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February 28, 2014 Volume: 2 Issue: 4

Bataan Amphibious Ready Group Enters U.S. 6th Fleet By MC1 John J. Belanger The Bataan Amphibious Readiness Group (BATARG) with embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) entered U.S. 6th Fleet’s area of operations Feb. 16. While in theater, approximately 4,000 U.S. Sailors and Marines assigned to the BATARG and 22nd MEU will serve in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) before transiting to the U.S. 5th Fleet. While on station, the BATARG and 22nd MEU will support theater security cooperation and provide a forward naval presence by providing crisis response capabilities, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and combat operations. ”The Sailors and Marines of the BATARG and the 22nd MEU have trained hard over the past year and have proven our team is ready to handle the task at hand,” said Bataan Commanding Officer,

Capt. George Vassilakis. “We’re now ‘at the ready’ to answer our nation’s call.” The BATARG is commanded by Capt. Neil A. Karnes, commodore, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) Six, and comprises the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), and amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44). USS Bataan (LHD 5), commanded by Capt. George Vassilakis, left her homeport in Norfolk, Va., Feb. 8, on a regularlyscheduled deployment as the flagship of the Bataan Amphibious Readiness Group. The 22nd MEU is commanded by Col. William R. Dunn and comprises a ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment; aviation combat element, Marine 6th Fleet cont. page 2

Geotagging: What You Didn’t Know, What You Should Know By MC3 Chase Hawley What is your photo on Facebook telling people? Being in the military, you have had training on situational awareness and operational security. You know what information can put the mission at risk. Such as the locations of your ship or unit and what time it was there. Does your smart phone have a GPS? Then photos you take with it have GPS coordinates embedded in the metadata of those photos. Once those photos are posted on the internet, anyone can find out where exactly that photo was taken. The programs to read the information embedded in those photos are increasingly

common and easy-to-use. Any cell phone with a built-in camera or digital camera less than 15 years old will most likely take pictures that contain metadata; which describes the conditions (who, what, where, when and how) in which the picture was taken. The picture will be stored with the metadata in an image file, which goes with the picture when it is copied, uploaded or downloaded. It’s worth stopping to think about the security implications of having every picture you post on the internet telling anyone who cares to find out where you are, especially as a service member going

into a potentially hostile area. It can put you, your shipmates and even your ship at risk. In any given conflict, intelligence operations on both sides will gather and analyze image metadata for any helpful information. As it becomes easier to view and interpret metadata from images, the ability to perform reasonably good intelligence analysis is in the hands of gangs, criminals and terrorists and not just governments. Incidents can and have occurred due to careless posting on social media sites. Geotagging cont. page 3

Look Inside! Bataan’s Search and Rescue Team, Page 2 | V-4 in Action, Pages 4 & 5 | New HAZMAT procedures, Page 6

6th Fleet from Front page

Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 263 (Reinforced); logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; and its command element. The BATARG and 22nd MEU team will provide combatant commanders a versatile sea-based, expeditionary force that can be tailored to a variety of missions, including quick reaction crisis response options in maritime, littoral and inland environments in support of the nation’s maritime strategy.

Photo by MC1 RJ Stratchko

Bataan’s HSC-22 Seaknights Search and Rescue Team

By MC3 Erik Foster The time is 0200. Many Sailors and Marines are fast asleep in their racks while other members of the crew are hard at work. Suddenly a sharp whistle sounds over the 1MC. “Man overboard, Man overboard. Man overboard on starboard side. All hands report to man overboard stations.” As most of the ship is hurrying to take an accurate muster, some Sailors are kicking it into high gear. Doing what they are onboard to do, search and rescue (SAR). The search and rescue aviation detachment and the surface rescue swimmers comprise the essential personnel during any underway period for Bataan. When the call goes out, HSC-22 Seaknights start preflight checks while Bataan’s rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) team assembles. Both teams are soon ready to provide relief and recovery to those who might be in need. The Naval Aviation Rescue Swimmers mission is to execute SAR operations from rotary wing aircraft. The SAR detachment currently onboard Bataan,

HSC-22 Seaknights, is comprised of six rescue swimmers. All must maintain proper physical condition, be proficient with rescue equipment, and have basic first-aid knowledge to assist during SAR operations. Hazardous situations are a common on the flight deck during flight quarters. During flight quarters, the rescue swimmers spend most of their time at the ready should disaster strike. “There is no routine day for us,” said AWS3 Cole Robson, HSC-22 SAR swimmer native of Fairport, N.Y. “We maintain flexibility to what the ship needs so we could be doing flights at 0400 or 2100.” While providing an essential role in survival and safety, the rescue swimmer may be called upon to jump from a helicopter into the most dangerous conditions. “I look forward to the chance I get to save someone, but luckily it’s not an everyday occurrence, “ said Robson. “The most interesting part of the job is SAR cont. page 7 Photo by MC3 Chase Hawley

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

CMDCM(SW/AW) Kevin M. Goodrich

Layout and Design MC3 Chase Hawley

Executive Officer

Public Affairs Officer

MC1(SW/AW) John Belanger MC1(AW/SW) RJ Stratchko MC3 Erik Foster MC3 Mark Hays

Captain George J. Vassilakis

Captain John “J.C.” Carter


MCC(SW/SCW) Dennis Herring

News Team 5

MC3 Chase Hawley MCSN Nicholas Frank Cottone MCSA Michael Lieberknecht MCSA Aaron Kiser

Geotagging from Front page

In a 2007 incident directly linked to geotagging, four newly-delivered Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters were destroyed. When the helicopters were delivered to an airbase in Iraq, photos of the helicopters on the flight line were taken by soldiers and posted on the internet. Geotagging information was left intact in these images, and was used by the enemy to determine a target location for a successful mortar attack that destroyed the four helicopters. When you share photos with geotagging information, you’re providing a level








of information beyond what you see in the photo, and this gives anybody the opportunity to exploit that information in ways you may not anticipate. Anyone with an intent to cause harm, be it a hacker, terrorist or criminal, can use this information inadvertently shared online along with other seemingly innocent information , like the pieces of a puzzle, to achieve their goals. A good example of the possible risk at home is posting that you are leaving on deployment and you have pictures taken from your home on a social media site.

This can tell anyone who wants to know that you are gone, leaving your spouse alone as well as exactly where your house is. This could also apply to going on vacation or going home for the holidays as well. Some devices do allow you to turn off embedding location information in images. Generally it isn’t possible to turn off all metadata information, but the risks can be minimized. Most importantly by being aware of what information you are sharing online and practicing good operational security and common sense.






































Bataan Revamps Hazardous Materials Program By MC3 Mark Hays Sailors from USS Bataan’s Hazardous Material’s division (HAZMAT) have changed their program to benefit Sailors with less wait time and easier check out methods. HAZMAT distributes oil, grease, chemicals, paint, corrosives, cleaning soap, and other HAZMAT. Any chemical that is not safe if it were ingested is stored by HAZMAT Sailors to check out for everyday maintenance on the ship. “When we go to HAZMAT school, they teach us how to store these materials and how to properly use them,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Shaanne Moncrieffe. “We have knowledge that really isn’t available to most of our shipmates on HAZMAT safety.” Once a Sailor checks their 13-week report, the process is as follows: First, Sailors will need to bring their Maintenance Requirement Card (MRC) to HAZMAT so they can verify they are giving you the correct materials. Second, Sailors need to sign the checkin sheet located on a clip- board outside of the HAZMAT door. HAZMAT uses this to monitor the division’s time management skills. Then, you see a representative to enter your HAZMAT request in the Hazardous Inventory Control System, followed by the Sailors signature on the receipt to verify you have a copy the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Next, you go down to the HAZMAT locker to get your item and then sign the checkout sheet also located outside of the HAZMAT office. When returning HAZMAT, your first stop is to sign the check-in sheet and proceed down to the HAZMAT locker where your items will be signed back into the system and a copy will be made for the work center’s records. Finally, give your HAZMAT sheet to customer service inside the HAZMAT office to enter the return of your HAZMAT in Hazardous Inventory Control System, and sign the checkout sheet. Bataan’s HAZMAT department implemented these changes to speed up the


checkout of materials while also focusing on the accuracy of the process so all HAZMAT is accounted for. HAZMAT also changed their hours to 24 hours a day at sea. “We wanted to change the climate of checking out HAZMAT,” said Logistics Specialist 1st Class Josh Pilgrim. “When Sailors are about to perform maintenance, I don’t want them saying ‘Oh No, I’m going to be there for two hours.’ I want them to be in and out in ten minutes. We’re now open around the clock.” HAZMAT Sailors said that with most new programs there are learning curves but Bataan Sailors are very flexible and are adapting to change well. “At first there was a little confusion trying to get everyone accustomed to the new way of doing things,” Moncrieffe said. “Now things are going great with a lot fewer problems.” Moncrieffe added, the department representatives are here to implement a safe, healthy environment when it comes to HAZ MAT.

Photo by MC3 Mark Hays

Photo by MC1 RJ Stratchko

SAR from page 2

flying. I usually spend four to six hours per day in the air and average about 40 hours a month of flight time.” In addition to the SAR detachment, the ship cannot pull away from the pier without at least two surface (ship-borne) rescue swimmers. These ‘mission essential’ Sailors assigned to ship’s company have completed the U.S. Navy Rescue Swimmer School (RSS) and operate out of the J-Bar davit where the RHIB is deployed. Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Cory Esworthy and Electronics Technician 2nd Class Loveless are both graduates of

RSS; a four-week course teaching basic life-saving procedures including CPR, parachute entanglement, and multiple survivor rescues.

anything go wrong.” For Sailors interested in joining Bataan’s SAR team, BM2 Cory Esworthy can be found in the forcastle or ET2


Think, Act, Survive

“When man over-board is called the 4-man RHIB team assembles,” said Esworthy. “This includes the coxswain, the boat engineer, bow hook/boat officer, and the rescue swimmer. We also keep one rescue swimmer on standby, should

Robert Loveless in the 2M office on the 02 level. Potential canidates need to be clear of UCMJ violations, ability to obtain the 2nd Class swim qualification, and ability to pass the Navy’s standard physical test for special programs, (PST).

Navy Trivia Flotsam: Goods or wreckage that float when thrown overboard. Jetsom: Goods or wreckage that sinks when thrown overboard. Schooner: A word that defines any vessels of fore-and-aft rig, once had nothing to do with rig but referred to a speedy shallow draft vessel which literally “schooned” or ksipped over the water. Shove off: Navy slang for leaving or telling someone to leave, as in “Shove off, Mate.” But its original meaning is an order given to a small ship. In small boats, a Sailor standing in the bow actually does shove off the bow by pushing against the ship with a pole called a bowhook. Any and all leave-takings or departures are termed as shoving off.

The Aviation Support Equipment Technician (or AS) rate was founded on February 24, 1966. AS’s maintain all ground equipment needed by the Navy for

the operation of it’s ships and aircraft, including forklifts, aircraft tractors, cranes and a wide variety of more specialized equipment. Photo Illustration by MC3 Chase Hawley


Gator Growl Vol. 2 Issue 4  
Gator Growl Vol. 2 Issue 4