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Photos and information by SA Gregory Harden

Know Your Shipmate


BMSN Shelton Barnett Deck Dept.

oatswain’s Mate Seaman Shelton Barnett arrived aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) shortly after the ship’s arrival from her latest deployment in March. The 24-year-old Sailor, from Atlantic City, N.J., said he enlisted in the Navy because he sought self improvement. “I joined to get experience, to get a different outlook on life, and to earn money to go back to school,” he said. Barnett currently works within Lincoln’s Deck department, where he works to keep the ship looking presentable at all times. “Whether I’m on the sides of the ship painting or inside on the deck plates performing preservation work, my job is to keep Abe Battle ‘E’ ready,” he said. “It helps to work with such highly motivated and optimistic Sailors.” When he isn’t hard at work aboard the ship, Barnett enjoys working out, playing sports and going to theaters to watch the latest action-packed movies. Barnett said that he is excited to get underway for his first deployment later this year. “Saving money while on deployment is definitely a top priority, but I’m also hoping that we’ll visit Thailand,” said Barnett. After deployment, Barnett plans to leave the Navy to attend college, where he intends to major in business and sports management.

TSTA Wrap-Up: How We Fared By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kirk Putnam


ow that the whirlwind of activity has died down with the completion of the Tailored Ships Training Availability (TSTA) aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), it’s time to answer the big question: how did we do? During the TSTA, an Afloat Training Group (ATG) graded Lincoln’s ability to respond to various types of emergencies. The Flying Squad, Lincoln’s quick response team trained for emergency situations, was graded on a toxic gas drill, as well as on a fire drill in a JP-5 pump room. There was also a general quarters drill in which all of Lincoln’s departments participated. Chief Damage Controlman Derek Cooper said these graded evolutions were designed to prepare the ship for prompt and sustained combat operations by ensuring that the crew is able to react properly to any type of emergency. “We did well,” Cooper said. “The ATG was impressed by the enthusiasm of the crew and our positive attitude. The Flying Squad drills were successful, but general quarters is where we really shined.” The ATG didn’t just grade the exercise, they also graded the grading of the exercise. As Sailors reacted to simulated emergencies, Lincoln instructors and the ATG graded their performance. Afterward, the ATG would check the instructor’s scores against their own to see how

accurately the Sailors were being critiqued. “Our final scores were only a few points off in some areas on how ATG scored our evolution. That is where we excelled. Any time a ship can score themselves close to the inspector’s numbers, it shows that not only can we perform, but we can also be critical of ourselves,” said Cooper. Beyond the achievements of the exercises, Cooper said the hardest part of TSTA was the administrative portion. “There’s room for improvement with RADM (Relational ADM Client) program,” he said. “We use RADM to track everything, so we need to establish better rules of engagement or employ coordinators to enforce the standards.” With lessons learned in the crew’s back pocket and a fresh pair of eyes on what can be fixed, Lincoln Sailors have shown they are ready to make leaps and bounds forward into the next challenge, Cooper said. Armed with fresh opportunities and room for new emergency simulations to train the crew, he is looking forward to putting Lincoln’s readiness to the test. “We did well as a ship. Equipment and procedures served us well. TSTA gave everyone a snapshot of where we stand now. This gives us the green light to create more intensive drill packages to keep the crew challenged. We’re doing it right and it showed,” he said.

Lincoln’s Dirtiest Jobs:

Deck Department

Story and photos by Seaman Dagan Alexander


here are personnel working over the side, do not vent, discharge, throw objects over the side or start diesel generators without first contacting the OOD at extension 7343. You hear it all the time on the 1MC as the petty officer of the watch performs his or her hourly duties, but do you understand what it means? Have you ever heard that order come over and then gone to cleaning stations and dumped your dust pan or swab bucket over the rail when you were done cleaning? If you ever had, you would have dumped waste or dirty water on one of your shipmates, which would have been both extremely dangerous and against your standing orders. You’ve seen them on your way across the brow: a group of Deck department seamen in green or blue coveralls, almost camouflaged against the bulkhead by all the haze gray paint splattered on their uniforms. Fatigue shows on their faces as they carry paint rollers, harnesses and 65 lb. cans of paint down to the pier hours before the rest of the ship even musters for their daily routine. The hardworking seamen that comprise USS Abraham Lincoln’s (CVN 72) side crew have a grueling and extremely dirty job. Side crew works over the side of the ship preserving the appearance of the ship’s outer hull with several major pieces of equipment. From a 125-foot boom lift, barges and 12-foot aluminum row boats, they attack

the rust, barnacles, seaweed, oil, grease as well as the collection, holding and transfer (CHT) tank runoff from every angle. While in port, the side crew takes a simple approach on a daily basis: paint until someone says otherwise. At the end of the day, they scrub and scrape off the layers on their skin before resting for the night in order to be ready to do it again the next day. In Hawaii, the work was even longer. In order for the ship to look good for its return to the continental United States from a six-month deployment, it needed to be painted—all of it—in four days. So while the rest of the ship left to enjoy their first taste of American freedom in almost six months, Deck department mustered all of their manpower down on the pier and went to work. Six months of rust and corrosion, slime and barnacles, CHT and algae buildup across the water line all had to be scraped and cleaned before the outer hull could be painted. With pry bars and custom-built, 15-pound scrapers, three-man crews in 12-foot punt boats scraped and chipped the water line of all debris. At several points along the hull with CHT discharge vents, the crews faced a particularly noxious build-up of slime and brown algae. The next time you see the side crew from Deck department working hard to keep the ship looking good, take a moment to appreciate how hard they work and how truly dirty their jobs are.




Photos by MC3 Wade T. Oberlin

The Enlisted Retention Board

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeremiah Mills his year, the Navy program relieves the high retention careers of dozens in many of the overmanned rates of USS Abraham that are currently experiencing Lincoln (CVN 72) Sailors stagnant promotion rates. will change course as Navy Counselor 1st Class a result of the Enlisted Retention William Gillespie said evaluations, Board (ERB) process. serious legal offenses and pay The Navy rolled out the ERB, grades all factor in to determining the first quota-based force shaping elimination or retention. measure of its kind, in April to “The board’s purpose is to move 16,000 Sailors between the carefully relieve the congestion of pay grades of E-4 and E-8 from personnel in rates that have been overmanned rates into undermanned suffering manning issues throughout communities. “Big Navy” also the Navy,” said Gillespie. “I see this intended to process 3,000 Sailors as a fast forward version of PTS, for separation. just twice as fast and effective.” Additionally, the ERB Board eligibility applies to encourages rate conversion as an those who have a Soft End of Active option for Sailors in overmanned Obligated Service (SEAOS) date of rates who wish to stay Navy. Oct. 1, 2012 or later and between Like the Perform to Serve seven and 15 years of active duty (PTS) initiative before it, the ERB service.


Senior Chief Navy Counselor Paul Tyquiengco said all Sailors should empower themselves and assume responsibility for their futures. “Sailors need to take charge of their careers from the day they arrive at a command until the day they’ve completed their time in the service,” said Tyquiengco. “It all starts with using your chain of command by asking questions and having a stronger involvement in your career development boards.” From the posting of quotas to the listing of ERB candidates and through the final month of separation for Sailors not accepted for retention, this ongoing process will be continue to affect Sailors aboard Lincoln and around the fleet.

Story and photos by Seaman Apprentice Kris Lawrence


t’s 3 o’clock in the morning. Faintly, in your sleep, you can hear “man overboard” over the 1MC. You hop out of your rack and hurry into your boots. As you’re running to the boat deck, you wonder if this is real or just more training. With people in a daze and scrabbling around the ship, the thought sets in: this might not be a drill. Man overboard drills are a ship wide effort. In an instant, everyone’s priority changes. The crew drops whatever they are doing and musters with their division. It can be intense and confusing, and every Sailor on the ship has to be aware of where they are and where they need to be. Yeoman Seaman Patrick Bracey said the importance of man overboard drills is to make sure everyone is safely on the ship. By drilling regularly, he said, the crew remains better able to respond quickly should a Sailor unexpectedly fall in the water. “It’s a very important job to ensure that if someone were to go overboard, we’re ready and level-headed as a unit to be able to do the job we need to: ensuring the safety of our personnel,” said Bracey. These drills prepare Lincoln’s Sailors for the possibility of losing a shipmate. More importantly, Bracey said, they train the crew to act quickly in order to increase the likelihood of recovering someone should a Sailor go overboard.

“Every drill that we do, we take it seriously,” said Bracey. “There’s a purpose for why we do this. Time is valuable. Every second that the person is missing is time that person has lost.” In order to determine the identity of a missing Sailor, the crew acts immediately. Each division sends muster reports to Deck House 2. Through the process of elimination, Deck department personnel identify persons who remain unaccounted for. Beyond the musters, Deck department personnel man the boat decks on both sides of the ship, and phone talkers at each boat deck relay messages to the bridge throughout the evolution. Before a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) is dropped, the helmsman and lee helmsman have to adjust the ship’s rudder and speed from the bridge in order to execute a 360 degree turn to keep the ship in the search area. From the boat deck, Deck department personnel will then drop a fully manned RHIB in the water to begin recovery efforts. A team comprised of a coxswain (driver), a boat officer (overall safety), a search and rescue (SAR) swimmer and an engineer will then attempt to locate and rescue whoever may be in the water. Aboard a ship, “man overboard” can be called at any time, and you never know when it may be an actual casualty. Tragedy can strike at any hour. The best any of us can do is to stay safe, remain alert and respond when we’re called.

How to Play with Your Food By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Luciano Marano


ip number nine on the United States Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy’s list of the top ten ways to “build a better meal” is to try new foods. Mixing it up helps keeps your diet interesting and forces you to really think about what you’re eating, rather than just stuffing something down to quiet your hunger pangs. That’s all well and good when you’re at home or out to eat with friends, but what about on deployment? The culinary specialists on board do a fine job keeping everybody fed and supplying a variety of food options, but let’s face it: there are only so many choices at sea. Not that it’s anyone’s fault; there’s a menu handed down from “Big Navy” that all ships must follow, and we’re subject to these nutritional guidelines. However, if you’re looking to change your diet and try something new there are ways to do it, even out to sea. Here are some hardlearned tips and tricks from around the mess decks that you can use to better your dining experience here aboard Big Abe. 1. Hit the sauce. Bringing your own sauce to chow can turn even the most bland and hurried burger into something more. Packing up a few bottles of your favorite condiment might seem a little silly while you’re doing it, but it pays in the end. My personal favorite is Buffalo Wild Wings Honey BBQ sauce, great

on everything from chicken and burgers to fries and meatloaf. 2. Mix and match. Just because you’re in line at the chicken bar doesn’t mean you have to eat chicken. Grab a tortilla from there, head back to the salad bar and get some tuna. Add a little mayonnaise and vegetables, and you’ve got a tuna wrap. Or stick with the chicken and add some Caesar dressing for a chicken Caesar wrap. Both of those lines are shorter than the chow line, so you’re still saving time. 3. Put it between bread. Honestly, what can you not make into a sandwich? This is my favorite breakfast strategy: use the French toast or pancakes as the bread and make your own version of a McGriddle. Layer it with sausage, eggs, cheese and hash browns and top with a little syrup for the ultimate b r e a k f a s t sandwich. 4. Nuke it. Take thirty seconds and heat up your food. It’s worth it in the end. Melt the cheese, soften the bread, and even the most boring sandwich suddenly becomes a treat worth sitting down for. 5. Drink it in. For those who don’t want to drink soda but are sick of water, there is a third option. The Nestea dispensers are usually filled and often ignored. For a nice change of pace, pour yourself a glass and add your own sugar. It’s healthier than soda in the end, and it tastes better than water.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Randall A. Clinton

Briefly Pentagon Raises Force-Protection Level for US Bases

USS New York Arrives in NYC to Commemorate 9/11 From Department of Defense Public Affairs


ecretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced Sept. 6 that amphibious transport dock ship USS New York will participate in numerous events throughout the city honoring the victims and responders from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Additionally, 170 members of the 9/11 Families Association, which includes families of victims and first responders, embarked USS New York for the transit from Norfolk, Va., to New York Harbor. “I am grateful to the mayor and his office for their tremendous support this past month as we worked together to ensure the USS New York and her crew were able to represent the Navy in New York. Every member of the crew has a tremendous sense of mission and appreciation of the unique role their ship plays for the citizens of New York. She is an emblem of the strength and renewed spirit of a city that was damaged but never defeated. She and her crew belong with the family members of the victims and the first responders in New York City on the tenth anniversary of 9-11,” said Mabus. “With the steel from the World Trade Center in her bow, the USS New York

represents a powerful symbol of the deeply personal connection that New Yorkers have with our military and is a symbol of the courage and resilience of our nation,” said Bloomberg. “She helps protect the freedoms that make this the world’s most diverse and tolerant city and we are honored to welcome the men and women of the USS New York back to our city.” The ship is scheduled to be pierside in Manhattan Sept. 8-9 and will anchor in the Hudson River Sept. 10-12. On Sept. 11, USS New York will move from its anchorage in the Hudson River to a location within sight of the World Trade Center. Members of all branches of the military, including Navy and Marine Corps service members from USS New York, will participate in the honor guard during the city’s commemoration ceremony. USS New York is the sixth U.S. Navy ship to be named to honor the state of New York. Her bow stem includes seven and a half tons of steel recovered and re-forged from the World Trade Center’s twin towers. The ship features many design elements and furnishings throughout her interior that serve as tributes to the events of 9/11. The ship’s motto is “Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget.”

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has authorized raising the force-protection level for military installations mainly in the United States. The commander of U.S. Northern Command, Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., requested the action in recent days in advance of the 10th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland. Navy Capt. John Kirby, Joint Staff spokesman, said the Defense Department does not discuss specific force-protection levels but that the level would be raised at installations throughout the continental United States, including the Pentagon. The action, he said, “takes effect today and goes through the anniversary,” and it is in keeping with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s Sept. 2 statement on the anniversary of the attacks. “While there is no specific or credible intelligence that al-Qaida or its affiliates are plotting attacks in the United States to coincide with the 10-year anniversary of 9/11,” Napolitano said, “we remain at a heightened state of vigilance, and security measures are in place to detect and prevent plots against the United States, should they emerge.” (source:

Navy Tops Federal Food Donation Goal The Department of the Navy wrapped up more than two months of collection efforts in support of the Feds Feed Families Campaign, Aug. 31, by donating 831,002 pounds of food to local food banks worldwide. This number was almost 100,000 pounds more than the DOD-wide goal of 733,800 pounds and more than four times the Navy’s goal of 200,000 pounds. Navy regions collected nonperishable goods from all participating Navy commands and ships around the globe. In June, collection stations were set up at multiple locations at every Navy installation where everything from food and basic hygiene supplies were collected in support of this annual federal food drive campaign. (source: American Forces Press Service)

Penny Press - Sept. 9, 2011  
Penny Press - Sept. 9, 2011  

The Penny Press is the command newspaper for the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), or, as we like to call it, "Big Abe."