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Welcome to Kitsap Military Appreciation Day 2016 By LESLIE KELLY


elcome to Military Appreciation Day 2016! For more than 12 years, Kitsap County has honored the military personnel in our communities by presenting this local Military Appreciation Day celebration. Kitsap County is the home of several military installations under the Navy Region Northwest designation. According to the Navy Region NW Public Affairs Office, there are 25,000 active duty, 6,000 reserve and 35,000 retirees in the Kitsap area. This is in addition to the more than 50,000 military family members that live and work in the area, including the newest from the USS Nimitz, which is now at the Puget Sound Naval Yard for maintenance. Service men and women live and work and take part in leisure activities here. The contribution they make to our local economy is substantial. Their children attend local schools. Military Appreciation Day 2016 will be fun and educational for all who attend. Local businesses have generously provided free and discounted items for our local service men and women. Military Appreciation Day 2016 will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 16 in the Kitsap Pavilion at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. The event is free and open to the public. More than 100 commercial booths in the pavilion will provide a huge “thank you” to our military members. Every booth will donate prizes. Winners will be announced throughout the day from the main stage area. Prizes are given to local active duty, reservists and retirees who must show their military identification in order to claim their winnings. There also will be free food and nonalcoholic beverages from vendors such as the USO Mobile Canteen, McClouds Grill House and others. Activities and events will appeal to the entire family. The doors of the pavilion will open at 11 a.m. Door prizes will be awarded beginning at 12:15 p.m. The Marine Corps Color Guard will present

MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS 11 a.m.: Doors open to the public. Noon: Presentation of the colors. 12:05 p.m.: National Anthem performed by MA1 Nicole McDonald. 12:10 p.m.: Welcome from Tricia Reece, MAC Committee. 12:15 p.m.: Remarks by Kitsap County Commissioner Ed Wolfe. 12:20 p.m.: Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent greets the military. 12:25 p.m.: Remarks by state Rep. Jesse Young. 12:30 p.m.: Service Member of the Quarter and Year awards to each branch of the military represented at the event. Entertainment will begin at 12:45 p.m. on Center Stage

A U.S. Navy photo shows the USS John C. Stennis strike group at sea near the Philippines recently. The Stennis is homeported in Bremerton. Contributed photo the flags of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. At noon, the Naval Base Kitsap Color Guard will post the colors and the National Anthem will be sung. Kitsap County Commissioner Ed Wolfe, Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent and state Rep. Jesse Young will make remarks to the crowd. The Silverdale Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee will then honor the Service Members of the Quarter and the Year from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines and the Coast Guard. Entertainment options will appeal to all ages as well, with performances by Galletta School of Dance, Northwest School of Dance, and the LukasRose Band. Military Appreciation Day always features fun kid-specific activities. This year, there will be a bounce house, a show and tell game, military vehicles, a U.S. Coast Guard boat, weapons display by the Marines, as well as visits from McGruff the Crime Dog and Central Kitsap Fire Department’s mascot, Sparky the Fire Dog.

A mini boot camp will be set up for children so they can get a feel for the training exercises the Marines conduct while on a military installation. Face painting will be available for participants, including special camo paint. This annual event is organized by the Military Affairs Committee of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce and made possible through donations of time and prizes from local merchants and Kitsap community members including the following sponsors: First Command Financial Services, The Shane McGraw Team, Kitsap Credit Union, Priority One Realty, Inc., Sound Publishing Inc., Stars & Stripes, Braces Inc. (Dr. Elizabeth Sheldon and Dr. Troy Okunami), Dentistry for Children Bremerton and Port Orchard, The Point Casino & Hotel, Vincennes University, US Family Health Plan at PacMed, Express Employment Professionals, Olympic College, USAA, Good Property Management Inc., Miller Woodlawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park, Silverdale Pediatric Dentistry (Dr. John Gibbons), Navy Federal Credit Union, Wave, and West Hills Auto Plex.

12: 45 and 1:15 p.m.: Galletta School of Dance dancers will perform. 1:50 and 2:20 p.m.: Northwest School of Dance performs. 2:50 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.: The LukasRose Band performs. 4 p.m.: Event ends.




APRIL 15, 2016

A salute to local military from Rep. Derek Kilmer Working for veterans, active-duty military and their families is something he’s passionate about


elcome to Kitsap County’s 2016 Military Appreciation Day. Here in Kitsap County we have a lot to be thankful for. Part of what makes the area special is the tens of thousands of military members and veterans who call it home. Members of the military aren’t just fighting for the freedom of our community. They are family members, friends, and neighbors who are making a difference in it, too. In addition to those serving in uniform, our community is home to thousands of Department of Defense civilian employees who serve our country each day and ensure the readiness and safety of our service members. Veterans and service members are also a critical part of the local economy, doing everything from creating small businesses to bringing their unique work ethic and skills to employers looking to fill jobs. Just as they have our backs while serving our country, it’s important

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Rep. Derek Kilmer that we have theirs. That means if you fight for your country you shouldn’t have to fight for a job. That means in the land of the free and the home of the brave every veteran should have a home. That means people should have access to the benefits they have earned. That’s why today is a great way to go beyond saying thanks and turning our words into deeds. That’s why events like this are so important.

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As your member of Congress, I’m focused on helping veterans and our service members to show them we have their back. That means going to bat for local military installations and doing away with outdated regulations that make service members wait months to take jobs at the shipyard after they retire. I’m working to make improvements at the Veterans Administration and to ensure that America keeps its promises to service members and their families. I’m also helping veterans cut through red tape so they can get the recognition they deserve. If you are a service member grappling with a federal agency please don’t hesitate to contact my Bremerton office at 360 -373-9725. The sponsors of this outstanding event and the volunteers and folks who make it possible are shining examples of the dedication we show to our local heroes. The 2016 Military Appreciation Day has it all. It is an opportunity for all of us to support those who serve. Local businesses, support organizations, and neighbors are all committed to this cause. It’s my honor to welcome you to this great event spotlighting the services of so many of our neighbors. Your participation today, whether you are

joining in the festivities or providing information about your local business, proves your appreciation and dedication. Thank you for supporting our local military personnel in this way.   — Rep. Derek Kilmer, 6th District U.S. House of Representatives

About Rep. Kilmer

Derek Kilmer represents Washington’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected in 2012. With more than a decade of experience in economic development, Rep. Kilmer is focused on getting our economy and our Congress back to work. Prior to his time in Congress, Rep. Kilmer served in the state House of Representatives from 2004-06 and in the state Senate from 2007–12, and also worked for the Economic Development Board of Tacoma – Pierce County during that time. Rep. Kilmer is a member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. Rep. Kilmer grew up on the Olympic Peninsula and is the son of two school teachers. He and his wife Jennifer live in Gig Harbor with their daughters, Sophie and Tess.

Mayor Patty Lent praises military and their families T

he Navy’s number one asset is its personnel — the men and women who operate ships at sea and stations ashore. Our City of Bremerton, in its continuing revitalization, is happy to support all military members on Naval Base Kitsap Bremerton while creating a vibrant quality of life atmosphere for their families. The military presence in the city of Bremerton is greatly appreciated by each of us. We appreciate and the hundreds of sailors aboard the USS Nimitz and the USS John C. Stennis at Naval Base Bremerton; fleet-assigned squadrons and submarines at Naval Submarine Support Center, Bangor; doctors and nurses providing health care at Naval Hospital Bremerton; military personnel under orders to Naval Magazine Indian Island. Our engineers that test underwater weapons or develop advanced technologies at Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport; and all military staff supporting the mission of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facilities. We proudly salute you and thank you for serving our country in combat, protecting our seas for moving freight

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Mayor Patty Lent and commerce, and conducting humanitarian tasks. I feel we are following in the footsteps of heroes using their motto, Ready Then, Ready Now, Ready Always. Patty Lent, mayor City of Bremerton

APRIL 15, 2016



Kitsap County commissioners welcome our military Navy’s long history in the county is something they’re proud of

We owe a debt of gratitude for the sacrifices you and your families have made to preserve and protect our freedoms. Thank you for your selflessness, courage and dedication to defending this nation. Your Kitsap County Board of Commissioners: Edward E. Wolfe, chairman; Charlotte Garrido, Robert Gelder


he Kitsap County Board of Commissioners is proud to support Military Appreciation Day. The U.S. Armed Forces have had a presence in Kitsap County since 1891. We have nearly 25,000 active duty military in the county today. You are the pride and strength of our nation, our county and our communities. Our military personnel have worked and lived alongside the loggers, fisherman, farmers, shipyard and sawmill workers, manufacturers and small business owners who have built our county into one of the greatest in the state. Through the years, our Armed Forces, their families, veterans and civilians have not wavered in their support and patriotism. We appreciate your faithful service, allowing all of us the liberty to enjoy our lives and celebrate in safe, secure communities. We greatly value our decades-long partnership with Naval Base Kitsap, and recognize the substantial contributions of those who work there and

Chamber committee organizes military day County Commissioners Charlotte Garrido, Ed Wolfe and Robert Gelder welcome Kitsap’s military service members, their families and veterans. Contributed photo support our local economy and businesses. Today, Kitsap County is home to more than 35,000 veterans. We feel honored and privileged they chose Kitsap to come home to with our spectacular coastline, forests, recreation, and engaging and welcoming communities. We are committed to making sure they’re taken care of and have

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Members of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee are: Margie Perry, Tricia Reece, MSgt Jason Selby (USMC, ret.), Christine Whitacre, Kerri Selby, Meaghan Bourgeois, Dick French, Dana Clay, Barry Doll, Shane McGraw, Connie Frank, Joffrey Inocenico, Kathleen Gordon, Shelly King, Haylee Baker, Rita Nicholson, Frank Portello, and Mark Slavik. This committee works year-round to present Military Appreciation Day to military families in Kitsap County.

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APRIL 15, 2016

She knows being a Navy spouse isn’t always easy Nothing at home is routine while your sailor is on deployment By LESLIE KELLY


amantha Gomez knew what she was getting into when she and her husband, Vincent, married nine years ago. Vincent had already decided on a career in the U.S. Navy. But it was the day after he left on his first deployment that reality sank in. “I was pregnant with my second (child) and we’d just moved into a new house,” she said. “I was going to go out and have some extra keys made to the house so I could give one to a neighbor. I ended up locking myself out of the house and locking my little one in the car. “Here I was, thinking that I’d be on top of everything, and then it just all fell apart.” A neighbor came to her rescue, climbing through a bathroom window so Samantha could get in her house and get her car keys so she could rescue her son. “I just felt so bad,” she said. “I kept telling myself, ‘I can do this. I’ll be fine while he’s gone on deployment.’ And


then everything falls apart.” Now, at 29, with sons ages 7 and almost 4, she’s become a pro at managing as a Navy spouse. The couple met in Arizona and were high school sweethearts. He entered boot camp in January 2007. Then, they went to Georgia where he was in school for his specialty in submarine work. From there, they had the option of staying in Georgia or moving west to Bangor. “We chose to come here,” she said. “We didn’t like the weather in Georgia and we wanted to be closer to family in Arizona.” They first lived in Navy housing in Jackson Park near Bremerton. When they could afford to, they bought a house in East Bremerton. “We knew we liked it here and we wanted to put down roots,” she said. In his years in the Navy, her husband has been through shore duty, sea duty, and has re-enlisted. He was first on the USS Pennsylvania and then the USS Nevada. “We (re-enlisted) because we knew we could stay here and we didn’t want to move,” she said. “He really likes what he does.” But at times like this, when she knows they will soon face another deployment, she admits it gets hard. “All the responsibility falls on me



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Samantha Gomez, her husband, Vincent and their sons Jack, age 7 and Evan, 4.

Contributed photo

when he’s gone,” she said. “My husband and I think differently. He’s the creative one and I’m the analytical one. When he’s gone, there isn’t that balance. To not have that is a weight on my shoulders.” When he is away, she emails him every day, just to help him keep up with what their sons are doing and what’s going on. She’s hesitant to write much about problems because she knows his mind is on his work. He only gets to email back about once a week, if that. So asking his opinion on things that need to be dealt with soon doesn’t work. That’s where her friends and neighbors come in, and the other Navy wives she has met. “We don’t have family in the area,” she said. “So I have to find people who can be family to me.” From the first days that they were in Kitsap County, Samantha found people

here to be friendly and outgoing. “I was invited to a new wives’ tea that the boat (her husband was assigned to) was hosting,” she said. “I really began to get to know people.” In fact, she met a birthing doula who helped with the birth of her first son. She then joined play groups and met other moms. She’s now a lead for a local MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) group. And she’s active now in her son’s school. “When we moved off base, I got to know my neighbors,” she said. “And we volunteer at our church.” Her advice to anyone wanting to help out a Navy spouse while their sailor is away, “Be flexible and be supportive.” “Let them know you are here for them,” she said. “Ask ‘What can I do for you?’ It just means so much to know that if something comes up, they’ll be there for you.”

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APRIL 15, 2016



Want to sponsor a sailor or Marine in your home for a holiday meal or visit ? By LESLIE KELLY


ricia Reece and her family often set an extra place or two at the table on holidays. It’s something that the family has done for years. “I remember my mom telling me that, when she was little, her family would host an active-duty military member for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner,” said Reece, who is a member of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee (MAC). “A few years ago, I got to thinking about that and decided we should do that.” Because Reece served on the MAC, she had an “in” with sailors and Marines stationed at Naval Base Kitsap Keyport and Bangor. One of their commanding officers was also on the committee. She reached out to him and he provided her with a list of sailors and Marines, most who serve as part of SWFPAC, Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific, who couldn’t go home for holidays and needed a local family to share a meal with. “They often times like to come in pairs,” she said. “That way they don’t feel so strange going to a place that they don’t know.” Her motivation, besides the family history of supporting the military, was just to provide those serving with a family atmosphere at holidays. “When you think about it, most of these guys are just 18 or 19, and for some, these are the first holidays away from home,” she said. “I just didn’t want to think about them sitting in the barracks all alone. It’s just nice for them to have a place to go for a home-cooked meal.” And, when she found out that there were more sailors and Marines who needed a place to go than what she could handle, she recruited friends and others to also host military members for holiday meals. One of them was Amee Graham. “I come from a patriotic family,” Graham said. “I just knew this was something I wanted to do.” Having hosted a number of guests in the past three years, Graham remembered the first two — a sailor and a

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Tricia Reece Marine — who came to dinner. “They were just out of boot camp and they missed their families,” she said. “I think having them was a great way to share not only a meal, but also the community. Being with us helped them know more about the area.” Beside a holiday meal, their guests were included in a very special holiday event — the ugly sweater holiday photo. She and her three children continued to keep in touch with their “military sons.” “We’d take them skiing and on family trips,” she said. “They became part of our family. Sometimes, it was just coming over to play X-Box with my one son, or even taking him to play baseball.” Events also included taking her son to get his haircut. She even cared for one of them after he had surgery; he stayed with her family while on the mend. With most of the sailors and Marines she’s “adopted,” she’s had the opportunity to meet their parents and siblings when they’ve come to visit. “And we’d FaceTime with them at the holidays,” she said. When it comes time for her military sons to leave Kitsap County for another

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assignment, it’s hard to say goodbye, she said. “It’s kind of like we’ve watched them grow up,” she said, noting that most of them have stayed in touch after moving away. While the match helped the military members feel included in family adventures, it also helped her and her family, Graham said. “We really did it just for them so they could be with a family at the holidays,” Graham said. “But I took advantage of the time to tell my kids to think about how these young men and women have given up being with their families, and were serving in the military away from home in order to keep our country safe. If it weren’t for them and people like them, we wouldn’t go to bed every night feeling safe, like we do in this country.” Although the program is not an organized program and is not sponsored by the military, families who are interested in hosting sailors or Marines for holiday meals can do so by contacting the master chiefs, sergeant majors or chaplains at the base at 360-396-4800, or the chambers’ MAC committee through Reece at 360-394-4150.

State Rep. Jesse Young has always had a strong appreciation for the military and for veterans. And he’s proud to address the crowd at Military Appreciation Day. Young represents the 26th District and was appointed to the House in 2014 to fill the seat vacated by Jan Angel, who was elected to the Senate. He went on to earn a full term after winning the 2014 election. Raised in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood, his childhood was marked by periods of homelessness and poverty. Through hard work, a trait he learned from his mother, Young had a highly successful time at Woodrow Wilson High School in Tacoma where he graduated with a 4.0 GPA. In addition to being named valedictorian of his graduating class, he was also honored by the Washington State Legislature as a Washington State Scholar in 1995. He was accepted at the University of Notre Dame and, in 1999, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems. Young is married to his high school sweetheart, Jennie. They reside in Gig Harbor and have five children. They are active in several community organizations and events including local Rotary, Communities in Schools, Chamber, and Navy League functions.

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APRIL 15, 2016

USS Stennis, USS Nimitz are Bremerton’s home ships By LESLIE KELLY


apt. Gregory C. Huffman is the commanding officer of the USS John C. Stennis, which is currently on deployment near the Philippines. On Jan. 15, the ship left Naval Base Kitsap for a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific, stopping in San Diego before heading to the South China Sea. Huffman, the son of a career naval officer, is a 1989 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He earned a master’s degree in history from the University of Maryland in 1989 and a master’s in Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Sea-duty flying assignments include a junior officer tour with the “Rampagers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83, based in Cecil Field, Florida; a department head tour with the “Sunliners” of VFA-81, based in Oceana, Virginia; and command of the VFA-27 “Royal Maces” based in Atsugi, Japan. He completed multiple deployments aboard USS Saratoga (CV 60), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS George Washington (CVN 73), and flew combat missions over Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Capt. Huffman was named the Strike

Fighter Wing Atlantic F/A-18 Pilot of the Year for 1996 and won the Mike Longardt Leadership Award in 2001. Shore-duty flying assignments include the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School; developmental test pilot for F/A-18 electronic warfare systems and initial testing of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in China Lake, California; and executive officer and instructor pilot with the VFA-122 “Flying Eagles” in Lemoore, California. Additional shore-duty assignments include military aide to the President of the United States at the White House; Chief of Staff for Commander, Naval Air Forces, Atlantic; and Head Aviation Lt. Cmdr. and Junior Officer Detailer at Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee. Following nuclear power training, Capt. Huffman served as the final operational executive officer of USS Enterprise, completing the ship’s 25th and final deployment in 2012. He then commanded USS Green Bay (LPD 20), homeported in San Diego from June 2013 to August 2014. Capt. Huffman has logged more than 2,800 flight hours in 24 different aircraft types and accumulated more than 700 arrested landings. His personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two awards),

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Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Strike Flight Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards, one with Combat V), and numerous unit citations. Capt. Huffman assumed command of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) on Feb. 14 this year. The Stennis by the numbers: • Two nuclear reactors. • Capable of speeds greater than 30 knots allowing the ship to steam more than 1,000,000 miles before refueling. • The flight deck is 257 feet wide and 1,092 feet long, equivalent to three football fields in length. • Is 4.5 acres in size, has four catapults and four elevators and accommodates 70 tactical aircraft. • Is 244 feet in height (keel to mast), as tall as a 24-story building and has two anchors, each weighing 30 tons. The starboard anchor was inherited from USS Forrestal (CV 59). • Is capable of accommodating 6,200 sailors and Marines. • Meals served per day: 18,600; that’s 12,000 eggs served at breakfast alone. •Newport News Ship Building Company was awarded the contract to build Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis on March 29, 1988. The keel was laid March 13, 1991 in Newport News, Virginia and on Nov. 11, 1993 the ship was christened in honor of Sen. John C. Stennis. Stennis’ daughter, Margaret Stennis Womble, is the ship’s sponsor. The ship was commissioned on Dec. 9, 1995.

USS Nimitz now calls Bremerton its homeport Capt. John Ring commands the USS Nimitz. Capt. Ring is a native of San Diego, California and was commissioned via the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Arizona after receiving a degree in Economics and Political Science.

Following flight training in Pensacola and VAW-120, he was designated as a Naval Flight Officer in 1990. Capt. Ring assumed command of USS Nimitz (CVN 68) July 8, 2014. Capt. Ring’s initial sea-duty assignment was with the VAW-123 “Screwtops” aboard USS America (CV-66) (1990-1993). In 1996, Captain Ring was selected to become Air Defense Officer in USS Chancellorville (CG-62) and USS Port Royal (CG73), where he qualified in Surface Warfare. Additional sea-duty assignments include the VAW-112 “Golden Hawks” aboard USS John C. Stennis (1999-2002) and Carrier Strike Force Training Pacific (CSFTP) (2007). Capt. Ring reported as executive officer of VAW-113 in September 2004 and assumed command in November 2005. While in command, the “Black Eagles” flew in support of ground convoys in Iraq and the squadron earned the 2006 Battle Excellence award and the Airborne Early Warning Excellence award. From October 2009 to June 2011, Capt. Ring served as executive officer, USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and from November 2011 to February 2013 he commanded USS Comstock (LSD 45). USS Nimitz (CVN 68) was commissioned on May 3, 1975 by Rear Adm. Richard E. Rumble, Commander, Fifth Naval District, at Pier 12, Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, with President Gerald R. Ford and more than 20,000 guests in attendance. Nimitz’s commissioning marked the beginning of a new Nimitz class of aircraft carriers. Nimitz has been called upon many times to deploy around the world to support war and peace efforts. The Nimitz is homeported in Bremerton and is undergoing maintenance at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Most of its sailors and their families have moved from Everett, where the ship was stationed, to Bremerton.

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Military Appreciation Day is published by Sound Publishing. For information about upcoming special publications, call 360-779-4464 Special Publications Editor: Leslie Kelly Writer: Leslie Kelly Regional Advertising Director: Donna Etchey Sales Representatives: Marleen Martinez, Bill McDonald, Sharon Allen, Jessica Martindale, Mary Mollahan, Ariel Naumann, Tawna Grisham Creative Services Manager: Bryon Kempf Marketing Artists: Mark Gillespie, Kelsey Thomas, John Rodriguez, Vanessa Calverley, Johanna Buxton Thanks to the U.S. Navy for help with content. Copyright 2016 Sound Publishing

APRIL 15, 2016



Washington State gets its third namesake Navy vessel By LESLIE KELLY


he Virginia-class submarine USS Washington (SSN 787) was christened at 11 a.m. March 5, 2016 at Newport News Shipbuilding. Among those attending was Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent. “It was so exciting to be part of this christening with the logo, motto and colors depicting everything about the ‘Evergreen State,’ ” Lent said. About 20 delegates from Washington traveled to Newport News for the event. Gov. Jay Inslee also attended. “I was interviewed by Fox News, shared the spotlight with the commanders and full crew of the Sub as well as our own Adm. James Caldwell, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program,” Lent said. Caldwell was previously commander of Group Nine at Bangor. “The three-mile-long shipyard was dramatic, seeing the entire submarine hoisted above all of us and knowing there were subs in bays just like this one,” she said. Five submarines will be built for $18 million during the next 10 years. The actual launch of the Washington will take place in September and the commissioning is scheduled for Jan. 7, 2017. It will be based in Hawaii when in full operation. “The pride I felt, along with the other 3,000 attendees, was overwhelming,” Lent said, noting most attending were crew assigned to that shipyard. “My city’s current USS Bremerton (SSN 698) was adopted in 2010 by Bremerton, PSNBA and the Navy League and is stationed in Pearl Harbor — where the Washington will be stationed — and is slated for decommissioning in 2019. So you must imagine this new sub will become our namesake for the next 30 to 40 years. “I am proud to represent my city and the strong relationship we have with the Navy and I respect the mission of our military and defense sector in our state and across the nation.” Others attending were representatives of the Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Navy League, Submariners League, Jorgensen Forge, PSNBA, and retired captains and rear admirals. The civilian sponsor of the ship also spoke about the event.

Special guests and sailors pose at the christening of the USS Washington in January. The sub will be based in Hawaii. Contributed photo “The christening of the future USS Washington brings this technological marvel one step closer to joining the fleet where it will serve as a crucial piece of the finest expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known,” Elisabeth Mabus said. “Submarines like the Washington, and all of our platforms, are essential to our sailors and Marines’ ability to do their jobs. Our ships, and those who build them, enable our Navy and Marine Corps to maintain a global presence and protect America. This ceremony is a celebration of not only a submarine, but also those who worked to build it … the backbone of our ability to protect our nation … our shipbuilders.” Also at the christening was Rear Adm. Michael Sharp of Bainbridge Island, who served as chairman of the christening committee. “It was a honor to be a part of the ship’s christening,” said Sharp, who had a decorated Navy career and served as commanding officer of the USS San Francisco. “It was a great event to honor great Americans who build these ships.” Historically, Sharp said, ships were christened while in water and “everyone remembers the smashing of the champagne bottles,” he said. “But ships are too

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big for that now.” The Washington is a Virginia-class fast attack submarine and the third U.S. Navy ship named for the State of Washington, the 42nd state of the Union. The crest design includes symbols, colors, and themes inspired by the state, the Pacific Northwest, and previous warships named Washington. The sub is under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia and is scheduled to join the fleet in the summer of 2016. She is the 14th Virginia-class submarine. When delivered, she will be the most technologically advanced submarine in service, as well as the least expensive; her design incorporates significant innovations to reduce acquisition costs over earlier ships of the class without impacting mission capabilities. The ship’s crest blend Washington State icons Mount Rainier, the Seattle skyline, evergreen trees; and silhouettes of the previous two Washingtons. The central image is the submarine, surging forth from the waters of the Puget Sound, emblazoned with a paint scheme reminiscent of Native American art depictions of an Orca whale, the state’s official marine mammal.

Along the top of the state border, six hollow stars represent previous naval vessels named for George Washington and two solid gold stars representing the ships named for the state. At the bottom, submarine dolphins, one silver and one gold to represent the enlisted and officer warfare insignia. They sit atop a block of battleship armor plating on which is printed the ship’s name and motto, “Preserving Peace, Prepared for War.” The motto is derived from a quote from the state’s namesake, George Washington, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.” Set behind the state is a ring adorned with the official state tartan, as adopted in 1991 for the state’s centennial. The color scheme of the tartan is a green background for the rich forests of “The Evergreen State,” with perpendicular bands of contrasting colors symbolic of the features of the state: blue (for the lakes, rivers and ocean), white (for the snowcapped mountains), red (for the apple and cherry crops), yellow (for the wheat and grain crops), and black (for the eruption of Mount St. Helens). Washington is one of 14 next-generation attack submarines, the Virginia class. The Virginia class submarines will provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. SSN 787 will be 7,800-tons and 377 feet in length with a beam of 34 feet. It will operate at more than 25 knots submerged. Her 134-member crew will be able to launch up to 12 Tomahawk land-attack missiles and Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes. Mabus, sponsor of Virginia-class submarine Washington, is the daughter of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. A ship’s sponsor, by tradition, is a female civilian who is chosen by the Secretary of the Navy to “sponsor” a ship. The sponsor is technically considered a permanent member of the ship’s crew and is expected to give a part of her personality to the ship, as well as advocate for its continued service and well-being. Its command: Cmdr. Jason Schneider, commanding officer; Lt.Cmdr. Brian M. Rhoades, executive officer; ITSCM(SS) Adam Burchette, chief of the boat.

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APRIL 15, 2016

Military members receive honors from the Chamber By LESLIE KELLY


he 2016 Silverdale Chamber of Commerce will honor the following military members at Military Appreciation Day.

Marines: Cpl. Christopher Moss and Cpl. Michael Sannicolas are Marines of the Quarter. “In a short amount of time, both Marines have exceed our expectations technically, tactically and their overall leadership,” Sgt. Maj. David McKinley said. “Both have been able to complete joint qualifications and are serving in billets far beyond what is expected for their grade and experience. “Serving as a role model at work and in our community, it was a pleasure to recognize these Marines for their positive actions and leadership as well as both being selected by Marine Corps Security Force Regiment, Yorktown, Virginia for meritorious promotion to the rank of Corporal.” Coast Guard: MEC Bryan Leaf is Coast Guard Member of the Quarter. “You solidified your well-deserved reputation as a top performer and exceptional role model at the MFPU,” said his commanding officer, ETCM Ryan Allen, Command Master Chief, Maritime Force Protection Unit, Bangor.

“You demonstrated a strong commitment to the Coast Guard, the MFPU, and your division as you aggressively sought out new responsibilities far beyond what is required or expected of your pay grade. You have firmly established yourself as a law enforcement expert and go-to petty officer for shipmates seeking technical expertise. “You were entrusted with qualifying new Boarding Team Members and consequently planned and organized seven days of LE training, enhancing the certification process for 16 Boarding Team Members, Tactical Boat crew Members and Tactical Coxswains. “Your efforts expedited the certification process and reduced the stress on members who require this training. Due to your work ethic and professional curiosity you have mastered vital knowledge management systems such as MISLE, TPAX, and AOPS/ TMT, proving your ability to perform the administrative functions of your job with the impressive competence that you perform the technical aspects of it.” Petty Officer Leaf grew up in Arlington, Washington and joined the Coast Guard in April 2011. After leaving boot camp, Petty Officer Leaf was stationed on the Coast Guard Cutter Alert, homeported in Astoria, Oregon, where

he was a pursuit crewman enforcing drug laws in the South Pacific. After three years on the Alert, he went to “A” school to become a Maritime Enforcement Specialist, and from there he was sent to the Maritime Force Protection Unit. Petty Officer Leaf is a Coast Guard Boarding Officer, enforcing all applicable federal laws within the Puget Sound and regularly conducts Law Enforcement and radiation detection training for approximately 100 people. Navy: MA2 Cari Guida and MASN Jacob Roe have been named Sailors of the Quarter. Additionally, MA1 Jonathon Walter was named the Navy Service Member of the Year. (Information on these sailors was not available at press time.) According to Jason Selby, co-chair of the chamber’s Military Affairs Committee, each quarter the leadership from the sections or platoons nominate a service member who has gone above and beyond during the previous quarter. Examples might be leading on ranges, ensuring their younger service members are prepared for their duties, and assisting the progression of service members’ careers with education or personal growth. These nominees are then grouped

together and are put through a question and answer board to see their knowledge level. They could be asked questions from military history and leadership, and then there is always a question to see if there are up to date on current events. The group then discusses who they feel did the best through a grading evaluation that they did while asking questions. They then select the Service Member of the Quarter. That same board looks at all the quarterly winners and see who has continued to stride towards progression to choose the Military Member of the Year. That section includes more difficult questions and looking at member’s entire year of education, military progression. The board reviews information submitted by the leadership about why they feel their member is the best of the best out of the rest of the service members of the unit. Nominations of the Service Member of the Quarter and Service Member of the Year are entered in their records and assist the service member with promotion, Selby said.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” -John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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Military Appreciation - Military Appreciation Day - 2016  


Military Appreciation - Military Appreciation Day - 2016