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USS blue ridge lcc 19

table of contents Blue Ridge Magazine is an authorized publication for Sailors aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). Contents herein are not the views of, or endorsed by the U.S government, Department of Defense, Department of the Navy or the Commanding Officer of USS Blue Ridge. All news, photos and information for publication in Blue Ridge Magazine must be submitted to the Public Affairs Officer. Produced by Media Services Ext. 4155 Commanding Officer Capt. Will Pennington Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Ralston Command Master Chief ITCM(SW/EXW) Lonnie Gillilan Public Affairs Officer Lt. Clinton Beaird LCPO / Chief Editor MCC(SW) Katherine Strom Production Chief MCC(SW/AW) Allen Onstott Magazine Designer MCSA Ben Larscheid Leading Petty Officer MC1(SW/AW) Heather Ewton Media Services Staff MCC(Sel)(SW/AW) Jerry Foltz MC2(SW) Aaron Pineda MC2(SW) Jay Chu MC2(SW/AW) Rafael Figueroa MC2(SW) Timmy Wakefield MC2(SW) Mel Orr MC3(SW) Alexandra Arroyo MC3 James Norman MCSN Michael Hendricks MCSN Kelby Sanders MCSN Cody Babin MCSN Sam Weldin



cms/id recent changes

and what they mean to you

sailor in the spotlight cs3(sw) Fidel che hart



insanity the popular work out routine

now offered aboard blue ridge

photos of our visit in

republic of korea



roks cheonan blue ridge sailors visit

a salvaged south korean ship

flying squad an elite team of first responders



suicide prevention awareness highlighted in september

naturalization four blue ridge sailors

become u.s. citizens


a message from the cmc itcm(sw/exw) lonnie gillilan Shipmates, As this short deployment draws to a close, I want to thank each of you for acting as ambassadors of the Navy during our time in Hakata and South Korea. Acting responsibly while in a foreign country leaves a positive image of the Navy and the United States, which makes our mission much easier. Remember that once we return to Yokosuka, you are still expected to set the example in home port. A few items of interest that I would like to touch on prior to the start of SRA are contained below. First off, safety is very important while in SRA. For those of you who are new and have not been through an SRA, the ship will be in an industrial environment with work happening all over. Most hatches and doors will have leads and lines running through them making moving around the ship inconvenient at best and down right hazardous in some places. I ask that each of you keep a watchful eye out for safety issues and report them to your supervisor for resolution. No one wants to see a shipmate get injured when it could have been prevented. Additionally, SRA is a time when damage control becomes even more important. Lots of hot work and work on electrical equipment will be occurring and the potential for a fire goes up dramatically. Ensure you keep a watchful eye out for things that don’t seem quite right and again, ensure the appropriate supervisors are informed to take corrective action.

Career management should always be on the front burner for all Sailors. Recent changes to the detailing process and CMS program will result in more Sailors being selected for orders faster, but they might not be what the Sailor desires. Ensure you are looking at all available jobs showing in CMS and apply for as many, in order of preference, as you can. Detailers are now required to fill all requisitions that they are given for the month. This can result in a Sailor receiving their 4th or 5th choice. For more information contact your Career Counselors. The Physical Fitness Assessment is right around the corner. Most of you have already completed your PARFQ and now is the time to get in shape. Command PT will start back up the week of Sept. 10, but I encourage each of you to get out and spend the time required to ensure you pass the PFA easily. For those of you who may be just getting back to working out, ensure you start slowly and don’t over do it. The Navy Ball is also right around the corner. This year’s event will take place Oct. 13 at Purdy Gym. If you have never been to one of these events, I highly encourage you to take the time to dress up and experience it. See your departmental or command Navy Ball representative for more information. The Command Climate Survey will be starting up shortly after we return to Yokosuka. The importance of this survey can not be

stressed enough. This is an opportunity for you to have your voice heard and help identify areas at the command that may be lacking or need some improvement. The CO is required to complete a Command Climate Survey within 90 days of reporting onboard. Please take the time to complete this survey and let us know how we can make the command better for all Sailors. In closing, I would again like to extend my thanks for a job well done on this deployment and encourage each of you to stay focused and vigilant as we begin SRA.

c ommand c yber r eadiness i nspection preparation check off list

Remove Common Access Cards (CAC) when they are not in use. Never leave your ID unattended. Log off computers at the end of the workday so security updates can be installed properly. Follow proper password requirements, and remember to keep them secret. Create passwords that nobody else knows. Do not visit unauthorized websites on a DoD computer.

Lock or log of computers every time you step away from them. Write security classifications on compact disks and diskettes. If you have an open storage space, have your yeoman check any visitors in JPAS before granting entry, and lock any rooms that have SIPR computers. Remember that cyber security is not just for the ITs, it’s everyone’s responsibility.



the key to successfully negotiating orders Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class James Norman

applies for an advertised billet, the detailers may be required to select a Sailor who has not applied.”

ecent changes to the Navy’s Career Management System/ Interactive Detailing (CMS/ID) mean negotiating a set of orders requires Sailors to be more flexible than ever.

This means that it’s imperative for Sailors to be flexible and begin applying for billets once they reach their 9-month window and are eligible to begin negotiating, Tibbetts added.

The changes, which took effect Aug. 9, and are outlined in NAVADMIN 226/12, describe the elimination of ‘hotfills’. Hot fills were the jobs advertised in CMS, highlighted in red. Under the new changes, all billets advertised must be filled as determined by the Manning Control Authority -- all of the billets listed must be filled by the end of the CMS cycle.

“For examble, if you’re offered San Diego, Bremerton, Norfolk and Mayport and have absolutely no desire to go to Norfolk, then choose something other than Norfolk,” Tibbetts said. “If you choose nothing because you don’t like your choices, the detailer may send you to Norfolk because they don’t know that you didn’t want to go there.”


According to Chief Navy Career Counselor Charles Tibbetts, Blue Ridge’s Command Career Counselor, this means that even if you don’t apply for a billet, you may be forced to take one you may not want. “Big Navy is encouraging you to apply for up to five billets, which shows your desire to go to those billets,” Tibbetts said. “If no one

collateral duties

assistant command fitness leader


Although detailers will try to fill billets at a Sailor’s request first, fleet readiness requirements are the guiding factor. Your goal in choosing your next assignment will be flexibility. To learn more about CMS/ID, contact your department’s or division’s career counselor or visit: cmsid/Pages/default2.aspx.

culinary specialist

cs3(sw) fidel che hart

Columbus, ohio

time in the navy

four years - blue ridge is his first command


to own his own travel company


Travel, photography, travel blogging


in the

spotlight spotlight pg.4

“ ”

“remember why you are here, what it took to get here, things you sacrificed, and never let anyone keep you from where you want to go.” -fidel che hart

Blue Ridge Takes Fitness

prt to an ‘Insane’ Level i s c o m i n g

i t i s t h at t i m e o f y e a r a g a i n , a n d e v e r y o n e n e e d s t o s ta r t t h i n k i n g a b o u t s u c c e s s f u l ly c o m p l e t i n g t h i s c y c l e ’ s p fa .

B u t b e f o r e t h at c a n h a p p e n , everyone needs to complete their PARFQs, make sure their P H A i s u p t o d at e , a n d g e t a n y medical screenings if needed. I f y o u h av e a n y q u e s t i o n s about how to accomplish any of these requirements, please c o n ta c t t h e C O m m a n d F i t n e s s Leaders (CFL):

Story and photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Sam Weldin


ailors aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) have taken fitness to a whole new level by participating in the popular workout program Insanity aboard the ship. Insanity is a two-month interval training program designed for maximum increase in overall fitness. “I started using it daily and then switched to twice daily,” said Senior Chief Logistics Specialist Jesse Delrosario. “Now I am hooked on it and I believe this workout delivers better results than just biking or running,” he added. “At the same time, it’s easier on your joints because of the wide range of movements.” Insanity is designed as a full-body workout that focuses on keeping your heart rate up in order to burn fat and increase endurance. The program requires no equipment because it uses your own body weight to create resistance. “My favorite thing about it is that no props or weights are needed. You just put the disc on and follow the instructions,” said Delrosario. Insanity is directed on the screen by an instructor who will lead you through a series of workouts in timed increments.

The intervals are timed and spaced out so you are able to keep going, but remain sweating and breathing hard the entire time.

E T C T r i va l at E X T. 4 6 3 2 O S C W i l l i a m s at E X T. 4 3 0 7 or H M 2 G a r c i a at e x t. 4 7 2 5

The program provides results, just ask Logistics Specialist 1st Class Vanessa Garciavargas, who initially started the fitness opportunity this April.

important dates

“I was able to lose 18 pounds in about a month and half,” said Garciavargas. “It is very important to pair good exercise with good nutrition.” The galley provides a salad bar and a variety of fruits each day to accommodate good nutrition amongst Sailors. The entire program takes two months to complete. It starts off light, transitioning to more difficult workouts as the participant’s fitness level increases.

20 aug 2012 - 07 sept 2012 PARFQs Completed

20 aug 2012 - 28 sept 2012 PHA and Medical screenings completed

01 nov 2012 Cycle Begins 29 oct 2012 - 06 nov 2012 Body Composition Assessment

“I’m not going to lie, it’s terrible and seems intense when you start, but the more you do it and see how much you improve, the better you feel and you get addicted to it,” said Garciavargas. “You’re not going to get results if you say it is too hard.”

05 nov 2012 - 16 nov 2012

This opportunity is available to all Blue Ridge, 7th Fleet Sailors and Marines. The class takes place everyday during the underway schedule at 1630 in the ship’s spin room. Arrive early as space is limited.

02 oct 2012 - 04 oct 2012

Physical Readiness Test 

19 nov 2012 Cycle Ends

“Early Bird” Weigh in’s/ BCA and PRT


Republic of

korea (Aug. 18, 2012) -- Ship’s Serviceman 2nd Class Richard Molina levels sand on a playground during a community service event at Hee-RakWon Children’s Welfare Facility in Busan, South Korea. Photo by MC2 Mel Orr

(Aug. 18, 2012) -- Lt. Donald Baker, chaplain, t cuts weeds during a community service event at Hee-RakWon Children’s Welfare Facility in Busan, South Korea. Photo by MC2 Mel Orr

(Aug. 19, 2012) -- Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Victor Trujillo arm wrestles with a child from Sung Ae Won Home for Children during a community service event in Busan, South Korea. Photo by MC2 Rafael Figueroa Medina

(Aug. 19, 2012) -- Information Systems Technician Seaman Myketrian Amacker shares photos with children from Sung Ae Won Home for Children during a community service event in South Korea. Photo by MC2 Rafael Figueroa Medina



pyeongtaek (Aug. 25, 2012) -- Damage Control Fireman Michael Rodriguez swings at a pitch during a softball game between Sailors assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and members of the Republic of Korea navy in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. Photo by MCSN Cody Babin

(Aug. 25, 2012) -- Sailors assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) pose for a photo during a game of softball with members of the Republic of Korea navy in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. Photo by MCSN Cody Babin (Aug. 25, 2012) -- Electronics Technician Seaman Alexander Elfers, assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), plays with Republic of Korea children during a community service event at West Pyeongtaek Jeong-hwan Children’s Center in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. Photo by MC2 Mel Orr

(Aug. 25, 2012) -- Sailors assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and ROKS Landing Ship Fast 621 pose with Republic of Korea children during a community service event at West Pyeongtaek Jeong-hwan Children’s Center in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. Photo by MC2 Mel Orr

(Aug. 25, 2012) -- Information Systems Technician 1st Class Minerva Balbas, assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), poses with Republic of Korea navy sailors from ROKS Landing Ship Fast 621 during a community service event at West Pyeongtaek Jeong-hwan Children’s Center in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. Photo by MC2 Mel Orr


“we go together!” pg.7

revisiting the wreckage Story and photos by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Cody Babin


ailors aboard U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) visited the remains of Republic of Korea’s salvaged ship, Cheonan (PCC 772) in Pyongtaek, Republic of Korea Aug. 24. The Ship was recovered in April 2010 by allied South Korean and United States Navy ships to include; USNS Salvor, USS Harpers Ferry, and USS Shiloh. An explosion, thought to be a torpedo, near the rear of the Cheonan caused the ship to split into two parts and sink Mar. 26, 2010. Chief Warrant Officer Steve Scrambling, who is now the Blue Ridge Electronics Material Officer, was a crewmember aboard Harpers Ferry when she was called to help salvage Cheonan. Harpers Ferry had just returned from a spring patrol back to Sasebo, Japan when they got the call for the salvage. “The ship was resupplied and refueled within 24 hours and then sent out to investigate,” said Scrambling.


blue ridge sailors experience roks cheonan

“We were roughly two miles away when the crane lifted the first section of the hull from the water. It was then that reality had set in. We talked about it, and we were briefed about where the sections of the hull were, but when you actually see the crane lift the pieces of the ship from the water, you realize that those were Sailors, and that could have been any of us down there.” Full recovery of Cheonan was completed Aug. 25, 2010 with 46 out of the 104 Korean sailors documented as killed or missing. “The fact that we could respond so quickly, and provide support to the Korean navy and stabilize the situation, makes it a special time coming back here,” said Scrambling. “It’s really special to see the teams working together, when you see the common bond between Sailors at sea.” The United States and South Korea have been allied forces since 1953, and continue to work together in the present. The United States works hand in hand with South Korea to enforce the Northern Limit Line between North and South Korea, as well as maintain peace and stability in the region.

“away, the flying squad... away!” an elite team of first responders Story and photos by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rafael Figueroa Medina


e often hear a team called the Flying Squad being summoned over the 1MC… “Away the Flying Squad… Away,” We know it sounds important, but some Sailors who are still unfamiliar with shipboard life may not know why. The Flying Squad is a rapid response team designed to expedite to the scene of a casualty as the first responders to contain whatever casualty is occurring at any given time. “It’s important to have an initial response team to report to the scene,” said Flying Squad’s Fire Marshall Hull Technician 3rd Class Clay Peacock. “If you call general quarters right away and man-up the repair lockers, you take the risk of having fires spread or floods worsen, so it’s important that we report right away.” Blue Ridge’s Flying Squad is comprised mostly of Sailors from Engineering Department, but it is open to anyone who is up for the challenge. Currently the team is made up of 18 Blue Ridge Sailors onboard. “It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you work,” “said Damage Controlman Fireman Michael Rodriguez. “You always want your initial response team to be the most knowledgeable and qualified personnel at the scene first.” One of the team’s newest members is Hull Technician Fireman Samson Shepherd, who hopes to jump in and make a lasting impression on the flying squad. “I just checked onboard two months ago,” said Shepherd. “It feels really good to be part of this team and it makes me feel important,” he added. “Right now they have me as a utilityman, so I stay back in the locker and take anything that is needed to the scene. I also help in dewatering and desmoking after the casualty has been contained.” Blue Ridge’s Flying Squad works and trains continuously to keep their skills sharp in order to be ready for the unexpected. “We do drills everyday,” said Rodriguez. “They range anywhere from fires, to flooding, to toxic smoke.” If you’re motivated and interested in being a part of this highly-skilled, rapid response team while achieving in-depth knowledge of damage control, contact Hull Technician 3rd Class Clay Peacock at J-dial 4253.


Navy Announces Suicide Prevention Awareness Month MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and the Navy is using the month as a launch pad to focus on Navy’s ongoing suicide prevention efforts, officials announced in NAVADMIN 259/12 released Aug. 27. During each week of the month resources will be available to guide discussion on stress navigation and suicide prevention concepts. The weekly concepts to be explored are: building resilience, navigating stress, encouraging bystander intervention to A-C-T (Ask Care Treat), and reducing barriers for seeking support through counseling. The tools and resources are available on www. and These tools emphasize the themes of dedication, optimism, determination and humor. Additionally, the winner of the Suicide Prevention Public Service Announcement Contest will be announced Sept.

28. The winning video will be available year-round online and will be broadcast regularly on Direct-toSailor television, the American Forces Network and Pentagon channel. “Our people are our greatest asset,” said Capt. Kurt Scott, Behavioral Health Programs director, Bureau of Naval Personnel. “We’re promoting a lifestyle of total fitness - physically, mentally, socially and spiritually - to ensure our Sailors are best able to meet the challenges they will face in today’s Navy. These efforts reinforce the Secretary of the Navy’s 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative, as well as support the Chief of Naval Operation’s directions. Most importantly, focusing on total fitness puts us on a path to prevent suicides.” For more information about suicide prevention visit and For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit

Blue Ridge Crew to undergo training

during Suicid e P r e v e n t i o n M o n t h Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael Hendricks


eptember is Suicide Prevention Month, and aboard USS Blue Ridge suicide prevention training is being planned for Sailors. This training is provided to raise awareness because suicides in the military are steadily increasing in 2012, and its focus is on the signs of someone struggling with depression and how to react in such situations. Lt. Donald Baker, USS Blue Ridge Chaplain, outlines local avenues for Sailors and Marines onboard Blue Ridge and those who are forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. “I am available 24/7,” said Baker. “If for some particular reason a Sailor or Marine does not want to talk to me, we have other ways we can provide help,” he added. Fleet and Family Services offers free counseling to any Sailor or Marine who desires help. Another available resource is Military OneSource. The online service offers confidential telephone counseling as well as online counseling.


Research has shown through the fiscal year of 2012, suicide rates have already surpassed the overall numbers from each individual year of 2010 and 2011. Information acquired by the Associated Press shows that within the first 155 days of 2012 there have been 153 suicides military-wide. The rise in suicide rates has prompted military officials to push suicide awareness programs as well as help lines throughout the military in an effort to take a proactive approach in helping Sailors and any other military members who need help. As Sailors and Marines, we are the front line in the battle against suicide. Some danger signs to watch for in our Shipmates include, but are not limited to:

Sudden changes in mood and/or behavior sudden loss of interest in hobbies or things cared about saying things like “it would be better if i wasn’t here” or “the world would be a better place if i wasn’t in it” depression talking about suicide or harming one’s self

“Never leave a person alone if you notice these tendencies,” said Baker. “Immediately go to an available resource and tell someone who is trained to deal with suicide prevention.” Suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Keep your eyes open for things that do not seem normal and don’t hesitate to speak up. Remember, if there is any doubt on your part, you can always just tell your LPO or Chief. “I would be empathetic to the situation from the beginning,” said Chief Timothy Esler, Operations Weapons Leading Chief Petty Officer. “I would do my best to support anyone who came to me to talk about these kinds of issues, and ensure that they are getting the kind of counseling that they need,” he added. For more information please contact: -Lt. Donald Baker: E-Mail: Phone: 090-6161-0213 (cell phone) or 241-4537 (home phone) -Command Fleet Activities Yokosuka: 243-5000 or 243-5001 -Military OneSource:

Sailors Serve Story and photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Cody Babin


our Sailors aboard U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) became U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony on the ship, Aug 25. Culinary Specialist Seaman Recruit Yao Wu, Culinary Specialist Seaman Apprentice Zi Chin, Machinist’s Mate Fireman Apprentice Manuel Linares and Machinist’s Mate Fireman Apprentice Clifford Antwi prepared for several months to become U.S. citizens. About eight months from each of the Sailor’s initial applications for citizenship, the naturalization ceremony took place, with each of the Sailor’s respective chain of command present for this special occasion. “It made me feel proud to see some of my Sailors become U.S. citizens,” said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Misty Cannon. “It was outstanding to see that all of their hard work had paid off.”

and Become U.S. Citizens

The ceremony featured a speech from Lt. Cmdr. Vic Naval, the ship’s communication systems officer, about how long he struggled to become a U.S. citizen. Naval told each of the four Sailors about the many benefits they garner by becoming citizens. He spoke about how they now have the right to vote, the right to have a security clearance and how they too could become naval officers as he did. Later, Capt. Will Pennington, commanding officer of USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), congratulated each Sailor on how far they had come to become citizens of the nation they serve. Legalman 1st class Zandee Galang, who put the ceremony together, stood smiling in the room as all four Sailors took the Oath of Allegiance together. “My parents are both immigrants, so I empathize with every Sailor who was a part of the ceremony,” said Galang. “It is truly an honor and privilege to be part of this naturalization ceremony.”

After the four Sailors recited the Oath of Allegiance in unison, the ceremony came to a close and they stood proudly as the newest citizens of the United States. “I feel proud to be a United States citizen,” said Wu. “It felt great having my chain of command there to support me.” To become a citizen of the United States, Sailors must apply for citizenship, take part in an interview process, and recite the Oath of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony like the one held aboard the USS Blue Ridge. During the interview process, Sailors must demonstrate good moral character, knowledge of the English language and knowledge of U.S. government and its history. The interview is the final leap before the naturalization ceremony. For information on the process of becoming a U.S. citizen, visit


Blue Ridge Magazine Issue 29  

Issue 29 features all the lastest information happening onboard the US Navy's finest flagship.