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June 23, 2013


Golden Falcons The


-The Quartermaster pg.9 -FASTPAC & Mixed Martial Arts pg.5 -Staying Fit While Underway pg.17 -News From Around the Fleet pg.2 & More Inside


CONTENTS Features pg. 5

FASTPAC & Mixed Martial Arts

-by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Toni N. Burton


The Quartermaster

-by Mass Communtication Specialist 2nd Class Timmy Wakefield


The Falcon’s Nest

-by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeff Troutman


Staying Fit While Underway

-by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared Harral

Photos pg.3-4

Singapore & Jakarta

News pg.2

News From Around the Fleet Blue Ridge Magazine is an authorized publication for Sailors aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). Contents herein are not the views of, or endorsed by the U.S. government, Department of Defense, Department of the Navy or the Commanding Officer of USS Blue Ridge. All news, photos and information for publication in Blue Ridge Magazine must be submitted to the Public Affairs Officer. Produced by Blue Ridge Media Services | Ext. 4154

Commanding Officer Capt. Will Pennington Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Brian Ribota Command Master Chief CMDCM(SW/AW/IDW) Mark Tomlinson

Public Affairs Officer Lt. Clinton Beaird

Photo Director MC1(SW/AW) Rafael Figueroa Medina

Asst. Public Affairs Officer MC1(SW/AW) Heather Ewton

Media Team MC1(SW) Jay Chu MC2(SW) Jeff Troutman MC3(SW) James Norman MC3 Michael Hendricks MC3 Kelby Sanders MC3 Cody Babin MC3 Sam Weldin MC3 Everett Allen MC3 Jared Harral MCSN Jacob Waldrop

Editor-in-Chief MC1 Robert Northnagle Assistant Editor MC2(SW) Timmy Wakefield Lead Designer MC3 Ben Larscheid

Newsfrom around theFleet Navy Commands Encourage

‘Keep What You’ve Earned’ Events All Summer

From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

Exercise Dawn Blitz: History Made with Osprey Landing on Japanese Ship Story by MCSN Molly Evans -- Commander, U.S. Third Fleet Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft landed on Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) helicopter destroyer Hyuga (DDH 181) for the first time June 14. The landing aboard Hyuga was the culmination of extensive planning by Sailors and Marines from Commander, U.S. Third Fleet, Expeditionary Strike Group 3, I Marine Expeditionary Force, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade and was one of a series of live training events during amphibious exercise Dawn Blitz. The Sailors and Marines conducted familiarization training with Japanese crews in preparation of the landing, June 3-11. Aboard USS Boxer (LHA 4), Sailors mentored Japanese counterparts on heat shields used by ships for MV22 landings. “Any time we do amphibious operations on ships we do a tremendous amount of training to make sure our pilots and aircrew are properly qualified,” said Marine Corps Lt. Col. Brad Harms, Commanding Officer of Marine Medium Tilt-rotor Squadron 161 (VMM-161). “We do practice landings on simulated decks on the ground which allows us to practice landing profiles. We worked closely with our Japanese

counterparts aboard Hyuga so they were familiar with our procedures.” The ability for the Osprey to land aboard a Japanese ship provides another opportunity for the U.S. and Japan to respond to crises to include natural disasters and protect collective maritime interests. After landing, the crew of the Osprey and the Hyuga demonstrated the utility of the MV-22 by showing towing procedures, lowering and raising the aircraft in the ship’s elevator and loading and unloading of supplies. “Landing on the ship was no different than landing on any other ship but the meaning behind it was pretty significant, and I’m proud to be a part of it,” said Marine Corps Cpl. Matthew Sevilla, Crew Chief with VMM-161. Hyuga is one of three JMSDF ships participating in exercise Dawn Blitz June 11-28. Exercises like Dawn Blitz provide the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy and Marine Corps. Joint, interagency and international relationships strengthen U.S. Third Fleet’s ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- The Navy announced the updated “Keep What You’ve Earned” guide for planning summer safety splash events is now available, June 18. The biggest addition in the update is the “Send Off” event, modeled after Navy Region Mid-Atlantic’s send-off of Sailors prior to the Memorial Day weekend. On the Thursday afternoon before Memorial Day, multiple Navy commands took advantage of the upcoming holiday to remind Sailors of the importance of responsible use of alcohol to stay on track with their careers. Chiefs, junior officers and first class petty officers all showed their support by manning the gates with “Keep What You’ve Earned” signs. This splash event came on the heels of the release of petty officer advancement results, reinforcing the message of keeping what you’ve earned. To enable commands to host summer splash events at their installations and incorporate “Keep What You’ve Earned” messaging into their existing summer safety fairs and safety stand downs, the Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention (NADAP) office created an “Eventin-a-Box” implementation guide. This guide provides step-by-step instructions for holding an event and accessing resources. There are a variety of event options, depending on the time and resources available. Details on how to host a “Send Off” event or any of our other responsible drinking, summer safety events are available in the online implementation guide. The “Play to Live Pledge”, also promoted during the events, has received more than 100 commitments from Sailors pledging to drink responsibly this summer. To take the pledge, visit drinkresponsibly


Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared Harral shows children a photo he took. (Photo by MCSA Jacob Waldrop)


Chief Quartermaster Andrey Mihaylovski plays hula hoop with children. (Photo by MC3 Jared Harral)

lue Ridge Sailors visit and interact with local children at The

Child at Street 11

Development Center in Singapore.

Sailors sit at a table and draw with children in a classroom. (Photo by MC3 Jared Harral)

Damage Controlman 1st Class Devon Williams jumps to deflect an attempted shot on goal. (Photo by MC3 Kelby Sanders)


he Blue Ridge and 7th Fleet soccer team faces off against members of Indonesia’s Navy and Marine Corps.

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Bryant Sheridan kicks the ball from the rain-soaked field. (Photo by MC3 Kelby Sanders)

Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Konadu Amopoku jumps for a header. (Photo by MC3 Kelby Sanders)


Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Amy Khanthavongsay challenges for the ball. (Photo by MC3 Kelby Sanders)


FASTPAC Mixed Martial Arts

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Toni N. Burton Commander, 7th Fleet Public Affairs

(May 25, 2013) -- Lcpl. Jay Fisher, left, and Lcpl. Thomas LaPointe, right, practice martial arts with pugil sticks on Blue Ridge’s main deck. (U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Michael Hendricks)

(May 28, 2013) –Staff Sgt. Melbin Medina, center, assigned to Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Pacific (FASTPAC) trains U.S. Marines in mixed martial arts techniques on Blue Ridge’s main deck. (Photo by MC2 Toni N. Burton)

(May 28, 2013) -- U.S. Marine Capt. Chris Tucker, top, and Sgt. Gabriel Perez, both assigned to Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Pacific (FASTPAC) perform mixed martial arts techniques on Blue Ridge’s main deck. (Photo by MC2 Toni N. Burton)

(May 28, 2013) –Sgt. Gabriel Perez, center, assigned to Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Pacific (FASTPAC) leads U.S. Marines in a warm up before mixed martial arts training on Blue Ridge’s main deck. (Photo by MC2 Toni N. Burton)

MARINES assigned to Fleet

Antiterrorism Security Team Pacific (FASTPAC) train in mixed martial arts while forward deployed with U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19).

The training consists of classroom and structural portions, focusing on grey or green belt level techniques, including counter strikes and holds, armed manipulations, body sprawling and detaining. “We are a 7th Fleet asset, and it is good being out here showing blue and green interaction, getting back to our roots and being deployed on a ship.” said Maj. Marc Foster, FASTPAC commanding officer. FASTPAC, 1st Platoon, from Yorktown, Va., consisting of 52 personnel, is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, and is embarked aboard Blue Ridge while on naval patrol, building maritime

partnerships and conducting security and stability operations. “We provide security to national assets and train so we can be ready for the unknown,” said Foster. “With consistent training, we can be ready to be the first responders.” FASTPAC is a crisis response force that provides enhanced security for immediate response to real-world events. “Patrolling with the ship gives us an opportunity to exercise and practice skill sets while working along side the Navy,” said Staff Sgt. Melbin Medina, FASTPAC platoon sergeant. Medina expressed the training teaches

Marines how to be an overall warrior. “There are three core focuses that we teach: mental, physical and character traits of a Marine warrior, and we evaluate them,” he continued. “We teach the Marine that he or she is forever learning. Through martial arts you can develop your mind, your physical fitness, and character.” “Our mission is to be fast and deployable,” said Lance Cpl. Brinan Dodman. “We work out and fight everyday, training to be the top of our game. I love what I do!” FASTPAC is a U.S. Marine Corps Security augmentation force under the operational control of Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet.



uartermaster E


Story and photos by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Timmy Wakefield


Andrey Mihaylovski

Chief Quartermaster pulled out an oversized world atlas for one of his Sailors to observe and report a certain waterway. He instructed the Sailor with in his demeanor. The Sailor listened intently, nodding in agreement, as Mihaylovski carefully laid out the navigation plan.


QMC’s Career History November 2002 – January 2003

QMSR Attended Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Il. for bootcamp.

February 2003- March 2003

QMSR-QMSA Attended Quartermaster “C” school in Great Lakes, Il.

April 2003- April 2008

QMSA-QM1 Stationed aboard USS Ramage (DDG 61) in Norfolk, Va. Sailor of the Quarter

May 2008- April 2011

Made QMC Board Stationed at Command Naval Forces Japan staff duty. Sailor of the Year twice

May 2011- present

Inducted as QMC Stationed aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) in Yokosuka, Japan.


t’s evident Mihaylovski loves his job and executes every decision with professionalism and pride. He knows he is destined to be a quartermaster. “My lifelong dream has always been to drive ships or to be a pilot,” said Mihaylovski. The road to the rate he chose began because he was tired of being landlocked in his native Bulgaria. He was born in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria in 1975. For 18 years, he dealt with an intrusive government. Travel restrictions and a weak economy made any chance for individual success in Bulgaria difficult. In time, Mihaylovski hoped to move to America for a better opportunity. His parents were the driving factor in his decision. “They helped me get here by taking their money out of their savings account. They knew my opportunities would be better there,” said Mihaylovski. “I knew I had to go there because I was going nowhere in Bulgaria. There were no jobs or educational opportunities. This was my chance to do something, and I did it.” In 1993, at the age of 18, Mihaylovski moved to Florida and got a job at Walmart. “I worked at Walmart for nearly 10 years,” said Mihaylovski. “I made it all the way up to departmental manager, but I couldn’t break through past that because I had somewhat of a language barrier in my way.” Mihaylovski began to question his career in 2001. He went to his local recruiting center to look for something he had desired. The Navy was his first choice but he kept his options open. Before he made his decision, he stepped into an Army recruiting office. The Army offered him a linguist position because he spoke several languages. That didn’t appeal to him. “It was quartermaster or nothing at all,” said Mihaylovski carefully annunciating every word.

Quartermaster First Class Paul Traver and Chief Quartermaster Andrey Mihaylovski observe the ship’s movement out of the Straits of Malacca in Port Klang, Malaysia.

Mihaylovski’s determination set him in the Navy’s Delayed Entry Program for nearly 10 months. He began bootcamp at Great Lakes, Il. in November 2002. The joy Mihaylovski gets from being a quartermaster comes from his love of navigation and his role in the ship’s movement. “It’s about getting the ship from point A to point B as safely as possible,” said Mihaylovski. “My job is about being a part of something bigger than myself.” “QMC has one rule. Safe navigation,” said Quartermaster First Class Paul Traver. Mihaylovski also enjoys helping Sailors, enlisted and officer. To Mihaylovski, sharing knowledge is about personal accountability as well as leadership. “Chief is helping me learn the new system of computerized charting,” said Traver. “Before this ship, I’ve only worked with paper charts. He has a dedication to this rating, and I feel it radiating from him when he teaches me.” Mihaylovski said helping people understand his job is something he enjoys doing. Even in his downtime he is willing to help any Sailor who’s looking for more knowledge. “Spreading knowledge helps keep my rate alive and always has room for improvement,” said Mihaylovski. “That’s an important quality to have in any job. The ability to teach and and learn goes a long way.” Traver said some people might think he’s over passionate about his rating. “He cares about the safety of this ship and its people so he comes off as really dedicated. It’s a great quality he has,” said Traver. Mihaylovski has complete and total job satisfaction. “I really mean it when I say I love what I do,” he said. “I don’t want to do anything else. Navigation is my life, and I honestly can’t imagine doing anything but that.”


(June 12, 2013) -- Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 3rd Class Matthew King communicates the position of U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) during a photo exercise flight. (Photo by MC1 Rafael Figueroa)

, The Falcon s

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Jeff Troutman

NEST The World Famous Golden Falcons of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWELVE (HSC-12) Detachment ONE (DET ONE) are settling in and adapting to their new habitat.

(June 22, 2013) -- Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class Erin Gallivan, assigned to the Golden Falcons of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWELVE (HSC-12) Detachment ONE (DET ONE), performs maintenance on an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Jared Harral

A change of scenery can be a breath of fresh air, a daunting challenge, or a combination of both for any bird of prey faced with a new environment. Take into account a smaller nest of space and a constantly-fluctuating schedule for keeping its fellow birds safe and in the air. Up on the main deck of U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), the World Famous Golden Falcons of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWELVE (HSC12) Detachment ONE (DET ONE) are settling in and adjusting to their latest habitat. They’re also learning a thing or two about their surroundings in the process. The success of the Golden Falcons speaks for itself: established in 1952, HS-2 transitioned into HSC-12 in 2009 and is the oldest rotary wing helicopter squadron in the U.S. Navy. However, the 28 crew members comprising DET ONE are relatively new to Blue Ridge’s landscape, leaving their home base at NAF Atsugi Japan and officially taking over as the ship’s squadron detachment, in April 2013. “Coming to Japan and setting up shop on Blue Ridge has been like attending a new school for the first time,” said Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 1st Class Matthew Gensler, DET ONE’s lead air crewman. “There’s definitely that whole breaking-in phase, that period of adjustment where you have to learn who to talk

to and where you’re supposed to be going. So far, Blue Ridge has been very amiable to our situation. Once we settled in and set up camp, everything began to fall in place.” DET ONE’s responsibilities to Blue Ridge

“We really want to be the

Sea Hawk helicopters at their disposal, the air detachment is relied upon for the safe transfer of Commander, 7th Fleet and all distinguished visitors. They use the helicopters for other missions such as search and rescue, cargo transport and vertical replenishments. The transition to Blue Ridge has not been without its share of challenges for DET ONE. Many of the crew members have cut their teeth in the fast-paced environment of aircraft carrier flight operations, working stringent twelve hour shifts day and night, and not stepping foot on land for weeks or even months at a time. This is something Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class Erin Gallivan has come to miss in certain ways. “The biggest challenge for me has been staying in the work routine we were accustomed to on other ships,” said Gallivan. “I enjoyed the set routine I’ve been afforded during past deployments. I’m not used to the unique operational tempo on Blue Ridge yet, so it’s been a little hard to figure it out up to this point.” “Here on Blue Ridge, every day presents us with a new challenge,” added Lt. Justin Pickworth, air crew division officer for DET ONE. “This detachment works very well together, despite coming from different aviation backgrounds. We all pitch in and help one another,

best squadron detachment that Blue Ridge has ever seen, and at the same time set a standard for all future squadron detachments who get stationed aboard Blue Ridge.”

-Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class

Justin Sieger

command are a crucial element to the success of the ship’s current mission of engaging allies and strengthening partnerships in the South IndoAsia-Pacific region. With two Sikorsky MH-60S

regardless of rank. Having a teamwork-oriented attitude and friendly camaraderie works well whenever problems or challenges may arise.” Communicating with his fellow shipmates in DET ONE is one of the main reasons Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class Justin Sieger, a helicopter maintainer, is so proficient in helping to keep DET ONE’s birds up in the sky. “It’s like a family atmosphere in this detachment,” said Sieger. “Our communication with one another helps us function a lot better with each other. It can create animosity if you don’t have personnel who work as a team. We look out for one another in the squadron, whether we’re working on the main deck or enjoying liberty in a foreign port.” For many of the detatchment crew, this is the first ship they have served on where a hangar bay is strikingly absent from the ship’s architecture, leaving the helicopters exposed to the elements and requiring extra attention to detail when both servicing and inspecting before take-off. “For me, corrosion is a big obstacle we’ve had to overcome since we got here,” said Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Lonnie Schnarrenberger. “There’s no hangar bay on Blue Ridge to protect the birds from the sun or the weather, so it requires more day-to-day washings and spot checking. Thankfully, we’re broken up into duty sections, so we can stagger the extra attention the helicopters need.” “The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is to use time wisely, so you don’t fall behind in your workrelated duties,” said Gensler. “There have been times where I’ve had to sacrifice liberty time in port to catch up on my qualifications or to complete necessary requirements,” said Pickworth. “But it’s part of the mission, and we pride ourselves in what we do.” By staying level-headed, but full of pride and integrity in all aspects of their work within the squadron, HSC-12’s DET ONE crew is looking to continue being a significant component in the mechanics of Blue Ridge’s ongoing success in the 7th Fleet area of operation. “We really want to be the best squadron detachment that Blue Ridge has ever seen, and at the same time set a standard for all future squadron detachments,” said Sieger. “We’re open to anyone approaching us about our job or what we do with the birds on the main deck,” added Pickworth. “People who aren’t in the military would pay a lot of money to do what we get paid to do, so we enjoy showing it off when we can.” For more history on HSC-12’s World Famous Golden Falcons, visit: airfor/hsc12/Pages/CommandHistory.aspx

(June 21, 2013) -- Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 1st Class Matthew Gensler assigned to the Golden Falcons of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWELVE (HSC-12) Detachment ONE (DET ONE) enters an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Timmy Wakefield

(June 22, 2013) -- Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Jeremy Smith, left, assigned to the Golden Falcons of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWELVE (HSC-12) Detachment ONE (DET ONE), explains helicopter rescue equipment and procedures to Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Lonnie Schnarrenberger. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Jared Harral

Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class Erin Gallivan, assigned to the Golden Falcons of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWELVE (HSC-12) Detachment ONE (DET ONE), inspects an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter after doing maintenance. U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Jared Harral


UNDERWAY Story and photos by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared Harral

It’s the end of another long day underway. You’ve completed the day’s responsibilities and the idea of a productive session in the ship’s gym appeals to you. You change into your PT gear and make your way down to the gym. But upon arrival, you discover that many other shipmates have the exact same idea. The line is practically out the door. Already you can feel your motivation begin to bottom out as new ideas enter your mind. Is there another time I can do this, you think to yourself? It’s not as though there are multiple gyms on the ship. However, According to Chief Operations Specialist Damien Williams, the command fitness leader (CFL) for U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), there are plenty of other PT opportunities while at sea. All you have to do is get creative about them, he says. “We have a ship’s gym, but we also have a spin room on board to help you stay in shape, and almost everything about the ship can be used as a tool for PT,” said Williams. “There are plenty of opportunities to do push ups, sit ups, squats, and other exercises in your spaces, so saying you have no time for PT should not be an excuse.” The main deck is another tool for letting your PT-creativity flow. Running, push ups and sit ups are common place on the main deck, not to mention the feeling of the sun and fresh air that comes with being topside. Eating healthy also plays a vital role in maintaining fitness. “A lot of Sailors don’t know how to eat correctly,” said Williams. “The mess decks have pyramid charts telling you what has the best nutritional value, and they provide healthy choices on the mess decks.” For some Sailors, the struggle to find motivation, coupled with the lack of knowing exactly what to do during a workout session, is a setback when trying to work out on their own. “If Sailors have a hard time working out on their own, they can always come to one of the Fitness Enhancement Program (FEP) sessions held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 5:30 am while underway,” said Yeoman 1st Class Yonet Garciacabrera, the Administration Department’s assistant command fitness leader (ACFL). “Anyone can come join in on a FEP session, and it’s a good way to learn some exercises and find motivation in a group setting.” According to OPNAVINST 6110.1J, members should participate in moderate activity at least 2.5 hours per week, and perform strength training exercises at least twice per week to work all major muscle groups. “Not many Sailors know there is an instruction stating exactly what the minimum suggested physical training per week should be,” said Garciacabrera. “If anyone finds it hard to do that minimum suggested time, besides just running on the treadmill for hours, they can go talk to the CFL or an ACFL, any of which will be more than happy to give out tips and advice.” More information on exercises and nutrition can be found at

There are plenty of opportunities to do push ups, sit ups, squats and other exercises in your spaces, so saying you have no time for PT

should not be an excuse. -Chief Operations Specialist Damien Williams, Command Fitness Leader

(Above) Marines assigned to Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Pacific (FASTPAC) take advantage of nice weather and go for a run on Blue Ridge’s main deck. (Insets) Chief Electronic Technician Dietrich Rey (left) and Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Scott Jarvis lift weights in Blue Ridge’s ship’s gym.