Volume 13, Issue 4
NRD Phoenix Sailors Participate in Annual Pat’s Run MC1(AW) Adrian Melendez NRD Phoenix Six Navy Recruiting District Sailors were part of a record 28,000 participants during the annual 2010 Pat’s Run in Tempe, Ariz., April 17. Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Douglas Boykin, Navy Counselor (NC) 1st Class Martha Caballero, NC1 Nicolas Carbajal, Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Jacob Dort, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Aaron Spaulding, and Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Electrical) 1st Class Randy Tadevich all joined up to conquer the 4.2 mile run as a team. “We’re a team. That’s how we all started when we we’re in boot camp,” said Carbajal. “You can only run as fast as the slowest person, and I wanted to do that again today.” Dressed in their blue and gold Navy Physical Training Uniforms, the six Sailors pushed each other through the race. The goal wasn’t to beat a certain time, or win a first place trophy, but to finish the way they started. Together. As they jogged to the finish on the 42 yard line on the Sun Devil Stadium football field, the team of Sailors still had the same smile on their faces that was there when they started the race just under 53 minutes prior.
30 APRIL 2010
GM1 Jacob Dort, HM1 Aaron Spaulding, GSE1 Randy Tadevich and NC1 Nicolas Carbajal finish the 4.2 mile Pat’s Run in Tempe, Ariz., April 17. The four sailors, along with NC1 Martha Caballero and MM1 Douglas Boykin, were a part of a six man Navy team that all finished the annual together. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW) Adrian Melendez.)
“I feel like I’m going to die a little bit, but not a lot like I thought I would,” joked Caballero. “If I didn’t have my teammates with me to help me get up the hill I wouldn’t have made it.” After the race, some of the team was ready to sleep, some ready to eat, but all were proud to have taken part in the event, and remember a fellow service member who had given up millions of dollars to give his life for his country. “I think Pat Tillman is a hero,” said Carbajal “He left millions of dollars to go and serve his country as an Army Ranger
with his brother Kevin. It’s a really good thing for us to come out here and support this cause.” The event raises money for the Pat Tillman Foundation who provides resources and educational support to veterans, active duty service members and their dependants. The 4.2 mile Pat’s Run is in honor of Pat Tillman, an Army Ranger and former Arizona State University Lineman who wore number 42. Tillman was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 1998 and left the Cardinals in 2002 to join the Army and the fight against terrorism. Tillman was killed in Afghanistan April 22, 2004.
Inside This Issue IA Ombudsman’s Corner Earthday COMREL Habitat Hike of the Month Around the Fleet
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Road Runner Staff Cmdr. Darryl Toppin Commanding Officer Cmdr. Derek Wessman Executive Officer CMDCM(SS) Jerry Pittman Command Master Chief
Family - Our Foundation
By Cmdr. Derek Wessman NRD Phoenix Executive Officer the professionalism (May 7th) approaches, and dedication of every I want to thank all team member. You may of the NRD Phoenix have noticed that this family members who section of the Road continue to support their Runner is usually the Sailors, Government Captain’s Corner. For Civilians and Contract this month’s issue, the Employees. As the It’s a great Captain has given me father of five children feeling to officially the honor of addressing who have been through be a part of the NRD the Command. years of separation Phoenix Family. I However, it comes at from Dad, nine moves appreciate the warm a price per word (nonand a dozen schools, welcome all of you monetary of course), so I am keenly aware of have given me since the I have incentive to keep the unique challenges Change of Command. it short. military children face. From NRS, MEPS and As The Month Even more noteworthy NORS visits to meeting of the Military Child are the sacrifices that with Future Sailors at draws to a close and military spouses make DEP functions, I am Military Spouses Family continued on truly impressed with Appreciation Day Page 5
Sexual Assualt...The Ugly Crime By CMDCM(SS) Jerry Pittman NRD Phoenix Command Master Chief
MC1(AW) Adrian Melendez Public Affairs Officer Editor/Layout and Design NC1 Steven Powell Assistant Public Affairs Officer John Bering Assistant Editor The Road Runner is a monthly newsletter produced by the U.S. Navy Recruiting District Phoenix Public Affairs. It is intended primarily, but not exclusively, for the use, information and entertainment of its active duty and reserve members, civilian employees and their families. Any views expressed herein are not necessarily the official positions of the U.S. Navy Recruiting Command or the U.S. Navy. The Road Runner staff encourage feedback from its readers. Please submit all articles, suggestions, ideas, comments, photos, compliments or complaints to MC1(AW) Adrian Melendez at firstname.lastname@example.org, NC1 Steven Powell at email@example.com, or John Bering at firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to talk about an ugly topic but one that we all need to be ready discuss as leaders and team mates, Sexual Assault. Studies have shown that one in four women and one in six men will be the victim of a sexual assault in their lifetimes.
Think about how many people work with you. Four women? Twelve men? That’s three people you know and work with who will become victims of this horrible crime. This is one of the fastest growing violent crimes in the U.S., and we need to ensure we engage now to stop a shipmate from becoming a victim. To be certain, we’re all clear on the types of behaviors that may be referred to as sexual assault. But let’s take
a minute and delve a little deeper into what exactly sexual assault is. Sexual assault is sexual intimacy that is threatened or forced on one person by another. That includes rape, date rape, marital rape (yes, a spouse forcing the other to have sexual contact is very much illegal), sodomy, indecent assault, and same gender sexual assault. I think recognizing indecent assault is where the line may Assualt continued on Page 3
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become blurry for many. I’ve learned about Sailors being groped who didn’t press charges because they didn’t feel it was severe enough to be a sexual assault, though simply being touched in an inappropriate sexual manner is the very definition of indecent assault! The Navy’s goal is to eliminate sexual assault incidents and provide the safest possible environment for our personnel. This may seem like a big task, but there are precautions both men and women can take to reduce these incidents and increase overall safety. Here are a few precautions to keep in mind: Passiveness and submissiveness can create a climate for sexual aggressiveness. You have the right to express your feelings and wishes and should do so verbally and clearly. Say “no,” if you are unsure. If you become uncomfortable, say you want to stop. Being polite could put you in jeopardy, so be loud, clear and to the point!!! You have the right to make choices about your behavior and the right to expect those choices be respected. Believe that your body belongs to you – only you can choose what you want, and you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want. When you’re going out, use the buddy system and when you do, ensure you stick to it. Know what situations might lead to sexual assault and who potential perpetrators are. The things that are needed in order to sexually assault someone are: privacy, opportunity and vulnerability. Don’t give them. Don’t leave your drink unattended; drink only from unopened cans
“no,” means no, whether it is said harshly or flirtatiously.” and bottles. Drink what you have prepared yourself and avoid group drinks like punch. Trust your instincts. If your initial “no,” does not stop an attack, yell and try to physically get out of the situation. Spend time with someone new while you are with a group of people before deciding to be alone with him or her. Set sexual limits and communicate those clearly. Do not give mixed messages – this can lead to an unintentional sexual assault, which neither you, nor the assailant, wants. Know the definitions of sexual assault. Understand that “no,” means no, whether it is said harshly or flirtatiously. Don’t rely on nonverbal communication for your direction – just because someone is intoxicated and kissing you, doesn’t mean the individual wants to have sex. It is never acceptable to force your sexual wishes on a partner, even if you think they want you to do it. If you use or imply force or threats to have sex, you are committing rape, even if you know the person and have had sex with them before. And stay sober! If a person appears to like you, they will like you sober too. I really think the most important thing I can talk about here is that alcohol and drugs are often related to acquaintance rape. These substances can blur messages and reduce judgment and self-control. So, please, just don’t do it or put yourself in a situation to allow you to be drugged. Find
activities for you and your friends to enjoy without alcohol. If you drink, don’t drink to excess where you might blackout or lose control of yourself and be unable to get out of unwanted situations. Though these tips can help to avoid sexual assault, sometimes attacks can still occur, and if one does, you should go to a safe place with a phone and call the local or base police immediately. Or go to a hospital clinic and have the police notified for you. You should not shower, change clothes or straighten up the site where the attack occurred. Call the rape hotline or the SAVI representative. You may also choose to call a friend to assist you. As a victim, you are not at fault and should know your rights. You have the right to respect for your privacy and be treated fairly; be protected from the accused offender; be notified of and be present at all court proceedings related to the offense; confer with an attorney; seek restitution; have information about conviction, sentencing, imprisonment and release of the offender. The biggest deterrent is knowledge; Team Phoenix cannot allow these crimes to continue – we are better than that. Do not be a bystander, be a shipmate and make a difference. Just say it - NOT IN MY NAVY! Hooyah Shipmate, CMC
What You Need to Know About IA
By CMDCM(SS) Jerry Pittman NRD Phoenix Command Master Chief Hey Shipmates. I wanted to talk about the question I get asked the most when I was in Iraq, “What are Sailors doing in Iraq, it’s a desert not an ocean?” My quick answer was, “A lot.” Most of us don’t know that as of Jan, we had 5,619 Sailors boots-on-ground in Iraq. In the CENTCOM AOR there are more Sailors on the ground than on ships. 47% of these Sailors are individual augmentees (IAs) and the rest are deployed Sailors with their units on GWOT assignments (SEALS, EOD, Rivereen, SeaBees). 61% of the IAs are performing their traditional Navy Culinary Specialist 1st Class Oliver Puckyk, an Individual Augmentee (IA) Sailor job for both Navy and Army units they are imbedded with (i.e. admin, attached to Provincial Reconstruction Team Khost, sets the head space and timing on the .50-cal machine gun prior to a recent convoy to conduct quality assurance supply, legal, security, information of road construction in and around Khost province. U.S. Navy photo by Ensign tech). That means 39% are doing Christopher Weis jobs they never dreamed a Sailor it for years. One wrong move or electronic warfare. We took the would do. My longer answer to mistake is not an option, perfection same technology on the front of what Sailors are doing in Iraq is: is the standard. Our Sailors are airplanes to jam signals and put Some of the most even training the Iraqi Correction it on HUMVEEs and MRAPs to exhausting and dangerous Officers to take over their jobs defeat road side IEDs. Sailors missions IAs are involved in is so we can get out of the detainee are installing and doing the the detainee operations. This is business. Petty Officer Casanova maintenance/upgrades to every the actual guard force holding the from Paradise Valley had a very tactical vehicle in the AOR keeping captured insurgents waiting for successful tour in Iraq assigned them safe. When you look at the cases to be built for their trials to the Navy Provisional Detainee the hundreds of successful IEDs or to be released. The Sailors are Battalion, Camp Taji. per month at the start of the war involved in every aspect from The Navy EOD mobile compared to less than one a month capture, printing, iris scanning, inunits are deployed all over Iraq now, you can see how important processing, escorts, parole boards, but they also send IAs to train the this mission has been to the war. guarding, medical, visitation and Army units on counter-improvised We are also training the Army to communicating with the detainees. explosive device (IED) recognition take over this mission. They are doing every and avoidance. They also are On the larger bases in Iraq, part of running a prison all while training the Iraqi Police from how we have Sailors who operate land keeping the different factions to exploit a blast site all the way to based PHALANX systems. The within the cells at bay and safe. It building cases against the terrorists counter rocket artillery prevents is impressive to watch the Sailors who manufacture and set the incoming rockets and mortars take a group of detainees from their bombs. from impacting the bases. When a large open cell, to the recreation One of our biggest rocket enters a protected area, just yard for PT and back to their cell successes has been the way the IA continued on for chow as if they had practiced Navy has implemented the use of Page 5
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to keep America’s Navy and your own individual families moving in the right direction. Fortunately, these sacrifices have earned national recognition, evident in the Navy’s expansion of its family programs and services such as child care, legal counseling, moving assistance and quality healthcare. Below is a small sampling of resources I recently learned about: Operation Purple: Summer camps for children of deployed service members, sponsored by National Military Family Association (NMFA) http:// www.operationpurple.org Military Youth on the Move: Select the Troops and Families tab and then Military Youth On The Move at http://www. militaryhomefront.dod.mil School Quest: An online IA continued from Page 4
as PHALANX protects our ships at sea, it tracks and shoots down any incoming rocket with a volley of high caliber rounds. Chief Aponte from Bull Head City was assigned to the Counter Rocket and Mortar (C-RAM) Task Force in Balad, Iraq. His unit successfully shot down their first rocket the day they got in country. Every joint task force headquarters in Iraq has Sailors who are doing the mission planning, intelligence analyzing, giving briefings, and keeping the headquarters running. LT Lichty from Tucson was essential to the Energy Division at the US Embassy in Baghdad. Some Sailors are imbedded with the provincial reconstruction teams (PRTs) and civil affairs units
resource for finding/comparing schools https://schoolquest.org Online Tutoring: Academic and career help at no charge: www.tutor.com/navy In addition to these resources, Navy Recruiting Command (NRC) has renewed its focus on Family Readiness and launched several new initiatives including a Family Readiness webpage (www.cnrc.navy.mil/ familyreadiness/), a National Recruiting Force Ombudsman (Mrs. Erica West), plans for an Ombudsman Conference in September 2010 and a periodic NRC Ombudsman Newsletter. Also, in early March 2010, some of you may have attended RDML Faller’s first ever NRC Townhall Meeting via teleconference and an online communication tool. The next one is scheduled for 1 June 2010. This is a huge step and
offers an unprecedented forum for the Navy Recruiting Force and Families to ask questions directly to the Commander of Navy Recruiting Command. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our NRD Phoenix Ombudsman team (Sandra Roberts, Megan Kenney, Lety Spaulding, Elizabeth Garciasalas, Aimee White and Sharla Boykin) for staying in tune with our families and for being there during times of need. Their information is on the page 6. I encourage you to contact them, simply to get to know them or for information on local events, benefits and opportunities. While we’re on the topic of families, I’d also like to take a moment to welcome the newest members of the NRD Phoenix family:
responsible for rebuilding utilities and municipalities in devastated regions. They work very closely with the local Iraqi leadership and spend most of their time outside the wire where the work is happening. Sailors are also performing maritime and port security for the only Iraqi Naval Base. They are teaching every part of seamanship, by hands-on and in the classroom instruction to include navigation, engine repair, welding, preservation, line handling and even preventative maintenance on their boats and ships. Since 75% of the Iraqi commerce comes from the oil platforms just off the coast, they have to be proficient at maritime security. Petty Officers Hamana and Dodd, both from headquarters, were a vital part of the oil platform security force during their IA tour in the gulf.
I could go on and on, as I only scratched the surface. There are so many more missions Sailors are involved in throughout Iraq. As I traveled, I constantly found Sailors who were doing a job because they saw that it needed to get done vice being told to do it. Sailors are making a much greater impact than what they were sent over there to do. As the Army has found out, a Sailor doesn’t just do a job, they make a difference and Sailors are truly making a difference in every part of the war on the ground in Iraq. Very few people understand all that Sailors are really doing in Iraq. I guess the better way to answer those questions is with a question, “What aren’t Sailors doing in Iraq?” Hooyah Shipmates - CMC
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AJ Seymour, 7 lbs 6 oz, 21 inches Gabriel Ryan Postlethwait, 5 lbs 9 oz, 19 inches Amanda Grace Wessman 5 lbs 15 oz, 18 ½ inches Camilla Alejandra Escobar, 6 lbs 12 oz, 20 inches Bryce Landyn Schulze, 7 lbs 4 oz, 19 ¾ inches
Congratulations to all the parents. As one of my wise mentors said to me on the announcement of one of our children, “There is no greater investment of your time and money.” I couldn’t agree more. Family is the foundation upon which all of us stand. Without them, our Navy would not be what it is today. I think RDML Faller
Ombudsman’s Corner By Sandra Roberts
Hi Everyone, I hope that April was a good month for everyone. May is shaping up to be an interesting month. Summer is soon upon us, so watch your kids around water. There are a lot of summer programs out there and we will keep you informed on what is available. We would also like to welcome aboard Sharla Boykin. She is our
says it best, “A Sailor’s strength and commitment originates from and remains with the family…and because of this, we are the best recruiting force in the worlds #1 Navy, America’s Navy.” Over the next month and especially on May 7th, please take the time to thank your families for what they do in support of our Navy. We cannot meet our mission without them and NRD Phoenix is sincerely grateful. Thanks again for your daily commitment and hard work. Each day, the future of our Navy and Nation grows stronger because of you. Keep it up and I’ll see you around the District. XO
new Ombudsman. She is in Zone 4 the West Valley. Welcome Sharla and we look forward to working with you. If you would like to volunteer as an Ombudsman or with the FRG please contact either my self or CMC Pittman. Have a great month. You can contact any of the Ombudsman should you have a question or concern. We will gladly answer any and all questions you might have.
NRD Phoenix Ombudsman (email@example.com) Sandra Roberts (Phoenix Lead Ombudsman) (602)621-1922 Sandra.firstname.lastname@example.org Megan Kenney (Phoenix) (760)505-5479 email@example.com Loty Spaulding (Phoenix) (602) 432-6692 firstname.lastname@example.org Sharla Boykin (Phoenix) (623) 792-0770 Elizabeth Garciasalas (El Paso) (505)554-8685 email@example.com Aimee White (Tucson) (520)461-9201 firstname.lastname@example.org
Megan Kenney (Phoenix) (760)505-5479 email@example.com
Phoenix area Chaplin Terry Pletkovich (480)586-8728 Chaplin Dean Johansen (602)828-7773 Davis-Monthan AFB (520)228-4511 Fort Bliss (915)568-8728
96 Hour Liberty May 28-31
Kirtland AFB (505)846-5691
By NC1 Martha Caballero
On Earthday April 22, 2010, Zone 6 took part in the Arizona Clean & Beautiful Program. This program is a non-profit volunteer driven organization that is dedicated to preserving and maintaining Arizona. Metro Zone volunteered their time by picking up trash on Mc Dowell Rd, in the City of Scottsdale. The opportunity was coordinated by the City of Scottsdale and the organization provided gloves, earth friendly trash bags, and reflective gear to ensure safety. This opportunity presented a chance to reflect on the importance of how vital everybody’s role is in the preservation of the Nation we all love. Zone 6 is dedicated to this mission and was glad to set the example. We encourage the rest of the NRD to take control of sustaining our environment.
Earthday Facts •
The energy we save when we recycle one glass bottle is enough to light a traditional light bulb for four hours
Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees
The amount of wood and paper we throw away is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20 years.
Facts provided by planetpals.com
Zone 7 Gives back to Community
By Chief Aviation Electrician’s Mate (AW) David Adauto and Chief Navy Counselor (SS) Rolando Ambriz
one 7 conducted their Zone Future Sailor meeting by helping out Habitat for Humanity in Alamogordo, N.M., March 27. On hand was NCC Christopher Torres, Zone 7 supervisor, who addressed the whole Future Sailor team and placed a challenge to the Navy Recruiting Stations (NRS) and the Navy Operational Support Center to a drill and question competition. The event was a great opportunity
for Future Sailors to get to know one another and meet who they very well may be working with one day in the fleet. The event was also great for each station to see what the others have instilled in their mentoring sessions with each Future Sailor. There was plenty of work for everyone to take on. One group went along with NCC Chris Torres to plant flowers along the side of the road. Chief Aviation Electrician’s Mate David Adauto, Machinest’s Mate 1st Class Andrew Stevens, Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class Chris McKinzey, and Damage Controlman 3rd Class Rafael Cervantes all took part in assembling a shed for the back of one of the new houses. Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Samuel Neil also took a group and put
together a metal shed. Sailors from each station also put together some plywood for the frame of one of the houses. After they completed that task, they placed the protective sheeting on the frame of the house as well. Others painted and sealed the seams of a house that was almost complete. Chief Hull Maintenance Technician Eugene Lelesch took his 5th wheel which served as shelter and our portable galley to feed over 40 individuals. At the end of the day everyone had a great time and NRS Roswell took home the zone flag as they had the Future Sailor who answered the final question correctly. Zone 7 also gave special thanks to Navy Counselor (NC) 1st Class John Caron and NC1 Belinda Daniel from Zone 8 who came out to lend a helping hand. Navy Recruiting Station Las Cruces gave a helping hand Easter weekend to help BravoMic Communication, a local radio station, celebrate Spring Fest 2010 at Young’s Park in Las Cruces. Retired Chief Charles Greave, a sales associate for BravoMic, asked the Sailors from NRS Las Cruces to pass out more 20,000 eggs for local children of all ages. NRS Las Cruces went out with some of their Future Sailors to show the Navy support for their local community. Future Sailors Uribe, Williams and Richins were the first to arrive and help set
up for this big event. The recruiters were in charge of crowd control which kept lines moving and was the most organized that Executive Vice President Michael Smith has seen since they started this event more than 15 years ago. The Future sailors demonstrated leadership skills that kept all events on schedule and were able to handle crowds of approximately 35,000 throughout the day. The event was a huge success and NRS Las
Cruces is already looking forward to leading the charge again next year. Las Cruces also volunteered to assist Calvary Baptist Church with its local car clinic, April 24. The organization provides basic vehicle maintenance, such as oil changes and inspections, to needy individuals in the community who
couldn’t afford the maintenance cost. Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Dallas Rodriguez went over the inspection checklist with the other volunteer’s to see what work needed be done. The inspection consisted of an oil and filter change, tire pressure and thread check, rotation of tires, brake inspection, lubing grease points, checking engine fluid levels, inspecting engine belts, batteries and any other requirements under the hood of the vehicles. The last customer of the day had issues with their van overheating, which during the inspection it was found that the cooling fan was not installed properly and the engine coolant was only water. All discrepancies were corrected and the family was very happy that the Las Cruces Sailors were able to assist them with their needs. The volunteers all felt proud to give back to those who are not able to provide the attention needed for their means of transportation while they’re trying to provide the basic essentials for there families.
Hike of the Month By John Bering
alf way across the Transmountain Road between Fort Bliss and I-10 there is a parking lot on the south side of the road with easy trail access to Smugglers Pass and the Ron Coleman Trail within Franklin Mountain State Park. The trail is 3.8 miles long one way but don’t think you have to hike the entire 7.6 mile roundtrip trek. The first mile is fairly steep leading through a canyon and up
to a perfect vantage point on a ridgeline overlooking New Mexico and Mexico to the west and the sun rising over Texas to the east. The trail demands sturdy shoes, hydration and plenty of stamina but the view from the top is well worth the effort. This two mile out and back hike is a great sunrise or sunset trip so bring your camera and enjoy the view.
Off the Beaten Path
and stretch your legs on Whiskey Row By John Bering widow shopping or people watching. The American Southwest There is usually is filled with scenic roads worthy of the venerable road trip but there something interestisn’t always time available to cruise ing happening on the courthouse lawn for days or weeks at a time to get most weekends and away from it all. There are, howthe first capital of ever, shorter excursions worthy the Arizona Territory of rolling down the widows and letting the world roar by even if for is just up the street too. just a day. Back on the One such trip is the back road take Gurley Street towards way from Phoenix to Flagstaff. Prescott Valley and follow the signs Heading north on Grand Avenue to stay on Hwy 89 and eventu(Hwy 93) as if driving to Laughlin ally turning onto 89A leading to you’ll turn right onto Hwy 98 just Jerome. The pavement once again after passing through Wickenburg. twists and turns up the mountain The road then winds through the and passes through the eclectic small town of Congress and up town that was once home to a minthe mountain to Yarnell. Plan on ing empire and is now filled with leaving Phoenix early enough to artsy shops and cozy pubs. The grab breakfast at the Ranch House view from Jerome overlooking the in Yarnell because, as with most Verde Valley is spectacular. small out of the way diners, the Continuing north on 89A food comes piled high and service leads through Cottonwood and into is provided with a smile. Sedona. Folks travel from all over Continuing on to Prescott the world to visit Sedona and it’s the road becomes a curvy and in our backyard. The red rocks thrilling joyride leading directly to and Oak Creek Canyon provide a the courthouse square. Pull over
multitude of outdoor adventures. Slide Rock State Park is perfect for cooling off in the water and several outfitters proved Jeeps tours through red rock country that are well worth the cost. Continuing on 89A, through Oak Creek Canyon, the drive to Flagstaff has been mentioned in nationally published articles as one of the most scenic drives in the country. On the edge of Flagstaff the road passes directly in front of the entrance to Fort Tuthill, Luke Air Force Base Recreational Area, and that is a perfect place to rent a cabin for the evening if an overnight trip is possible. The
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Freedom Successfully Concludes Historic Maiden Deployment By Lt. Ed Early USS Freedom Public Affairs SAN DIEGO - The Navy’s first littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Freedom (LCS 1), concluded its successful maiden deployment with arrival its homeport of San Diego April 23. The historic deployment, the first for a ship of the class, came over two years ahead of schedule, taking the ship to three countries and through the U.S. 4th Fleet and U.S. 3rd Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AOR). While underway, Freedom conducted counter-illicit trafficking (CIT) operations, making four successful interdictions that netted more than five tons of cocaine, seized two “go fast” drug vessels and took nine suspected smugglers into custody. In addition to independent operations, the ship successfully integrated with USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Carrier Strike Group, performed exercises with partner navies and conducted joint maneuvers with USS McInerney (FFG 8) and Fire Scout, the frigate’s embarked unmanned
A Sailor assigned to the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) greets his children during a homecoming celebration after the ship’s maiden deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker)
aerial vehicle. “Freedom’s homecoming, after a successful maiden deployment, is a significant milestone for the surface Navy and the future of surface warfare,” said Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis, commander, Naval Surface Force Pacific. “This is a special day for the Freedom crew, the entire LCS program and the great city of San Diego. As a team they performed magnificently and worked hard to complete their missions in support
of the Maritime strategy. We have learned many important lessons from this early deployment that will be applied to future LCS fleet operations.” Arrival in San Diego comes five years after the ship’s keel was laid in Marinette, Wis., and 18 months after commissioning in Milwaukee. “ The deployment was an opportunity that most had waited
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for several years to see come,” said Cmdr. Randy Garner, Freedom’s commanding officer. “The many lessons we learned will serve us well in the future, and I am very proud to have been part of the teamwork and focus that all onboard demonstrated.” After departing Mayport, Fla., Feb. 16, Freedom conducted CIT operations in the 4th Fleet AOR. In less than three weeks of at-sea operations, Freedom made four drug seizures – symbolized by four “snowflakes” adorning her bridge wings – and recovered more than 5 tons of cocaine. “It’s awesome to have those snowflakes on the hull,” said Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Patrick Johnson, a coxswain for the Surface Warfare (SUW) Mission Package who drove Freedom’s 11meter rigid-hull inflatable boats during the drug interdictions. “I’m excited about what we’ve done, and I want to continue doing it.” From there, Freedom engaged in theater security cooperation port visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Panama City, Panama; and Manzanillo, Mexico. In each port, Freedom’s Sailors interacted with their partner-nation counterparts and participated in community relations projects that benefited local neighborhoods. Throughout the deployment, Freedom broke new ground in operations with other Navy ships and partner nation forces. In addition to working with the Colombian Navy and Panamanian Public Forces, Freedom operated at sea with the Mexican Navy frigate ARM Nicolas Bravo (F 201). The ship also engaged in
its first strike group operations detachments did exactly that,” said with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Garner. “We were very fortunate to Group for high-speed operations, have the group that we did and it re-fueling at sea, surface gunnery shows in the success they enjoyed.” events and visit, board, search and The men and women of Freedom seizure evolutions. Prior to entering echoed their commander’s pride the 3rd Fleet AOR, Freedom in having completed their mission conducted joint maneuvers in the successfully. Eastern Pacific with the guided “I did not expect anything missile frigate USS McInerney less from our crew - this is the way (FFG 8), which carried the MQthey have always performed,” said 8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial Freedom Command Master Chief vehicle. McInerney and Freedom (SW/AW) Anthony Decker. “As for also conducted adjacent CIT our detachments, we wouldn’t have patrols in the region. had the success we had without “The opportunity for their expertise and help. They have Freedom to work with a carrier been phenomenal.” strike group for the first time After performing a crew was icing on the cake of our first swap – with the Gold Crew operational deployment,” said turning over to the Blue Crew, Garner. “We demonstrated how commanded by Cmdr. Kris Doyle Freedom and future littoral combat – and undergoing maintenance, ships are capable of working Freedom will resume operations as part of a strike group when in summer 2010 by journeying to needed.” the International Fleet Review at Garner was quick to offer Esquimalt, British Columbia, and credit to the embarked units that participating in the 2010 Rim of the accompanied his Gold Crew Pacific exercise. throughout the deployment. The first ship of the The SUW Mission Package was revolutionary LCS program, joined by Helicopter Sea Combat Freedom is a fast, agile and Squadron (HSC) 22, Detachment maneuverable ship designed to 2, based in Norfolk, Va., and a U.S. compliment the Navy’s larger Coast Guard Law Enforcement multimission surface combatants Detachment. in select mission areas, including “Success in countercombating submarines, mines narcotics trafficking missions takes and fast-attack craft threats in the several teams to come together littorals. in short order and each of our The drive back to are historic hotels in Path continued from Phoenix is two hours Prescott, Jerome, SePage 3 from Flagstaff on I-17 dona and Flagstaff in city of Flagstaff is addition to the cabins home to Northern Ari- or about three and a half if you back-track at Fort Tuthill. On zona University and on the scenic route. overnighter in Flagis the gateway to the The roundtrip is easily staff lends itself to a Grand Canyon. The daytrip to the Grand historic downtown dis- doable in one, albeit lengthy, day but is well Canyon or Canyon trict houses numerous suited for a weekend de Chelly but that is blocks of shops, bars, another story entirely. hotels and restaurants. getaway too. There