before joining the Navy. “That’s what I like about Deck,” she said. “We’re always doing something, and we’re always working hard. I know what it’s like to work hard,” said Horton. Horton doesn’t mind working hard and believes attitude will make or break a Sailor’s job. If you have a good attitude, she said, you will enjoy your job. A bad attitude? Not so much. When she gets a little time away from work, the seventh-generation Scotch-Irish mother of one son enjoys music and loves to explore. Horton plays five instruments (guitar, bass, drums, violin and piano) and is a former 2nd place National Hometown Idol competition winner. Being from a small town, she has recently experienced city traffic for the first time— and she enjoyed every minute of it. Though she misses South Carolina sweet tea, Horton appreciates Washington’s seafood and the Pacific Northwest scenery. “Before living here, I had never seen a pointy mountain.” Horton joined the Navy to see the world and to improve herself. She admired the discipline and self-respect of the military, and she saw service as an opportunity to take charge of her life. “I’ve come a long way,” she said. She tells her son about her career and where she works. He aspires to drive the ship. “He’s the reason why I do what I do for the Navy; he’s the reason why I wake up.”
Rear Admiral Troy “Mike” Shoemaker
enny Press: I noticed in your biography on Navy. mil that growing up, you were a St. Petersburg, Fla., resident. Did you grow up with a lot of Navy and military influence? What really inspired you to join the service? Rear Adm. Shoemaker: My father was an Army officer who finished his career in Tampa, Fla. when I was growing up. My brother and I were exposed to some of his service stories and to those of his veteran friends, so we were quite influenced by the value they placed in serving their country. It was something that really stuck with us growing up. As we started looking at colleges, I pursued some ROTC scholarships on a notion, which eventually led to me applying at the Naval Academy. PP: When you first joined the service in 1982, what sort of future did you have in mind? Did you see yourself commanding a strike group 30 years later? Shoemaker: I count those four years in the academy as part of being in the military, and I would have to say that not in my wildest dreams did I ever think that commanding a strike group was going to happen. In college, I majored in systems engineering. Along with my roommate at the time, we were thinking of going to nuclear power school for submarines. We ended up changing our minds in our senior year. I ended up in Pensacola, Fla., which I have never regretted. Since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the military. I remember as a young junior officer, my two initial COs eventually became flag officers—one of them a four-star admiral. So early on in my career, I was blessed with great role models. I got married during my first shore tour, and I thought a lot about leaving the Navy then, but around every step in my naval career there has been another opportunity or another challenge that has kept us going. Since then, my family has always been very supportive, and I think they have enjoyed the ride. PP: Having served on five separate aircraft carriers, you must have many observations about life at sea. What sort of influence from these other commands would you like to bring to Lincoln? Shoemaker: During the time that I’ve spent on other carriers, I’ve seen teams work well and others that didn’t so much. One of the biggest attributes to focus on for our success is teamwork. Although I have not seen Carrier Air Wing 2 aboard yet, during my time on board, I’ve seen that Capt. John D. Alexander has a great team. The warfare commanders I’ve seen have very talented staffs. The primary focus for me will be to foster teamwork between the warfare commanders. In order to do things together well, we need to collaborate and rely on the expertise that is resident in those various warfare commanders’ staffs and take advantage of our collective talent.
Interview and photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Wade Oberlin
PP: Rear Adm. Guadagnini left behind quite a legacy that really set the bar for this strike group; how would you like to build upon the strike group’s and Lincoln’s recent success? Shoemaker: There are lots of unique accomplishments that have been met here, and there’s been a stream of success. I realize that our turnaround is fairly compressed, and that is a challenge, but I think we will absolutely be ready with the continuity and help of key personnel and leadership that remains from last deployment. We only have a few new faces coming along, mine being one of them, and I believe we have the knowledge in place to be ready on arrival and integrate seamlessly with fleet commanders and other forces. We are fighting hard for resources, and budgets are tight, so we need to look for ways to innovate, to develop new tactics or to be more efficient with the resources we are given. Our next deployment will be an interesting and challenging one, moving around the world and working in every fleet but 4th Fleet. It will give us a great opportunity to reach out and set the bar that Guadagnini has set just a little higher. I’m confident we can continue to build upon these achievements. PP: After you’ve commanded Strike Group 9, what else would you like to accomplish in your Navy career? Shoemaker: Well, without question, I would like to stay in command at sea as long as I possibly can. As far as what comes next, I learned a lot about manpower during my time in Millington, Tenn. That corporate knowledge and that expertise are valuable and could be used in the future. I see it as an area where I think I can make a difference. I enjoy what I’m doing, so as long as I think this Navy work we all do is making our country safer and the future better for my children and their generation, I will continue to serve. I’m very excited to be joining a great team in Strike Group 9. I’ve been away from an operational fleet for a long time, and the learning curve is high, but there are many smart folks here that we can rely on to execute what we need to do and to get ready for what’s on the horizon.
Passing the Pepper Test
Story and photos by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zachary Hunt
ailors from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) wrapped up a three-week security training class, June 17, with an oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray course on Naval Station Everett. The course was used as a final assessment for future security personnel. “This is judgment day,” said Master at Arms 1st Class William Matteson, the lead facilitator of the class. “We’ve given them the tools to pass this course; now they have to prove they have it in them.” The OC spray course began with a safety brief, which consists of Matteson walking the class through five stations. After he finished, the first trainee stepped up to begin. Aviation Systems Equipment Technician Airman Apprentice Andre Booker did some quick calisthenics to work up a sweat, and then received a quick burst of the pepper spray directly above the eyes. “In one word, it’s hell,” said Booker. “It’s like someone lit my face on fire.” Booker was then required to open his eyes before he continued. The instructor held up a number of fingers, and Booker told him how many he saw. He was then allowed to begin the course. The first station was a quick take down scenario in which the potential security patrolman was asked to demonstrate control and command skills. From then
on, Booker was given a soft baton to simulate the use of non-lethal weapons. The next two stations emphasized forward strikes against one opponent, followed by quick forward strikes and reverse jabs against two opponents with one on either side. Participants then went to a quick blocking station, and they finished the exercise with a visit to the “red man.” The red man is usually a master at arms or another security patrolman dressed from head to toe in combat sparring gear. The red man simulates a real target/ aggressor by attacking the trainees and attempting to take their weapon. Booker forced him back with baton strikes, shouting verbal commands the entire time. After a prompt from the instructor, Booker moved in to take the target down. Once he had the red man subdued, he was finished with the course. It was then over to the rinsing station, where his burning eyes received a little relief. As Booker enjoyed a hard-earned rest, the next Sailor stepped up to run the course. “It’s so hard because you don’t want to open your eyes,” said Seaman Jennifer Dye, another trainee. “It’s horrible.” This class, having completed the course, is now ready to become security patrol personnel. However, it won’t be long until the next group of Sailors will have to prove they have what it takes to be Lincoln patrolmen.
Seriously, Do NOT Drink Drive By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kirk Putnam
hroughout the Navy, there are few issues as important as the need to prevent Sailors from drinking and driving. Aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), there are many methods to help keep our crew from getting behind the wheel unless they’re stone cold sober. Mandatory alcohol awareness training and the Safe Ride program (wherein the Chiefs’ Mess pays for cab fare and you repay them at a later date) are the most visible efforts to keep the Lincoln crew safe from the hazards of drinking and driving. You’re probably used to hearing your department heads or your chiefs remind you every Friday not to drink and drive as you seek weekend entertainment. And you’ve likely seen the Safe Ride cards in your shop or as you’ve disembarked for the day. Then there are the horror stories we’ve all heard from friends and coworkers about drinking and driving, about the arrests, injuries and deaths. So how do some people still manage to make this mistake? Cryptologic Technician Repair 1st Class Edward Stoessel, assistant command drug and alcohol prevention advisor (DAPA) for Lincoln, said that people simply forget to respect the potential consequences of their actions when they drink. “Drinking and driving is a severely poor choice in the first place. A lot of people don’t care about themselves when they make that choice. They think ‘I’m good enough to make it home,’ but what about the other people you’re putting at risk with that decision? When people think to drink and drive, they don’t keep in mind that their own lives aren’t the only lives they’re risking,” Stoessel said. “It’s a seriously poor choice. It’s also a career-long scar on your
record. According to OPNAVINST 5350.4D, just as an example, if you get one driving under the influence (DUI) charge and incur a second one at anytime in your career, you will be processed for administrative separation. It’s likely that you’ll lose your benefits, too. And that is not a good way out of the Navy.” Alcohol-related incidents (ARIs) such as DUIs have a negative impact on the military as a whole. The Department of Defense reported that alcohol abuse costs the military more than $600 million in lost work and medical care each year. Heavy alcohol consumption cost the DoD $425 million in medical expenses for service members in 2008 alone. For decades, the DoD and private organizations have developed programs and made attempts to reduce DUIs. Between 2004 and 2009, the Navy has seen a reduction in ARIs by 33% and a reduction in DUIs by 23%. Though the numbers have steadily decreased over the years through the efforts of programs like ‘Right Spirit’ and PREVENT (Personal
Responsibility, Values and Education Training), the Navy still unfortunately has a need for these programs. That is where DAPA comes into play, as they are the one-stop source for assistance with all drug or alcohol issues. Putting the finances and numbers aside, it is important to remember that not only are we seen as ambassadors of the Navy in the community, we are valuable members of our commands, Sailors that are important members of our work centers. “The first step is to have a plan, the next is to have a backup plan. And if you need a backup plan to your backup plan, you can use the Safe Ride cards,” said Stoessel. “If you’re really in a bind, call someone from your chain of command. Honestly, we’d rather get that call at 0300 to come get you and take you home safely. Maybe they’ll grumble at you the whole ride back, but I’m sure they’d rather be dressed in their pajamas to pick you up than have to see you going up for captain’s mast explaining why you didn’t have a plan, or a backup plan.”
Just Your Standard Superhero Flick By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeremiah Mills ased on the DC Comics superhero, the Since I couldn’t relate as well to the movie as I much-anticipated summer blockbuster would have liked, I found myself bored and checking “Green Lantern” is an action-packed my watch. Like similarly ambition-limited comic hero adventure. flicks, “Green Lantern” suffered from too much CGI Ryan Reynolds (“Smoking Aces,” and not enough acting or character development. I felt “Definitely Maybe,” “Buried”) plays the daring largely disconnected from the whole experience. yet reluctant Hal Jordan, chosen by an intergalactic So it may come as a surprise that I enjoyed parts ring and recruited into the Green Lantern Corp. Now of this movie enough to recommend it. For example, knighted as the super heroic Green Lantern, Jordan soon there is one epic dogfight between Green Lantern and learns that he has tremendous powers when wearing the Parallaxas, a galactic tempest of raw fear and torment, ring. With the assistance of this intergalactic league of which begins on the earth and rages all the way to the similarly capable heroes, he is trained and tested until sun. In another compelling scene, our hero engages in a he proves able to overcome adversity with wisdom, will head-to-head battle of wits and telepathy with brilliant power and responsibility. supervillain Dr. Hector Hammond. As a Green Lantern fan, I was looking The battles were as entertaining as forward to seeing the philosophy and you would expect a popcorn superhero depth behind the character come movie’s action pieces to be. They through on the screen. I wanted had all the explosions and highto get a cinematic sense of the flying acrobatics expected of
mythology that has long made the comic series compelling. On this front, the movie left me slightly disappointed. Despite a handful of witty one-liners and brief fight scenes, there was little about the film that satisfied me. The character’s sense of internal conflict was less than compelling. Reynolds’s performance lacked the intensity needed to portray a hero battling personal weaknesses along the road to discovering the hero within. The character development was, instead, the generic Hollywood comic book hero treatment. The script lacked both depth and ambition. Whereas the screenplay would have succeeded had it examined a conflicted and complex character’s internal struggles, instead it gave us overly simple dialogue and failed to build layered bonds between the characters. Instead, the audience was left with something they have seen in almost every other superhero movie—a boyish man overcomes his Peter Pan complex and blossoms into a capable and mature adult who is now willing to eat his vitamins, say his prayers and fight evil. I don’t mean to suggest that there is anything wrong with that formula, but it falls short of compelling storytelling.
the genre, which made the filmmakers’ failure to meet the story’s potential that much more frustrating. Given the terrific cast (including Blake Lively, Tim Robbins and Peter Sarsgaard) and subject material, “Green Lantern” should have been so much more. Whenever I see a movie, I try to make a connection with the film, to relate to the entire story and feel everything from the background music to the layered conflicts to the overall chemistry between the characters and the actors portraying them. And “Green Lantern” left me wanting. The lack of intensity on screen started with the filmmakers’ stunted vision and rang through in the less-than creative writing. If you don’t follow the comic book and want to see a decent action film, it’s worth it. To the fans of the comic book, however, I would recommend waiting to rent it or skipping it altogether.
2.5 out of 5 Pennies
Briefly Navy Welcomes Partners, Kicks off
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O’Brien
Greenert Recommended for CNO From the Department of Defense
efense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced June 16 that he has recommended Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, vice chief of naval operations, to succeed the retiring Adm. Gary Roughead as the next chief of naval operations. Gates said he made the recommendation to President Barack Obama based on Greenert’s solid portfolio that includes both significant personnel programs and budget responsibilities. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Greenert is “an exceptional officer, and if confirmed, will be, I believe, an exceptional CNO.” “He has wonderful operational experience, fleet experience, he’s terrific with people and he has extensive experience in the money world, which is now facing all of us,” Mullen said. “So I strongly concur with the secretary’s recommendation.” Gates praised Roughead, who will retire this fall, for four decades of service and for his leadership at the helm of the Navy for the past four years.
“I have very much enjoyed working with Gary and have greatly valued his counsel and wisdom on both Navy issues and broader strategic issues,” Gates said. Upon being notified of the news, Roughead offered his congratulations and endorsement. “I could not be more pleased that Adm. Jon Greenert has been nominated to be the 30th Chief of Naval Operations. I have known Jon and his family well for years, and I have the utmost respect for him as a leader and a naval officer.” In a statement released after the announcement, Greenert said “I am honored and humbled by the Secretary’s recommendation and look forward to working with Congress during the confirmation process.” Greenert’s career as a submariner includes assignments aboard USS Flying Fish, USS Tautog, Submarine NR-1 and USS Michigan and as commander of USS Honolulu. He also served as commander of Submarine Squadron 11, U.S. Naval Forces Mariana, U.S. 7th Fleet in the Pacific and U.S. Fleet Forces Command before he became the vice CNO.
Ships from Russia, France and the United Kingdom arrived in Norfolk, June 20, to participate in FRUKUS 2011 with the U.S. Navy off the coast of Virginia. FRUKUS (France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) is a two-week interoperability exercise aimed at improving maritime security. While ashore, Sailors will train for damage control, firefighting and ship handling. The at-sea portion, which begins next week, will provide critical training in maritime domain awareness, anti-piracy and maritime interdiction operations. A shore-based multinational combined task group staff will provide command and control for the at-sea phase. Participating forces from the U.S. Navy include Carrier Strike Group 10, Destroyer Squadron 26, and USS James E. Williams (DDG 95). International participants include FS Ventose (F 733) from France, RFS Admiral Chabanenko (DD 650) from Russia, and HMS Dauntless (D 33) from the UK.
GW Squadron Goes Entirely Super The “Dambusters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 195 returned to the flight deck aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73), June 17, after completing a transition from the F/A18C Hornet to the new and more advanced F/A-18E Super Hornet. The return of VFA 195 makes George Washington and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 the first and only completely Super Hornet-equipped team in the Navy. George Washington now returns to sea with a total of four Super Hornet squadrons, 44 jet fighters in all. The Super Hornet squadrons are now equipped with a broad arsenal of technologically advanced avionics including the faster APG-79 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. With a quick radar beam that can be steered at nearly the speed of light, the new and improved system offers superior performance capabilities and makes the Super Hornet an even more powerful precision strike platform.