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September 20, 2013 Volume: 1 Issue: 10

Weapons Station Earle Visit Offers Liberty Opportunities

By MCSN Mark Hays USS Bataan (LHD 5) Sailors departed Naval Weapons Station, Earle, N.J. after a successful five-day port visit to on load ammunition Sept. 12. During the ship’s on load, Weapons and Safety Department put several precautions into place to ensure all Sailors were safe while cranes and forklifts were moving ammunition from the pier to the flight deck and down elevators to magazine stowage. “Administratively we put the smoking lamp out,” said Lt. Cmdr. Wayne Fitts. “Engineering-wise we closed off the pier, hangar bay, and flight deck with a specific foot path for those going on liberty.” Fitts said that everyone involved in the on load used personal protective equipment, from spark proof uniforms to steel toe boots, helmets, gloves and hearing protection. Also while in port, Sailors had opportunities to visit New York City, Atlantic City, N.J., and Philadelphia through tours and events scheduled by Bataan’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR). Bataan’s MWR department sponsored trips to Atlantic City, N.J., Philadelphia Phillies baseball game, the Chicago on Broadway show, and American museum

of Natural History. Buses picked up Sailors on the pier and took them to and from these events. “More than 400 Sailors signed up for the tours and events,” said Electronics Technician 2nd Class Thien Nguyen. “The

it is almost impossible to see everything in one day. “I’ve been to New York City three times,” said Personnel Specialist 2nd Class Dee Ann Cabrera. “This time I went to Madame Tussaud’s wax museum and

Photo by MCC Dennis Herring

most popular ticket was the Phillies vs. Padres baseball game.” Sailors, who have been to New York City before, took this opportunity to visit places they have never been. Many said that New York City has so much to do that

the Bubba Gump restaurant.” Through hard work and long hours, Bataan Sailors safely on loaded six-days worth of ammo in five-days, which brings the ship one step closer to her future deployment.

Look Inside! September Calendar, Page 3 | CPO Pinning, Pages 4 & 5 | Ordnance On Load, Page 6 | Ship Info, Page 8

10 Bataan Sailors Complete CPO 365, Anchors Pinned

By Erik Foster

Ten Sailors were advanced to the rank of Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Sept. 16 during a pinning ceremony held on the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5). After undergoing the six-week training process of CPO 365 Phase II, the new CPOs received their collar devices and combination covers during the ceremony. Capt. George Vassilakis, Bataan’s commanding officer, talked with the ship’s company and famailies in attendance about what it takes to be a Chief Petty Officer. “There is no doubt we have all seen many changes in the world and the Navy over the last couple years, but one thing still hasn’t changed: We still make a big deal out of those who make the transition from 1st Class Petty Officer to Chief Petty Officer,” said Vassilakis. “The anchors symbolize all the hard work you have put in to earn them. Here is a leader among leaders, a counselor, and a teacher. Over your careers you have learned what words like professionalism, leadership and communication mean. As you continue through your careers, you will continue to learn more and you will continue to teach each other what they mean.” Bataan’s Command Master Chief Kevin

Goodrich spoke about the 120-year legacy of the Navy Chief Petty Officer. “Chiefs look to each other for wisdom, counsel, laughter and sometimes just an ear to bend when they’re having a tough time,” said Goodrich. “Though you are a technical expert in your field, you are now expected to be a leadership expert for every Sailor.” After the ceremony, newly anchored Chief Interior Communications Electrician Jason Pepino had some advice for junior Sailors who have the ultimate

goal of making Chief. “The most important thing I can tell the junior Sailors of today’s Navy is to take pride in what you do and to take care of each other,” Pepino said. In addition, Pepino gave some insight on the career choices he made on the path to chief petty officer. “Back-to-back sea duty, choosing a tough billet, taking advantage of having a tough job in the Navy and making the most of it is what got me to where I am now.”

Photos by MC2 Gary Prill

Bataan’s New CPOs ABHC(AW/SW) Shane Ammons ABHC(AW/SW) Jamie Valencia AOC(AW/SW) Shane Collins AOC(AW/SW) Hector Torres ATC(AW) Michael Gerbert ETC(SW) Timothy Pendleton ICC(SW/AW) Jason Pepino MMC(SW/AW) Danny Arno MMC(SW) Jason Billiter OSC(SW/EXW) LaQuinta Dover

The editorial content of this newspaper is prepared, edited and provided by Bataan’s Public Affairs Office. This newspaper is an authorized publication for members of military services at sea. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Navy and do not imply endorsement thereof. Editor MC1(AW/SW) RJ Stratchko

Commanding Officer

Command Master Chief

Executive Officer

Public Affairs Officer

Captain George J. Vassilakis

Captain John “J.C.” Carter


CMDCM(SW/AW) Kevin M. Goodrich MCC(SW/SCW) Dennis Herring

Layout and Design MC1(AW/SW) RJ Stratchko

News Team 5

MC1(SW/AW) John Belanger MC1(SW/AW) RJ Stratchko MC2(SW/AW) Gary Prill

MC3 Erik Foster MCSN Mark Hays MCSN Nicholas Cottone


2 ZUMBA 1000, MAG 4


4 ZUMBA 1000, MAG 4

















ZUMBA 1000, MAG 4
















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Bataan Loads Ordnance for Upcoming Deployment By Nicholas Cottone

USS Bataan Sailors departed Naval Weapons Station (NWS), Earle, N.J. Sep. 12, making it the first U.S. Navy commissioned warship to conduct a scheduled weapons on-load operations at Earle since Hurricane Sandy struck the base Oct. 29, 2012. Sandy caused extensive damage to the pier and knocked out power to the entire base, causing millions of dollars in damage, primarily to the waterfront and pier complex. Waves caused damage to all the utility lines that carry power from the base to the two-mile long pier where all ships moor while on-loading or off-loading at NWS Earle. Photos by MC1 RJ Stratchko

“1,200 lifts of ammo were made onto Bataan,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Matthew Schooley. Bataan Sailors worked hand-in-hand with NWS Earle personnel to load all the ordinance necessary for the upcoming deployment from sunrise to right before evening colors. Then Sailors worked into the night moving all the ammo to its perspective storage area. The ammunition was transferred to the Bataan by rail from warehouses on NWS Earle. Trains run from


the warehouse down the two-mile pier to where the Bataan was moored. Forklifts unloaded the ammo from the train cars and staged it to be lifted onto the flight deck where it is separated depending on what magazine the specific ammo was going. Having all the ammo ready for deployment means that Bataan’s crew can have all the ammunition necessary to run training exercises with the Marines who will be training on board the ship in the coming weeks. Supporting the Marines is Bataan’s primary mission and the weapon on-load is one of many tasks to prepare Bataan for the challenges that lay ahead between now and deployment.

Navy Trivia Three Black Ball Shapes:

Three black ball shapes hung in a verticle line on the mast indicate the ship is aground.


Small white rope work, wrapped around stanctions and railings, mostly in pre-WWII Navy.

Union Jack:

The Jack is a replica of the blue, star-studded field of the National Ensign that is flown by ships at anchor from 0800 to sunset. It is halfmasted when the Ensign is half-masted, but it is not dipped when the Ensign is dipped.

Photo by Erik Foster


Gator Growl, Issue 10