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Our Force

US Navy photo by MC2 (AW) Steven Khor

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Blue Ridge is an authorized publication for Sailors serving aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). Contents herein are not the views of, or endorsed by the U.S. government, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy, or the Commanding Officer of the USS Blue Ridge. All news releases, photos or information for publication in Blue Ridge must be submitted to the Public Affairs Officer. Commanding Officer Capt. Rudy Lupton Executive Officer Cmdr. Kirk Knox Command Master Chief CMDCM (SW/SS) David A. Unnone Public Affairs Officer Lt j.g. Clinton Beaird Editor MC1 (SW) Josh Huebner Staff MC2 (SW) Brian Detrick MC2 (AW) Steven Khor MC3 Fidel C. Hart MC3 Mel Orr MC3 (SW) Brian A. Stone

Story by Chief Navy Career Counselor Charles Tibbetts (SW/AW) PTS was created in 2003 as a “force shaping tool.” Its goal was to take Sailors from overmanned ratings and convert them to ratings that were undermanned. Initially, only those in overmanned ratings during their first enlistment (Zone A 1-6 years) were effected. We have come a long way since then. Now all E-1 to E-6 with less than 14 years must have their performance evaluated prior to reenlistment. I will discuss the PTS application process, selection process and how to improve your chances of approval. Sailors effected have their records evaluated each month for up to six looks. The default application is set at a standard 13 months prior to the member’s “soft” end of active obligated service (EAOS). Soft refers to any pending contract extensions a Sailor may have. However, input can be made based on the member’s projected rotation dates (PRD) instead. Sailors can also submit their PTS up to 15 months prior to either date for special purposes, such as selective reenlistment bonus eligibility or special programs screening. The deadline for submission is set as the last day of each month. The career counselor needs the following information from the member to complete the application: 1. Is the application for in-rate, conversion or both? Sailors may choose three ratings to list on their application for conversion. Only ratings the member qualifies for and community managers make available will be listed. 2. Does the member have a security clearance? If so, what level of clearance and when was it granted? 3. The Sailor’s last five performance evaluations are submitted. These evaluations must rate the member as “promotable” or above and recommended for advancement on the last two evaluations. 4. Results of the last physical fitness

assessment and if they were passed. If the member has failed a PFA in the last four years it will be noted on the application. 5. Has the Sailor ever had a non-judicial punishment or courts marshal? The information above is entered into the Fleet Ride website. The PTS algorithm is then used to rank Sailors against their peers based on year group. Year groups are based on fiscal year the Sailor enlisted. The priority list for year group is as follows: 1. The highest pay grade member has earned with senior pay grades ranking highest in the selection process. 2. Selected, but not yet advanced members or frocked Sailors. 3. An average of the member’s last five evaluations. 4. Critical NECs (Navy Enlisted Classification) will weigh into the member’s application. Critical NECs rank higher than those without career specialties. 5. Fleet Ride scores are computed while ASVAB scores are used for conversions. 6. PFA results. 7. Proximity to soft EAOS. Sailors closer to their EAOS rank higher. So how does one become more competitive? 1. Do the best job you can all the time, every time. 2. Pass every PFA, it’s required. 3. Retake the ASVAB to make yourself eligible for more ratings. 4. Be on your best behavior. NJP does not improve your chances for approval. 5. Do the right thing even when nobody is watching you. Seems simple, but it isn’t. Even if you do all of the above, there has to be room in your rating to allow you to serve in that career. Community managers track manpower for each and every rating. If a rating is overmanned, you have a smaller chance of being selected to continue in-rate. Every Sailor should be asking themselves which is more important: working in their current rating or staying in the Navy?

No Slowing This Mustang Down

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Fidel C. Hart You never forget the day that you check aboard your first ship. Presumably, you will not forget the day when you check off your last ship. For Chief Warrant Officer Miguel A. Feliciano, ship’s Bos’n aboard 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), Nov. 16, 1986 and Feb. 18, 2011 are not as important as the days he gave to the Navy between the dashes of his 25-year career. “I’ve given them my best as I could,” Feliciano said. “I’ve been blessed with being able to provide training and guidance to young people to complete the mission.” Feliciano was born in New York City and grew up in Puerto Rico. He enlisted in the Navy on May 27, 1986, attending boot camp at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Ill. English is not Feliciano’s first language and the deficit caused his division commanders to extend his time at the training command. “I had to go to Division 16 to learn more English to make it in the Navy,” he said. After four months in Great Lakes, Feliciano reported to USS Haleakala (AS 25) in Apra Harbor, Guam. During his initial three months aboard Haleakala, Feliciano was put in charge of cleaning the berthing because his supervisor, a boatswain’s mate first class, did not take the time to understand his questions about doing deck work, he said. “I always asked the question, ‘How do you do that? I don’t know what that is,’” said Feliciano. “I ended up just cleaning berthing. We had the best looking berthing on the ship, though.” His fortunes changed when a new command master chief checked onboard Haleakala. “Master Chief Peron. I will never forget that man because after he saw me that first week he told me that I was doing a great job,” Feliciano said. “He also spoke Spanish. He was the first Hispanic khaki I saw. After his third week there, he asked me how long does the berthing rotation go and I told him that I did not know.” The same day, Seaman Feliciano was transferred out of berthing duty after Peron spoke to the first class who assigned him there. From that day on, Feliciano continued on and never looked back, leaving the Haleakala in May 1990 after achieving the rank of boatswain’s mate second class, qualifying in every station, including rig captain and safety observer and

US Navy photo by MC3 Fidel C. Hart

Chief Warrant Officer Miguel Feliciano gives instructions to boatswain’s mates prior to the ship setting sea and anchor watches. Feliciano retired aboard USS Blue Ridge Feb. 18 after 24 years of service.

earning his designator as an enlisted surface warfare specialist pin. Overcoming his early challenges and taking advantage of opportunities is a lesson that Feliciano teaches to younger Sailors. “Sometimes people don’t understand that I started from the bottom and worked my way to the top,” he said. “Younger people think that I’m on a pedestal and I just happen to be where I am. I tell them the same thing I was told, ‘Everything you learn, you learn through the ranks up to E-5. After E-5, you brush up and gain experience.’” Feliciano takes great pride in his safety record as well. During his 25 years of performing and supervising, not one person has been injured on his watch. “Accidents happen and people get hurt,” he said. “I made it my mission to make sure that no one – every time we finish an evolution – everybody walks away with 10 fingers, 10 toes.” Feliciano was initiated as a chief petty officer his first selection opportunity in 1997

while assigned to USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3). On October 1, 2002, he was selected for chief warrant officer commissioning and graduated from the Mustang Academy in Pensacola, Fla. After serving a 14 month individual augmentee billet at U.S. Central Command, Tampa, Fla., Feliciano reported aboard Blue Ridge on Oct. 29, 2009, back to the 7th Fleet, where it all began for him. In life, you seldom have control over the start dates and the end dates. It’s the in between, the dash, where you control the path your life takes. As Blue Ridge has seen in the last 16 months, Bos’n Feliciano has taken full advantage of his dash and the opportunities a Navy career afforded him. “Navy gave me an opportunity, the chance,” he said. “You have to take that opportunity, that chance, and make the best out of it. I came in as an E-1, I’m now a CWO3. Every place I’ve been with the Navy, I had a chance. I took it and I say, ‘That’s what the Navy gives you.’”

25 Years At A Glance

1986-1990 USS Haleakala (AS 25), Apra Harbor, Guam 1990-1992 USS Proteus (AS 19), Apra Harbor, Guam 1992-1994 Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. 1994-1995 USS Niagara Falls (AFS 3), Apra Harbor, Guam 1995-1996 Military Sealift Command Westpac, Apra Harbor, Guam 1997-1998 USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3), Sasebo, Japan 1998-2000 Afloat Training Group Midpac, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 2000-2002 USS Frank Cable (AS 40), Apra Harbor, Guam 2002-2004 USS Emory Land (AS 39), LaMaddalena, Italy 2004-2005 Naval Support Activity, LaMaddalena, Italy 2005-2007 Naval Ordnance Test Unit, Cape Canaveral, Fla. 2007-2009 Individual Augmentee, USCENTCOM, Tampa, Fla. 2009-2011 USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), Yokosuka, Japan

Around the Fleet MCPON Talks Spice Special from Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(SS/SW) Rick D. West WASHINGTON (NNS) Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(SS/SW) Rick D. West, released the following message on drug abuse, which focuses on “Spice,” herbal products and other designer drugs to the fleet Feb. 11: “Shipmates, There has been an alarming rise in the number of Sailors who are choosing to use Spice, herbal products and other so-called designer drugs; and this must come to an immediate stop. More than 150 Sailors are currently being processed for Spice use, possession or distribution, and this is UNSAT. Overall, the Navy has separated 1,374 Sailors in FY09; 1,308 Sailors in FY10; and 302 Sailors during the first quarter of FY11, for drug abuse. These unexpected losses negatively effect our commands’ manning levels, which in turn effects the commands’ operational and warfighter readiness. The Navy’s policy on drug abuse is simple and clear. If you didn’t know, Spice is a mixture of natural herbs and synthetic cannabinoids, that when smoked, produce a marijuana-like high that decreases motor skills, impairs coordination and concentration, and effects short-term memory and senses. The effects of these substances are unpredictable when combined with alcohol, and since the chemical blends are continuously manipulated and the strength of the synthetic chemical used is unknown, there is no way to know what you are getting in the drugs nor what the long-term health risks are if used. Some of the side effects from these drugs included uncontrolled vomiting, excessive sweating, flushed skin, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. If this sounds like a good time to you, go

Engineering Shows How It’s Done

PI sailors learn DC, engine room operations

US Navy photo by ABM2 Mark Sickle

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick D. West addresses more than 150 deployed Sailors during an all-hands call at the Warrior Transition Program building at Camp Arifjan.

ahead and hand over your rank and paycheck, and possibly your life. Bottom line: The use and even just the possession of Spice, herbal products, designer drugs, chemicals used for huffing, salvia divinorum, or products containing synthetic cannabinoid compounds are prohibited. Leadership, along with Naval Criminal Investigative Service, is aggressively working to catch personnel who are possessing, using, or distributing drugs; and when you get caught, your career will be over. Drug abuse goes against our Navy’s core values and ethos, and it is a threat to lives, unit and mission readiness and morale. It is every Sailor’s responsibility to deter drug abuse. If you do the crime, you will do the time … remember zero tolerance and no second chances.’

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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Brian A. Stone MANILA, Republic of the Philippines (NNS) Sailors aboard 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) welcomed Philippine navy sailors into the ship’s engineering department for a professional development exchange. Blue Ridge engineers demonstrated the use of damage control equipment, U.S. Navy firefighting techniques and gave a tour of the ship’s boilers and engine room. Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (SW) Pierre Angeles, a boiler technician of the watch, discussed U.S. Navy methods of conventional engine operation and maintenance, as well as propulsion theory with handson demonstrations. A native of the city of Marikina, Republic of the Philippines, Angeles said knowing the culture and local language of Tagalog made it easier to interact with the tour guests and to share experiences. “It feels great to see our counterparts here,” said Angeles. “We rarely have an opportunity to do something like this.” Damage Controlman 2nd Class (SW) William Julian demonstrated the use of firefighting equipment to the visiting sailors during damage control drills. “I think they learned a lot today,” said Julian. “I always think it’s good to work with other militaries like this. It lets us understand each other better and get to know how they work in the same kind of environment.” Ensign Ranier Ybañez, a Philippine sailor assigned to the Philippine navy’s Headquarters, Assault Craft Force, said he was particularly interested in learning about the way the U.S. Navy organizes damage control training. “I’ve been learning a lot from the Americans,” said Ybañez. “We’ve learned a lot today that we can take back and teach to our troops on our own ships.”

US Navy photo by MC3 (SW) Brian A. Stone

Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (SW) Pierre Angeles, a boiler technician of the watch aboard 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), speaks with Republic of the Philippines navy sailors about boiler console operations. Angeles is a native of Marikina, Philippines.


Blue Ridge wins 2010 NEY Award for outstanding food service. “It’s winning the super bowl back to back to back. It’s the most prestigious award we can get. We’re setting the standard for the fleet. We are determined to keep improving,” said Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Egbert SanPedro.


Deck Department brought aboard Philippine navy Sailors Feb. 15 for a professional knowledge exchange. “It’s a great opportunity to share our knowledge and see how they operate,” said Ensign Lindsay Bochner.

BRAVO ZULU Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Karl J. Onglatco reenlisted on the crew’s mess decks Feb. 4.

Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (SW/AW) James Lee reenlisted in the engine room Feb. 11. Congratulations on your reenlistment and thank you for 6 years of service in our Navy.

Congratulations to Culinary Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Manuelito Belocura, who became a U.S. citizen during a naturalization ceremony held aboard USS Blue Ridge Feb. 16.


Ship’s Reaction Force-Basic (SRF-B) class 016, graduated Feb. 17. “This class was instrumental because after ATG did the inspection. The class size helped us reach our goal of having 80% of the ship’s reaction force personnel,” said Culinary Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Demond Ricard.


The reenlistment of more than 65 Sailors helped the Blue Ridge earn Golden Anchors for fiscal year 2010. “The majority of Sailors realize the job security, health care and education benefits, and housing that the Navy provides,” said Navy Career Counselor 1st Class (SW/AW) Gregory Ford. “We give them the information to make the decision to stay in or get out. We let them know what’s out there and give them the tools they need. Luckily, they are staying Navy.”

Fair winds and following seas to Lt. j.g. Giancarlo Cristal, who was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal during his farewell ceremony. Lt. j.g. Cristal will continue to serve in Atsugi. Thanks for all the hard work!

Do you know a Sailor who’s earned a BZ? Send us an e-mail! or


TRAVELER A spectacular view of Hong Kong’s skyline and Victoria Harbor as seen from The Peak Viewing Tower. Aside from the stunning views, The Peak offers shopping, dining and entertainment attractions, like Madame Tussands wax museum and Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant.

Exchange Rate

(1 USD equals 7.80 HKD) USD HKD 1.00 7.80 10.00 77.80 100.00 778.00 250.00 1947.00 500.00 3,894.00 1,000 7,788.00 2,500 19,470.00

Hong Kong’s Top 10 Destinations

Events While In Hong Kong 20 Feb., HK Marathon. Over 50,000 people will run in the annual marathon. Runners can choose between a full, half marathon, or a 10k run, with routes that take in HK’s stunning scenery.

Lan Kwai Fong is a popular, funfilled place to hang out. It has a great atmosphere every night of the week.

1. The Peak Viewing Tower 2. Kung-Fu Sunday, Kowloon Park 3. Avenue of the Stars 4. Nightlife at Lan Kwai Fong 5. Eating at Jumbo Kingdom 6. Visiting Lantau Island

The Peak Tram is the best way to reach The Peak.

21 Feb., Grammy-winner, Taylor Swift performs at HK’s Asia World Expo Center. Artlive @ Park. Local art, design and architecture students along with local art groups add a dash of color to four Hong Kong parks by presenting creative visual works of art, live performances and activities, with an aim to share the joy of art and creativity with visitors. 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival. Hong Kong’s premier performing arts event presents another feast for the senses, featuring a galaxy of international star performances. A wonderful selection of concerts, ballet, modern jazz, opera and dance.

7. Riding the Duk Ling junk boat 8. Shopping on Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway 9. Hong Kong Disneyland 10. Bargain shopping at Temple St. night market Visit

The bronze Bruce Lee statue along the Avenue of the Stars attraction near the waterfront at Tsim Sha Tsui.

The world’s tallest outdoor, seated bronze Giant Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha). An 85-foot-high statue.

Blue Ridge Issue 1  

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